How I Started the Gym…

I was working out at home for a year and thought it was time to join a gym. I didn’t expect a gym to be local around here as it’s quite a small town. When my youngest daughter started ballet, I noticed there was a community gym right under the ballet building. I took the number, got very excited and went for an induction before working out in the gym. Unfortunately, when I got there it was a small cardio gym and didn’t have any weights which I was hoping for.

A week later I took the children to the park and the little one needed the toilet (potty training) so I took her to the nearest building. Whilst she was going about her business, I noticed a building plan on the wall and saw those magic words ‘GYM’. I noticed there was a guy in the gym as I was looking, so decided to ask him about it. He took me down to the gym which was directly below this building and I just saw this old, dirty, blood, sweat and tears type gym. Nothing fancy, just weights, weights and more weights.

I kept popping in on the off chance to try and find the owner and this went on for weeks. I eventually found the man that ran it and he explained to me the rules and that was that. For some reason I never felt intimidated walking into a room full of Welsh chaps having a laugh and me being English and an outsider to the area.

The one guy took care of me and asked me if I had trained before. I said yes, I have been working out for a year at home. He said that’s good, but lets start fresh. He gave me a very simple routine to stick to for ‘at least six weeks’. This consisted of Bench press, power cleans, overhead press and bicep curls to make it fun. Obviously I didn’t want to stick to six weeks of this rubbish as I wanted to try different things and split up my body parts for training.

I stuck to it for two weeks or so and decided to try some new things. I ended up trapping a nerve in my lower back and I don’t think I have ever had so much pain in my life. Agonising pain that stopped me from doing anything. I didn’t even need to move to have shooting pains flying around my body. I ended up having some tablets from the doctors (co codamol) that made me sick. It was a very rough few weeks.

I eventually got back in the gym and decided that listening to people’s advice that have been doing it for 40+ years is a very good idea. From then on, I have tried to gain as much knowledge as possible from any source available and see how it works for me. As the weeks went by and I got talking to the chaps and seeing just how much they could lift, I was determined to do that one day.

I started the gym and found the 7′ olympic bar (20kg) very difficult to bench press due to the balance.  I aimed to eventually hit one rep with the 45lb plates on both ends which would have made a big 60kg press. (134lb). By hitting that I know I would be getting stronger and at least it looked good for people watching me. After a few months I did this press. I was completely overjoyed, things were happening.

As time went by, I kept fighting the weights, pushing harder, gaining knowledge, designing a diet, gaining confidence and lifting more weight. I then started dreaming of hitting a 224lb bench press which would have been a lifelong dream of mine at the start of joining the gym. I ended up getting that towards the end of 2012 and pushed on to a 240lb to finish that year.

I eventually got over the fear of deadlifts from my back injury and made this one of those lifts that I had to conquer due to fear. I have now overcome the fear I got from deadlifts and I personally find it by far the most hardest lift in the gym. I find it hard due to the risk injury and the general stress it put on me mentally and physically. I have now hit a 200kg lift in this and after summer, I hope to smash that PB.

I can honestly type away on here for hours as I have so much to talk about and remind myself of how far I have already travelled on this never ending journey.

I know that everything levels out eventually and gains are much harder to come by. There will always be fun stuff to change though to help me. Diets, supplements, techniques, inspiration and so on.

I think my lifelong dream is to train a very unfit person into someone successful and proud. Nothing will stop me from doing this, it’s just matters how much I want it. I would also love to do a competition of some sort, not to win, but just to say I did it. Nothing can be as rewarding as training someone and educating them with your knowledge from what you have quite literally dedicated your life too. (juggling all lifes tests and families etc)

People that I look up to are

My Wife – After three children she has got in the her best shape of her life. It stops (some) women using the excuse of children to neglect their bodies. (I didn’t say all women, just some)

My Children – I hope to set an example to them with fitness and they live healthy lives.

Dorian Yates – The way he explains things, the knowledge he has, the no rubbish attitude he has and the titles he has won.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – No explanation here really. Although you may not know the name and so here goes. Charisma, movies, physique, changed the way of bodybuilding, governor and the list goes on and on.

Scooby1961 – This guy is less well known and inspired me more that anyone at the time. Check out his site.

John Linsley (close friend) – The reason I lifted my first weight. One day I will pay him back… somehow.

Paz (close friend) – We started at roughly the same time and shared a lot of info together. He also gave me a reason to push harder as he was my competition and companion in our own way.

Steve & Jay (close friends) – Both people who have been there and supportive to me at this important time and they are getting/are fit themselves.

Lads at the gym – By far the most important people in my life physical side of working out. These are the ones that have taught me everything practically and the ones who support me whilst doing my exercise.

There are quite literally hundreds of people I look up to for inspiration and information. I haven’t missed you out if your names not here, I just have 3 children running around behind me and I need to get off and do daddy stuff.

If your last name starts with A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z then you have helped me!!!

To infinity and beyond…

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