T Nation

Where'd You Come From?


#1

Okay, the ESPN Page2 thread mentioned an assload of newbies possibly coming here, which made me cringe.

I cringe because I hate hearing these awful weight lifting programs consisting primarily of tricep kickbacks and bicep curls.

However, I also cringe because I know I was stupid once too.

Soooo, I thought it would be fun to hear what your first situations were with weight training. What equipment did you have, what type of workouts did you do, in the very beginning?

For me, it goes like this:

Age 12-14: Push-ups, Lateral Raises, Bicep Curls and Sit ups, every singe day, while watching either Rocky I, II, III or IV

Age 15-16: A horrific home gym set up of an incredibly lame multi-station and get this... a fucking Smith machine. Yes, I got my parents to buy me a Smith machine for home-use. And yes, I'm embarassed to admit that.

Anyway, workouts were composed of every exercise that you should be doing with a barbell, done on the smith machine instead. Oh yeah, and I did have a barbell with 400 pounds of weights, which sat on the floor behind the Smith machine, and was never used.

Age 17-18: Finally got into a real gym, and started doing Muscle&Fitness workouts. Thank God I actually respond well to high volume, because I miraculously did make some gains there.

Age 19-current(23): I am the most well educated weight lifter in the whole world and I lift perfectly now, and I know everything there is to know... until I learn something new tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and I manage a gym that I have completely to myself every night of the week after I close it. I've come a long way.

I'd love to hear where some other T-Nationites have come from...


#2

I had not lifted weights since HS track. We lifted twice a week...

Brief stint in my mid-20s halted by some health issues.

Started back October of 04. Hooked with a trainer in January 05. Worked with him until discovering T-Nation in June. (During an internet search for the best protein powder) Started doing Waterbury's programs in October.....

Just glad I found this site or I'd still be doing way too many curls and kick backs too!!


#3

Started at the same gym I'm at now at 15. Worked out during summers, not during school. At 17 got back into the gym full time. Used a typical body split: chest, shoulders, tris/ legs/ back, traps, bis/ legs. I did 3 exercises per part using 3 sets at 8-10 reps. I did that for a few years, then switched to a chest, shoulder/ legs/ back, traps/ arms split and used that for another couple years. After that I started to mix the splits up and repeat what I did on Monday on Friday.

Then I followed a full body plan that was a three day a week routine for about a year. Went back to the slpit hitting each part once a week and kept that until two months ago, where I now do an upper/lower slpit. One heavy, one light, hitting the whole body twice a week. I am much more efficent now than I've ever been and getting better.


#4

First time in the gym was around 8th grade, I was 12. We had this retard PE teacher that wanted to show us the weight room, so he took our entire class including girls up there. He went straight to the bench and showed us a few reps, then made me come over because I was the youngest and smallest in my class. I couldn't even bench the bar and they all laughed at me.

From that point on I avoided the weight room like the plague. I was a receiver in highschool so I'd do my best to hide in the corner doing leg raises or cruising in the back when we were supposed to be lifting off-season.

I went to college and really got into lifting, and that continued on to until now, I'll bet I bench three times as much as anyone that was laughing at me then...assholes.


#5

First workout:

Max pushups (10 :D)
50 crunches
lateral raise with 5 pound db to failure: 5 reps
front raise with 5 ponud db to failure: 8 reps
Curls with 8 pound db to failure: 25 or so
10 minutes of cardio

I got HUUUUGE on this program

Next was the workout my crew coach gave me, and then stuff I made up after reading T-Nation.


#6

Well, my dad and I were members of the very club I personally train at now when I was a little kid, so by the time I was allowed in the weight room with supervision (11 years old) I started doing some lifting. I have no idea whether someone set my dad and I up on a program or what--I really can't recall what my workouts were like.

I know I usually wore a purple tank top with wristbands around my forearms like Michael Jordan. I know I had pretty decent biceps for an 11 year old, hence the tank top and forearm-high wrist bands. I distinctly remember bench pressing one day, failing with a 60 lb. load and having an older guy help me out.

