When I was a 14 year old kid in South Dakota. I was wrestling on the High School team during the season. But come off season I was 30 miles from the nearest gym. I wanted to compete, and I wanted to be stronger for the next season. So I convinced my parents to go buy me a weight bench.
This was a second hand bench with plastic weights filled with cement. Now this wasn't my first time lifting as a 10 year old I had built my own bar out of wood. I would nail scrap wood to the end of it in a attempt to making it heavier.
South Dakota was little different then where I current live in Texas. In Texas you can't hardly drive a mile without passing a gym. In South Dakota I was far from literally everything. I set up my bench in my room and installed a pullup bar also.
When I was able to lift the bar and plastic weights easily, I added my own weighted belts to the end. The homemade belts would bend the bar, but it accomplished my goal of getting stronger. I even went as far as building a squat rack out of scrap metal. I was still a skinny kid that wrestled at 152 pounds my senior year, but I was solid and strong. Now I am not sure how much help being stronger was in wrestling but its when I really got into it.
When I went to college the bench stayed home along with the chin up bar. But I continued to lift. While I was on the college wrestling team I was required to lift. And then afterwards I focused on my quest to get stronger. I read every magazine article and book I could find to further my knowledge on the subject. Through a lot of research I was able to perfect exactly what works for me to optimize and increase my strength.
Now I was always strong but actually putting on size came hard for me. Paul and I started lifting together about two years before we moved to Texas in around 1995. Paul put on size much faster then I did. Looking more like a bodybuilder but I was always stronger. So when I finally moved to Texas I think I was weighting about 185 pounds at 24 years old.
Paul and I continued to lift together for the first couple years. But then it became more and more difficult with our schedules to lift. I had fights he had work. So then I was left to lift on my own. Which I did but I had actually stopped enjoying it years before and only did the minim. Believing I was doing enough. So starting in about 2002 or 2003 I stopped focusing on lifting as much. I would mainly focus on doing pull ups maybe Dead Lifts, Push ups and a few other matinance lifts. But I didn't enjoy it.
I had my neck fusion and then I continued basically just doing my maintenance lifting until 2 years ago. My wife commented that I was getting a old man ass. So I decided it was time to start lifting heavier again. Paul and I also decided to start lifting together again around that same time.
We started slow. Slowly building our bodies back up again. But I didn't enjoy it. But then about a year ago we started lifting a little heavier. I noticed that I was actually looking forward to it. Then 6 months ago we started going harder. Wow this is fun I thought to myself.