T Nation

Who Inspired You?


Here what I have noticed … I have farmed half my life and the other half has been blue collar work. Most guys I know tend to value strength and size over some shredded look.Got a guy at my work whom does Physique hes not small but isnt large either. But for some reason I garnish more respect than he does because of what those guys there value. While the opposite seems to hold true once you cross into your more white collar type back ground. But I could be way off base on that concept.


I love stories like this. Towards the end of her life, my grandmother was in and out of hospital. She was spending all day, everyday in the yard doing heavy digging, carrying wheelbarrows around, etc into her 90s.

One hospital stay, the doctor comes in and wants to test her strength, he’s a slight asian guy. My grandmother couldn’t speak english so he speaks to my mother, who asks for my grandmother to squeeze his hand as hard as she can.

My grandmother looks at this guy and says “what? This guy? Tell him it’s going to hurt him”. He laughs then she squeezes and he lets out a yelp. My grandmother then says “ask him if he wants me to use my good hand”.


Growing up in the 90’s its pretty similar to what everyone mentioned. Van Damme, Stallone, Arnold, Streets of Rage 2, Mortal Kombat, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and of course Worlds Strongest Man. Never realized how interested I was, I just enjoyed violence, fighting, and thought muscles kind of went hand in hand with violence. I remember 2002 when HHH returned from his quad injury just being in awe and I knew at that moment I wanted to be a monster, unfortunatly a defeatist attitude, lack of ambition and poor genetics kept me from getting started then. Finally in 2008 I watched this running back Le’ron Mcclain for the baltimore ravens. A 6ft. 260lb. bulldozer of a man with thighs like tree trunks. By that point i’d already put on some muscle from boxing so I decided that I didn’t have to always be the scrawny kid any more. I set a goal to squat 405 and build massive thighs and power like Mcclain.

Now its part of my life and I don’t really feel like I need inspiration all that often, its just who i am. I do however follow Eddie Hall and Seth Feroce pretty closely. I enjoy their no nonsense straight forward attitude. I feel like they tell it like it is and carry themselves in a manner that a man should and they have achieved great things. Disappointing Eddie retired but it always amazes me how freakishly strong he was statically. He’s done alot of great lifts but for some reason his 462kg deadlift in arnold is my favorite lift, even tho he went on to lift more, that lift at the time was shocking to me, and he just paced around like a monster beforehand. Idk something about it resonated with me so whenever i’m in need of some motivation i usually watch that.

Also music, without music I wouldn’t enjoy working out nearly as much as I do. I’ve always loved metal music, there is something primal and beastly about it, i feel like it goes hand in hand to be a beast when listening to beastly music, otherwise your just some scrawny dude having a hissy fit growling along to Suffocation.


This is just way too awesome to overlook.

Also, I recently had a fairly drunken conversation with friends about what pokemon would give the best blowjob. We were all decided on Evie because she looks like a total slut, until someone mentioned Jinx, and then just when we had all agreed on that someone threw Lickitung out there and that was the undisputed winner.


image image

Look at that fuckin tongue. Get some, lickitung. Also whoever made Jynx is one racist motherfucker hahaha they didn’t even try to make her look like a creature…


Bruce Lee. I’m primarily a martial artist, and for a large portion of my career never really cared about serious lifting. Then I read about how weights completely changed Bruce Lee’s game and improved him. I was sold.

Batman was a big influence too. Also Wolverine; he’s short, Canadian and has a bad attitude (I relate on all fronts).

Now, seeing beasts like Olympic weightlifters, WSM competitors and powerlifters keeps me going. And also sumo wrestlers. I’m an avid sumo follower and those mofos are BEASTS.


I think I was inspired by Popaye the sailor. I remember spending hours watching the movies where he got strength by just eating spinach and working out. I remember copying his diet and as I grew up I new veges are good for builders. I still train hard and I want to be like him.


I feel like I’ve said this waaaay too many times but here goes:

I wouldn’t really say I was inspired by a cartoon character, or like a super hero/ villain in any show I watched. As a young girl I realized those were cartoon characters. Even the fictional women like captain marvel, Wonder Woman, catwoman, dragon ball z characters, etc, I still realized we’re cartoons. For me being a kid and all that.

