I first started strength training in May 2014. For several years before then, I was focused on training for distance running. I was pretty skinny.
A knee problem made me reconsider my goal. I felt like I have done enough of distance running. I wanted to try something else. At that time I was under some stress so I also needed a release. I was looking for somewhere to direct my inner aggression toward.
At almost 37, I joined the gym and picked up a barbell for the first time. I started eating more and lifting regularly after work. It was a beginning of a new journey. Iron became my way to relieve stress and to escape each day.
Didn’t much know how to lift correctly at the beginning. Here’s me doing 70 kg squat.
After four months, I switched to working out at home. No waiting for an equipment is good for my peace of mind. My first gym was very small and crowded. Having to wait to use a bench or a smith machine was not fun. It’s also great having a kitchen nearby, being able to wear any type of clothes when I lift, and not having to drive. I could train consistently.
Having started at a not-so-young age, lifting doesn’t come easy for me. I get injured often. Nothing major yet though (fingers crossed). Mostly I had problems with my achilles tendons.
I finally learned that I have poor ankle flexibility (dorsiflexion) and found that having blocks of wood under my heels solves the problem more or less. Now I own a proper pair of squat shoes.
Over 1.5 years or so since I began, I have gained about 14 kg (58 – 72 kg).
In strength training, to grow stronger, you have to do it yourself. You can’t pay anyone to lift weight for you. It’s just you and the iron. You get what you put in. Only yourself is accountable for your progress.
Success is relative. It doesn’t matter if someone outlifts you or has bigger muscles than you. We all have different backgrounds, experience, and genetics. Your journey is all that matters. No matter what your goals are, as long as you keep improving and having fun, you are succeeding.