Weightlifting is a hobby I picked up since I was about 17 years old, still in high school. I had gained weight, about 210 lbs at 6’1″, and become rather dissatisfied with life. Although I played sports throughout high school, mainly baseball, I also did a lot of gaming and eating junk food. It was not healthy.

My dad got me a gym membership at a small gym and I started to get introduced to some cardio and then eventually a membership at a bigger gym. I remember my dad going with me a few times, but in general I started to find it to be something I looked forward to on my own.

Weightlifting introduced some rigor – it was skill-based to do the movements correctly, required consistency, made you be OK with a bit of stress and discomfort, and generally got your body and mind active and engaged. Whenever I felt uneasy about life at any given time, the gym was my solace.

Now in my early 30s, I’ve largely stuck with the routine of weightlifting, sticking to compound lifts. These are what have been foundational for me:

  1. Barbell Back Squat
  2. Barbell Conventional Deadlift
  3. Barbell Flat Bench Press
  4. Barbell Overhead Press
  5. Barbell Rows
  6. Chin-ups

The idea is to stick to the basics over a long time with a focus on a healthy, supple body that can continue to operate effectively in real day-to-day scenarios. I’ve generally been focused on looking and feeling good.

My initial strengths goals in 2024 are:

  • 3 plate back squat (315 lbs) for reps
  • 3 plate deadlift (315 lbs) for reps
  • 2 plate bench press (225 lbs) for reps
  • 1 plate overhead press (135 lbs) for reps

Some of the industry names that have had an impression on me are:

  • Andy Morgan
  • Anthony Mychal
  • Martin Berkhan