What inspired me, well more like what pushed me to my breaking point, was me nearly dying. In all seriousness.

Rewind to me being like 8-9 years old. I was a cheerleader and a gymnast. Pretty much all of the girls on either team were tiny, light, and could execute movements as ease. I was perhaps 30 lbs heavier and taller than most of them, and I had no idea how to harness that power for either sport I participated in. As a baby and into my toddler years I was sick quite a bit and not at the appropriate weight. My parents did what any caring parents would do and looked to medical help to get me developing properly. I also was put on the hospital grade “juice” in other words to kickstart my hormones and to help me gain weight. As a child I didn’t know or understand any of this. Nor did I care. I just wanted to go to school, have fun, make friends, and be happy. The medication helped, but it made me a fairly curvy adolescent.

Age of 9 I started my first period and everything else started to blossom concerning body parts. Along came the curves and along came the teasing. By this time I was nearing middle school and middle school girls can be unrelenting. At that time my parents divorced and I all of sudden felt extremely guilty for pretty much just existing. I asked my mom to put me on a diet, I asked her why I was fat, why I was this and that, and everything else. She did the best she could as a single mother. One day I learned a very twisted way of the saying “have your cake and eat it too”. In my case it was “eat your cake, and force it back up”.

To this day I still occasionally resent myself for reading that stupid website. No idea how I found it, but I read what was posted by whoever typed up that webpage religiously. Everything from what contains calories, how many, what kind of micro nutrients are in what, how quickly your stomach can break down food, to how many calories are in a tube of toothpaste.

To spare all the cringe worthy details, for the next 12–13 years I battled with a serious eating disorder, and I used it to hide behind everything that my young mind didn’t know how to cope with in a healthy way or even understand. Everything from hitting puberty, to accepting myself, to my parents divorce, and a few other personal tragedies, that I had yet to come to terms with. Medical books call it Bulimia, I call it self-hatred. Its a very very very destructive distraction for the things in life that require us to come face to face with, and push through. Some years ago I reached my breaking point. My electrolyte balance was so screwed up that my heart was having a difficult time keeping a steady rhythm. My digestive tract was damaged from all the large quantities of food I would consume and then force back up. And my body was turning to cardiac muscle as a fuel source. I faked my way to outpatient care because I would come from inpatient care worse than when I arrived. Mostly because I would find someone more sick than I was and pick their brain to see what I could get from them. I would lie, and do whatever I could to make sure they didn’t force me to eat anything, and whatever meds I was prescribed for depression I either flush them, or throw them out the window if I was let outside.

Eventually I wound up in ICU. But it was different. Everyone around me pretty much had that, “it’s up to you, if you wish to still live” type of vibe going. No one was going to stop me from continuing what I was doing. And I truly don’t think anyone cared. One night I just stayed up, for fear if I went to sleep I wouldn’t wake up. And it really felt like it. And it might have been.

The next day was the start of my on-going recovery. It’s still been difficult. The first few months were the toughest. Crying over eating anything bigger than the size of my hand. Making a fuss over gaining 5lbs. Even though I weighed about 83 at the age of 19.
But now I’m glad to say I’ve been nearly 3 years recovered and it’s awesome. I’m truly blessed to have had a tad bit more willpower to recover. There are millions of individuals who never come back from this sort of thing.

One day I was watching some live sports channel, Super late at night, and They were featuring the women on there, and they all looked beautiful. Naturally beautiful. Not the convoluted way I had programmed my brain to perceive beautiful for over a decade. They were Strong, healthy, happy, focused, and committed to something positive. I felt my whole attention shift. I started wondering what I looked like healthy. What I looked like Strong. And so I started to put my feet in the water. And eventually I just dove in head first, and now here I am.

So I’d say, those real life ladies I saw on live television helped inspire me. They were all different shapes and sizes, and beautiful representations of what femininity and strength look like meshed together. But I would also say that I inspired myself. I inspired myself to never again apologize for being who I am. And to always be curious as to what I can accomplish. Whether that’s in the classroom, in the gym, or just out and about on a bright sunny day.

Sorry for the long post.


