How I got started...
I first started lifting weights at the age of 12 when we joined a local health club. Well I did find a bar and a couple plastic weights in the garage that had belonged to my dad before I joined the gym, and I had bought a bench for $10 at a garage sale. Me and my friend used it a few times only doing bench press and barbell curls. Anyways, I had been interested in muscles since I was little and I remember seeing a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger flexing on TV and I said "someday I wanna look like that." When I first started going to the gym I was mainly trying to get my strength up because there was always arm wrestling competitions at school. I would go to the gym all the time and do the machines, constantly going heavier on the weight week after week. I did this for years, not knowing very much about weightlifting, and I was getting really strong, but i never really put on any size.
Eventually I started doing free weight exercises, and always trying to lift as much weight as possible. This continued for awhile and one day when I was lifting, There is this really huge guy that was talking to a smaller guy. The smaller guy was asking him how to get bigger so I listened to their conversation and he was explaining to him how important food is in adding on mass. So after that I started going online and finding as much information as I could on bodybuilding, and spending all my time learning everything I could. I started a routine, going to the gym 3 times a week and I started eating ALOT! I mean a big meal every 2-3 hours all day long. A lot of complex carbs from beans and rice, and a lot of protein.
It was last summer when I started lifting and eating seriously, and i started at a puny 130 lbs. After 7 months of eating, and eating (every 2-3 hours) and lifting heavy, with all exercises in the 6-10 rep range I ended up at 185 lbs. That's a gain of 55 lbs in 7 months. After all those years of lifting with nothing to show for it, And then to add that much size in only 6 months just by changing my nutrition. I added 3 inches to my arms, 7 inches to my chest, 4 inches to my legs, and 3 inches to my calves.
Here it is 1 year later after I started at a puny 130 lbs. I am currently at 197 lbs and am heading for a goal of 225 by next summer. One thing that keeps me going is the compliments I get from people. When I am heading out of the gym and someone says to me "you are getting huge" It reminds me how hard I have worked and how far I have come, And it makes me train that much harder. It's hard work eating and training like you aren't human month after month. But when you look in the mirror and take those measurements and get all those compliments and see all those girls staring at you, it makes all that sweat and pain worth it. Another thing that works good is to get a camera and take pictures of yourself every few months, then you can look back at them later and see just how much better you look.
Bodybuilding isn't an activity, It is a lifestyle! To reach your goals you have got to give 110 percent, that means when your friends are out partying late at night you are getting your sleep. When they are out doing stuff you are getting in all of your meals. You need to have friends that understand what you are doing, know your goals, and will help you reach them. Friends that understand why sleep is so important to you, and why you have to eat every 2 seconds. (ok maybe I am exaggerating a tiny bit).
Every workout I try to push myself to the max. Always trying to get more reps or more weight than I did the last week. You have to know how many sets your going to do and which exercises and go in there and do them. One thing people do is spend half their workout sitting around talking to people. All that does is waste time and make you lose your pump. When you are training you need to be in your "zone". No distractions. You need to focus on what you are doing and do it. Save the conversations for afterwards. You gotta push yourself, force you body to get 1 more rep. Make sure you have a spotter!
One thing that will happen to you eventually is you will hit a plateau. Lets say you have been doing biceps and back together, and chest and triceps together, and your arms have quite growing. Maybe you have tried doing more sets or less sets or whatever and still aren't seeing very good gains. Instead of always doing the same old thing, try switching it up a little and shock your muscles. For example, you could do triceps and biceps on their own days or you could try supersetting biceps and triceps, which will give you an amazing pump. Also try switching up the exercises to see which ones give you the best results. Also, instead of always training a certain body part on a certain day every week, try shock your muscles by training them on a different day.
Of course, the most important part of gaining size is the nutrition. You may have your training down but your still not gaining size, the problem probably is in your diet. If you aren't eating enough, you simply won't grow. That means getting plenty of clean fats, complex carbs, and protein. If your having trouble gaining weight try increasing your calories 500 per day until you start seeing results. Of course it is kind of hard getting enough calories and protein everyday, especially if you have a busy schedule. So you may find it helpful to supplement a few of your meals everyday with weight gainers and protein powders. Check out Big Cat's article on protein powders - http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/catprot.htm
Getting huge requires 3 things.
-A will to succeed
With those 3 things, you will be able to take your body farther than you ever dreamed.
Eat Big, Lift Heavy, and Get Huge!