During my junior year of high school, I was part of the weight training class and lifted with a few friends of mine every school day. Nothing was taken very seriously and isolation movements such as biceps curls made up most of our workouts instead of the mass building compound movements such as the squat or deadlift. It wasn't until I received free subscriptions of FLEX and Muscle & Fitness that I became truly inspired by what professional bodybuilders had achieved with their physiques.
I was instantly hooked and began reading tons of articles on training and nutrition from magazines and Bodybuilding.com's SuperSite. I ended up putting on a solid 25 pounds of muscle after my first nine months of bulking. At this point, I was getting compliments left and right from everyone I knew and even people at school that I didn't know. From then on I fell in love with bodybuilding and it has become a major part of my life.
I currently train five days per week with a 2-on 1-off, 3-on 1-off schedule. I have tried quite a few types of training to see what works best for me, but being so young I have yet to determine what works best for my body. That can only be determined by trial and error. Trying out different training styles and routines will eventually help you determine what works best for your body because everyone is different. Some styles of training work better for some than others. Some styles that I have tried so far include 5x5, FST-7, Neil Hill's Y3T, Kris Gethin's DTP, and my current training routine developed by Layne Norton called PHAT (Short for Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training).
There is no set template for PHAT, so the following routine is just an example. Each muscle group gets worked twice a week and the first two days are split into upper and lower power days. This is followed by a rest day and then three days of traditional hypertrophy-oriented bodybuilding training.
Living the lifestyle that makes you most happy is what we were put on this earth to do. Bodybuilding isn't just a sport; it's a lifestyle of its own! I love challenges and building the physique of your dreams takes years and years of discipline and dedication. Each and every day you must stick to a strict eating regimen and training program to see the results that you want. I base every day of my life around my eating and training schedule rather than the other way around because this is what I care about most. I make the things I want in life happen and never give any excuses. Bodybuilding has changed my life for the better and it has taught me to be more disciplined, not just as a bodybuilder, but in other aspects of life as well.
My motivation for fitness actually began simply when I first laid eyes on a fitness magazine. There was something about those professional bodybuilders that inspired me to start taking the sport of bodybuilding seriously. Ever since then, my parents have supported me in a big way by helping provide my food and supplements. Without them I would definitely not be where I am now. I also have a loving girlfriend that is totally supportive of the bodybuilding lifestyle and I thank her for having to put up with me eating so much! There are also many people at the gym and on BodySpace that help motivate and give me more of an edge every single day.
Bodybuilding can be a very lonely journey as it is not widely known and not very popular. I also live in an area where bodybuilding is not very big, so I don't have any pros or anything to motivate me in the gym. Most of my inspiration comes from online fitness forums and articles. There are millions of fitness articles online and in magazines that help me realize how big of a commitment this is and what I have to do to keep getting results. Every day I realize what I have to do to make results happen and I never give up on the task ahead of me. Bodybuilding.com's SuperSite and BodySpace have both been big contributors to my inspiration.
I recently finished up the 12-Week Hardcore Daily Trainer by Kris Gethin and I absolutely loved it. This was sort of my cutting phase for the summer to asses where my physique was and to see what week points I need to work on. I still have an incredibly long road ahead of me to get where I want to be and I plan on bulking up throughout this summer and working on improving my physique in preparation for my first bodybuilding competition. I just recently turned 19 and a goal for me is to compete in my first competition in the teen class. I still have a whole year to make some more improvements and hopefully I'm ready to tear it up on stage before I turn 20.
There are many aspects to being a successful bodybuilder and there is no one magical tip that could give you the physique of your dreams. The one tip that I love to remind people and myself the most of is patience. I am currently studying to become an ISSA personal trainer to start helping others achieve their fitness goals, and the one thing I have told people over and over again is that you must be patient in achieving your fitness goals. As I said before, this is a lifestyle, and in most cases it takes years to get to where you want to be in the fitness world. So many people search for a shortcut such as a 3-week workout program or a miracle supplement. This is all a bunch of hype. In reality, bodybuilding has no shortcuts. Train hard, eat clean, give your body the rest it needs, be patient, and you will see more results than any other way.
There are many bodybuilders and figure competitors that inspire me! I have taken advice from pro competitors and have learned a lot from those successful athletes. My two favorite IFBB pros would have to be Kai Greene and Flex Lewis. I have also gained a lot of my knowledge through Layne Norton who is an IFPA and NGA natural pro; he's also has a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences.
Bodybuilding.com has been a great contributor to my success so far. I purchase the majority of my supplements from the Bodybuilding.com Store, I keep in touch with people through BodySpace and I constantly look at the frequently updated articles on the SuperSite.