It all started when I was 12 years old. I was always a really scrawny and very weak kid, but I was competitive in sports. I remember looking at myself in the mirror one day and noticed that my waist was wider than my chest. The day after, I decided to start bench pressing with my buddy. When I first benched, I was 12 years old, 5-foot-5, and 125 pounds. Obviously, I wasn't strong. If I remember right, I could only do 110 pounds for one rep. Even though I was really weak, I loved benching with my friend in his basement.
I kept benching and started incorporating bicep curls and shoulder press. I got stronger, and by age 13 I weighed 135 pounds and could bench 175 pounds. I liked the results and stuck with it. At age 14, I added squats and leg press to my workout for basketball. I wanted to gain some leg power and speed. I weighed 140 pounds at this time and benched 210 pounds. I wasn't gaining much muscle, but I was fine with the strength increases.
I decided to start a four-day workout plan—an alternation of pushing and pulling days. My pushing days consisted of bench press, squats, shoulder press, biceps curls, push-ups, and abs. My pulling days included wide-grip lat pull-downs, close-grip pull-downs, deadlift, pull-ups, and abs. I didn't understand the recovery process back then and performed push-ups every night to get my bench press up. As a freshman in high school, I did 110 push-ups in a row.
As a sophomore in high school, I weighed about 150 pounds, could do 140 push-ups in a row, and benched 245 pounds. I loved being strong, but still had a hard time gaining muscle. I never knew that food and recovery time existed. I needed to do something to gain muscle.
It hit me during my junior year. I was one of the strongest kids in my grade and remember watching the bigger kids work out at a gym near my house. I never knew a gym could make such a difference. My basement was the only gym I knew. I got a membership at the gym and saw changes immediately. The third day I was there, I asked the manager how to build muscle and he told me to visit Bodybuilding.com. I learned to eat more food during the right times and to eat more overall.
By age 17, I was 175 pounds with eight percent body fat and could bench press 305 pounds. I started working separate muscle groups to speed recovery. Training, diet, and consistency was key to my success. I started supplementing soon after and gained an edge in muscle size and strength. At age 18, bodybuilding was my passion. I competed for the first time a few months ago as an 18-year-old weighing 170 pounds with four percent body fat.
Now I'm in a growing phase and currently weigh 185 pounds. I can bench press 335 pound, deadlift 485 pounds, and squat nearly 400 pounds. I plan to compete again in March at an NPC show.
I was never a good team player at basketball. When I discovered bodybuilding, I found that you get all the credit for what you put in. I love this sport so much that I don't need motivation anymore. I know what I have to do and get it done no matter what.
My buddy I started bench pressing with, Anthony Brilla. He's a powerlifter and holds records for 15-year-olds throughout the nation. If he wasn't my best friend and didn't show me how to bench press, then I probably wouldn't be where I am today.
I would also like to thank my parents. If they wouldn't have been there for me during dieting and preparation, I would not have been able to compete.
If I needed it, I went to Bodybuilding.com, Simplyshredded.com, YouTube to watch other people blast out some lifts, or read forums.
I'm going to keep competing and my goal is to get a pro card in physique by the age 21. I'm currently attending the National Personal Training Institute to become a personal trainer through NASM. I'm going to be in this sport for as long as I possibly can and never fade away from the world of bodybuilding.
Always be consistent. Consistency is the key to success in this sport.
I look up to Steve Cook, Greg Plitt, and Jaco De Bryun because of their aesthetic bodies. They have the ideal body I'm looking for.