T Nation

Motivation and the T-Community

Note to anyone who doesn’t want to read quite a bit, this may be long, it’s just a jumble of things I want to say.

I am currently 17 and a HS Senior. I started lifting during the summer between my freshman and soph years. I started then at 6’1" 135lbs looking like a twig with a bit of a gut. I’ve made it up to 165lbs still at 6’1" sans gut. My first really serious incursion into heavy lifting was last year when I signed up for the weights class my school was offering. With some excellent equipment and a great coach I was able to make some really big gains for the first time in my life. (20 lbs to bench, 30 to squat, 20 to DL in one semester.)

Every day I would come out beaten, fatigued, and feeling like a king. This summer I have been lifting heavy and plan to take two semesters worth of the class again once school starts back up. I have been eating big and clean and I feel better than ever. Lifting has totally changed my life and I now can say I found something I genuinely love and will keep doing till I die. Part of what keeps me going is the negative opinions of others and how it drives me to prove their misconceptions wrong.

[rant]
I have showed the Nubret picture here to several friends and many have said that difficult to reach that kind of physique and while I don’t know if I can ever look that good, I can damn well try. The crux of motivational criticism that I recieved was earlier today from my own mother, who normally is a great support of my various endeavors. Upon showing her that particular picture and recieved a rather shocking negative response including such statements as “Impossible” and “disgusting” along with “no one likes that kind of body.”

While these are all valid (even though odd) opinions a person can have, the worst came a moment later. I realized I wouldn’t be able to sway her opinion so I made the compromise to end the conversation, at the very least you can admit it’s better to be like Nubret or Zane (who’s picture I had also shown her) than to be a fat lard lad, to which I recieved the response of…not really.

I was dumbfounded by the cultural weakening and crazy conditioning that could cause a woman who graduated from Stanford, who is otherwise very intelligent, to say it’s better to be very fat rather than very muscular.
[end rant]

Aside from my rant there that I hope angered many of you T-men and Vixens out there I would like to end on the better note that this is a special community here and by making this post I can better achieve my goals. Through this site I can actually believe that I can keep lifting hard, eating big, and eventually I will eventually get that great physique I idolize.

I hope someday I can look at some of my idols as peers. I hope someday I can look to some of those greats that have captured my mind and respect, men like TC, Chris Shugart, Prof X, Berardi, all the old greats in bodybuilding, and many, many others here as a brother and sisters in arms waging the battle to reach our own personal perfection. It is here that I can keep my goals in sight, eat big, lift big, and keep aiming for the stars.

Then when I’m a bit older, a lot stronger, and a helluva lot biger, I can look back at the day I posted this and know without any doubt that I took the right path.

Never think you can, know you can.
Retro

I’d say your mom is half right. Nubret, Zane, etc. are the result of total dedication to bodybuilding for a stage show. All muscle, no fat.

She’s half wrong to say that it’s better to be a fat loaf of crap, with no muscle or strength. Both are extremes and unhealthy in one way or another.

I say shoot for maximum natural muscle mass, then go for muscle maturity. But keep 10 - 15% of body fat, because that’s the healthiest range for hormonal balance and a good caloric reserve to camel around with.

Or at least that’s my plan.

Glad your with us.

You’ll likely experience a lot of negative views from people regarding your goals. Obviously, many people will view it as positive as well.

My mom is the same way. Noone in my family has had any athletic or physique pursuits. I believe that part of her distaste for my love of bodybuilding and lifting heavy ass shit is that it makes me “grow up faster.” Both from a physical standpoint, I am no longer her chubby teenager without any muscle. And even psychologically, setting goals and knocking through them helps one mature a lot faster in my opinion.

I can’t flex for my mom without her becoming depressed, haha. Sometimes, I wonder if I really would push myself as hard if my parents were pushing me to do it. I think of this as a personal journey that noone but myself has had any stake in. My parents are not unsupportive certainly, they believe in anything I want to do, but they don’t actively seek to make me better in terms of my lifting goals. The fact that I had so many people trying to tear me down in the beginning has helped drive me to prove them all wrong.

-MAtt

I agree with Mat,

Sometimes when I’m out with parents and dinner my dad will make jokes to the waiter when I order something and change it around (hold the sauce, brocolli instead of french fries, etc).

Motivation for me comes from positive and negative sources. I think you need to have an equal balance of both. Surrounding yourself with positive people most of the time is good, but I think if I weren’t around people who didn’t share/support my goals that I wouldn’t have the same desire to seperate myself from the crowd.

Dude, first, it blows my mind that you even mentioned me and I thank you for that. Second, you aren’t the only one with issues with family as far as bodybuilding. I get it pretty bad and I’m grown. To many people from that baby-boomer generation, anyone who would build any amount of muscle that even shows is crazy. It is amazing how people like that will state that no one likes that look…but then I can walk into a Walmart back home in a tank top and get looks that tell me the complete opposite. One thing you will learn is that bodybuilding is a singular sport. Your motivation will not come from friends unless you happen to be lucky enough to have one who actually shares your goals. It will have to come from you alone. You won’t find support from your parents. When I was in high school, I had to hide any supplements under my bed. Things like that are why I didn’t make significant gains until I got to college.

The first person I remember wanting to look like in high school was Renel Janvier. He competed as a light-heavy back then and that was my motivation. To reach your goals, you have to have a constant mental image of what you are trying to get to. Without a specific goal, you will become one of those people who works out for years and never makes much progress. These are usually the types who claim, “I just want to tone a little”. Those words are direct sign of future failure.

Bottom line, stay motivated and learn to look inside for the drive to keep going. Let your parents or your friends say what they will and allow it to go in one ear and out the other. You aren’t the first to have to deal with that. You won’t be the last either.

I’d like to also say that I’m impressed with your goals and ambitions. I’m only a year older than you, however, I find the maturity of your post to be amazing. There are very few teenagers that make a serious post such as the one you just created. I respect you greatly for that.

I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.

I find it an oddity that your mom does not support your decision to push yourself. As far as I’ve seen, Stanford graduates have been tolerating and accepting to many ideas. However, do what you feel is right, continue this path or whatever path you choose that you know is right. You are very correct that there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, worse than being a fat-lard.

Great post man. I remembered seeing this guy in Pumping Iron. Now that I have seen pics of him I could only hope to have a body like that. Just put a picture up of him in my mirror. Thanks for the motivation!