Join date: Jun 2010
Location: California, USA
It seems that when people look back at things they've done, they know exactly what they did right and wrong. In the moment it can be more difficult. So, in this thread, post things you did right with your diet/training, things you did wrong, and things you would have done differently if you had the chance to start over. It's nice for newer guys (myself included) to see the successes and mistakes of more experienced people.
Join date: Jun 2010
Location: California, USA
For me, I would have NOT dieted and been focused on staying super lean before. I also would have started weight training earlier. For things I did right, I always had 100% intensity in the gym and a huge passion for learning from more experienced people.
Sometimes hard work isn't enough if you don't know what you're doing...
The Mighty Stu wrote:
I tried to do too much, too often, and without adequate dietary focus to balance everything out.
Also, no one told me that guys who weren't on PEDs couldn't do 50 sets of work for their chest every other day!
...And that's part of the reason I started PEDs: so that I could train hard day after day, not have to take rest days, not worry about my food intake and never have an 'off' day in the gym. Or so I thought at the time. Turns out it's not quite like that, ha.
If I could go back and mentor myself as I was, 20 years ago when I first stepped into the gym? Well I would be a completely diffferent animal, that's for sure.
The first thing I would get my younger self to do, besides improving technique, etc, would be to get him to enter a natural show, just for the experience and the motivation. Do that for 4-6 years, then use PEDS in a completely different manner to how I did use them.
Ironically, there is a kid in my gym whose physique reminds me of mine back at his age (19). He has similar focus, technique, rep schemes, etc. It would be super cool to mentor him in the ways I described above, but I don't have the time to do it, nor the ethics to 'put him on gear', so I'll never know.
Actually, one of the BIGGEST points I would get accross to my younger self would be this: "You are at university, young and in great shape. Now go and get some pussy and stop whining about 'low fat meals' you OCD twat. Don't let the lifestyle stop you from having a good time!"
I wouldn't waste money on stupid ass supplements like Anabolic Halo, Gakic, Nitrix, and other such things. I got sucked into getting the next fad supplement like every other 19 year old. I just stick with protein and creatine now and pay more attention to what I eat.
I did way too much volume and frequency like stu as well. I don't really regret it, just part of the learning process.
Join date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida, USA
^^ x2, I feel like when I was in HS if BSN made a product I had to take it... Why? Just because Trey Brewer and Ronnie Coleman were sponsored by BSN so that meant they were taking it too right!?
-_- Something that impeded on my progress to hitting bigger weights was wrestling in highschool. I was pretty successful in the sport and could have competed in college but it seriously is an enemy to gaining muscle and such. The way you diet wrong and starve was difficult to gain size. Wrestled 171 my senior year of HS and are now up to 245 my senior year of college. Goes to show you the progress in weight you can get when you are starving yourself !
and good shit guys Stu's statement was kind of funny but true. I used to always admire all these Pro BB and Strongman work outs not realizing my HS frame just wasnt ready for that level yet. But we all learn from our past hopefully.
Join date: Oct 2002
Location: New York, USA
Lol, Oh yeah, my brother and I would split these 20 lb bags (like those giant bags of dog food you see at the supermarket!) of Weider's MegaMass 2000! OMG that stuff almost killed me. First time I actually mixed it up as recommended (something like 4 cups of whole milk and who knows how many scoops of the powder) I thought I was going to need to go to the hospital. Eventually I realized that I could use one scoop (about 500 cals), mix in some PB and a banana, and it tasted kinda okay. Looking back, I'm sure it was all junk and filler calories, but when you can't out-eat your metabolism, you do what you have to.
I wouldnt of constantly compared myself to others that had been at it way longer everyday and making myself depressed and feel like a failure
would of squatted and deadlifted more - every week instead of going months upon months without doing them
I used to train with 2 different guys, the one who was big and shredded at the time. and the other with the best upper body genetics ive ever seen. Both of them actually made me depressed because of how much better they looked then me. thats when i started wanting to be strong moreso then being pretty because that was my natural gift i would say and if i couldnt look better then them i would be way stronger then them and thats what got me through it.
fast forward a year plus
the one guy told me he took PEDS
the second guy stopped training after getting a girlfriend
basically even if there are people better then you, if you spend enough time fighting for this you will surpass them it might just take longer then youd like at the time
Join date: Jun 2010
Location: California, USA
Ok, I'm not nearly as experienced, but here's mine:
When I first started at 18, I didn't follow any routine. Then, I picked up Crossfit, but didn't like it, so I switched to Military Athlete (an even more insane/way harder Crossfit). Did that for a few months but didn't get results I wanted.
I then decided to quit smoking cigarettes and trained for a half marathon. At the time, I was running 30-40 miles per week (running 5 days a week) and training Crossfit/Military Athlete style 5 days a week. My body practically shut down, I was so stupid. Plus I ate low ish carb.
Also, I fell victim to the guy at Max Muscle telling me I NEEDED to buy everything under the sun to get results.
