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Personal Training History

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:39 pm
by Matt Z
I'm a 24 year old male, living in Pennsylvania. I starting weight training with my father shortly before my 12th birthday, and worked out religiously throughout middle school, high school and my freshmen year of college. Durring this time I adhered to a training philosophy of high intensity, high volume (some would say very high) and low frequency, and made good progress, in spite of the fact that I was almost certainly overtraining, with marathon workouts of 2-3 hours in length.

Unfortunatly, durring my sophomore year of college I came down with mono. Worse, due to a false negative on a lab test, I continued training on and off for some time before learning what was wrong. Following this I was sick on and off for over a year. This ended only after I had my tonsils removed, by which time I had simply gotten out of the habit of working out.

Anyway, I trained sporadically through the remainder of my college years, but never consistantly for more than a few months. After college I started working, moved into my first real appartment with my then fiance and got married shortly thereafter. I was in resonably good shape from a lot of hiking and such, but I still missed lifting. In fact, I was just starting to look into gyms in the area when my appendix ruptured. Ironically, it was about the best thing that could have happened for my motivation. I had to wait two and a half months before I could start lifting, and by that time I was more than ready.

It's been nearly a year since then, and I'm still highly motivated. I've regained all my former size and strength plus some and I feel great. The one thing that has changed however is that I've cut back on volume dramatically. Initially I meant this to be temporary, in order to ease my transition back into regular training, but it worked so well I've never looked back.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my background, and experiences with weight training. Meanwhile, I'm currious how you guys (male and female) got started, what influenced you, and how your training philosophy may have changed over the years.

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:19 pm
by TimD
OK, I'll bite. Got started in 1963, training for wrestling and weight throwing. Already had a gymnastics background. At that time, the philosphy were based on mostly Hoffman's old York courses, mixing up BB, DB and bwt exercises with BB and
DB 1lifting (The lifts of the day were clean press, snatch, and clean and jerk). Shortly thereafter the iron game gave birth to powerlifting (mid 60's), and seeing as we all used squats, pulls off the floor and benches anyway, it was an easy transition. Have competed in both over the years. To make a long story very short, I've read and tried most everything out there at one time or another since then and now. Have done some BB routines, and some of them weren't bad. Tried Mentzer's thing, and would work to a point. Now, I still like to keep in touch with the O lifts, but train mostly for general fitness, which is similar to a Crossfit methodolgy, with other ideas thrown in to keep it interesting.

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:50 pm
by Matt Z
Aside from my father, my influences have included various books, magazines, and videos, mostly pertaining to bodybuilding.

PS.) Contrary to statements by some on this site, I've found that bodybuilders varry immensly in their training pholosophys.

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:52 pm
by DubDub
I can dig it:

I am a college sophomore whose main extracurricular is lifting. I never lifted in high school, I was athletic, but skinny. As a high school senior I was about 6'1", and only 150-155lbs. My freshman year I put on about 20lbs (not from beer, which I don't drink), which on my frame was okay. Two of my close friends began working out at the end of freshman year, but I never joined them. When I arrived here at the beginning of this year I was shocked to find that one of my close friends (now roommates) was very fit, with BF% hovering just under 10, and the other was very large, 5'10" and 190 (basically a lot of muscle... and a lot of fat). This was motivation enough to spur me into action. Since then I've gained another 15lbs net, with some fat loss and lots of muscle gain. I'm now 6'3" and usually just upwards of 185. I am now far and away the biggest of my group of friends, and one of the regulars in the gym. (My friend who was 190 is now hardcore dieting, and is down to 160lbs at most, he lost some muscle and lots of fat.)

My influences are my friends (if that counts) because we all go to the gym together, even if I have surpassed them in ability and (lifting) knowledge, as well as some of my new friends at the gym (other regulars).

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:09 pm
by elemental
I got started a bout 3 months ago. A good friend of mine, who we used to call wisp, seemingly disappearded for about 4 months. When he finally showed back up he had put on about 30lbs and was all cut. We call him Latman now. Anyway, he bet me $100 he could help me get the fat off and keep it off.

I started at 5'5" 200lbs 31%bf, today I am 5'6" 182lbs 15% BF. If I'm still under 15% bf in 6 months I owe him money....

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:18 pm
by Matt Z
In the first 6 months or so after I started working out again I gained 20 pounds (from 210 lbs to 230 lbs) while actually losing about 2-3" off my waist. You've gotta love muscle memory. Since then, my mass and strength gains have slowed somewhat and I've started slowly losing weight (right now I'm somewhere between 220 lbs and 225 lbs).

