At 16, like most teens, I had a dream. And that dream was not to by small and skinny anymore. I had seen plenty of bodybuilding magazines and people in really awesome shape and I decided that I wanted that. Not to be next Arnold but to have some size and be generally fit and strong. But at 16, first thing that I did was grab an old Sear weight set and just started doing stuff. Just think about it.
What person just starts down right path to anything? Hardly any of us. The first time we are introduced to structured learning is in kindergarten. That type of learning follows us into grade school, middle school, high school and maybe college. So why is it that so many beginners just "do stuff?" It's not like we are born with instincts to even tie shoes without somebody showing us way.
At 16, I didn't know what to do. I started reading this book by Bob Paris, and some Muscle and Fitness issues. But I knew even then it wasn't natural and that I would never take any drugs to propel myself to what I wanted. Those books had some good stuff in them but it wasn't exactly written for me as a beginner. I almost felt like in order to be in shape and to be big, you just had to be that way naturally. I'll be you can guess what happened next…
I did some more stuff. No structure. In fact, up until I was 27 years old, I basically did what all beginners do. Just stuff. Maybe a heavy bench session here and there, just shooting for whatever reps I could get. No idea what I had to previously. No structured training program and no idea of nutrition other then it's common sense not to eat candy all day and I needed to eat or eat less if I wanted to make changes. Needless to say…
Nothing changed. That's right. Imagine, yourself doing something since you were 16 years old and at age 27 you were "fit" but not really at your goal, not really that big and not anywhere close to what you wanted to accomplish. And yet guys, who worked out maybe 2 years, were exactly where you wanted to be. Moreover… you saw plenty of people cheating their way to top. I couldn't even figure out a good diet let along contemplate anything more complex.
Make no mistake… I was frustrated. And reason I was frustrated for all those years was that I never started out in kindergarten and worked my way up. My point is…
If people take classes to learn another language, and go to school to learn a trade, and pay an instructor to help them drive, what makes working out and obtaining a goal any different? Let me break some news to you.
Eating healthy is NOT common sense. Working out is NOT common sense.
That's right. I said it. The reason I was frustrated was mainly that I thought you just hit weights and got bigger. Trust me, I had some really intense weight sessions. And yet I might have worked at 110% and blew it minute I left gym.
Okay, so there's beginner who has never worked out but learns about it, gets nutrition down, understands that, finds a training program and starts out. In 2 years, this person is advanced.
On other hand, there's me, who after 16 years was physically not a beginner but mentally still was a beginner.
Can you see my frustration?
But my problem is your opportunity.
You see, if you knew what I know now, and trust me when I say there's no big secrets, you'd be a beginner for a lot less time. You'd have to work hard but not quite as hard and you'd know why you made some changes and why you didn't.
My mom used to cook dinners every night. I wanted to get bigger. I just ate enough so I wasn't hungry and that was it. Now that's fine if I wanted to maintain, but here I had an idea and image in my head and couldn't get to it. I had no idea what nutrition really was all about. I didn't know how much I should even eat to get bigger?
That's like getting a destination, no GPS, no map and no directions. How long would it take you to find that town if you just got in car and started driving? After 16 years you might get lucky and find it or you might just be chasing Road to El Dorado.