Join date: Aug 2006
1) Not listening to my own body
2) Not eating enough (not good for those with fast metabolisms)
3) Ego lifting on everything with little regard to feeling target muscle
4) Not realising that muscle groups respond to different approaches (e.g. back/legs/shoulders tend to like higher reps)
6) Not learning how to count
Supplements weren't a weakness since I was warned (brainwashed?) into not taking any at all (plus I was poor lol).
i would have began training in my 20's not my 30's.
during year one i would have trained legs and back w/ more focus.
early on if i could do it over, less $ on GNC bullshit, more $ on food.
i really just wish i began earlier in life, i'll be 37 in a month and i'm sure i can grow and improve more in the next decade but i can't help but wonder what things would look like if i had been living this way since my teenage years.
i lived the first 30yrs of life between the weight of 4.4lbs - 147lbs. drinking, smoking, lots of drugs, lots of women (fun part).
i've never mentioned it on this site before but Sudden Cardiac Death @ age 29 caused me to change EVERYTHING. hank gathers, reggie lewis and cyruseven, the difference is i still don't have a "detectable" heart condition or underlying "findable" problem, the other spooky difference, i lived and they did not. RIP.
i woke up Christmas eve after a week in coma, my heart had stopped 7 times five days previous. i went 6minutes w/ no breathing and no pulse, they shocked me over and over in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. all of my family gathered @ the hospital to say Good-bye. they thought (drs) if i did wake up i'd have no meaningful recovery because of being down so long w/ no pulse to breathing.
i woke Christmas eve....slow from the sedating meds but still the same prick i was before, no notable brain damage. i was calling my male nurse a fag, not nice and i thought my then and still now gf was my ex from college, i thought the yr was 1993!
i've since had a million and one tests done on my heart; it tests perfect, no malady, zip, zero. my gf is a dr/phd and she has poked and prodded me over and over, ohhh behave.
i did have an arrhythmia prior to the event, but it was corrected when they shocked me over and over. i collapsed in a (don't laugh) Bikrim yoga class, fell over and for all intensive purposes...died
no white light, no "let us proclaim the mystry of faith" bullshit. i cannot remember the weeks previous or the month after the event.
i sure as fuck don't know why i shared all this right now, but i'm writing.
i started training after the event, my mind set was and still largely is...fuck it, if i'm going to die, i'm going to do so w/out fear. however, for months after it happened i was shattered both physically and mentally. self awareness about death isn't something most 29yr old have to kick around in their conscious thoughts daily. so my die hard bruce willis gym mentality didn't happen all at once, i still sometimes fear my gf is going to roll over one morning to find me dead and cold, not fun.
my health has been spot on for these last 7yrs since my "event" for lack of a better word. i began training slowly, it was all new to me, i had that "145lb guy scared to be in a gym" mentality at first, very self conscious about my little body in the gym. that being said, even as a skinny dude i was a cocky bastard, never a problem w/ ladies, always had good friends, quick witted despite being thin so i never took much shit from anyone. always had a crazy irish temper, the first to jump the bar and smash a fucking pint on someone's head...i was a real dick from age 19-27 or so. friendy but soooo self invested.
anyways....fuck where was i? no brain damage, yeah right. i began training and as it progressed i'd think everytime i got under the bar, is this fucking heart going to shit out again on me???? i was kind of sick w/ my thinking, pushing harder each day, eventually thinking - fuck it, if i'm going to die i'm going to die pissing all over everything flipping the world off. i'm not going to die scared, or tke it easy just to live.
i've mellowed a ton as i get closer to age 40 bur still think about death everyday for at least a few minutes. i write and post a lot of funny shit but that is only half of it, i have a darker side cutivated by past experiences, i prefer the company of few and need require a lot of alone time. hours spend alone painting or writing are what i like and need. i like things i can do alone.
anyway since then no near death experiences in the gym - i've blacked out trying to squat 405 before, came up and saw stars, went black standing still...it wasn't a good squat :) not nearly deep enough to count. 365 is a much more honest number.
on heavy deadlifts and leg day i think about death more so then on an arm day, truth is i don't think of it too much anymore. i am aware of my own mortality now though.
drs don't know why it happened and i have no heart condition officially, i was off any type of hard drug for the two yrs prior to the event. fucking spooky shit right?
anyways from 2004 after it happened until now i went from 143-147lbs up to 226lbs. currently i'm right around 205lbs but stronger and leaner than i was at my heaviest.
sorry to hijack this thread for my dramatic story. i read X had that accident and it got me thinking about how i have never told anyone on TN about why i began training.
i began training because i wanted to change my life. i wanted to live.
I started at age 18 with exercises like cable crossovers and leg extensions and didn't squat or deadlift or bench over 150lbs till I was 21 or 22.
I also didn't eat much protein. I think I'd only have protein at dinner as a kid growing up. I mean cereal with milk and toast and a PB & J sandwich for lunch. Dinner was when I had some beef or fish or chicken.
Join date: Oct 2002
Location: Georgia, USA
Hmm, I think my biggest mistakes were being anti-equipment... I mean like belts, straps, gloves and shit like that.
I used to think gloves we for pussies, so I'd never were them and I had to constantly cut off callouses and always end up bleeding and my hands we cut up all the time. I tried a set of gloves and the problem miraculously disappeared.
I used to be very anti-strap, if I can't grip it, I can't lift it. This held me back on a lot of lifts especially DLs.
Same with belts, if my back cannot handle the load unassisted, I cannot lifted. Had I used a belt during some of these times, I would have lifted more.
So I learned my lesson, there is a time to not use equipment and there is a time to use it.
Dogma is the number one impediment to progress....