When/How Did It 'Click' for You

[quote]Waittz wrote:
My freshman year in High School I was chugging a gallon of water before our wrestling weigh because I didnt want my oponent to know I only weight 106 pounds. In restropect that is pretty funny, considereing how much weight I would cut my senior year to make 145 when I walked around at 160 lol. [/quote]

Haha that’s great man.

I remember weighing myself after practice once and seeing that I had sweated down to 98lbs. I didn’t want my coaches to make me go down to 96 so I remember chugging water too. I wrestled in 112… I definitely should have been in 96 though. haha.

As corny as it sounds, I was at a relatives house and they had a copy of Muscle & Fitness on the coffee table. This issue had a picture of Flex Wheeler on the cover. I flipped through and thought that guy looked awesome, I WANT THAT. I must of read that issue cover to cover 20 times.

Went home got a broom stick with 2 cinder blocks hanging from the sides and started curling and overhead pressing.

I was a chunky kid growing up, weighing 144lbs in 5th grade. I was one of the tallest kids in the class too though so no one ever really picked on me. I tried playing some sports but typically found moving to be too much of a bother and so I stuck to eating and video games. I leaned out a little as I got taller and my interests changed but I was still way out of shape. Senior year of HS a buddy and I started using the weights in his garage- bench, pullups, rows, flies, curls, etc (no legs). That got me started and then I went off to college.

I somehow stumbled onto Westside and started doing that but I was lifting by myself and not eating enough so I went from 6’2 230 (fat) to 168. I’ve posted my “before” pic of me at 168 before on this site but regardless- I was pretty much anorexic looking. I started shooting the shit with some of the strength coaches b/c I knew about Westside and got into training with them which evolved into competing, eating more, and doing whatever the hell I tell myself I am doing now. I’m currently 6’1 (2 herniated discs= 1" lost) and 235. Still working on packing on the size and strength as I get my hormone stuff squared away but I’d say I’m doing pretty well

My first “click” was at age 25. I had been fat, but fairly active as a teenager - going in to my twenties I got less active, spent more time drinking heavily and got fatter and fatter. At 25 I was somehow dating a fit, active girl (now my wife of five years) and had started making baby steps towards getting in to shape. On valentines day of that year a friend of mine died, at a bar with friends that night I got black out drunk and made myself so sick that I missed the funeral and spent three days puking my guts out.

I lost about twenty pounds that week and decided “fuck it, no time like now”. I stopped drinking, picked up a copy of “the new rules of lifting” by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove, followed their diet recommendations and several of their routines to get from 285 down to 235 in time for my wedding that summer, and around 210 shortly after that.

In the time since I’ve had a few major set backs - a bad car accident left me with chronic neck and shoulder pain and took me out of the gym for over a year, and moves, work, school, family stuff and life in general have thrown me plenty of curve balls.

My second click happened this past winter. I had a serious health scare, that sent me to medical specialists all over the region - no one really knows what happened, but basically the part of my immune system that deals with allergic reactions freaked the hell out. When the crisis was over, I was left with a lot of thoughts about health and wellness and how to improve them not just react to them. I look and feel better today at 31 than I did at 21, but if I want to look better at 41 than 31 I’m going to have to be on top of my game - and that doesn’t just mean hitting the gym.

I lift weights four times a week, practice mindful meditation and tai chi at least two days a week, walk every day, diet for health and not just weight loss/gain, and do my best to show my wife that I love her every day. I’m focused now on total transformation - not just being a skinnier/stronger version of who I use to be.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Senior year of highschool I was 6’2 139. I had been made fun of for being skinny all my life but I didn’t really care, I just always thought I’d “fill out” eventually. Then one day one of my teachers pulled me aside and asked me if I was being fed enough at home… I started lifting seriously that summer and bulking and ended up gaining 83lbs in a year and a half. First thing I ate was her… Kidding [/quote]

Basically word for word what happened to me. I also ran Cross Country, and realized girls didn’t care about that. lol

I would like to see this thread take a slightly different turn, or at least include slightly more info we could learn from…

Instead of when it “clicked” just in regards to taking your training seriously, what “clicked” AFTER you had already been committed to training, that helped you take the next step in your training. Could be deloads, changes in diet, form, changes in programming, focusing on strength gains, even something as small as the time of day you train, etc.

[quote]Ironfreak wrote:
I would like to see this thread take a slightly different turn, or at least include slightly more info we could learn from…

Instead of when it “clicked” just in regards to taking your training seriously, what “clicked” AFTER you had already been committed to training, that helped you take the next step in your training. Could be deloads, changes in diet, form, changes in programming, focusing on strength gains, even something as small as the time of day you train, etc.

