Iron and Warriors Part I

A couple weeks back, I decided it was time to get back to the gym. I have put on about 10-15 lbs from where I cut down to over the course of a couple of years, and I also lost a good deal of muscle in the process of being lazy for over 6 months. No more excuses.


At my largest I was somewhere in the 260-270 range. I don’t know exactly since I stopped weighing myself at that point, but I knew I had to be above the 260 mark since I was larger than a point in my life where I knew I was 260. Over the years since college, I had tried weight loss here and there by hitting the gym with running, other cardio, and weight machines (but never free weights). Although I felt my diet was also adjusted, in reality it wasn’t since I would use the workout excuse to eat more or “cheat”.

In the summer of 2011, one of my closest friends made a very harmless comment to me that changed my life. Although I had been hovering in the 250-260lb range for over 10 years, and now peaking over 270lbs, it wasn’t until this moment that I truly saw how my weight and overall unhealthy appearance was holding me back from so much.

I began by cleaning up my diet and cutting back on empty calories. I decided to put my condo’s gym to use in the only way I knew how, by hitting the treadmill. I quickly learned the same thing I had always learned after starting at a gym, I hate to run, but I pressed on out of determination. I still remember the first time in the fall of 2011 when I was able to run for a solid 30 minutes without stopping. It was a first, but around this time, I wanted to put my focus elsewhere before I gave up entirely due to my dislike for most cardio activities.

As I normally do, I went into research mode. I had always despised the meatheads at the gym and out around town, but I knew that if I wanted to get my body into the shape and appearance I desired, I’d need to hit the weights. At this point my sole focus was appearance and vanity. Since my condo’s gym only had dumbbells, I found an all body dumbbell routine at Muscle and Strength. I also worked in a lot of body-weight exercises. Reading through a forum about this workout, I quickly discovered that the meatheads weren’t the only ones hitting the weights, and I fell in love with the routine and kept at it. This is when I started to take notice of the changes. I was gaining strength, and fast! I was going through notches on my belts. People were starting to notice and giving me compliments. I had made it over the hurdle that I had never been able to do before, and this made me want to go further.

During the dumbbell routine and further reading, I came upon a site called Nerd Fitness. I honestly can’t even remember how, but that doesn’t matter because I found a great community like I had never seen before. This started phase 2 of research mode. I started reading about Starting Strengh, Stronglifts, and discovered deadlifts! I knew my next goal. Having done the dumbbell routine for about 6 months at this point, and having outgrown the 60lb dumbbells in my condo’s gym, I needed to find something else. I had a gym at work, but what I didn’t know at the time was, it had a full free weight section with a squat rack.

This is when I started my Stronglifts 5x5 program and started lifting heavy.

Part II will be my progression through Stronglifts and fun competitions with new friends…

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