This article or series of articles are intended to be a raw record of my own personal experiences of over 27 years ( to date of publishing ) of experience submerged in the strange word of health and fitness.
It’s here to be shared with whoever is interested.
Even if it is in parts, I need to get it out,
tell it, store it and move on.
I’ll remove certain facts, to keep everyone happy, apart from that it’s as I remember it.
This article isn’t meant to be perfect, sections and sentences may move around a bit.
Ultimately it’s for my therapy so to speak!
If you find value here, pass it on!
It could help someone else who’s struggling on their own.
It’s all started back in school, after a few years doing press ups and punching my pillows after watching the Rocky films.
That’s one of my earliest memories of aspiring to be like someone else.
Training twice some days when and where I could get at school.
I learned firstly about DOMS,
( the soreness you get after working muscles hard )
I trained so hard on calfs one time I couldn’t walk at all the next day; I was crawling around.
It’s took a further two days before I could walk normally.
I can remember that training hard for me was a way to improve myself,
I was dead cert this was the way forward.
All I wanted was to be bigger and stronger for swimming because the bigger guys beat me a lot.
I also began to noticed how the girls started to look at me differently,
but that didn’t make a difference,
there still seemed to be some special breed of human that talked a different language.
It wasn’t until I got out of school at 15 that I started to take training seriously.
I spend a year or so looking for a gym that would allow my to grow, and pursue my passion at the time.
I found Wag Bennets in Forest Gate, East London at around the age of 16-17 and dedicated myself to completing the 3/4 trying plans he had on the wall.
They were the “top 60” or so exercises, with sets, and reps all planned out.
Working on the max weight, you could use for the reps listed.
I can remember dreaming of the day I’d be free so I could let loose on everything I had learned.
I made sure I finished them, every single rep, they took me a month each at three sessions per week.
There was a plaque up on Wag’s gym wall,
“Here We Build Men”
Something I now realize I took to mean,
It was where they built men like all the pics on the wall.
Muscle doesn’t make a man.
But ultimately, it was my interpretation, of pics and statement.
No one forced me to decide what it all meant.
Anyway, I jumped straight into my muscle gaining the world.
I then totally lost myself in training for years, became a little self-focused. I started training with Stuart at the time, we ere similar ages, both wanting to get bigger and stronger, so we both knuckled down for a few years and gave it our all.
I very rarely socialized back then outside of the gym,
which meant, in the end, I had very few friends.
Going from two plates on bench, squats and deadlifts to 3 and above,
was something at the time made me feel confident like I was aiming for something.
I had my bodyweight written up on my wall and I can remember it starting at 12 stone.
I then spent however many years slowly moving up through the small increments to 14 stone.
Hitting three plate bench press for 12 reps, squatting and deadlifting 4 to 4.5 Olympic plates.
Shoulder pressing the 95lbs dumbbells like they were nothing felt good.
Considering I was around the 20 years of age mark, that’s pretty good numbers.
My secret was down to the 12 or so raw eggs day I was on at the time.
No many people aside from the few I knew at the gym knew what I could do, and that’s how I liked it.
Back then I saw “normal” people as weak, easily influenced by all the shitty food ads on the TV.
I literally got pissed off seeing people eating shit food but I felt that it was having some influence on what I wanted subconsciously, which made me rebel again certain thoughts I had surrounding eating.
Which I now know can lead to disordered eating.
At the time I would chew up a chocolate biscuit and then spit it out saying to myself out loud,
there you go, are you happy now you had the shit food.
Now get back to you same plain, boring meals every day.
Progress needed to be faster so I decided to gradually start pushed my eggs up and the drink called GUNK was born.
The drink was something that started off as an amazing sweet, taste treat.
Which later after some refinement was no longer a treat but a belly busting
6 pints of thick custard like liquid containing 6000cals.
I didn’t realise until looking back but this was a drink I probably consumed for at least 10 years.
Wow, talk about digestive issues.
I then remember that I stopped training with Stuart and I started training with a Mr. Britten contender John Whitman( RIP ), because his current training partner couldn’t commit to the routine timewise that John had planned, at the time i wasn’t working so training was my job.I learned another side of training, one that worked on body part separation, symmetry, and intensity, and I grow, it changed my physic beyond my age.
I learned another side of training,
one that worked on body part separation, symmetry, and intensity,
and I grow, it changed my physic beyond my age.
I then became not normal;
I stood out not just for size, but for the shape too.
But I still wasn’t happy because I couldn’t see it then.
I do remember times of depression back then when my physic was at its best,
I now recognize that depression can be linked to extended periods of overtraining and fatigue.
John competed and got sixth place in Mr. Briten, which he wasn’t happy with but anyway.
I went back to training and then started training with Nick, a friend that I knew from school.
Things then progressively became more even excessive,
Screaming at the top of our voices training to weight overload and as far beyond as possible.
Weekly visits to the squat rack were what I dreamed of because it was the absolute test to how far I could push myself,
But yeah you got it, that wasn’t enough either.
Squats then became the dread of my life,
I would get butterflies before a legs session because I knew the result and the fears of what could go wrong.
Using an extra thick 100lbs bar that was specially made by old Nick (as we all knew him as at the time) had built with his metal and welding skills, which was to stop Bill Kashmir Top US Strong made ( RIP ),
from bending all Wags Olympic bars when he popped over to train.
We would gradually work our way up to loading 10 x 45 lbs plates each aside, risking our lives walking back with that and doing partial reps.
The logic is still a sound one, all but it being close to a crippling disaster, but the extream weight overloads the nervous system and freaks out your mind, which equates to you recruits the whole body to its max, basically because you don’t want to die.
But as dangerous as that mad plan was, it worked.
Taking the weight down to 5 plates straight after felt like nothing, it’s tricking my mind.
But in the end that 1000lbs cause me sciatica, which at the time was laughable, even something I was proud of.
To be continued: