The Beginning Of My Bodybuilding Addiction
Since I can remember I have always been in the company of a "freak", in the shape of a muscle bound figure, who happens to be my father. My fascination with boulder-like muscles started at a young age and what appeared to be unlimited levels of strength like my father was another craving in my salivating needs.
At the ripe old age of 15 I bought a 50 kg weight set from a local store in my quest to become a "monster" like my father and for that matter all of his relatives, who were also like hulks. I later learned this was due to "God gifted" genetics.
For the first year or so, following my weight set purchase, I would complete training circuits every other day, with little knowledge of what I was achieving, or more to the point what I wasn't. I made some gains, which were noticeable in comparison to my earlier physique, which was similar to that of a 9 year old, only difference being that I was actually 15.
I recall my first attempt at a bench press, which weighed in at 22 kg. It was a struggle to say the least. From then on I thrived to be determined to train on a regular basis.
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I would then continue with my circuits, however making it heavier, and then taking my supplements after, which is when I saw better gains in my physique. At this point I weighed around 10 stone, with little fat. Now I was in need of someone who could direct my ambition and work rate into something useful, which is exactly what happened. Kind of like a fairytale-story ending.
The stone is a unit of mass. It is part of the Imperial system of weights and measures used in the British Isles, and formerly used in most Commonwealth countries. It is equal to 14 pounds and to 6.35029318 kilograms.
Enter The Guru, Kristian Gethin
Early September, 2006 I made contact with my "cuz", via his Kagedmuscle.com website. I then received a reply, which made my day and the entire week to follow I think.
We kept in touch through a constant cycle of emails from "Sweet Sunny Cali," back and forth to "Wet and Windy Wales". I can remember the thrill I had when I had explained my situation and desire to Kris. He replied to my email with a simple, yet motivational subject header that read, "Let the muscle gaining games begin".
The confidence that was inspired in me was immense; I was desperate to become a top quality NATURAL bodybuilder like my cousin. I was soon to be put in touch with the United Kingdom's very best: Jim and Satie Boulton of Future-Physique in Shrewsbury, the official suppliers of CNP Professional supplements. Products which I personally think are the best. My first order was at my house within days. If I remember right it was a 2.5 kg tub of Pro-Mass and Pro-Recovery. Mmmm... like a smoker to nicotine, I was hooked from the word go.
During the Christmas period, Kris was visiting his parents in beautiful Wales, so it was inevitable that we were to meet. My father and myself headed from West Wales to Mid Wales, over the notorious windy road of the "Sugar-loaf" and through to Llandrindod Wells. The greeting we received from Kris and his girlfriend, IFBB Pro Marika Johansson was great, we instantly got on like a house on fire.
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As we were led into the house, I couldn't help but to stare in awe at Kris' depth in his chest, even though he had a blanket-like Gold's Gym hoody on. Then to see Marika's biceps... they were exactly what I wanted for so long; I have now seen what a lady is able to achieve; something many men cannot.
Following a "cup 'o' coffee" at Kris', I was then fed various nutritional tablets, a protein shake and some concoction which would wake a dead man. I swear, it really was that bad, but due to the pedigree of bodybuilding success within the vicinity I had no option other than to "knock it on the head".
We set off to the local gym, where I was put through a... (gulp...) "Session from h-ll". It was best explained as a proper exhibition of "old school" training, with as much intensity as a night out in a Welsh Pub wearing an English shirt.
From that night on I learned what intensity really was, so much that the definition of intensity in the dictionary should be listed as "Kris Gethin's workout". During the whole time I had spent "messing" around with weight training prior to this major acquaintance it had not taught me a percentage of what Kris and Marika did in that one night.
Creating A Monster
Following that remarkable occasion still vivid on my calendar, I regard the period from then until now, the time where I can say I have been "officially" turned into a bodybuilder. I have had much assistance with my nutrition plan courtesy of Kris and now train a different muscle group each session on a weekly basis. I also have a good supplementation regime mapped out courtesy of a Future-Physique and CNP Professional.
I followed the training which Kris prescribed to me - two days on one off. However, due to the demanding schedule of school I have to be as economical with my time as possible. This forces me into training 5 days in a row, then having Friday and Saturday off.
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Sometimes if I can I will fit a 6th session in on the Friday or Saturday. I will do so if I feel like I am up for it. I think it is vital NOT to train anymore than 6 times a week, especially at my age of 17, as it will cause an excessive "catabolic" effect and the muscle fibers won't recover in time, in turn preventing muscle growth.
By training in a correct format such as this one I have made considerable weight gains, strength increases and a much improved physique. In more detail, my program consists of training each muscle group, i.e. biceps once a week, then increasing the weight weekly (when possible) which will help achieve maximum muscle growth. However, I do some muscle groups two or three times a week under certain circumstances, such as quadriceps or abdominal workouts which I do normally three times a week, but only for 15 minutes a session.
