Why I Got Started
I was tired of being one of the smallest kids in my grade and wanted the satisfaction that comes from successful weight training. Also, I HATED when people would call me "skinny," and I still use it as motivation to this day. I had seen pictures of my dad in high school, and told myself I would one day be that big.
I played sports my entire childhood so I knew I had the work ethic and ability to do it. Going into high school, I had to stop playing hockey because my school did not have a team, so I adopted lifting as my new priority. Once I started, I never looked back. At first, the only thing that came from my lifting was frustration. I would go to the gym and see older guys lifting more weight and I could not keep up.
Little did I know, this caused me to push myself and helped benefit me in the long run. Throughout the first year of lifting, I gained a lot of strength but little size. I only weighed about 140 but could bench press approximately 200 pounds. Still, nobody even noticed that I lifted because I wasn't gaining size. I remained focused and finally started to see the results I always wanted.
How I Did It
I started lifting weights my freshman year in high school when I was only 15-years old, but knew hardly anything about weight training. My routine consisted of flat barbell bench press, standing dumbbell curls, and then I would proceed to hop around from machine to machine.
I had a great work ethic but no fundamentals or good habits to see any progression. Later that year, my dad, who was a serious lifter in high school and still is to this day, started taking me with him to our local gym. He made sure I had a good routine and emphasized getting my technique down first. I give all the credit to the lifter I am today to my dad, because he was my personal trainer right out of the gate.
When I finally started college at the age of 18, I was about 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, but I still wanted to get bigger. I started to take more supplements and eat a healthy diet in effort to maximize my gains. I tried to educate myself about lifting as much as I could, by reading online forums, looking up different workout routines and talking to older guys in the weight room at school.
I like to think I'm still in the midst of my transformation and I have an excellent plan and set of goals of where I want to ultimately get. I have never even considered stopping my training and ever since I started, I haven't been able to let myself take more than a week off. Lifting has become part of my everyday life and I plan on keeping it that way.
Suggestions for Others
I would definitely say that consistency is the most important thing when it comes to lifting. Being able to go to the gym on days that you may not feel up to it are the most important. If you can get into a good routine, it becomes part of your everyday life and you will see yourself missing less and less days.
Also, I think that a lot of people over-train, and think that the longer you lift, the bigger you get. Focus more on quality rather than quantity and give your body the rest it deserves.
Last, a good nutrition is vital if you want to put on any muscle. Stay committed and be patient, and over time you will start to see positive results.