[/quote]

I included this in my last paragraph of my post. Once I started working with my coach, it really helped me take things to the next level.

I have 2 stories about when it should have clicked, but didn’t. . .

  1. I was in 8th grade and I was playing basketball. My team was called to be skins. One of my friends was on the other team and said, “Whoa, you’re fat, you have boobs.” Some friend he was. A few people laughed and I was horribly embarrassed for the rest of the game. Somehow, it didn’t click.

  2. I was in 8th grade and my mom took me to my grandparents pool to go swimming. At one point during my playing in the pool, I heard my grandmother say to my mom, “Wow, Michael looks well-fed.” I was terrified. Still didn’t click for some reason.

Then one day it clicked:
After I was 18 or so, I was a reasonably lean 150 lbs, I went through a few little phases where I actually gave a shit about how I looked and became overly self conscious about how I looked, even though I didn’t look bad anymore and didn’t have the aforementioned boobs. Once I got to around age 20 or so, I just cared about abs, got into biking and pushups and pullups, went down to about 130 thinking this was a good thing, even though I was too skinny.

Played with that for a couple years until around 22, when I just started lifting for fun, something to do. After a couple months I was hooked. I decided I wanted to get bigger. Here I am, 4.5 years later, 40 lbs heavier and lean as ever.

Many things with me, although I think the final straw was seeing a picture of Eugene Sandow in one of Pavel’s books.

But prior to that, I was a distance runner in high school, and self conscious in photos. Then I got on some serious pushup/situp kick and found some Navy SEAL Bud/s prep program. I got good at doing pushups and situps but stayed scrawny. Plus, 300 pushups followed by 300 situps gets boring after awhile.

Then met a girl, and saw her go gaga over some gymnast guy she met at a TKD tournament. That struck a chord and pushed me toward researching bodyweight programs, and I found Pavel’s Naked Warrior program. I worked up to a couple genuine one-arm pushups, and several one-leg squats… but even though I felt hardcore, it didn’t do much for me. That led into kettlebells, and I made some progress but basically stalled out. Still really didn’t help with my physique goals … I was still in denial about that part.

And then I saw that picture of Sandow, did some research, got into reading a lot about the iron game history and how they trained. Started training using some of those training methods because I thought the “modern” ones were just going to have you looking like either a) the asshole frat boys at the clubs, or b) some disproportionate behemoth bodybuilder. (T-Nation set me straight on that one the first week I joined. Thanks guys.)

But I found some physiques I liked, namely golden-age stuff, and learned about their training. I started with a John McCallum based program, and after learning about Gironda, threw in a bunch of his ideas.

Somewhere in this time I met this new girl who worked at a gym, several years younger than me and with a great body. When I learned her ex came from a family of physique competitors, I basically just felt inadequate [physically]. So I got too creative with my routine, pushed myself too hard, stalled out, got sick, and things with her and I ended. (Not related, but all around the same time.)

And now I’m back, and genuinely making a lot better progress than before.

Plus, for the most part, this site has become a lot more friendly, with all these competition and “let’s get you lean” threads and everyone just genuinely being more helpful.

Tl;dr… hot women make me feel self-conscious about my scrawniness (esp. when seeing them go gaga for better built guys) + golden age physiques are awesome

it clicked for me at the start of 2012
I had been lifting on and off for years, reading articles and posting here and elsewhere, but making very little progress as I wasn’t consistent with training and especially for more than a few months straight. I had really let my health and strength go into the shitter the winter of 2011, and then honestly just made a mental commitment never to take time off from the gym or diet.

Since then it’s been fine. I’ve realized that diet and training aren’t too complicated, and success in this is more a matter of execution than planning.

I was always meaning to ‘get down the gym’ and just never got round to it, until I saw my sisters new boyfriend and thought “I want to look like that…BIG!” I joined up and never looked back

I really found my ‘groove’ with training when

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me
  2. I started tracking macros. I can’t believe I left it so long to start doing this, I suppose I thought it’d be hard work and maybe a little too time consuming but it takes a few minutes a day if that and I feel so much more in control of everything (seriously if anyone reading this is serious about their training but just guessing macros/cals I advised you to do it, just try it even, you will be surprised)

[quote]lemony2j wrote:

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me[/quote]

What “didn’t work” about a full-body routine for you? And what “works” about a split?

