T Nation

What Inspired You to Lift Weights in the First Place?


#1

What inspired you to lift weights in the first place?

I was reading Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story when I stumbled upon Mr. Hepburn’s life-changing moment that made him decide to pursue strength through weightlifting. He was walking by the beach with his smoking-hot girlfriend when he encountered a super-buff guy wandering around, Then he looked at the sky and saw a shooting star. That made him pursue the great goal of becoming the strongest man of all time…

We all have our own stories. Mine, for example, involves violence. I was an incredibly violent kid who delighted in fighting people. And then I watched the 2003 film, Hulk, which made me think, “Who the hell needs martial arts if you’re so strong that practically anything you do will hurt your enemy?”

That’s what got me into lifting. I was never inspired by bodybuilding. I was inspired by the prospect of being so strong, so powerful, that merely touching the enemy will hurt him because of my uncontrollable strength.

From that day onwards, I developed a passion for powerlifting and weightlifting. I was more passionate about it back when I was a kid. I had dreams and a shitload of potential. But life got in the way…

Anyway, what about you? What made you lift weights at all?


#2

Anyone who is serious about fighting and winning against people who know how to fight. This isn’t everyone, but if you think being big and strong is enough to win, I’d encourage you to first become big and strong and then show up at an MMA or BJJ gym and have a go. You’ll come down to reality pretty fast.

Against drunk chumps, sure. It can sometimes work that way, or at least it has in my experience. A trained fighter gives precisely zero fucks if you can squat 500.

Back on topic to answer your question, which is a good one…

I got into lifting because, at age 33, I realized needed to get off of my ass somehow. Then I realized I had some aptitude for moving barbells, so I stuck with it.


#3

It was the '70’s. Mike Webster used to come visit the local church and lifted with one of the priests (who also coached football) right by my house. There were body builders on Johnny Carson blowing up water bottles. Conan The Barbarian. Lou Ferrrigno was The Hulk. A few cousins and family members were also Huge (I was very young/small).

Being big and strong was just totally the thing to be.

edit: And Bruce Jenner. No kidding. That dude was on our cereal boxes.


#4

Because you can’t slay dragons if you’re weak. As a pretty major nerd growing up I was really into Tolkien and medieval history etc and I always wanted to be strong and capable like the heroes I read about.

Now it’s just a part of my life I can’t imagine being without, but I don’t get philosophical about it. I mostly do it because it doesn’t feel right if I don’t, and I hate the idea of being weak.


#5

Arnold movies.


#6

I was cross training for martial arts.

The focus of my training shifted from martial arts toward weight lifting for a variety of reasons. First, if you tell a bully or a woman that you are black belt, it encourages the bully and puts off the women, but muscles you can just walk around with and it puts off the bully and encourages the women. Second, it’s cheaper. Third, the older I become, the less quickly I bounce back from injuries.


#7

A combination of super hero comic books and movies. I always loved drawing comic book stuff, and becoming familiar with the musculature and then looking at my typical high school age physique in the mirror made the differences pretty noticeable.

Movie wise, I was heavily into martial arts as a teen, so I was taking in all the Van Damme films as they came out (and of course had tons of Bruce Lee posters on my bedroom wall).

The Rocky films were also a very heavy influence on me. Not simply in a physique aspect, but in the whole overcoming the odds and never giving up angle. I actually still have the framed poster from the original film. When I started seeing results from working out, it just fanned the fire in me even more.

S


#8

watched a lot of action/kung fu movies when I was a kid. Took up a martial art in my teens and started doing loads of push ups and sit ups and stuff for that. Girls started noticing I was looking better and I thought “hmm how can I kick this up a gear?”

Didn’t really take the shit seriously until my mid 20s though. Just kind of fucked around with it up until then.


#9

Yeah I get the hot hotheadedness of youth. When I was younger, I could turn into an entirely different person when I flipped my cap around. I took up weight training to take part in an arm wrestling competition. I wanted to start a trucking company and win back my son’s respect at the same time with a road trip and… wait that was Over the Top. Now I’m confused. Fuck it.


#10

An untrained silverback gorilla will always win in a wrestling match against any adept human grappler.

Plus, a full-grown adult male human will always win in a fight against a kid, despite the kid’s proficiency in whatever martial arts his mama enrolled him in.


#11

I grew up on a farm with my Dad and Grandpa on the same property. They are farmers and riverboat captains. The old man strength is real. I remember being 8 and Grandpa picked up a gas well drill bit (200+lbs) and threw it deftly over his shoulder and moved it to the other side of the barn. I went to pick it up and it may as well have been welded to the floor. I knew right then I wanted to be as strong as them.

I wrestled for a long time. Strength was important and so was body comp. I couldn’t figure it out in high school. Still not there, but closer.

Had a redheaded girlfriend in High School. Said she’d consider sleeping with me when I could bench 250. Worked out ok, she’s the wife now lmao. She was stalling for time but it sure got me benching.

Arnold movies as a kid. I met Kurt Angle when he was still an Olympic wrestler. He came to our match and signed autographs.


#12

Kurt angle is awesome.


#13

Well, I guess you should believe in whatever it is that gets you into the gym. And if you think the untrained silverback gorillas are tough, you should see what the ones who learn karate can do.


#14

Chuck Liddell?

He has a background in karate.


#15

The question we REALLY need to be asking ourselves is if a silverback gorilla sized duck would stand a chance against 100 duck sized silverback gorillas.


#16

I’ll fight a hundred ducks for a hundred bucks.


#17

At a dollar a duck, you’re really selling yourself short here.


#18

Do I get to keep the ducks? The meat amount may make it worth it to me regardless of the compensation.


#19

Bushido demands that we do not.


#20

Bob Sapp is a physical freak. Struggled against anyone with experience.