With the advances in technology, specifically, social media, in the past ten years, information has become more readily accessible and there has been an increased interest in what was once considered to be an underground subculture: bodybuilding.
This interest in bodybuilding has spawned generations of those wanting to compete and hit the stage. The nation’s leading bodybuilding organizations have spun off the core competitions and created sub-divisions such as Physique and Bikini to add to the more established figure and bodybuilding competitions. Recently, classic physique has been added to the slate of competitions.
In many ways, the influx of information has been great. People can easily find information AND learn how to train the right way. When the fitness bug hit me, information wasn’t as readily accessible and things seemed, at the surface, as simple as black and white.
To gain a better understanding of where I want to go with my goals, I will reflect on the beginning.
It was the spring of 2000 and the latest and greatest diet trend, at the time, was the Atkins diet. I never tried it but I knew a handful of people, at the time, that swore by it. I was working at the mall at the time so I would walk past a B. Dalton bookstore more than a few times. There was a best seller that I always noticed in front of said stores that I never cared to give a second look at. That book was, Body For Life. and the Atkins Diet book wasn’t too far from it.
I had just turned 20 and I wasn’t liking the shape I was in but I wasn’t committed to the idea of exercise or lifting weights. To me, that seemed too complicated and as a naïve kid, I was seeking out a quick fix. There was a popular, dietary supplement (Xenadrine), that I got suckered into using and by all accounts, it worked, however, I wanted to do more. Going into that summer, I decided there was no way around the need for exercise so my brother lent me his copy for Body for Life.
I grew up watching my brother watch bodybuilding competitions when it was on ESPN, I saw his collection of muscle magazines, his books with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the cover, and I saw his stash of very primitive supplements. Being exposed to all of that, it never struck a chord in me to work out. Years later though, that would change.
I dived into Body for Life the moment my brother gave it to me and what made Body for Life such a huge success was that it made lifting weights less intimidating for the general population. Bill Phillips, the author, presented his information in a simple, straight forward way and introduced a bodybuilding style of eating to the masses.
Body for Life was a game changer for me and it truly put me on the path that I’m currently on. I learned how to lift weights, I got introduced to “6 meals a day”, and for the first time, I noticed the most physical change in my body during the time I spent following Bill Phillips’ program. I was so into it, that for me, Body For Life was the be all, end all to fitness information. I even subscribed to his muscle magazine and bought his supplements. I was a college kid relying on my parents’ grocery budget so I made sure my mom bought a lot of eggs, oatmeal, and cold cuts. All I did was rotate those three foods and it worked….for a time. Looking back all these years later, I realized how truly unsustainable that way of eating was.
I Gotta Go To Work
Today, despite of believing I know what I’m doing in the weight room, I have not yet achieved my best body; the physique I truly want to achieve. In fact, since 2000, I’ve probably spent more time being OUT OF SHAPE than in shape.
I’ve learned a lot since 2000, however, and I truly believe that with my experience and my ongoing research through the years, I’m in a position to finally bring myself to a place, physically, that I’ve been chasing for nearly two decades.
and that “place”, I hope, will be on stage as a competitor.