I started lifting weights during my freshman year in high school in hopes to play football and experience "high school glory." It didn't work out as planned. At age 15, standing 5-foot-7, and weighing 113 pounds, I didn't see the field, but continued lifting to gain size by my senior year, like my brother did.
My brother, Michael Pickett (mormonpickett), is three years older than me and had serious interest in bodybuilding and lifting. My initial motivation was to be like him, and still do to this day. He competed for two years as a teen and placed second in both shows. I was always asked by family and friends if I wanted to compete and wear a "tiny suit" like him. I always said no. I never paid any attention to contest preparation or bodybuilding. I was into pumping iron.
From various complications in school, I became homeschooled as a sophomore. I lost the majority of my friends and only had one place to go: the gym. I lifted throughout my high school years and saw minimal gains. I ate typical junk food, over-trained, and was a typical teenager.
I went to college at BYU Idaho at age 17 (more than a year ago) and took lifting and nutrition seriously. I never played sports in school, had musical talent, or anything that set me apart from the crowd. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I'd hate that."
Insight from my older brother led me to BodySpace on Bodybuilding.com. I quickly learned about nutrition and proper training splits from forum postings. It made a huge difference in my training program, along with proper supplementation. College is where I learned that bodybuilding is a lifestyle. It's not something you half-ass. I also learned that from my brother.
Many guys look up to the stars and pros, try to be like them, and do their training routines. I'm doing my brother's training routines, trying his poses, and following his nutritional programs. He's my inspiration and best friend.
The best program I found is push, pull, and legs using volume and all major compound movements. I use weight I can control, get a solid contraction, and pay attention to eccentrics.
During contest prep, I started on a 2,500-calorie plan. It was built on calorie expenditure and intake; none of that low-carb or detox diet stuff. Every other week, I knocked off 100-200 calories and finished contest prep at 1,700 calories per day.
After seeing initial progress and changes to my body, my desire only grew. People say you can do whatever you put your mind to, and I'm finding that out for myself. Placing third in my first show was a bummer on stage, but now it's fuel to my fire. I'm determined to get a first place trophy.
After I learned about the process, I grew to love everything about bodybuilding. People say dieting sucks, but I enjoyed the struggle and created my own desires.
My older brother, Michael Pickett, certified NSA trainer and amateur bodybuilder, motivates me daily.
On days when I struggle to go to the gym or do cardio, I look at motivational videos on YouTube. All I do is search "Bodybuilding Motivation" and find amazing videos.
I plan to receive my pro card and place in at least one more show before I'm out of the teen class when I turn 20 years old. It all depends on how my body progresses. Keep an eye out fellow BodySpace users. I won't give up.
Use your mind in the gym. Focus on every movement, squeeze every rep, pay attention to eccentrics, and leave your ego at the door. It takes time to put up three plates on bench.
My favorite IFBB pro competitor is Antoine Vaillant because he makes bodybuilding fun and creates many fan videos to keep his followers updated. I met him at the Mr. Olympia Expo, which was cool. My favorite competitor at the amateur level is Michael Pickett.
Bodybuilding.com is a huge website with resources people can't even imagine. I always talk about being a BodySpace member. The Teen Misc Forum is super useful for daily problems. Post Your Pictures Forum helped me stay motivated and keep my sights on my goals. The forums have all the information any upcoming bodybuilder or fitness guru needs. Many people I talked to are skeptical about making a profile, but it's worth it.
- "Iron Will" by Kataklysm
- "Drive Boy, Shooting" by GZR
- "Hungry" by Rob Bailey and The Hustle Standard
- "I'm Different" by 2Chainz
- "Murda She Wrote" by Waka Flocka Flame
Thanks: I'd like to thank the entire Pickett family for their financial and moral support. I must thank Michael Pickett for the diet and training plans. Thanks to Controlled Labs, Gaspari Nutrition, and Nutrabolics for sponsoring me with supplement packages. Finally, thanks to my close friends at BYU-Idaho.