Were you just not seeing progress, or not enough recovery, or just not feeling like it was going in the right direction, or something else?

I’ve only done full-body routines.

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
I was always meaning to ‘get down the gym’ and just never got round to it, until I saw my sisters new boyfriend and thought “I want to look like that…BIG!” I joined up and never looked back

I really found my ‘groove’ with training when

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me
  2. I started tracking macros. I can’t believe I left it so long to start doing this, I suppose I thought it’d be hard work and maybe a little too time consuming but it takes a few minutes a day if that and I feel so much more in control of everything (seriously if anyone reading this is serious about their training but just guessing macros/cals I advised you to do it, just try it even, you will be surprised)[/quote]

looking wicked in the new avi dude

I have a long background on being ripped/shredded due to being involved in competetive sports and competetive martial arts since 5yo.
(32chinups etc)

I realised I need to get bigger when we went to a beach with our high school class and the girls started looking at me in an entirely different way after taking my shirt off. It was then that I realized my small but ripped muscles didnt give a tell through a shirt.

Then I got bigger 30lbs~ and quickly found my current girlfriend of 3years.

Was fat fuckin 210lbs kid around starting upper 2ndary school (bout 13 yrs old). Had been very self concious about my weight, and going in to teens peer pressure really gets to you and seein some of your ‘friends’ team up with some tough guys and call you names coz of you being a fat fuck really pissed the fuck out of me. I was never the kind of kid that was into eating pounds and pounds of candy and sweet shit like that, basically just had athletes apetite and no nutritional knowledge or any care for my health (hell, how many kids that age do anyways). My parents got pretty concerned about my shitty condition and weight so they forced me to exercise, still to this day I remember all the forced bike trips with my dad and cryin’ of how much I hate excercisin’. Would’ve rather spent the sunny days sittin’ in front of my computer, must’ve been painful to ‘em going through all that care with me puttin’ in zero effort and acting like a total fuckin’ bitch and for that I owe 'em a lot.

It wasn’t really until when my dad took me to gym when I was around 14 yrs old when it really clicked. Being an endomorph and at the time outweighing most my peers by some 70lbs I was shitload stronger than most of the same tough guys who used to make fun of me. Lifting weights is obviously considered very tough and cool when you are a teenager, being able to bench most guys 1RM for solid 10 reps is a real fucking huge mental boost for someone who would always get picked last when playing team sports at school. Finally being good at something got me really enthusiastic about the sport, started lifting couple times a week with my dad until I was old enough to go to the school gym on my own or with friends (must’ve been around 15 or 16 yrs?). Doing bicep curls with my 10lbs dumbells before bed every other evening was stapel in my routine.

After the first one or two years of excercising with the machines I started working out with my friends at the school gym, biggest focus being my bench and bicep numbers. Nurtitional knowledge was at the level that I knew I had to get in lots of protein and lots of calories to up my numbers, so thats what I did. After school I hit the gym and went home and had half a gallon of milked and stuffed my face with bread and eggs. Weight remained around the 200lbs mark but bench and curl numbers went up and I was feeling like a real badass, was getting mocked less and same tough guys would ask me how often I worked out etc. Real mental boost and pushed me even forward, which eventually helped creatin’ whole bunch of structural imbalances such as the forward rounded shoulders that now push my training back at times.

Despite my obviously badass 200lbs bench press (more like a floor press considering the ROM lol) I was still a fat fuck. Was enough not to get pushed around by other guys but not enough to get looks from the chicks and this bothered me. Then somewhere around the age of 16 I saw a Rocky Balboa. Was hooked right away, dug up some old heavy bag from garage and my dad digged up his old boxing gloves and hand wraps and in no time I was beating the fuck out of that bag many many times a week and ocasionally even doing some road work listening to ‘Gonna fly now’. Training was still bench focused, but a whole new focus and love for the training was found and started gathering more info about becoming badass world beater like Rocky.

Eventually found T-Nation. Read all that Berardi wrote of nutrition, read every cool new training program and all the old and trusted fundamentals preached by the great guys such as Wendler, CT and the rest. Sucked training philosophies and nutritional information like a sponge. Decided to lean the fuck out, learned to cook and introduced lifts such as deadlift and pull ups, military presses among the others to my training regimen. Started watching video training logs of guys such as Kevin Levrone, was writing new programs for myself every other week, ran some powerlifting programs for bench press on top of 'em and turned in to the guy everyone would turn to for training advice around the high school gym. Form was still shit, hardly did any leg training except the ocational pro BB inspired leg press drop set with lots of grunting and making angry faces to boost the intesity through the roof and going till I could hardly walk (which wasn’t all that much since my legs were hardly even conditioned for leg training). Still, I was sailing in the right direction and surging on the sudden rise in T due to going through the last years in puberty I made some gains I considered substantial at the time. Setting as many new goals as abandoning the old ones, along with frantic program hopping and impatience with the gains had me crushing weights with shit form to the point that I’m glad I still have my discs intact from all the round back deadlifting I used to do.

