I was hoping to get a discussion going from the passionate members of t-nation in regards to motivations in training. What makes you guys and gals train on a regular basis? How did you start and more importantly, why did you start. Was it for egotistical reasons, for health, or maybe playing a sport? Well I start and share why I do it.
I started training because a friend of mine was going in the military. I had taken a few weight training classes in high school so I thought I could be his gym partner. We started training together and eventually he lost the weight he needed and joined the military. Excited with my newfound “newb” gains consisting on bench presses and curls, I wanted to keep going. I didn’t know anything about proper programing or diet, all I new is that my skinny 130lb put on 30lbs doing nothing but bench presses and curls.
Eventually, I started looking at what the other gym members were doing. I saw exercises like dumbell rows being performed, I saw barbell squats, and I saw deadlifts. I would ask those who were big for advice. (We all know that you ask the biggest guy for advice if you want to be big:) I was told that if you want to get big, you have to eat big. So I started shoveling away food and was an avid practitioner of the “see food diet”. It worked however as my lifts were going up and I put on an additional 30lbs. It was all muscle of course. LOL.
My mission was to get as big and strong as possible. Month after month and year after year, I trained, ate big, and lifted big. It was purely for egotistical reasons as I wanted to be a spectacle. I wanted to get compliments and be well received by everyone else. Women started looking at me and I felt good now being the “skinny guy”. I also got treated better and noticed people would differ to me.
As time went on, I really went on a quest for knowledge about productive training, eating the right foods for a clean diet (instead of dirty bulking), and what to do when I’m not training. I have known about t-nation for a while and other websites such as Lee Hayward. I started to binge read countless articles, learning about new training concepts such as “German volume training”. I would try them out and felt like I discovered some ancient book of knowledge.
Fast forward some 15 years later, I’m still training on the regular. I’m still enthusiastic as always but my goals are no longer for ego. I train now primarily for health, strength, and meditative purposes. Big muscles are nice and compliments are great but I think for people to stick with this for the long-run, you have to find deeper meaning.
Well that is the long and short of it for myself. So why do you train?