How my Fitness Journey Started!
My journey into the bodybuilding lifestyle didn’t really begin until I was 49. I had lifted weights for 24 years, but mostly half-heartedly, and had only tried once to get lean. I was always the chubby, non-athletic kid growing up, and most of my life any musculature that I have has been hidden by a thick layer of fat. But when I was about to turn 50, I hired a couple who were expert bodybuilding diet coaches. I had already determined to enter a contest in July, 2008, a few years after I turned 50. My coaches helped me lose about 40 pounds in 6 months, so that I stepped on stage at a very lean 152 pounds.
So, my first piece of advice is: hire a nutrition coach and finally get really, really lean for once in your life. I say this for several reasons. The gym is littered with folks who work for years and decades to build muscle that will never be seen, because they sabotage themselves by their diets. Honestly, you may think you are pretty muscular, but you never really know for sure until you strip all the fat off and see what’s left! Why hire a coach? Because you probably do not have the tools you need to become really lean on your own. And, while it is not necessary to enter a contest, for me it was a HUGE motivator in losing the 40 pounds necessary to get me stage lean.
Another tip? There are two kinds of people in every gym. Type 1 is
the person who uses the heaviest weight possible, and then uses every way of cheating to try to make the weight easier to lift. These are the guys who think they are doing Preacher Curls, but the angle of their elbows never changes during the movement. The weight goes up only by virtue of their butts coming off the seat and then going back down. Type 2 is the person who uses a light to moderate weight, and then makes it as hard as possible for himself. These are the folks who don’t hoist huge weights, but use intensity techniques (strict form, full range-of-motion, slow eccentric phase, long time-under-tension, etc.) to make a light weight seem extremely challenging.
My tip? Be a Type 2 trainer.
I will turn 60 in July, 2018, and I plan to compete in the NPC Masters Nationals that same month.