I remember a plate-loaded leg extension that I used. I'm sure I did bicep curls. I'd then play pickup basketball for at least an hour afterwards.

At one point, my dad crunched some numbers and realized we could quit the gym, but a Nordictrack, Soloflex and hot tub and save money over time. Throughout my teens, I would use the Soloflex for 2-3 months at a time then not use it for another 6-9 months. I'd actually get pretty good workouts with it. I did a lot of mountain biking and commuting to work during the summer on my bike.

Then, senior year of high school, I took weights to fulfill my P.E. credits. Our weights coach was also the varsity football coach, so our program was basically Western periodization training flat and incline bench, squat, and power clean.

I thought he was a dick, but he offered to help me three days a week after school so I could improve my clean technique. He said I lifted the bar like an "untrained gorilla." After two weeks my form got better, and I ended up hitting a max of 235, which was second best in my senior class (we had a weak senior class).

Flat bench was 215, squat was 300 (I didn't try to go any heavier because I thought squats were dangerous) and incline was 175. I probably weighed around 170-175 by the end of my senior year (June of 1998).

Starting in 2001, when I got my first job at this club through a contact I had made in A&D rehab, I began doing full body workouts three times a week. Always the same workout--Smith machine squats, flat DB bench press, DB overhead press, lat pulldowns with 3 different grips, maybe some dips, barbell curls, leg curls and leg extensions.

Becoming bored with this, I hooked up with a trainer who set me up on a series of workouts--4 day upper/lower splits, 3 day bodypart splits, and finally German Volume training. I responded very well to this. One day he said "Hey, go get a certification and start doing this stuff on your own. Read stuff on Testosterone, try stuff out, etc. It's not that hard. You already know people within the club, you could get a job here."

That was in early 2003, and I've been doing this ever since. My training knowledge has evolved dramatically, as has my own training. I haven't done a bodypart/bodybuilding split for a long time--I prefer full body workouts, although now that I teach a group ex class twice a week I've dialed back my training to accomodate that and as a result am getting stronger again.

I pray to stay healthy, and help those around me find the fire, and stay dumb enough to learn as much as I can every day.


#7

I started lifting when I was 14 with some Sears plastic/sandfilled or cement weights in the basement. I did curls with an arm-blaster almost every day. I would do them before school and roll up my sleeves like an asshole and try to show off my guns.

Along with biceps, me and my buddies would bench a lot too. It was a bitch when sand or cement particles would get in your eyes from the shitty weights.

Started lifting seriously when I got to college where I had access to real equipment. Haven't stopped training since then.


#8

I'm pretty sure I have you all beat. I did my entire work-out in my bedroom with 5 pound dumbbells when I was in 6th grade. Bicep curls, lateral raises, front raises, sit-ups, repeat until I got bored.


#9

8y/o- got a set of dbs for christmas after begging for them. i did the workout that was on the sheet of reccommended exercises that came with the YORK dumbells

12y/o- saved money from chores and bought a cheap bench and added presses to the routine.

14y/o-got involved in rugby and began to realize the benifits of training. Trained specifically for rugby with the help of coaches.

16y/o- got my first gym membership started reading.

18y/0- began taking an intelligent thought out approach to training. put on alot of solid wieght(probably partially just growing up too)

21y/o- recovered from a surgery and am back at it, getting bigger, stronger, and smarter


#10

Thats pussy, I bought my own squat rack for the sole purpose of curling in it.


#11

Three years ago, at 18, I joined a gym that my friend was a member of. Was the most expensive one too, because of a myriad of fancy-ass digitised machines. I thought, whoa this must be good!

So I listened to some advice from the "experts" in the gym (that includes the personal trainers).
I was told that free weights are oldfashioned, I was told that if I get on the machines and use low weights at high reps, I would look "toned".

