T Nation

What Sparked Your Desire to Become Better?


Plain and simple, I'm curious what causes most people here at TNation to train, or what single event resulted in their obsession (if you will) to train towards attaining a jaw dropping physique, or becoming stronger, or performing better, whatever the goal.

For me, it was a bad breakup with an ex-girlfriend, which resulted in my self-hatred and self-consciousness. I saw training as great stress relief, and soon saw my body composition improving. Getting even more analytical from a psychological standpoint, me being dumped by the first girl i truly loved caused me to have severe anxiety about my body composition, and how i looked in public. In a way, my goal of getting jacked was me trying to win her back, as i subconsciously thought that my body comp. was the main problem in our relationship.

I'm curious to hear what your reasons are. Reading about what gets people motivated is not only informative, but can also help renew one's waning passion for their training. thanks


Fat, very insecure with self image self worth even though back in the day I would have lied about that and said to look like ahnallld.

Then from there because I have OCD with perfecting things got pretty addicted to getting stronger.

Now to look good, get strong as fuck, stay healthy, attract women. Totally over the bull shit that haunted my mind in my youth.


I got called skinny a couple times in one week, took pictures and realized how skinny I was(5'10 130lbs). What's odd is before that I was perfectly secure in my body image. Still have the start pictures, I legit look like a cancer patient.


Was very sick for years... got well... used to barely be able to go to work... slept on my office floor ALL THE TIME. Had to sleep in my car before I drove home five frakking miles cuz I felt too tired to make it. So yeah, now I can run, and pick up heavy things. Its pretty much the fucking awesome to be healthy and own my body again. I can't imagine taking it for granted.


To make things even worse, I saw the same girl who dumped me after not seeing her for 4 months, after putting on 15 pounds of muscle and she says to me, "Hey, I thought you have been lifting weights" as if she did not see any difference in my body.

This led to me training even harder, and being even more meticulous with diet and lifestyle choices (pretty much stopped partying). Now my body is on a whole new level, and whenever i bump into her i can tell she feels inferior. Nothing feels better than a little reassurance that the hard work has paid off.


your training and results never lie, never sugarcoat anything, is always fair (you get what you put), and never end. Everytime during and after my training is when i feel the most alive and content with myself. When I go in and beat myself to the ground I will come up stronger and all that annoying shit that we sometimes blow out of proportion like work stress, family and financial matters, what to wear, and what people think all become insignificant and i just smile, until my next session.


amen. i completely agree. weight training has helped ease a myriad of my problems over the past 2 years. strong body=strong mind and soul


I think my event that sparked me to get stronger was back in high-school. When I had a huge improvement in the discus from 120ft to 147ft as a sophomore that meet did it for me. I loved the feel of improving and being on top. While I may of dropped off after track ended for me I'm back with the same motivation! Look out worlddd! AHAHAHAHA! HERE I COMEEEEEEEEEEE!


ex-Girlfriend - cheated and left me. Had spare time, can't beat up a female - went to gym instead.


regularly being told i looked like a starving child from charity adverts after contracting malaria and weighing less than my 4 years younger sister x_x


Being 18 and weighing 70kg... Fast forward 12 years to weighing 100kg.


I hope most of you in this thread have anything resembling that "spark" in ten years.

I find this thread "cute"...and that isn't a put down.

I am saying that because there are always THOUSANDS who claim they have the fire for this in the first few years of training.

It is extremely rare to see even a 10th of those same people truly pushing hard at it ten years down the road.

That is what separates the guys who jumped in, gained a few pounds and then stagnated for years after that from the guys who literally make so much progress childhood friends wouldn't know who they are.

Once again, that isn't a put down to anyone here....but very few in this thread have been training upwards of five years total seriously or dealt with the shit life will throw at you once you are no longer a STUDENT.

We'll see who has made jumps in progress 5 MORE years from now.

It's easy to be fired up as a newb and even an early intermediate....especially when you haven't even entered the "real world" yet.


Eh,I do it for the bitches.


My original attempt at getting hyoooge was when I was 14. I bought a Joe Weider bench, 160lbs weight set and started working out in my kitchen. It lasted about a month before my non-English speaking immigrant mom forbid me from lifting weights because it was crazy and dangerous. No lie, she called my Joe Weider weightgainer drugs. I was 6' 145 lbs at the time.

Fast forward 18 years. The only reason I started lifting weights in July '08 is because I fucked my back up pretty and couldn't play basketball or backpack. It drove me crazy so I needed to keep active. The only activity I can think of that was safe for my back was lifting weights. I got bigger and stronger alot faster than the 4 guys who joined the gym with me (all quit within 2 months) so felt like I was good at it. I enjoy the activity of training and the compliments from people who haven't seen me in a while. This site has alot to do with it as well. Whether they know it or not, there's a bunch of guys on this site who inspire me and serve as benchmark for me to compare my training and results against.


There's a few key things that led to this point. I won't go into details about all of them but the reality is fear.

Fear that I'll wind up fat and out of shape like so many others I know. Fear that I'll get Type 2 Diabetes and a host of other illnesses due to obesity like so many others I know. Fear of insomnia and chronic depression. Fear that I'll die before my time without seeing what I'm made of.


The impending zombie apocolypse.


AMEN, Professor.

We all start with self esteem issues, girl problems, bullying, etc, but that silliness is just part of growing up. What's going to keep you at it when life is good, you have no desire to compete, you're making good money, and you're happily married?

After 16 years "in", I can honestly say that the main factor that keeps me going is that somewhere along the line I developed an enormous amount of contempt for mediocrity.


You're welcome,dude.


Orignally, I went to the gym just to waste time with college friends (and maybe do better with coeds), then I saw results and realized it was all about getting out what you put in. Over the years though, it became more about control, about how it was the only part of my life that seemed to make perfect sense to me when nothing else did. It was where I was compeltely responsible for the end results, and nothing anyone else did or said could influence that.

Soon, it was just a part of me, an outlet that I couldn't live without (addiction?) that had to be scheduled into my daily activities. More recently (last 3-5 years), it's turned into a healthy sports-minded pursuit. Although my training and dieting are much more 'extreme' in terms of the levels I need to be at, mentally, I think I'm in a good place with how everything in my life actually fits together now.