Began Weightlifting When My Girlfriend Called Me Skinny

I started weight-lifting when I was nineteen. It was two weeks after my girlfriend dumped me.

She didn’t dump me because I was skinny, but she had commented on how skinny I was about five weeks before she left.

I knew about weight-lifting, or body-building, as some called it, but only from comic book ads when I was kid.

Back then, it was about some guy kicking sand in your face at the beach. I wanted muscles, I wanted to work out, but I just didn’t know how to do it or where to go to do it.

In those days, we didn’t have any weights in the high-school gym.

Only two weeks after my girl dumped me, out of sheer luck, a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in ages stopped by my house and asked me if I wanted to go to the gym with him. All I could think of was basketball, and I wasn’t interested.

I was still moping over what’s her name. Then he said no, I don’t mean to play basket ball, I mean Vic Tanny’s Gym. I’m going to lift weights.

Man, I was down for that in a heartbeat. I hadn’t even known about Vic Tanny’s, but it was a gym just for bodybuilding, no basketballs, just weights, lots of heavy weights. I was hooked. I started going to the gym after that first weightlifting workout, three times a week, with or without my friend.

There was no fancy equipment at that gym. Just benches and incline boards for bench pressing and flys. And weights, lots of weights, everywhere. Just what I needed for my puny chest. I didn’t even know what pectorals were at first, and I couldn’t see any trace that I even had any.

But, I learned quickly about pecks, delts, triceps, lats and abs. I built a rickety bench to do my bench presses at home after recruiting a couple of friends to workout with me. It did the job. I didn’t have time when school started to go to the gym everyday, so I worked out at home, I didn’t want to miss any training time.

We could do various weightlifting exercises, curls, bench presses, dumbbell peck flys, triceps work, bent-over rowing, squats, dead lifts, pull overs and military presses with our own weights and make-shift equipment. The important thing wasn’t the equipment, it was the weights. You have to do the work, you have to pump iron, to get the results.

Within a year, I was benching over 300 pounds.

When I was thirty I learned from my brother about aerobics. It seemed having a lot of muscles didn’t necessarily mean you were in good shape. No, to be in good physical shape you need to train your cardiovascular system, your heart and lungs, as well as your skeletal musculature. So, I started jogging.

Today, I’m in my early seventies. I still exercise my muscles three times a week with calisthenics and light weights. None of the heavy lifting I did even ten years ago, that’s gotten a little hard on my old joints.

And I fast-walk two miles, six mornings a week, rain or shine. I had to quit jogging, because it was aggravating my back. A good reason to use ellipticals. But, I’m in good shape, still strong, with lots of endurance. When I go to the gym now, I take advantage of the great workout machines and equipment they have, just like what you’ll find in these pages.

The weights and the weight benches are for bodybuilding. The treadmills and elliptical machines are for endurance and good cardiovascular health.

Use this stuff, it’s good for you.

Don’t use free-standing, weight equipment without a spotter, it could be dangerous to your health. A two-hundred pound bar across your¬†windpipe is not a good thing.

Buy this equipment and use it. You have to use it, for it to do you any good. Use it regularly, that’s important. Don’t exercise like crazy one day and then do nothing for the next two weeks. Even if you can only workout once a week, do that regularly, every week.

For you younger boys and girls, even if you don’t really care about being strong, even if you don’t care about being in shape, even if you don’t care about running out of breath going up the stairs . . . you’re going to look really good, if you use the equipment on these pages regularly.

Don’t tell me you don’t care about that. :)