Why I decided to transform
Although I used to compete in powerlifting as a teen in high school, I have continued to lift weights regularly for over 32 years. I wanted to get back into the optimal condition of my "younger years" and go for a national record for my weight and age category.
How I accomplished my goals
I had set a goal to one day bench press over 400 pounds as a teen and came within 15 pounds of that goal. Due to some injuries, getting married, and having a family I put it on the back burner and just kept training moderately. By the time I reached age 40, I had committed to a goal of getting in the best condition of my life. During that year, I encountered some health challenges: I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The next year I had emergency surgery for a degenerative ruptured disc. Undeterred, I made it a mission to roll with the punches and not let these setbacks derail my spirit. As a result, I learned how to eat properly to manage my diabetes and also worked around exercises that I had limited range of motion from.
With my emergency back surgery and diabetes, many felt my bodybuilding regimen would have been derailed long ago. For me, fitness was at the core of my being; it was a means to transcend pain and discomfort, to ease the body, the mind, and the soul. I have successfully endured years in the gym where adversity was only a matter of giving up.
However, I never surrendered to such failure, and I continue to overcome. I learned that the more we live in discomfort, the more we grow. The back surgery limited my range of motion, yet my resilience had no limits.
At times, my blood sugar levels may skyrocket, but my tenacity and vigor never let anything hold me back from planning, pursuing, and achieving my goals.
What aspect challenged me the most
There were two things that changed me the most. First, was the diet. Because of diabetes I had to really watch my carb consumption. My other challenge was modifying my training according to my limited range of motion after my back surgery.
The last thing was training with super heavy weights. Since I hadn't trained for powerlifting for years I had to re-train myself and change my form so that I could lift heavier without risking injury.
I also had to learn how to stretch and warm-up properly so that I would be able to handle the extremely heavy volume.
My future fitness plans
My future plans are to set the raw bench press record for the Masters category. I would also like to train teen and college athletes in the bench press exercise.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish the workout goals you have when you're 40 and over. You are your greatest coach, and the only opposition is self-doubt. With dedication, and determination, you can reach your goals, constantly excelling with limitless potential.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com is a major influential player due to the supplement information I have learned. You can find a diverse amount of information on various weightlifting styles, nutrition, and even competition.
Thank you, Bodybuilding.com, for giving me the opportunity to be featured as one of those transformations.
Wil's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Go Get It" by Mary Mary
- "The Light" by Mali Music
- "Crooked Smile" by J Cole
- "Help" by Erica Campbell
- "I Already Have It" by Deon Kipping
Photo Credit: Otis Sanders