Before I started
When I was about 17 years old, I realized I wanted to be jacked. Not necessarily bigger than others but just shredded and fit. There’s a lot of factors that influenced me to want this.
For example, I was the smallest kid in my middle school and high school. I wasn’t tall and I was incredibly scrawny. I struggled to lift anything remotely heavy and would get blown around by the wind. On top of this, my voice was quiet and would often get ignored.
Now, this may sound sad to some, but I was very optimistic and ambitious regardless. I knew I was going to do big things and I wouldn’t let being small stop me. So I started by doing my research and I saw that this was possible. One of my biggest inspirations was David laid, cause I mean… he did it.
As soon as I figured out it was possible to go from skinny to big, I embarked on this journey. I didn’t know where to begin, so I sought out someone to show me the ropes.
During grade 12, after school one day, I went to one of the biggest guys in my high school (never talked to him before lol). His name was Randy and I remember asking him:
Me: “Were you skinny or fat when you started?”
Randy: “I was just as skinny as you”
Me: “I want to start training and make gains like you did, can you train me?”
Randy: “Are you willing to do whatever it takes?”
Me: “Of course!”
Randy: “Ok come over right now and let’s work out in my basement”
Me: “Uhhh, ok?”
My First Workouts
My first workout ever was at a random high school guy’s basement who I just met. Crazy to think about, but this guy is now one of my greatest friends. I still remember that workout to this day, and it was intense. I had a big goal and my mind was made, nothing was stopping me. I did all the workouts until failure (push-ups, bench, pull-ups, sit-ups, curls) and let’s just say I couldn’t move the next day.
Fun fact, this guy lived on my street so he would just come by and ring my doorbell. I would open the door and he would say “let’s go work out”. I was always down since I promised him that I would do whatever it takes.
Fast forward a year and I’m a lot stronger but I’m still small. I could curl 25’s and bench 95lbs ( better than 10lbs and 45lbs). At this point, I’m going to university and I don’t see my workout buddy often. I eventually stop gymming consistently and don’t make any significant gains for a year.
Eating is everything
Second-year, I went through a loss and a lot of emotional pain. After this depressing time, I got so motivated, like never before. I had a focused discipline and immense willpower. Also, I Immediately stopped hanging out with friends and only studied, worked out, or ate. I followed a strict diet and sleeping pattern. Even though it was small changes, I felt like I had more control over my life. Now, this was depressing for me because I’m a huge extrovert and isolating myself was extremely boring/painful.
However, the amount of gains I made during this period was phenomenal. I went from 115lbs to 130lbs and was benching 120lbs. I learned a valuable lesson about diet and changing yourself. Most of your gains are made in the kitchen! The reason I didn’t make a lot of gains before was because I was not eating enough. I simply hovered around the same weight and just got a little stronger. You are made up of your food so eating is everything.
Don’t Let Anyone’s Opinion Affect You
I started feeling good again and people even started noticing and complimenting. I slowly got comfortable and plateaued here. 🤦♂️
This reminds me of when I first started lifting and everyone would tell me to stop because “I would break my arms”. I used this as motivation to show everyone that I could do it. In this case, it was good that other people’s opinions drove me but that motivation didn’t last long. It was a lower form of motivation that’s derived from petty desires.
It was one of the greatest feelings to become stronger or bigger than anyone thought was possible, but the motivation dies once this happens. That’s why you have to remember why you wanted it in the first place. You have to realize that no one else’s opinions matter because you are the only one whos going to make the changes.
Doesn’t matter if the opinions are positive or negative, learn to only look to yourself. Get quiet in your mind and the rest will be easy. This concept is so deep that I could make another whole article on this, but I’ll leave it at this for now. Stay humble and stay focused.
Build a Routine
Most of my gains were made when I had a good routine. The next set of gains in my life was when I went from 135lbs to 150lbs in one summer. This summer, I started working in downtown Toronto and had a busy full-time life. My roommate at the time worked out with me and insisted that I calorie count. I decided to do it and it changed my life.
Every day I would go to work in the morning, go to the gym right after, and then go home and eat. On top of this, I was calorie counting every single thing that I consumed, ensuring I hit 2800 calories and 120g of protein every day. This consistent routine produced some great results! I bulked up to 150lbs and was benching 165lbs by the end of the summer.
This taught me an important lesson that routine is key if you want to make the change. One workout won’t do anything but over a long period of time, you’ll see slow progress.
Success is slow
My results taught me that success is slow and It’s all in the process. You’ve got to cultivate a love for the process and you’ve got to decide to take action.
In some ways, It’s almost worse because learning how to cultivate that motivation to stick it to some menial task day in and day out is harder than you think. Your brain will trick you; you are your own worst enemy.
I view success as the quiet walk to the gym or the late nights studying/working. For example, it’s like footsteps, some empty gym, putting in the reps, repeating it every day. To be honest, It’s the menial tasks over and over and over.
It’s a very quiet process doing these simple little tasks but finding love in those simple tasks. You don’t do this one big thing and change your life forever, it’s just consistent work.
5 years and 40 lbs later, here I am. I love where I started and how far I’ve come but I still think this is only the beginning of my journey. I’m proud but never satisfied.
I’m a lot more confident, active and overall happier in my body now. Fitness is now a huge part of my life. At this point, if I miss two days of gyming, I start craving it. I’m so glad I started this journey and I’m excited to see where I’ll be in another 5 years.
Thanks for reading and I hope this provided value to you. I hope you could see parallels in your own journey and feel inspired to take action. I wish the best for you and good luck! 💪