Joined a local martial arts gym somewhere around turning 17, started training muay thai and fucking loved every second of it. Realised I’m in a shit condition, but was getting in a better shape every training session. Did two or three 1 hour classes a week and lifted weights, put more and more sense and dedication to my nutrition and was pretty happy where I was despite still being over 20% bf but being able to outbench just about every guy my age at the school and being one of the few who trained to fight I was just about done with all the insecurities from the earlier life. Had one or two training partners from my school who I did MT with, went to MT classes with them for about year and a half but neither of 'em were really that dedicated with the sport so it limited my progress quite a bit. Was getting better slow and steady, but everyone who has ever trained a sport seriously knows you won’t be anything special with limited athleticism and 2-3hrs of practice a week. Training was still very lifting oriented, but atleast I started squatting every once in a while and put much more focus on my back training, I think I even run a whole 5/3/1 cycle at one point with my own tweaks and modification (because obviously a 17 year old kid knows better than old and tried veteran like Wendler).

Then around turning 18 my the last of my training partners quit MT in favor of lifting and partying. This forced me to rethink my training and values a lot. Fucked around between not doing MT and lifting and ocasianally training MT and lifting for a few months, then decided that I want to focus on MT more and started training minimum of 4 times a week. Still was lifting often, but the choice was made. 3rd year in high school here in Finland involves a bunch of big exams called the matriculation examinations. This means a lot of studying on your own, and having spread my studies well around the 3 year span left me with very few courses for the 3rd year so had a lot of time for training. For about half a year that school was still on training consisted of 5-6 hours of MT a week and around 3-4 lifting sessions. After that it was half a year of being totally in control of your own studies, being able to study all the stuff durin the day and training like never before. Fell more and more in love with muay thai, and eventually ended up training from 10-15 hours of MT and 1 or 2 lifting sessions a week. Was seeing noticable gains in physique, diet was in check and for the first time in my life I was in better physical shape both endurance- and strenght-wise than well over 90% of the people my age. Coaches in gym noticed my desire to learn and started feeling more and more welcome in MT classes, was pushing myself harder and harder every training session, was sore just about every day but was loving the way I felt more than ever before. Got leaner than I’ve ever been before and for the first time in my life was able to see my abs, by the time entrance exams were over and summer was here I was easily in the best shape of my life and a few months of heavy sparring would’ve had me ready for my first fight if I would’ve chosen to fight.

Then I got in the army. In Finland we have a compulsory military service, meaning every man has to serve 6-12 months in the army. I chose the longer route. First 6 months were all about the NCO-school which kept me in shape despite not having the control over my training and diet. After fininshing the NCO-school I was promoted corporal and having chosen MP as my branch of service this meant a huge drop in physical activity. This let me focuse more on my training but still wasn’t having the control over my nutrition so condition wasn’t going the way I wanted it to. Finishing the last month at the moment, have had a few longer vacations as of late and been able to put more focus on my muay thai training again hes felt great.

After I’m finished with the military service 20 days from now I’m planing on starting focused MT training again as much as working a part time job and studying will allow me. I have my own doubts regarding how well getting hit in the face on regular basis and intensive studyin’ will fit together, so we are going to have to see weather competing is something I will be considering in the near future, but I will be busting my ass off in the gym day in day out regardless.

Seems like this ended up being much longer post than I originally inteded, but I just felt like typing it all out so hope I didn’t end up boring the fuck out of everyone. Getting more in the topic, there are a few ‘clicks’ along the way that I can put in a few simple words.

