T Nation

Your first experience and evolution with weights?

This is kinda silly, but I was wondering what experiences other people had when they lost their BB virginity? I mean, what was your first experience with weights? Also, how did your BB evolve?

My first experience was when I was 12-years-old, and I trained in my big brother’s makeshift patio gym in my parents’ warm, humid backyard. It was the old style weights, the plastic kind filled inside (sand or cement??) and he got them second hand, and the bench was all rusty and wobbly (we didn’t have much money growing up in a rural area of hawaii). Me and my siblings were in martial arts until adulthood (our uncle owned the local school), and the other side of the patio wall doubled as our martial arts center- my brother threw stars into the patio wall, there was a punching bag for punch/kick practice, and my brother’s nanchucks- which my mom deemed off limits to me because I sucked at them and always ended up cracking myself in the skull with them and also she didn’t want me to accidentally crack my little sister, who followed me everywhere, with them- hung on the wall. We had a poster of Bruce Lee where we lifted weights, but I was too young to realize then what great eye candy (and motivation) he could be!! I did a lot of curls, dumbell kickbacks, bench presses and crunches then…hahahaha! There was no higher awareness of cardiovascular exercise then, but we did boogieboard from sunup to sundown several days a week and were very brown all the time, and me and my sister rollerskated EVERYWHERE, even in the house. When I was 14, my mom, who had gone back to work and was making her own money and was going through her modern/liberated woman stage, bought me a membership to The Spa, a local gym, that had girls’ days and guys’ days separately. Gads, they required us to wear leotards, tights and shoes or you weren’t allowed to workout!!! Lots of us also wore leg warmers and headbands! Hahaha!! That’s downright goofy! I was underage, but the manager was this horny guy who told my mom (who is very voluptuous) that he’d make an exception for her for me (he seemed to have the hots for my mom). So I’d jog over to The Spa, and pound out 190# leg presses at 14. Even then, I thought the aerobics class was gay, BTW!

At 16, I began to paddle canoe for two leagues, run and continued to train with my brother’s weights, some of which by then were getting old and weathered and the plastic was beginning to crack and the stuff inside would sometimes drop out as a fine dust while you were lifting. By this time I had my black belt in martial arts as well. In college I was so poor that I was sneaky and trained in this gym meant for physical therapy for this handicapped program behind the football team’s gym. And the only money for food we had was the $3.29 we as a group of friends could scrape together to buy a huge case of ramen to last us the week, so there was no such thing as post workout nutrition for me, just 101 ways to prepare ramen.

The first few years into my career as an ER Nurse, I was lucky enough that the local police department by my hospital allowed me to train in their gym for free. I pretty much had the gym to myself, because hardly any of the officers used it, and they tolerated me playing Metallica, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Tool, Rage Against the Machine over the gym speakers while I trained- I know they could hear it while they did their paperwork. It was a great gym with posters of all the bodybuilding legends on the walls and an awesome set of free weights and a great power cage. And I was able to afford stuff like Whey Protein, glutamine, creatine and all those bodybuilding supplements.

My ex was telling me that when he was in his teens and grew up very poor, he made his own weights from a stick and hollow tile blocks and his “bench” was his mom’s coffee table, that one day collapsed under him from all the weight, and his mom was pissed! Hahahaha!!

Anyway, today I realize how lucky I have been to make a wonderful living, and am lucky to afford the creature comforts of a gym membership, bodybuilding supplements, post workout nutrition, nutritious food and access to all the educational resources desired. Those of us whom are lucky enough to have these kinds of things should consider ourselves very fortunate. GOD BLESS TRAINING!!!

My first experience was in high school. Age14. Tried out for football. Got my ass kicked in practice. I was 6’ tall. About 185ibs. no muscle to speak of. Just a lot of mass for 13 and more guts then brains…but as the old gunny said sometimes guts is enough.

Dad bought me a bench. An uncle gave me his weights. I used to put on the soundtrack from Rocky and do my one rep max with my dad spotting me. He got me a gym membership at a serious gym. The manager took me under his wing. He was a retired pro football player. Taught me to bench, squat and deadlift and do shoulder shrugs. For 1978 that was good advice!

Graduated at 6’ 240ibs. solid as a rock and went on to play in college with a scholarship. Working out saved my ass back then. I would have got into a nasty lifestyle of drinking and drugs like most of my old friends did. I dumped them. Got a few degrees and have a great career now…and lots of new friends.

i was about 10 and i saw my elder brother training, i managed to life the barbell with i think about 2.5kg discs on each side, and i told everyone at school the next day about how i weightrained…i never saw a weight again until i was 21, How about that for a training split!!!

I got interested when I was about 12 years old. I had been watching the Big Top Circus show that was on CBS every Saturday at noon that featured strongman Dan Lurie. (Does ANYOME remember him?) I ordered his 110 pound barbell set and my mother and I picked it up the railway express office. We did not have FedX, UPS, etc. back in 1957. I built a bench out of 2X6’s and 2X4’s and did 1 set of 10 exercises 3 times per week. (Now that I think of it, I have kind of gone back to that with HST for the last 17 months!) I’ve been lifting on and off since then but consistently for the last 20 years. I belonged to Mike Katz’s World Gym in Branford for 14 years but now have a nice set up in my basement. That way I can easily split my workouts into AM’s and PM’s which allows me to keep my energy levels up and CNS in good shape. Had I not continued to lift, I would be a semi-invalid due to back surgery, knee surgery and osteoporosis. As it is, I’ll still get on the meanest bronc in the herd at 58. The best way to keep yourself going is have fun with it and don’t let yourself get burnt out with overtraining. Happy Trails.

