View Full Version : Why did you get into weight training?
05-24-2011, 08:57 AM
I was wondering why did many of our users get into weight training/exercising? Was there a special life event that happened that made you want to make the change to start exercising or did you look in the mirror and say today is the day that I want to get back into shape and gain confidence? What was your main motivation to want to get into the gym and make a healthier you?
For myself, it was when I was 17-18 and about to enter college, I was already at 280-290 pounds and getting teased in high school on a daily basis for the fact I was heavyset and overweight. It was too much going into classes knowing people were going to make fun of you in the hallways and getting made fun of because I wasn't skinny (the main reason I was overweight was depression from family deaths and issues when I was 11 years old til 15/16). So when I entered college I wanted to start living a healthier life and knowing that this was leading to my career and possibly meeting my fiance (which I did), it was just enough motivation to get me exercising again. So I went to my college gym and noticed that there were other individuals in the gym that were just like me and wanting to get back into shape so that they can enjoy life and enjoy the college experience. By the time I left my freshman year of college I was at around 230-240lbs and felt more confident and happier with myself then I could ever be (especially because I had the support of my family by my side and was receiving extremely positive feedback by many of my friends). When I returned back home I made it an effort to lift and do cardio 4 - 5 days a week and get back into shape returning to school. My sophomore year I entered school back at 220lbs and continue to lift, actually getting into supplements and by Christmas break I was already at 180lbs and building an extreme amount of muscle, faster than I thought I would, and couldn't be more confident than I already was. Also at the time I met my current girlfriend/fiance who I have been with for the past 3 1/2 years and she motivated me to stay healthy and continue to stay healthy for our own sake, for our dog and for our future children. Just being able to look in the mirror and see somebody I am proud of showing off to the world and feeling confident is an incredible sensation. Seeing a healthier individual in the mirror instead of the slob i previously was made and still makes me want to continue weight training.
What is your main motivation or why did you get into weight lifting/exercising?
05-24-2011, 02:32 PM
I had tried weight lifting over and over from 15 years old up into my 20's; unsuccessfully. I would lift for a period, get bored, find something else but I never stuck with it. December 24, 1997, Christmas Eve, I was at my sisters for a family gathering and my younger brother of 4 years wanted to arm wrestle. I had never lost before to him and I did. I immediately arm wrestled him again and won but by shear determination only. I had decided enough was enough.
I was also at another stage in my life. My hair was thinning, I had put on a lot of unwanted weight, I had just gotten glasses and my self worth was down hugely. On top of that I had always had angry issues so I probably wasn't the nicest person to be around. It was time for a change.
I started weight lifting and decided to do it right. I was going to take this thing slow and I was going to record everything. I got a full body workout plan from Men's Health Magazine, set it up so I was doing really easy weights so my body would adjust and I took it "day by day". I wasn't going to lift HUGE just yet as every time I tried I failed and I wasn't going to fail again. Within 6 months I went from 193 lbs to 165 lbs and was stronger and more fit then I ever had. I also had stopped eating any desserts or snacks but continued to eat what I always had for meals.
I had found a vent for my anger; I was a much nicer person. I had PRK surgery and no longer needed glasses. I was confident and I looked good. I went from 165 lbs to 207 lbs and was lifting huge by 2002. I then joined martial arts to further focus my anger issues. I shaved my head. Now at 42 I'm still lifting and feeling good. Lifting for life.
EDIT: I had always been a fit person prior. I was active in football, soccer, baseball and wrestling in school. After school I joined a mixed league for both softball and volleyball. Prior to lifting I hadn't done anything for probably 2 years and started to put on the weight as all I did was sit around and watch TV at every given moment. I went from very active to totally inactive. Inactivity and eating too much just meant bad weight. I had tried many gimmicks to rid myself of the fat but always failed at that as well. Weight lifting was my savior.
05-24-2011, 02:34 PM
It was something similar for me, when i was younger i was really overweight and it pretty much ruined my school life pretty much from the age of about 10 to 16, spent a year or so just losing weight then started noticing and wanting proper muscles, 6pac etc
spent a few years trying to do it but could never really find the motivation to keep going for more than a week or 2
but recently started getting back into it again, met a friend at a job whose half way there so going with him adds abit of constant motivation, and had problems with depression and lack of energy or desire to do anything so thought good exercise, hard work, and seeing even slight results can help sort that out and get my life not just back on track, but on a much better track
now its just the motivation to keep at it, and hopefully within some time have the kind of body, energy etc and lifestyle that i've always wanted
05-24-2011, 05:00 PM
I'd always been heavy guy..from childhood into my mid 20s. At my heaviest, I weighed 240lbs on a 5'7 frame with zero muscle to speak of. I'd always fantasized about losing weight and bulking up big, never really knew where to start.