  1. Lifting is awesome
  2. Excelling at something is what motivates me more than anything.
  3. Being in a great condition, both endurance and strength is even more awesome.
  4. Nutrition is a big deal and needs to be paid probably even more attention than training.
  5. You can work a lot harder and a way more often than you’d think. In the end, if you want your body to look and feel like it can perform efficiently 24/7 what easier way to achieve that than bust your ass day in day out?
  6. When training often and hard pay attention to sleep and recovery.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
I was always meaning to ‘get down the gym’ and just never got round to it, until I saw my sisters new boyfriend and thought “I want to look like that…BIG!” I joined up and never looked back

I really found my ‘groove’ with training when

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me
  2. I started tracking macros. I can’t believe I left it so long to start doing this, I suppose I thought it’d be hard work and maybe a little too time consuming but it takes a few minutes a day if that and I feel so much more in control of everything (seriously if anyone reading this is serious about their training but just guessing macros/cals I advised you to do it, just try it even, you will be surprised)[/quote]

looking wicked in the new avi dude[/quote]

Cheers mate, I’m finally reaping the rewards from a ‘mini-cut’ I started 7 weeks ago! Didn’t realise how fat I’d got again

I first started lifting weights to help with my strength in boxing, to give me some more strength at the inside game as well as hopes of getting some power. I started realizing that I enjoyed weightlifting more than boxing, at this time I was really impressed with nfl fullback Le’ron Mcclain. He was a beast of a man and had tree trunks for legs. I decided I wanted to bulk up and set the goal that i’d commonly heard was what separated the men from the boys, a 405lb raw squat. Everything else kind of fell into place.

I spent the vast majority of my first couple years waisting it. I was in the gym 5 nights a week, but I never really had a plan, just would throw weight on the bar for one of the big 4 lifts and rep it out for 5 reps trying to add weight each week, however I’d often times not push myself as hard as I should have and meandered around for awhile. Things really clicked when I started basing my program around perentages of my 1 rep max, I can’t imagine how I ever did anything in the gym without that essential knowledge, if only I could have those first couple years back. I also think keeping a journal of all my workouts has helped tremendously, not as vital as the percentages but still an important cog in the wheel I was sorely lacking in the beginning. Now I just enjoy the challenge and the goals, it keeps me alive. Once I got to 405 it was on to 500, as well as goals at the other lifts, it just keeps me focused. Oh and not being a scrawny dude anymore doesn’t hurt my feelings either.

[quote]lemony2j wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
I was always meaning to ‘get down the gym’ and just never got round to it, until I saw my sisters new boyfriend and thought “I want to look like that…BIG!” I joined up and never looked back

I really found my ‘groove’ with training when

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me
  2. I started tracking macros. I can’t believe I left it so long to start doing this, I suppose I thought it’d be hard work and maybe a little too time consuming but it takes a few minutes a day if that and I feel so much more in control of everything (seriously if anyone reading this is serious about their training but just guessing macros/cals I advised you to do it, just try it even, you will be surprised)[/quote]

looking wicked in the new avi dude[/quote]

Cheers mate, I’m finally reaping the rewards from a ‘mini-cut’ I started 7 weeks ago! Didn’t realise how fat I’d got again [/quote]
I second rds,looking good lemony2.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]lemony2j wrote:

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me[/quote]

What “didn’t work” about a full-body routine for you? And what “works” about a split?

Were you just not seeing progress, or not enough recovery, or just not feeling like it was going in the right direction, or something else?

I’ve only done full-body routines.
[/quote]

Well to train every muscle sufficiently in one session was too time consuming and I felt that doing this properly felt too close to over-reaching (notice i didnt use the other ‘over’ word :slight_smile: it felt more like ‘maintaining’ than gaining if that makes sense

On a body part split I can utterly demolish one body part and let it recover for the next week and it seems to work great! Saying that I am currently on a P/P/L type split for fat burning purposes which is also treating me just fine

[quote]jppage wrote:

[quote]lemony2j wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
I was always meaning to ‘get down the gym’ and just never got round to it, until I saw my sisters new boyfriend and thought “I want to look like that…BIG!” I joined up and never looked back

I really found my ‘groove’ with training when

  1. I abandoned full-body training and started a body-part split. Full-body might work for some people but not me
  2. I started tracking macros. I can’t believe I left it so long to start doing this, I suppose I thought it’d be hard work and maybe a little too time consuming but it takes a few minutes a day if that and I feel so much more in control of everything (seriously if anyone reading this is serious about their training but just guessing macros/cals I advised you to do it, just try it even, you will be surprised)[/quote]

looking wicked in the new avi dude[/quote]

Cheers mate, I’m finally reaping the rewards from a ‘mini-cut’ I started 7 weeks ago! Didn’t realise how fat I’d got again [/quote]
I second rds,looking good lemony2.[/quote]

Thanks man, I knew having a gay lemon in my avi while I got fat would pay off :wink: