…years ago, about this site.
(kinda long Old-Man-Newbie post)
New member. Old lurker. I think I have devoured every article and serious forum post on this site over the last couple of years. Damn, I wish I had learned this stuff decades ago.
41 years old now. Army veteran who was way too far into running and “bodyweight” exercises for my own good. At 39, I finally realized that running marathons was not going to get me the body I wanted. So I started weight training, making all the mistakes skinny newbies make, such as:
– trying to get big without losing my distance running ability (I thought I was some kind of special-snowflake who could master both worlds simultaneously)
– having difficulty switching from a runner’s diet (carbs!) to that strange stuff containing protein (meats?)
– and getting nervous whenever my abs became blurry.
Luckily, because of this site and the knowledgeable community, I finally feel I am on the right track.
Lots of funny memories on the way. Here’s a bit of the Before-and-After:
My wife (also an Army officer and my marathon running companion) TOTALLY freaked out when I started getting serious about lifting. She was absolutely convinced I was nuts by giving up running and focusing on weight training. I caught so much flak from her when my diet changed (“Oh my God! How many eggs do you eat a day? Your CHOLESTEROL!!!”). I almost felt like I had to hide my food, just so she didn’t freak out. She thought my Whey was some kind of steroid or something.
Recent old-man’s doctor visit with full blood panel showed that EVERYTHING tested was not only in normal ranges, but was within OPTIMAL ranges. Including cholesterol! Go figure! Even the doctor mentioned that he has never seen anything like it, though he did point out that the BMI scale suggests I should really focus on getting my body weight under 165lbs… can’t win them all.
Needless to say, my wife now has no negative comments on my exercise choices, and lots of positive comments on the body transformation!
First time I decided to add squats to my workouts. Hey I’m a runner, this shouldn’t be so hard. I have “strong” legs, right? So I confidently stride over to the “curl-rack” (That is what everyone uses that contraption for anyway) and, with no warm up, I “squat” 135. It was somewhere deeper than a quarter squat and well above a half squat.
This is easy! So I slap on two more 45s, for a brilliant attempt at 225–promptly pulling my back just trying to get the bar off the rack! I re-rack the uber-weight and stagger out of the gym in embarrassment. Took a whole week of pain to recover from that one, though I hid the pain from my wife to avoid the “I-Told-You-Weights-Were-Stupid” comments.
Similar situations with other compound lifts. Getting pinned on bench with what probably would have been Mr. Roger’s warmup weight, etc.
Focused on building strength with compound lifts over the last year. While I’m still weak by even my own standards I have made great (newbie) gains, so it is encouraging. I can now ATG squat 335 for working sets, bench 245 (admittedly with a bit of a grind), and my deadlift has finally hit that elusive 405 mark!
At 5’10" I went from a 170lb-when-sopping-wet stringy marathoners body to (currently) 225lbs with about 10-12% BF (not concerned that my abs are slightly blurry now–having too much fun growing everywhere else!)
I actually am growing these weird things called Delts, and Quads, and gasp Lats! Shit, I had to Google “Lats” when they started coming in to figure out what the hell they were! (Ok, I’m exaggerating that point, but I never had them before and they actually felt weird to me when they started to grow).
In short: I’m having the time of my life, but man, I wish I had started doing this decades ago!
Oh well. Just wanted to give a Old-Man-Newbie’s perspective and say thanks for all the wisdom most of you impart on this site!