The personal trainer was a dimwit who told me that doing as many crunches as I can would give me the abs I was looking for.
I proceeded to use every single machine in the gym three times a week, which made a gym session last over three hours.

I was a fat kid, but I was willing to work hard. A year passed, and I looked no different. I decided to stop listening to the skinny guys who thought they knew their shit.
I moved up the ranks and made friends among the big guys in the gym.

Second year, I was introduced to the magic of the free weights. I learned about deadlifts and squats, but wouldn't take anyone's word on it because I found the idea of working my back and my legs stupid.
I did them anyway, though. I starded growing, and all was good.
Until a bicep and shoulder injury (due to shitty form, no doubt) put me out of commission for six months.

Year three, I decided that the main thing that bothered me was the fact that I'm still covered in flab, despite the muscle growth. Bad for self-esteem and all that.
I started reading Men's Health. Learned a bit about the importance of dieting and eating the right food. Although I went through a lot of stress in that time, things were still slow.
I also went for a 30 minute jog every day. This slowed my growth bigtime, as I realised that many months later the gains were only marginal.

So, I started a new diet plan. This was September last year. Started having abdominal workouts three times a week, along with six meals a day and a weekly cheat meal.
Exercise wise, I started doing a different muscle group every day, 5-6 days a week. I cut down on cardio.

Weekly cheat meals were difficult for the first two months, as I've got a sweet tooth and went on a binge rampage every now and then.
However, I was amazed that the six-pack was coming out of my gut. I could now see it while standing! Whoa.

I've been a member of the Men's Health forums for a while, until someone mentioned this place. Men's Health is dead. I've never found a forum with such a huge amount of good information.

I never post on here. I just read. I'd have to think pretty hard before I'd be able to come up with a good topic (one that hasn't already been discussed).

So ever since I've been here, I've felt like a new man. Gained some knowledge, learned a few things about discipline and having the right attitude as well.

I started anew in January. Cardio on off days, different muscle every day, abs three times a week. I do every exercise there is, with an emphasis on deadlifts, squats and presses. I add variety every three weeks or so.
Lots of good food, lots of rest. I haven't had a cheat meal in over five weeks. Things are going pretty damn good for me.

And it took me 3 years to figure out. What a fucking story.


#12

Being a baseball player,my first real workout was from the Jose Canseco Baseball Workout book back in 89.I couldn't do it because I was 13 and weighed 90 pounds and was thinking,damn,you'd have to be on steriods to do this.Little did I know at the time he was,it was almost identical to Arnolds Encyclopedia workout book.After that I did A Flat Stomach ASAP super-slow-style Nautalis machine work-outs in 99,then Body-For-Life in 2000,before finding my true religon,T-Nation.In fact,mentioning I was 13 in 89 makes me feel a little old.


#13

I was always a very skinny kid. Never athletic in school, I was always the last one picked for any kind of teams in gym class (sniff).

In 1972 I had a boyfriend that was, get this...a Bruce Lee fan, and we all got in the karate craze. Well, that and the boyfriend didn't last very long. While in junior college stayed in shape by doing your typical girly programs (leg lefts, sit ups, etc.)

Walked into my first weight room in 1982. It was small and populated by some local professional wrestlers. This was about the time of the height of Rachal McLishs' bodybuilding career, so I wanted to look like her. I trained your typical three day a week split for years and slowly, very slowly started gaining weight. Went back to college in 1990 to finish my degree. Worked full time, went to college at night and tried to fit training in somewhere. After graduating with my MS in 1999 I had time to really dedicate to working out.

2000 to present - I realized that I had to start really trying to lift heavy if I was going to made any progress, no more of this half-ass stuff. So now I lift as heavy as I can, rotate my programs; five day splits, double splits, cardio in the spring, etc. After 23 years I've gone from 110 pound ectomorph to 152 pounds. I'd like to get to 160 so I guess that'll take me another five years, LOL.


