When I got home later that day I decided to give the shakes a miss. I had to find out what I was doing wrong and sort it out. Sitting down in front of my laptop, with a cup of tea of course, I looked to YouTube; the biggest misinformation source, next to Wikipedia. “Six pack shortcuts wasn’t going to cut it this time”. I was getting distraught at the thought of not finding out what to do properly. Then I came across what I thought was the holy grail of information. Google scholar articles.
You see, I used to research articles for college but it never entered my mind that it would pose any real value for fitness. I joined a forum community and started to ask questions and research topics. Many areas of interest were covered in this time; how to schedule a workout programme for ectomorphs, what the best exercises were for our body type, nutrient timing and what foods we should be taking in. There was a lot of information and most of the conclusions were agreed upon on the forum.
Oh and before I forget, during this time I was also an avid Tinder fan. It would be through this platform that I would get to meet someone who completely changed my life for the better. But we will get to all that a little later.
As for now my knowledge was growing. However, it was only growing in one particular aspect of fitness, for only one specific body type. This fueled me to look at others in the gym and see what made them tick. What made them grow and change their bodies. The ‘silver-back’ in the sauna did something more than just push me to keep going. He inspired me to broaden my knowledge and learn! I found out more about myself in the coming months than I have known about myself in the past.
I found out my limitations. What I thought I knew, versus, what I actually knew. Bio mechanics and the physiology of the human body. Also an ever growing desire to correct bad form in the gym. I was still the skinny guy in the gym, but.. I was the skinny guy who was getting stronger. Still, I knew if I approached someone even remotely bigger than me about form, they would just laugh and not take heed. This was something I had to figure out; “how do I get to tell these guys they could be doing it a lot better, without getting laughed at and possible slapped away?”. Nutrition still wasn’t my strong suit, so I got some more information from the men in the know.
After a very long talk with someone far more knowledgeable than me, I started on a classical bodybuilders diet. I wanted to be like Franco Columbu, small and mighty. Although I had a very, very long way to go to get there. I didn’t want ‘additional help’ either. It was chicken, rice, eggs, porridge, sweet potato, mince and veg for me. Now I couldn’t cook so I drank my eggs, I had chicken most of the time and my rice always went cold before I got to eat it. “This body building craic was hard!”, I thought to myself, as I strained to eat my 5th meal with rice one day. I was still on my shakes but I had more knowledge. I was only having a shake after training. On leg day I had two, one before and one after. This made leg day horrible, because I was so bloated, but I didn’t want chicken legs any longer.
“Just so you know, I still have chicken legs. Strong.. but still chicken legs. That is all!”
Anyway… ahem.. oh yes. That’s where I was. So with a little more knowledge than before. A drive to learn a lot more, and to help others not in the know, I started to immerse myself in the fitness world. I started to look at lectures, read actual articles and somehow it just felt natural. Curiosity drove me to a place where it felt fun to be learning so much. My body was changing every week and I enjoyed it, but It was tough. I missed meals. I skipped leg day (a mortal sin in the bodybuilding world). I was always tired from a terrible mix of an overload of caffeine, working out for too long and not getting enough sleep.
Your protagonist needed a better way to do things. I needed to put the knowledge I had into practice. The classic way of doing things was fine, but you have to remember, classic was and still is a mindset. It was a mindset I was driven out of, by research and a glare towards the future. First on the agenda? Pass the knowledge on. To help those poor souls that had as much of a clue as I did 6 months ago. “Let’s see where this takes me”, I thought to myself.
To be continued…