Name: Matt Kaufman
Why I Got Started
Ever since I was a child, I was always "the small kid". As I got older my small size became more and more apparent as my peers began to work out and get muscular.
By the time I was a senior in high school I was constantly being mistaken for a thirteen year-old. I was under the impression that I always would be skinny. I ate and ate but would never gain any weight, so I saw no point in working out.
I always had an interest in bodybuilding, but that interest was really sparked when I started reading articles on Bodybuilding.com. After a good amount of reading I realized that it was very possible for me to gain muscle, I just had to train hard and eat a proper diet. I also realized that with my fast metabolism, I would have to eat at least 3500 calories daily to gain any weight.
In addition to my newly discovered knowledge of nutrition and proper training, I had just moved to a new area that is far more rural than I was used to. The transition from city life to country life was a difficult adjustment, as there is far less to occupy one's time in such a sparsely populated area.
I filled the new gaps in my schedule with training wherever I could. It was difficult and painful in the beginning. I remember very clearly my very first training session. I could barely squeeze out three pull-ups and the next day I could barely move.
The realization of the extent of my weakness only motivated me to push through the pain and persevere to achieve my goal of fitness. I started my training regimen and proper diet, began seeing results very quickly, and never looked back.
How I Did It
I had grown up around exercise equipment, as my father has been a weightlifter since he was 16. I grew up with a full gym in my house that I never put to use for myself. By the time I decided to start training I had already moved out of the house, but my father was kind enough to send me some weights, an EZ-curl bar, and some dumbbells.
I also purchased a door frame pullup bar for myself. I found that after a few short months of training with this equipment I had outgrown it, and began to train at a local gym. With advice from Bodybuilding.com articles and my father, I quickly found a routine that worked for me and my body type.
I remained faithful to my diet and training regimen and the results came quickly. Growing up with my father, I was already somewhat knowledgeable about weightlifting and how to use various pieces of gym equipment. My greatest discovery was how important proper nutrition is in bodybuilding.
I also spent a lot of time reading about various supplements, and formed an opinion as to which ones would work well for me with my nutritional needs. I learned to enjoy healthy foods, not so much because they taste better than junk, but because of the way I felt after a large healthy meal.
I found that merely days after beginning to eat a proper diet I had more energy and was performing more explosively in the gym. At this point I felt I had done enough reading and was ready to begin supplementing my diet to maximize my gains.
After some experimentation I found a balance that worked for me and have been extremely satisfied with the results.
Suggestions for Others
I think the one of the best suggestions I could give is to not view bodybuilding as a hobby, but as a lifestyle.
There are so many factors influencing your gains and progress, that if you truly want to make a dramatic change to your body, just training hard isn't enough. Your diet has to be balanced and fitting to your body's needs.
As well as a proper diet and exercise regimen, you must learn to handle stress in an appropriate way, and get enough sleep in. Taking a break and spending a day or two a week just relaxing also carries with it many benefits. Most importantly, however, is to learn to enjoy your training.
If you can't look forward to going to the gym and getting that pump, maintaining a proper routine will be nearly impossible.
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