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:22 pm
by Matt Z
PS.) I'm only 5'6" so putting on 20+ pounds of muscle while cutting some fat has made a huge difference in my appearance.

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:18 am
by KPj
Arnie, first in his films then his actual body building, Sly, Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Bruce Lee, Van Damme.... Any kind of 'action hero' u can think of from around my era - im 21 years old. Mostly, I just wanted to be strong. I have quite a small frame and also quite short so it annoyed me when bigger guys were stronger than me.

You would think I would of went down the power lifting route, but thats another story i suppose.

So more recently, Franco Columbo has became as influence ( didnt know who he was until a year or 2 ago)

I've had weights since I was around 14, maybe younger. My first routine was a joke - I got a poster with the weights that contained a list of exercises and I thought that was a 'routine' - no wonder I couldn't keep it up.

2 Years ago I started with a bit of guidance from someone experienced and loved it, now i'm obsessed :-) Can't get to the gym enough....


Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:41 pm
by George G
Age: 23
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 185# @ ~15% BF

Been playing soccer my entire life. I remember as a kid, it was soccer after school every day and twice a day on the weekends. Was always very agile and fast and always had a 6-pack. This was in Russia

Came to the U.S. at the age of 13, had started smoking a bit before that. kept playing soccer. Played competetively in clubs and in high school. Smoking did not seem to affect perfomance, but I am sure it did. My first 'resistance training' sessions were composed of some push-ups and sit-ups in soccer practice, but nothing worth mentioning.

Sophomore year of college quit smoking and in the next year went from 150lbs with a six-pack to 165lbs with no six-pack. Pretty much all of the gain was fat.

This entire time my excuse for not lifting was that it's 'boring'.

Decided to lift and get muscular a little over a year ago. Since then I put on 20lbs of lean muscle mass and even shed a little bit of fat (mostly in the begning as part of my beginer gains). I have been lifting consistently from January 2005. I read tried all kinds of stuff since then and am curretnly leaning towards athletic typr of training, but still want to keep gaining mass.

I started out wanting to be bigger, now I want flexibility, joint health etc etc etc

Some of my influences are on this very board: TimD, Scott Ismary (disapppeared), Ryan A. other influences are books and many other internet web sites. I am considering some sort of work that is related to this whole training thing.

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:45 pm
by JeffD
Ive been working on and off for probably around 4 years...but for a long time i really wasnt serious about it and made all the classic blunders. My routine usually looked like :

Mon: Bench and curl
Tue: off
Wed: Bench and curl
Thur: 1 or 2 sets of squats if i felt like it
Fri: Bench and curl

lol, maybe im exaggerating but you get the jist. It pisses me off to think where i'd be at now had i known what i know now! Ugh just makes me sick thinking about it. I guess its better late than never though! To show an example of how my training has changed...i havent done a curl in months! Right now my sole purpose is strength gain for the big lifts, whatever muscle i gain i look at as a bonus. Bodybuilding routines dont interest me at all.

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:46 am
by DubDub
JeffD wrote: lol, maybe im exaggerating but you get the jist. It pisses me off to think where i'd be at now had i known what i know now! Ugh just makes me sick thinking about it. I guess its better late than never though!
I know how you feel, my first few months were pretty balanced for my upper body, neglecting lower body, except completely ignoring my clavicular pectoralis (for one), as a result there is a huge disparity between what I can rep 8 times on bench press (200ish) and on incline bench press (150ish), or what I bench and squat (generally the same amount with 2 more reps for squatting) It's almost discouraging, but oh well. Hopefully going forward I will follow a more balanced workout scheme.

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:03 am
by JeffD
I have a pretty big disparity as well. Although i would expect everyone can do considerably more on flat over incline. My biggest thing that gets me is how i was ignoring legs and rowing...that just seriously pisses me off lol. Now im like sensitive anytime a newbie posts a routine i look for all the mistakes i used to make.

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:52 am
by DubDub
Yeah, I need to do my first big back workout to start to reclaim proper proportion. I didn't realize how much of a difference a big back makes at first. It isn't all about the front of one's body.

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:02 pm
by Eric
i started working out with weights when i was 15 and played football, slotback, at 140lbs. coach said gain weight. i have always had excellent cardio and stamina being a long distance runner and lacrosse player. coach said use a protein shake thing to build mass, never worked, stopped and signed up at a decent gym and read lots of stuff. now i am a river guide in summer and dog sled guide in the winter. workout every other day concentrating on multi joint exrx's with a few isolating ones. dont have much time anymore to spend more than an hour in the gym. also 3 times a week i swim, 2 for laps, the other to just play with my son.