There are a lot of blogs and sites out there which will tell you how to build muscle, lose fat, tighten your core, eat the right foods, train stubborn body parts, learn new lifts . . . but very few which discuss how to wrap your mind and heart around the dedication necessary to make solid, ongoing progress in the gym.
I hope to do that.
I'm going to start by chronicling my own transition from overweight, pre-diabetic semi-cripple, dependent on a cane and barely able to stand, much less walk, to competitive bodybuilder. Okay, so I've only done it once -- I'll do it again. I LIKE being fit and healthy, and at 56, I'm healthier, stronger and happier than I've been in years.
This is what I looked like in December of 2005:
By Christmas the next year, the cane was a constant companion:
By July of the following year, I was, well, obese:
Then I had back surgery:
It made a huge difference. On July 31, 2007, Dr. Ali Mesiwala, and his team from the California Center for Neuroscience and Spine at Pomona Valley Hospital (their HQ is now at Chapman Medical Center in Orange), inserted three artificial discs, replacing three herniated ones. They fused my L5-S2, and build a titanium cage from L5 up to L2, and transplanted a couple of nerves to take over and bypass ones between L4 and L5 that were so impinged I could no longer walk normally.
I spend a nearly a year recovering, but then, the doctor gave me the great news -- go back to the gym. At that point I was 283 pounds and 34% bodyfat, in July of 2008. By October, I'd gotten myself down to 266, and 29%. Then something crazy happened. I fell in with something called "The Animal Barbell Club", sponsored by Animal Pak and Universal Nutrition.
In case you can't tell, that's the new me on the right, 5 months after falling in with the ABC, in March of 2009, at a weight of 228 pounds, and 16% bodyfat.
. . . more tomorrow.