Just like anything in life the importance of maintaining something mechanical is vital, just as it is with the human anatomy. Yes, the diet which you follow really does have that much effect on the results you see. I mean a Corvette is excessively fast, relying upon the fact that it has top quality oil, fuel and top maintenance. There is no difference with the body.
Kris always taught me that "you are what you eat," which I live by as I have witnessed first hand what a good nutrition plan in this sport will do for you, in comparison to a poor one.
My personal diet while training to gain lean weight will generally consist of carbohydrates from whole meal pasta, rice and potatoes. These carbohydrates contribute to our energy store to perform the process known as the "anabolic" effect.
While trying to gain good healthy weight, it is also important to complement this with high levels of protein which are acquired from fish, meat, nuts and lentils. These allow the muscle fibers to repair and build. "Good" fats that can come in the form of Olive oil, or preferably, Flaxseed oil mixed in with your meals will assist with keeping the body in an anabolic state.
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By no means am I implying that this is to be conveniently misinterpreted as eating chocolate, chips or any other junk which surrounds us today. I now hear you say, "Well I can't live without my junk; I mean my body is used to eating it day in day out since I was a kid." And, on that note I would suggest that is the problem.
The appreciation of nice tasting chocolate is lost when consumed in a freelance way. Why not instead restrict yourself like I did to one cheat meal a week. This can be an Indian takeaway with your girlfriend, such as in my case (just to keep her happy), and oh my gosh, it tastes that much better due to the discipline which your dieting plan has provided.
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The final 10% of your success as a bodybuilder will be supplemented by good supplementation. Let's get one thing straight though: protein powders, creatine, nitric oxide, or any other supplement for that matter, are not magic formulas which are to be consumed along side a poor diet, half hearted training, only to expect a Ronnie Coleman-like physique. That is just not how this works. They will work when you do.
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Ronnie Coleman At The 2007 Olympia.
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So, with those three points made, we are on the way to create the monster from within. Train properly! Train without "Ego". This means no training chest and arms only or lifting too heavy for your ability hoping others will notice, that is lame. This would only be comparable to sprinting like a cheetah down a dead end path. Consuming a nutritious diet made specific to your bodybuilding goals, and finally, applying the correct principles of supplementation.
Planning For The Future Of Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is a fantastically healthy lifestyle when done correctly and can be rewarding when educating other individuals to be self-disciplined, self-respected and achieve targets.
It also gives great opportunities to be victorious on stage in the public eye, but most importantly within your own mind. It can even lead to earning a lucrative living out of it, and maintain your health in the process. So, with all of these great points to be gained, why would one not choose to pursue it?
People today are generally too threatened by the "pains" of exercise and hardcore training, which in turn often puts them on the route to an everyday lifestyle which normally results in an unhealthy individual that doesn't push the limits and themselves to their own personal heights of achievement.
By no means do you have to be a bodybuilder to be healthy, but what I am trying to say is that it is a very rewarding lifestyle and more youngsters should become involved in it.
Genetics do indeed play a part in bodybuilding, but believe me as I said above; I was the smallest of the small. However, following good training, nutrition and supplementation I have become a respectable size for my age. I now plan to achieve that on a higher scale in natural bodybuilding and become one of Wales' best. Further on, I would love to compete on a world scale as my "cuz", Kristian has done and is doing so d@mn well!
I am a strong believer in natural bodybuilding. To me it gains more respect from the public eye than an "unnatural" looking physique aided with the use of ergogenic substances.
If nothing else, surely the prospect of being monstrously muscled and being able to wear a Bodybuilding.com T-shirt which states "No, I am not on steroids - but thanks for asking," is much more attractive.
When people such as my cousin get doubted of their natural methods, and are told that it is impossible to get like that with only a hardcore work ethic, great nutrition and good natural supplementation, you know that you are on the right track to successful muscle gains.
Here's your challenge: get involved, get your @ss down to the gym and learn about nutrition and supplementation on Bodybuilding.com.
Spend your beer money on something useful instead of using it to pee on a club wall while in the process of being arrested for indecent exposure. Only then can you give an opinion on bodybuilding, and only then will you really appreciate the rewards that open a whole new aspect to your life.
The Next Episode
Until the next time we meet via Bodybuilding.com, take onboard exactly what I have said and so far managed to achieve with far from ideal circumstances. Soon you will realize that you can do it! Never say, "I can't do it," because you will manifest that into reality. No one got anywhere without hard work and donating plenty of dedication to the cause, not Ronnie Coleman, Rob Hope or any other top bodybuilder.
Get up right now and put your body through its paces and achieve what you have always been saying you want, because I will be back shortly to check that you have been doing just that. Don't let me catch you slipping!