That’s a phenomenal story you have there
Truely insane


Great thread!
I’m a child of the 80s action movie hyper-masculinity thing, so Stallone for sure, with the other guys having a little less impact. In martial arts movies, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. In competition bodybuilding, Dorian, Lee Labrada and Andreas Munzer.
But the one that changed my life, that got me started with training and diet and self-improvement overall, was a famous Japanese comic book character called Kenshiro.
I spent over 20 years trying to live up to his impossible image… then, three years ago, about four months before my first bodybuilding competition, I was at a food festival here in Tokyo.
I passed two young women who were staring at me, and heard one say to the other ‘He looks like Kenshiro!’
I was blown away. Told them I was a huge fan and thanks for the compliment.
I trained for 20 years to hear that. Never thought I actually would.


Are you talking about “Fist of the North Star” Kenshiro? That is quite a compliment, haha.

I had a similar instance as well. Lifelong Punisher fan, got a lot of the shirts. Called in an order for sandwiches at one place, was wearing one of the many shirts, pick it up and the guy ringing me up says “Dude, next time, just say it’s for Frank Castle”, haha.


@shirohige and @T3hPwnisher those are awesome stories. All I get is “You look like a somewhat jacked manlet”


Tom Jane was the best Punisher. Also, Dirty Laundry was better than anything the movies or Netflix gave us. Also for context’s sake, in college, his physique in that movie was my goal for a long time haha.


I’m 50 in a months time. I was never one for wanting to get big or anything like that as I was always fairly big. I’m 6’3" and my weight was always around 230lbs at about 18-20% I’d guess. Never really lifted, just did sports and a bit of gym. Thought I was made of granite.

Got Psoriasis about 6 years ago and the drugs they put me on nearly did me in. I thought going for a bit of winter sun would help and booked a course of sports massage in the resort and the masseur when finishing off my back would work from the head down and flick up off the end of the spine. He cracked my coccyx, great. Then I got fucking piles, great. After getting a spike in my bloods I decided to not take anymore drugs they were pumping me with and began self medicating with booze. I’d go to bed at 11pm but be up at 1am until 5am with a flare up then up again at 6am to go to work.

Over the Christmas period a couple of years ago I decided I was going to sort things out. Part of that was training so I started googling middle aged men fitness and all that malarky. I came across an article on BodyBuilding.com , something like training for middle aged men or something and it inspired me. The writer was just identified as ‘contributor’ but he really made it through to me. So my first inspiration to lift was ‘contributor’.

In January 2017, at 288lbs, I bought a couple of books by a guy called Stuart McRobert, The Insiders Tell All Handbook on Weight Training Technique and also Beyond Brawn. Studied them, got a bit of kit and turned my spare bedroom into a weight lifting room. I put a yearly planner on the wall and marked off every day I trained. I did a progression chart based upon my age and build and set about seeing what I could do. My second inspiration is Stuart McRobert.

I did 147 training sessions in 2017 and this year I’m set for between 155 - 160. This includes all rest weeks, injuries and holidays. I joined here to gain further knowledge and I have to say I am not disappointed, there are some very knowledgeable posters I’ve learned lots from. Thanks.

Jesus, this reads like something you’d hear on X-factor or America’s Idol or whatever that shit is called, apologies for rambling, I’m off. Oh, I’m at 252lbs now.


Great topic!
Arnold in Pumping Iron and I was hooked.
My dad and grandfather ( who boxed and played basketball both professionally in the 1920s ) started me, but Arnold out dueling Lou Ferrigno was great. Probably sounds pretty dated.




There was no duel. Lou lost long before he stepped on stage. Arnold is one of the reasons why I defend shit talking in every sport - getting in your opponent’s head is a legitimate and deadly strategy.


Just got to back it up.


Thanks… Now I have the opening music in my head. Probably have seen it twenty times.


@Waittz it’s a shame that Jane was a great punisher in an ok punisher movie, but concur on his performance, and “Dirty Laundry” was a fantastic love letter to fans. I also had a lot of female friends in college who had no issue watching the movie with me due to the gratuitous shirtless scenes, haha.

@alphonsus12 I picked up “Brawn” about a decade ago. McRobert is a very eye opening author. He REALLY beats the drug free drum a bunch, but I get where he was coming from.