Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Origin Story!

What? No one else into comics books?

How much cooler is that title than "how I got into weight training?" Plus, I wanted to use that image of Will Magnus and his Metal Men.

If you haven't noticed, the top-right corner of this blog now has new pages. The "why the blog" section states why I write, but it still doesn't really tell much about my endeavors into exercise and fitness. Mostly because I don't want to bore everyone and it's not much benefit for everyone else to read up on.

But, I figure why not do this now and get it out of the way (unlike my pile of schoolwork). So away we go.

I didn't plays sports as a kid. I spent my time watching cartoons and playing video games - and I still do to an extent. Sports didn't appeal to me cause I thought the other kids were aggressive as can get.

No thank you. My parents told me be a good boy.

The first time I touched a dumbbell was in 5th grade. I only did so because I got mad when 2 friends asked me to flex a bicep and laughed. For whatever reason, my sister had a 5 lb. dumbbell at home. Later that day I, idiotically, grabbed it and did 2 or 3 sets of 50 curls. I had no idea what I was doing, but my arms were on fire for 3 days.

Fast forward to high school. I spent mornings doing push-ups and crunches, but that ended fast.

My freshman year I got accustomed to the weight room during gym class, although I wasn't in there on a regular basis nor did I have a clue about what I should be doing. The machines I used didn't translate into any noticeable results of size or strength.

Junior year, my friends and I had gym together and we spent most days in the weight room. It caught my interest fast. I really didn't get into weight training until my friend asked me to join shot put on the track & field team. It seemed like a good idea since I needed extracurricular activities for my college applications. So why not? I joined.

Holy crap. Everyone was bigger than me. Either more muscular or fatter, but all stronger. Our best player tossed the shot (which weighed 12 lbs.) around 40 ft.

Want to know my first throw in a meet? Like 12 ft.

Luckily, joining the team allowed me regular access to the weight room since we spent 2-3 days in there per week. But it wasn't enough. I pressed my parents to allow me to get a pair of 25 lb. dumbbells.

I like to think of them as my, figurative, baby shoes cause oh man, they were what really helped me develop my upper body strength. I used them for so much. Rows, presses, extensions, curls, you name it.

By the end of the season, my shot putting distance was 25 ft., but the truth is, I didn't really develop any real strength. End of the season, I couldn't bench press 135 lbs., but at the end of the school year I could easily press that weight up.

From there, I just read everything and kept trying to get better. I stuck with lifting up to this day. The best part is the only person I have to compete against is myself. I only need to be stronger than I was before.

I've push pressed myself in the chin (twice), power cleaned myself in the crotch (also twice), hit my junk on the floor after trying to plank for too long, and many other things.

But hey, I got not regrets! Who knows what the future has in store.

Although one thing's for sure, I had no idea I'd be writing posts - among other things - 4 years later.

And the adventure continues.


  1. I'm really not sure what power cleaning is but I've got an idea and man that sounds painful. It's okay though, be proud of the incidents! They're like badges of honor! You know, kind of like warrior paint. That's how I think of it anyway.

    I love that dumbbells can be used for just about everything. What sucks though, is that they're so friggin expensive.

    You probably haven't seen them because you probably don't read Women's Health, but there are these silly pastel colored dumbbells being advertised in the magazine. They're supposed to be custom fit to a woman's body. They're DUMBBELLS for crying out loud. The things people will buy into these days. The only difference I can see is that they're some kind of wonky shape at the ends and they have flowers on them.

    Anyway, done with my rant. I like the new pages!

  2. great post. i feel like, and perhaps its the way i psych myself up to go into the gym, that i have no vulnerabilities when it comes to workouts. trying something new always takes all the mental stamina i have just because i'm afraid of looking stupid. honestly, glad to none of us are actually alone, as much as we may all separate from each other when working out. we all started with that 5lb at some point!

  3. Power cleans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaFyOKD58JI

    Dumbbells are wonderfully versatile and compact, but I'm not sure how they can be made custom fit. Sounds funky. Glad the new pages are being welcomed by most people too.

    Leslie, I think getting out of the typical comfort zone is what makes the gym fun! I know a lot of the stuff I do looks "stupid" to others, but whatever, right? As long as progress is being made, it's all good.

    Thanks for stopping by ladies!

  4. niel i like this story. i didnt know you were so into lifting and personal health when i first met you. your next post should be for people who dont go to the gym but still want to do something..like me! actually you might've already posted something like that, ill just have to search through your older posts

  5. Thanks Sean. I didn't get really really into it until the last year or two. You'd be amazed at how much free stuff there is to read online.

    And if you suggest it, I'll write it. Not sure when, but be on the look out!


Creative Commons License
Niel Patel's Blog by Niel K. Patel is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.