In 2006, I moved, started a new job and was determined to lose weight. I took to calorie counting and cardio; it worked. I was down to 190 and very happy but still not satisfied. Over the course of three years, I yoyo'd from 190 to 220 numerous times. It was not until I met a bodybuilder friend on another forum who showed me the ropes in 2009.
At this point, I was 220. He put me on a low glycemic diet (complex carbs) mixed with weight training four days a week and cardio five times a week (an hour each day). I also kept an emotional journal where I wrote down all sorts of thoughts. Within 15 days, I lost 20lbs. We set a goal to meet up in person to attend a 'boot camp' training day 5 months ahead. It was insane... no one believes me, but I dropped from 220 down to 165 within 5 months. Thin yes...with no muscle.
Went on a high protein diet, gained 15 lbs in 6 months. Then discovered Stronglifts 5x5, LOVE IT. Compound heavy lifting, no isolation lifts. Squats, Deads, Presses; the basics. I've made so many gains on this, it's unreal and my strength has gone through the ROOF!
05-24-2011, 09:19 PM
Well I guess I'll take a different route here.
I was the skinny, awkward kid in school. The kind the jocks liked to push around. Around 18 I tried lifting weights, but couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting bigger. Gave up.
Fast forward several years, I started running often. Enjoyed it, but lost determination for some reason.
Another few years later, I decided that being slightly overweight and not having any sort of figure wasn't for me. With my son approaching 2 years, I decided that I was going to lose some pudge and add some bulk. Dropped 15lbs in 6 weeks by changing my diet and running. Moved onto weight lifting at the advice of a friend who helped me realize why I never gained mass. As he put it, "you can't build a house without any bricks".
So that's where I'm at. Learning & lifting. Kind of nice seeing some sort of muscle.
I guess I'll be the second skinny bastard to chime in on this one.
I am 6' tall, and was 145lbs when I graduated high school. Obviously I was never much of an athlete. I joined the Army National Guard, and as I entered basic training, I was BARELY able to do 13 pushups. By the time I graduated basic eight weeks later, I had gained 15 pounds (up to 160). After basic & AIT, I went to college, but never worked out except to get ready for yearly PT tests for my guard unit.
The first time I did any weightlifting was in 2003 when I was deployed to Kuwait. A couple of my buddies got me into it, and I really liked it. I only did it for a couple of months, but gained about 10 lbs during that short time. After I came home, I returned to my normal routine - nothing. I lost the extra mass I gained in the desert, replaced it with a little pudge, and stayed right around 165-170 lbs.
Fast forward to 2009. I was having problems with my marriage, and decided I needed to get into the gym and get into better shape since I figured I was going to be single again. We worked through everything, but I really enjoyed working out, so I have just stuck with it.
05-25-2011, 10:40 AM
We worked through everything, but I really enjoyed working out, so I have just stuck with it.
Working out is great therapy. It's my "me time".
05-25-2011, 11:05 AM
Working out is great therapy. It's my "me time".
Agreed. I have found peace and a way to focus some of my excess energy that I normally would have towards my anger problems. I like the quiet time of being uninterrupted with just me and my music. While my martial arts have been put to the side this last 2 years, I cannot give up weight lifting. I don't want to go back to the person I was.
06-03-2011, 06:00 PM
The motivator that got me back to the gym this time is kind of funny and embarassing but we are all family here, right? lol...when I get out of the shower I am faced with a wall of mirrors (we just moved into this house) and am forced to look at how my pubic pendiculum has grown while other items appear to have shrunk. Yes, that is pretty much the most powerful motivator for a lot of men - size issues. I cannot deal with it anymore or the damn sweating. Typing this is making me sweat - lol...ok I was kidding there.
Working out is great therapy. It's my "me time".
Funny you should say that, because I said the very same thing to a guy yesterday. It's my only "me time" between being at work and being at home.
06-21-2011, 05:26 PM
A couple of people have said they started as a teenager, same here but i still am one. I've been doing some form of workout since i was about 13 but then i didn't really know what to do, and i was just lifting any kind of weights. Now, (i'm still only 15) im doing a more structured workout, with proper exersizes.
I started because i have always wanted a military life when i am older, and i have more recently been looking into what a military life would be like. One of the main things i have found, is that to do what i want to do (join the RAF Regiment as an officer) involves me being extremely fit. While i have never been particularly unhealthy, i have never really been very strong. Now i am stronger than most people most age, and can easily complete the RAF fitness tests.
I still have 3 years of training before i plan to join, so i think i should work on my running for a bit (i have to do 3 miles in 24 minutes, which i can do but i would like to improve. A lot.), but i am definately going to keep up my lifting.
The other, less important reason i started lifting is because i find it a lot of fun. Being able to bench press a barbell that weighs considerably more than me is something i love being able to do :)
06-21-2011, 08:54 PM
Military seems to be more endurance/stamina versus power. Good luck to you 50cal. It's a very respectable goal.
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