I lost by BB virginity and a whole lot of weight the summer of my junior year in high school. My father, a Baptist preacher, took a different church and we had to move out of state. I was 50 pounds overweight and constantly teased for it. When we hit the new town I determined that the weight was coming off one way or the other. I tried out for football and made it. The school actually had a strength coach and looking back he was not that bad. He taught me how to squat correctly, deadlift, and power clean. The team had an “Ironman” club and I was determined to make it. To get in the club your three lift total had to be 5 times body weight. Ten months later I squatted 525, deadlifted 485, and benched 315. Not too shabby at 215 and 16 years old!

I got away from lifting in college and the weight came back. Once again I got back to the basics, and have been at it for the last 4 years. I’ve recently started training Westside and love how the weights are moving again. It has not been nearly as easy this time around, but that is what age will do to you. You can never stop! Maybe it sunk in my thick head this time.

Everybody keep up the good work! I love hearing everybody’s success stories.

I was 14 and really into basketball. I was on selct teams and I was really good at it. One summer i decided i neede to lift weights to enhance my strength. I started lifting at my local YMCA and I loved it. The feeling i got was incredible. I eventually started lifting more and playing b-ball less. In the end i just gave it up and stuck to lifting. Being 5’9 and white my future in basketball was limited any way

I was 12 and I was watching Rocky II on TV one sunday afternoon. Right after the movie I started doing some scrounging and came up with about 200lbs of those cheep plastic, cement filled weights. I had an old bench, and at the time, what i thought was brilliant…a wooden dowel for a bar.
I squatted, did what i can best describe as clean pulls (more like a fast deadlift) and overhead press. I had seen people lift on tv, so i knew these exercises. Fortunately, my father walked in one day and insisted i get a metal bar, which he cut for me from some kind of pipe.
Eventually, I started lifting with my cousin who was a year or two older. We benched, squatted, rowed, deadlifted, and overhead pressed. I saw these in Joe Weider’s Guide to modern bodybuilding…or something like that.
I have no idea what kind of sets/reps i did. I found out i was pretty strong…went to high school the next year (at 13), tied the deadlift record my sophmore year, tied the bench record my junior year…blew it out of the water my senior year (still stands to this day), and broke the power clean record my senior year as well.

They told my mom she was going to have twins. Well wasn’t she surprised on june 7, 1983 when she went into labor and what popped out? Me with a miniature squat rack.

Seems ole’ dad was a tricky one, and determined his boy wouldn’t be picked on at school as he was. Being that he made his living building those ship-in-a-bottle things, the squat rack in my mom was a piece of cake!

Then the nurse tried to pick me up and clean me off, but I said “fuck off, bitch!” I jumped in my rack and banged out the first few of many reps.

Then we all had a good chuckle,

I’ve always been the skinny kid in class. I started school early (I think my parents got tired of putting up with me), and of course I was the smallest kid in my grade. I got my ass kicked a lot because I’m a smart-ass, but that never motivated me to do anything about myself… I just started heckling the next kid. I basically was like Chandler in “Friends”. It wasn’t until college that I got my first taste of the iron. One of my acquaintances from my old high school was going to the University of Florida too, and he came and got me from the dorms and dragged me over to the college gym. He had been a defensive tackle on our high school football team, and I weighed what, maybe 135? At 6 feet tall? You get the picture. Anyway, I got under the bar and managed to bench I think 3 reps with the bar and a dime on either side. My buddy didn’t even laugh, he just said “good job”, and put on a hell of a lot more for himself. I left after three sets to go smoke something (it’s college, what did you think I would go do?) Man, I was sore for a week afterwards! A humbling experience, to be sure. That was over 14 tears ago. Didn’t really start training hard until last year.

Ryan that was fucking hilarious. I’m going down through reading all these serious posts and then I come to yours expecting it to be the same…shit, what a good laugh…hehehehe

I can’t remember it much but my Dad had me doing some basic resistance training like pulling against his arms and making me push against his hands with my feet when I was between the ages of about 2-5 years old. He evidently read it in some growth and development book as a good idea. I must admit it probably planted the seed for my involvement in lifting…so thanks dad.

Six years ago when I was 19, I had a friend who’s brother gave him his weights and another friend who decided we should all start lifting weights and I said what the heck and started lifting with them. The setup was nice. We had a power cage, fully adjustable bench, two Olympic bars, ez-curl bar, dumbbell handles, and enough Olympic plates to start a gym. I wish I had the same setup now at my house. We didn’t know what we were doing but my friend had a Bill Pearl Getting Stronger book and he worked out a routine. We worked out 1.5 hr six days a week. Looking back I’m surprised we actually squatted, deadlifted, did t-bar rows with one end of the barbell and pull-ups. My friend and I eventually ditched the guy with the weights and went to a gym because he would put on techno while lifting, scream like a girl during a hard set, change his clothes right in front of us in the workout room when there was a bathroom right there, and fart while spotting on bench presses. I think my favorite memories from then were the training principle my friend made up and the poster we had in the room. My friend’s principle was that on the last rep if you can’t get it up and fail, you should try it two more times and then if you couldn’t get it on the third try you put down the weight. Talk about high intensity. I think that would be the Weider Three Tries and You’re Out or You Hurt Yourself-Whichever Comes First principle. We also had a poster of some fitness model from a bb magazine on the wall. My friend said it was for motivation, because she was looking at us and how pathetic we were and we needed to lift more. I got tendonitis in my forearms from over-training, but I actually got quite a big bigger and stronger pretty fast and without good workout nutrition.

Started when I was about 12 or 13. Used those same plastic weights filled with concrete and hollow bars. Really got into after wrestling in H.S. for 2 years at heavyweight then on the 3rd yr went down to 171lbs. Got my ass kicked and decided to just hit the weights and forget any sports.
Been a junkie since.