I dunno why I wrote this, but I felt compelled to write down where I came from and how I got to where I am today. I’d very much like some of the other experienced guys on this forum to write their histories down as I think it could be a good resource for the newer guys on the forum. It might seem like a lot but I wrote this in like 35-40min while watching the pre-race show. It’s not hard. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- How It All Started By MaineSucks I first played tackle football at nine years old – I was under the minimum age limit for the local football league, but was bigger then a good amount of the people playing so the let me in. I was hooked after that and would end up spending 11 years battling in the lineman trenches. Middle school would be the first time I would venture into a gym with my old man. Neither of us had any clue what we were doing so we stuck mostly to machines. We did work legs surprisingly but it mostly leg extensions, leg curls, calves, and ad/abductor work. This was an off an on thing and was mostly a summertime affair. Enter 8th grade… new kid in a new state at a new 6th-12th school. I walked onto the field and made a great impression with the coaches (I would end up starting two games at guard that season on the JV/Varsity team – at that point we didn’t even have an 11th or 12th grade class – our team played a mixed JV/Varsity schedule). An 8th grader playing with the big boys – it was great time. At this point I was hovering right below the 200lb bodyweight line. Season ended and I relaxed for a bit then found my way into the gym with my dad again. This time, however, after watching some of the older guys use free weights, I started incorporating some free weight work into my routine. This included smith machine squats (lol), flat bench work, and rows. I continued this for a while and quickly found myself gaining some nice strength. The summer leading into 9th grade was when I started seriously training. Our special teams coach (who to this day is a good friend of mine) decided to step it up and start a voluntary lifting and conditioning program. As we didn’t have a weight room yet, a local rehab place was nice enough to give us access to their facilities and we started lifting. We only had a handful of guys consistently there – but it was better then nothing. As no one really had a base, we started off with a basic upper/lower split. Lots of benching, leg pressing, tri work, back work. We followed basic rep schemes: 4-5 sets of 8-10, lots of forced reps and we maxed once a month. Over the course of that summer my max bench went from ~155 to over 200. My bodyweight went up and I broke the 200lb barrier. On non-lifting days we did lots of functional conditioning and agility work. I had my first timed 40 yard dash and clocked a lineman respectable 5.1. Due to lack of interest and dedication from the majority of my teammates, we dropped the program after that summer. It was during 9th grade, however, where I discovered FLEX magazine. My friends and teammates were reading it and dreaming of become Mr. O some day. Seeing that my older friends who were stronger then me read FLEX and followed the routines, I figured I would too. This is where I discovered body part splits and is also where I started making gains in leaps and bounds. My routine would change just about every other month (when I found a new routine that I liked) but it was all the same shit. Chest/Tri’s, Back/Bi’s, Legs and Shoulders. My normal days were as follows: Monday – Chest/Tri -[FONT="] [/FONT]Flat Bench – Few light sets to warm up, then basically max reps until failure, upping the weight each set. This would be anywhere from 4-8 sets. -[FONT="] [/FONT]Incline or Decline Bench – if incline it would be w/ DBs, if decline barbell. This would be 3-4 sets of 8-10. With the 3rd and 4th sets usually involving some forced reps. -[FONT="] [/FONT]Next I would head to the hammer strength machines. Hit the opposite of the previous workout. If I inclined, I would use the “decline” machine and vice versa. Another 3-4 sets of 8-10. -[FONT="] [/FONT]Machine Flyes or Cable Crossovers. 3-4 sets of 8-10. -[FONT="] [/FONT]Skullcrushers. 3-4 sets of 6-10 w/ an EZ Curl bar -[FONT="] [/FONT]Rope pressdowns. Same. -[FONT="] [/FONT]Usually, I’d do some reverse grip (knuckles facing the ceiling) single arm pulldowns with the D-Handle. Tuesday – Back/Bi -[FONT="] [/FONT]Wide grip lat pulldowns to the chest. 4-5 Sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Low cable rows. 4-5 Sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Hammer Strength Rows. 3-4 Sets of 6-8 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Preachers w/ EZ curl. 4 sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Alternating DB curls. 4 sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Cable Crossovers Curls. 3-4 Sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Random Forearm stuff, wrist curls, etc. Wednesday – Shoulders/Legs -[FONT="] [/FONT]Squats or Leg Press (alternated) 3-4 sets of 8-10. And usually a heavy set of 3-5 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Leg Extensions. 3-4 Sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Leg Curls. 3-4 Sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Calves -[FONT="] [/FONT]Seated Machine Military Press. 3-4 Sets of 6-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Side Raises. 3-4 Sets of 8-10 -[FONT="] [/FONT]Shrugs (still though they were part of the shoulders at this point). -[FONT="] [/FONT]Front Raises Thurs - Off Friday – Beach Workout. Usually arms. Sat/Sun – Off I continued with this and variations of it until junior year of high school where my O-Line coach (former Marine Force Recon Sniper and Drill Sgt) implemented a new training program for us. We now started an Upper/Lower split. Monday was Heavy uppers, Tuesday Heavy Lower – Wednesday was all conditioning (which was brutal for us out of shape lineman. Trail runs to cadences, pushing John Deere Gators in the sand, hill bear crawls and hill sprints, and agility shit). Thursday was light upper and Friday was light lowers. This was a good routine and we made progress but ¾ of our coaching staff was fired from my school that year and my O-Line coach (who I fucking idolized) was one of them. Back to the FLEX routine I went. Coming into senior year, I had an easy 315 close grip bench and an easy 405 squat. Beginning of senior year summer sessions I was 260lbs and ran an electronic timed 4.9 second 40. Enter college football. College football brought about the worst training routine I have ever witnessed and I tried my best to not follow it (go to the gym when no coaches were around, etc). Coming into freshmen year of college I had benched 380 the week before moving into campus. My college’s routine was absurd. I won’t write it all down but I’ll give you a hint. Monday: Bench: 30 reps @ 70% in as few sets as possible Squat: 30 reps @ 70% in as few sets as possible Some more assistance work. Tuesday: A circuit with 15 different exercises. 10-12 reps, 3 rounds on the circuit. Wednesday: off Thursday Bench - 40 reps with a varying percentage 70-80% depending on how late in the offseason it was. And some more shit after that Friday Squat – 40 reps same as Thursday. Yeah… fuck that. I continued my body part split and continued to get stronger then all but two people on the team (they beat me in squats due to a season ending knee injury.) The summer going into sophomore year I finally hit 405 on bench and took a nice A2G 465 squat. End football. I got fed up with the politics and other stupid shit involved with playing. I took about 2-3 months off of serious lifting (I would go down and do a little of this or a little of that, could still rep 315 on bench but rarely did leg work. With football no longer in my life I had a big void – something was missing. Enter powerlifting. With the help of some guys on this forum – with a big emphasis on mah nigga Chris, I was directed EFS and started learning. Continued with my bodypart split, then tried a crazy routine I found on t-nation which lasted all of 3 weeks. Then I found Dave Tates beginner routine (this was summer of ’05) and I have been PLing ever since, with adjustments made to target my own weak spots… the rest is in my log.