I love bodybuilding man, I just fucking love it!
It's been a hell of a journey so far and I started off not knowing anything about it.
I've researched a lot throughout the years and I've experimented with a lot of different workouts and diet tactics, but most of what I learned was self taught.
When you have passion for something you just find ways to accomplish goals, it just happens. You pick up what you can learn along the way but that fire inside of you is something you need to find yourself.
That fire inside of me started because I wanted to be someone great. My desire to become someone that stood out was so strong that nothing was going to stand in my way.
I would occasionally go to parties back in high school and college and not touch a drop of alcohol. I knew I wanted a great physique and I was finally accomplishing something with my own 2 hands and man it felt great!
Of course I would slip up on occasion like anyone else, but I wasn't slipping up as much as everyone else either. My first bodybuilding contest prep I had 2 cheat meals per week.
I realistically couldn't see myself going an entire week without some added caloric intake or something that tasted decent so every 3rd or 4th day I'd have 1 cheat meal.
I still got ripped to shreds and came in at a very low body fat % by doing so. I trained my ass off and I did my cardio about 5x every week. I used no supplements other than protein powder and no steroids for my first contest.
My desire to compete became so strong it didn't matter what I did or didn't have. I had enthusiasm and that was all I needed to get me to my first show!
My first competition was scary. Everyone looked so much bigger than I did and I knew nothing about posing. My only contest reference was the movie “Pumping Iron” and I would watch it over and over again and try to do the same moves those guys did.
I placed next to last place in my first contest. I figured I wasn't very good at competing and the experience was humbling to say the least.
About 3 years had passed by and I decided to try it again. I had since become friends with an older bodybuilder from Venice Beach and he showed me a few things in terms of training and posing.
My 2nd show I placed 5th, but I jumped from the novice class straight into Men's open heavyweight division and I placed right behind a guy who had been competing over 20 years and had won all kinds of overall titles. Not bad for my second go around!
By this time I had learned to become more strict with dieting and my physique was getting much better. But the most important thing I had learned at this point was that what seemed difficult and took total control soon became my motivation.
I loved seeing the sweat drip onto the stair-climber and I learned to enjoy the pain of those sets. That pain meant that I was getting somewhere, and I learned to look forward to that pain.
I learned to love the taste of that bold black coffee when I needed to wake up and no matter how ran down I was it sure felt good to know I was working towards a goal.
From my very first contest I made a deal with myself, and that deal was “you're only going to be a loser if you don't follow through with this.” The placing didn't matter as long as I gave it 100%.
Don't ever think you're not good enough when you've giving it everything you have. When you fall down you get back up! You may not be first place but I guarantee you if you don't give up you'll continue to get better and better.
You don't have to be training for a bodybuilding competition to become great. You may just be trying to lose fat or gain muscle. But it helps to have a goal to work towards.
Do you know what my first goal was with working out? It was to get my chest to stick out, even if it was only a little.
I can remember to this day the night I walked into my bathroom after my first 6 weeks of working out and finally starting to see my chest look bigger.
It was a feeling of accomplishment!
That's why I love bodybuilding! Over and out! -JD