For those of you that are new the world of weightlifting, below are 5 pieces of advice I can give after having spent 17 years in the gym.
1.) START YOUNG, AND DON’T STOP.
If you aren’t young, don’t worry about it, if you want to look like a Greek god, you have start RIGHT NOW, TODAY. You have no choice but to start right where you are. I started at age 14. That was the first time I laid down to do the bench press. I loved it and I’ve been lifting ever since. 14 is younger than most guys start however, so don’t feel bad.
Once I started, I didn’t stop. I lifted one day, liked it, went back 2 days later, did it again, and liked it even more. I went back 2 days later and lifted again, and again and again and again…..
By the time I was 15, I was chiseled out of stone, I looked like a grown ass man.
The key is: I started and I kept at it. I did not deviate. I became addicted to the powerful feeling it gave me. I loved the way people complemented me and said how impressed they were. I also loved the attention I started getting from girls.
My first kiss at age 15 for example, wasn’t just a kiss, she licked me from the bottom of my stomach all the way up my chiseled chest (cute girl too).
How’s that for a first kiss? My friends stood there looking at me in awe. Strength wise, no one could touch me at that age. I looked like I could rip any one of their heads off, and I could’ve. I was one of the 2 guys in my high school class that people talked about for having an awesome body.
I full of testosterone in those days, still am actually, but man was it to the MAX back then. It didn’t help that I loved watching wrestling (back when it was worth watching), so I wanted to look like the wrestlers I would watch every Monday.
At age 16, my bench press max was 320 lbs., which is pretty good for that age. I was able to achieve that because of all the hard work I’d put in between the ages of 14 and 16.
Lifting every other day, then every day, lifting even when I was sore, taking supplements, etc. It all had added up to me getting the 2nd highest bench press in the whole high school. As sophomores, myself and the guy who got 1st both had beaten the bench press record of all the junior and seniors.
The point of this is not to brag, it’s to illustrate why starting young and not stopping can get you to make massive progress very fast. It only took me 2 years, 2 years, after first picking up a weight, to get the 2nd highest bench press in a 5-A Texas high school.
Start young, and get after it like a shark smelling blood.
2.) HAVING A WORKOUT PARTNER IS GREAT, BUT IF NOT HAVING ONE STOPS YOU FROM GOING, THEN YOU DO NOT WANT THIS BADLY ENOUGH.
That sentence pretty much speaks for itself. If that’s you, then this is your WAKE UP call. You need to reevaluate why you’re going to the gym.
Seriously, why are you going to the gym if you have to FORCE yourself to do it? That means you don’t enjoy the gym, you don’t look forward to it, and its time to ask yourself why that is.
Why do things you don’t want to do? Well you do things in exchange for what they give back to you. And what the gym is giving back to you must not be rewarding you enough to motivate you.
You’ll have to rediscover (or discover in the first place) what it is you’re doing this for.
More importantly, who you’re doing it for. Do you want to be in peak shape just because you think you should be? Is it because someone else wants or thinks you should be? Or is because you truthfully want it very badly.
It’s time for a little self examination. Arnold questions how serious you are bout this:
You think this guy skipped his workouts when he didn’t have a workout partner?
3.) DO NOT TOUCH, OR EVEN THINK ABOUT GEAR UNTIL YOU’RE AT LEAST 27 YEARS OLD.
By ”Gear” I mean steroids. When I think back to high school, and the fact that some of those kids were taking steroids, its disturbing to me. At 18 years old, your body hasn’t had enough years in the gym yet to be handle what its store for it with steroids.
You need about 10 solid years of consisting weight training before you should even think about touching gear.
Depending on what age your start, I would even recommend waiting longer than this. I started lifting at age 14, but I don’t think starting a cycle at age 24 (even though I’d already had 10 years in the gym), would have been a wise decision at all.
At age 24 I was still making a lot of careless mistakes. Making a careless mistake with my body could have had fatal, life long consequences. You really have to know what you’re doing when it comes to shooting testosterone, oral steroids, HGH, and the effects they can each have on your body.
Your body’s chemistry makeup like your cholesterol, liver enzymes, blood pressure, and estrogen control, to name a few, can all be seriously affected by the use of steroids. Aggression levels are also impacted.
Those of you older than the age of 30 know what I’m talking about when you think back to your maturity level at age 24 (or any age below 28 really). If you were like me, you were much quicker to dive heads first into things without thinking them through first.
This is not a mistake you want to make with steroids. I know I sound like a broken record but I cannot stress that enough. I’ve seen guys do permanent damage to themselves from starting too young. All those 17-18 year old’s that were on this stuff in high school, whether they admit it or not, are all experiencing the consequences of those decisions 15 years later.
Be smart and do your research. In fact my recommendation is to do at least 3-4 solid months of research before you jump over to the dark side. That, and be a BARE MINIMUM of 27 years old as well. The only advantage young guys have nowadays that guys my age didn’t have is the internet and YouTube.
Between the web and watching or listening to videos & podcasts, you can pretty much learn almost everything there is know about steroids. But regardless, when you’re 26 or younger you’re not as wise, as mature, or as developed as you may think you are (trust me on this one).
4.) IT’S BETTER TO LIFT ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
You will burn more calories if you lift in a fasted state. This is one of the more recent ones I’ve learned. By more calories I mean you will burn fat at 3 X the rate you would if you lifted right after a meal.
Although this is harder to do, trust me the results are more than worth it.
I personally lift right before I eat lunch. I follow intermittent fasting, which means I only eat within a 6-8 hour window. I eat lunch and dinner, but no breakfast.
On some days I’ll work out in the morning (and for most of you that is what I recommend), but normally I prefer right before lunch because I like to use as much mental energy in the morning as possible (for work). Either one is fine for you.
If this is something you’ve never attempted before, I suggest making it a little easier on yourself so you don’t set yourself up for failure by getting up an hour earlier and working out in the morning.
5.) DO NOT LIFT FOR LONGER THAN 45 MINUTES TO AN HOUR.
It’s stupid to think you have to spend more than an hour lifting weights. Honestly, I even think that is too long. My workouts are 25 to 50 minutes. 35-40 minutes is the sweet spot. If you’re in there getting after it, and not standing around wasting time talking to people, this should never be a problem.
I try not take take longer than 60 seconds in between sets. Occasionally, if I’m lifting a little heavy and it was an exhausting set, I’ll take 90-100 seconds.
You’ll start to hit a point of diminishing returns if you spend too much time in the gym
I’ll see you guys again soon, until then: