I'm back into bodybuilding with more enthusiasm than I have had in the past 10 years.
Truth be told, over my 10 years in bodybuilding, I don't think there was an entire 12 month period where I have trained consistently. I injured my back in my first year of bodybuilding and re-injured it many more times over the next few years in dramatic fashion to the point that I stopped doing deadlifts and squats for the past 7 years. I also simply lost interest and found other things to enjoy and took lots of breaks from training and bodybuilding in general. I worked on cruise ships, wrote books, filmed documentaries, worked and traveled and bodybuilding became less of a passion and much lower on my list of top interests. Losing interest combined with constantly suffering from very painful and limiting injuries made it very easy for me to choose not to train to pursue other things while still running my websites and writing about vegan bodybuilding.
Sometime in August, 2010 after an entire year off from training to write books and travel, I decided to make a comeback to bodybuilding and to find passion in it again, to be safe and injury-free, to work hard and be focused and give it another run. This time around, 10 years after bodybuilding first captured my interest, I would give a mighty whack at a comeback.
I honestly don't know if it was turning 30 and wanting to prove I'm still an athlete; or getting so skinny from a year long break that I was lighter than I was 10 years ago, going under 170 pounds for the first time since I was a teenager; or wanting to represent my book and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness more appropriately, or simply hanging out with Ryan Wilson and realizing I was half his size and deciding right then and there to return to bodybuilding; or something else that got me back into it.
Whatever it was....I'm happy to be back. And I really mean that. I've been training for 5 months and have been injury-free the entire time and I don't think I have missed more than 3 days in any given week over nearly half a year. I'm back and consistent and smiling a lot. I also have exciting news to report. I have made a slow and careful return to free weight barbell squats and deadlifts! I started out with simply bodyweight squats and then used the bar, then a few 10s on the side. This is over the course of many weeks. My first time squatting with a bar and weights in half a decade was a month ago when I peaked at 135lbs, even though I can still legpress 800lbs. I had to start all over with squats, have trainers watch my form as use little weights. Last night I squatted 195 pounds and I think I'm up to 155 on deadlifts, far short of the 350 pounds I used to do with each exercise when I first got into the sport. But happier than ever!
I'm stretching more than ever before in my life, spending time doing heat treatments on my muscles and supplementing like crazy. Even while writing this I just took a break to eat an entire package of tofu, 2 small avocados and prepare a drink with Vega Sport Protein, BCAA's, Glutamine and Creatine. I'm putting in more hours into the sport of bodybuilding than arguably ever before, aside from contest preparation time doing 2-3 workouts a day.
I'm having a lot of fun again and I really want this to continue...to give myself a long consecutive streak of training with lots of enthusiasm and see where it takes me.
Getting back into the bodybuilding spirit and documenting my progress, I have been taking photos all along the way.
I'm all smiles and having so much fun these days, wanting to be in the gym or training all the time! Let's keep this going....heading to the gym within an hour! Pumped!
A few recent pics to show some progress:
And of course, having a great time pursuing personal interests, but also dedicated to Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness Success to help inspire others to go vegan and save animals. A sample pic to show how skinny I got.
An improved arm after return to the sport:
Thanks for sticking with me through all my ups and downs, injuries, times I lost interest, etc. I plan to be back for a while. Bring on the free weights and whole foods! Free weights only these days and eating a ton of great food too!