#14

Was training on and off for a few years with little results. Gave up completely when I got a full time job after uni. Got fat, actually more like a skinny guy with a fat belly!! Started researching on the net discovering the 6 meals a day thing, reduced calories and cardio to lose fat, and lifting weights properly for muscle gain. Lost a fair bit of flab and got a little muscle.

Then I was lifting for a few months on what was probably just maintainence calories and getting very little gains.

Then I discovered T-Nation, started bulking on ABBH and Berardis eating plans.

At the minute Im some sort of hybrid freak... a skinny guy with some muscle and some flab!!

Starting soon Im probably gonna start morning cardio and 10x3 for fat loss


#15

I was 14 when my father took me to the local track club, I was a pretty fast kid so sprinting was what we had in mind.

I guess I'm quite unique, the first exercise I ever did was SQUAT!!! I guess that completely screwed up my brain for good because I still like training legs better than chest and arms! After a year or so the club closed it's "gym" and we started to do the weight-training at the bigger communal exercise hall. It was huge, had an ice-hockey rink, tennis court, hand ball, basket court etc...and the local weight lifters trained there. So I learnt about deadlift, powercleans, snatchpull etc, etc.

Then came the age of Muscle & Fitness, may old Joe burn in hell, lost quite a few years where I could have gained a lot.

Now the circle is complete, back to basics and I'm gaining bigtime again. :wink:
Claes


#16

Age 13 - My dad bought me a 110 lb weight set. I used a makeshift bench and my dad handed me the weights as I did bench presses. That and barbell curls were the extent of it until I got a real membership at age 14.

Wow, that brings back memories.


#17

i guess i was lucky, when i was real young like 5-9, i spent alot of time on my grandfather's farm doing whatever work he had for me, loading wood on a truck, chopping wood, working in fields, basically hard manual labor. then as i got older and more involved in sports, i read about herchel walker doing all those push ups and situps, and started doing something like that, prob around 11-12 y.o. when i was 14 my uncle lived next door, and he had weights in the basement that my older cousins would use, and would workout with them every once in a while.

then at 16 i started reading everyone's favorite magazine's flex, and m+f. i basically trained like a bodybuilder for the next 4-5 years making decent gains, prob. because i ate like a horse, between basketball practice for 3 hrs a day and then those workouts which i usually did before practice, i was hungry at all times. this is when eas got big with the broncos, and i had the oppurtunity to take the creatine and get their mrp's. overall i think i did pretty good, just whish i had known the difference between training for athletics and bodybuilding at an earlier age.


#18

I got into doing plyometrics around the age of 12, back in 1992. Yea, I guarantee I was only one of a few kids during that time that was doing em. I always was obsessed with running fast and jumping high. By the time i was 17 I had a 4.6 40 and a 32 inch vert. I think I got lucky in the genetic department though.

I always loved doing pushups, pullups and sprints.

I got into BJJ at 16.

Funny thing is, my training to this day since those times hasn't changed much!


#19

Tae-Kwon Do at 14-17
Two 10lb Dumbbells at 15ish
Home Weight Set at 16 (crappy one)
Started using it at 17.5
Joined gym summer before Senior Year of HS.
Learned how to lift correctly at about 18.5 (Courtesy of T-Nation among other sites).

Weighed 130lbs at 6'' before I started lifting at about 17.5.


#20

Played basketball and baseball my whole life, got into Shorin Ryu karate (not totally worthless, but probably 90% so) around 12-13, so that got me into a lot of bodyweight exercises, stretching, and bag work.

Our off season "weight lifting" program for basketball was crap, so I would get up at 5:30 every morning to do a calisthenics routine before school. 6'4" and about 155-160 during high school.

Got to college and started going to the weight room, didn't really know what I was doing but I started working out with the S&C coach for the baseball team and that helped a lot. Got into MMA and catered my training more around that, plus trying to stay within a good weight class for me so right now we're looking at 6'4" 190. Not as strong as I'd like to be as far as putting up numbers in the gym, but I do alright on the mats and I'm relatively athletic.