I think it was sometime around 1986 so I was about 7 years old.  I remember sitting in my grandmothers living room floor, absolutely glued to the tv, watching Arnold kick ass and take names in the movie Commando.

For all you real gym rats, I don’t even need to say a last name.  When I say “Arnold” you know exactly who I’m talking about.

I’ll never forget how in awe I was of this man.  Actually, I still am to this day.  He looked so damn cool with his face painted like a sniper and his huge arms hanging out of a vest with grenades clipped to it… to use on the bad guys, of course. 

Never before in my young life had I seen a man so big, so muscular, so… heroic. 

He seemed almost unreal to me.  It was as if one of my favorite comic book characters had suddenly come to life.  Even at the age of 7 I understood and appreciated the magnitude of his physical prowess. 

I actually decided, then and there, that when I grew up my body was going to look like his! 

Yeah, I know… good luck with that, right?  Later on in life I came to realize that every man who picks up a set of weights wants to look like Arnold and no one ever really does.

But, my point is, that was the beginning of it all for me.

I love bodybuilding.  Actually, let me rephrase that… I love lifting weights. 

You see, unfortunately when most people hear the words “bodybuilding” their lil’ minds automatically conjure up images of a group of dudes flexing and posing on stage in man panties (or, as I like to call them.. manties) all juiced up on steroids and looking like a bunch of overgrown, mutant Oompah-Loompahs.

Don’t know if I spelled that right.  Ya know, the little orange skin fuckers from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

Now, I won’t claim that these mostly negative notions are completely false but I also will NOT dismiss the dedication, sacrifice, discipline and extremely hard work that it takes to be a competitive bodybuilder. 

What I will say is that the kind of bodybuilding I’m talking about… the bodybuilding that I know and love… is SO much more. 

My name is Michael Wheeler.  I’m… em.. 35 years old now.  Wow, that trips me the hell out.  Mostly because I don’t feel 35 nor do I usually act it. 

I was around 13 when I got a hold of my first set of weights in my parents basement.  My older brother had one of those old school sets by Weider, with the plastic coated, cement filled weights.

Hell, I even remember a few weight “plates” that I had to fill with water or sand.  Talk about some state of the art, cutting edge equipment. 

Needless to say, it was basically a piece of shit but it did have the basics, a flat bench that would also incline, a barbell and weights.  We also had a set of dumbbells, with the collars that screw on and off, so I could increase or decrease the weight. 

I’d walk out to my dad’s garage and hang from the rafters to do chin-ups and pull-ups.

The damn things were made out of wood and I think I still have a fucking splinter from 1993. 

I had the basic tools that I needed to build a foundation of muscle size and strength.  And, I put them to good use…

It was there in that basement, working with only a few basic pieces of equipment, that I learned the techniques that are still part of my training to this day. 

I pushed and pulled rep after rep, developing my form on big, compound lifts like the Bench Press, Overhead Press, Squat and Deadlift. 

I experienced the exhaustion of a set taken to failure, and beyond, and fell in love with the feeling of a poweful pump and the way it made my muscles look. 

Many years later I’m still training hard and I’m very thankful that I found bodybuilding at a young age.  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, perhaps even more valuable than the muscle I was building were the lessons I was learning, lifting weights in my parents basement.

With the little spiral notebook I used as a training journal, where I would track my exercises, sets and reps, I was learning how to make a plan and evaluate if it was working. 

As each week passed, and I attempted to lift heavier weights, I was learning to push myself, work hard and break out of my comfort zone.

When I wrote in my journal that I wanted to gain 10 lbs of muscle by the end of the summer, I was learning to set goals. 

When my loser friends wanted to sneak alcohol from their parent’s basement or smoke pot, and I blew them off so I could train, I was learning discipline, accountability and how to hold myself to a higher standard. 

I was learning skills and developing traits that, in my humble opinion, help make a person strong in every sense of the word.  And, those skills, values and traits have served me well, in so many ways, throughout the rest of my life. 

You see, something that my hero himself, Arnold, recognized way back when, before he went on to conquer the stage and win multiple Olympias, is that bodybuilding can be a gateway to a more fulfilling life.   

The man is the epitome of what lessons learned from bodybuilding, such as discipline, goal setting, perserverance and determination, can do for a person’s success in life. 

As we all know, not only did he become arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all time, but he also parlayed that success into becoming one of the biggest action heroes Hollywood has ever seen and, eventually, the Governator of California. 

He is THE living, walking, talking model of what is possible when a person sets their mind to achieve a goal and will not allow anything to stand in the way. 

I firmly believe that bodybuilding can do the same for anyone and everyone who pours their heart and soul into it and who makes the conscious decision to use what they learn and apply it to the rest of their lives. 

So it is this belief that led me to create this blog.

Sincerely, my goal is to help those that are new to this lifestyle find their way and accomplish their goals.  I aim to speed up their learning curve and increase their knowledge of proper nutrition, training and supplementation.  Together, we can lay a foundation and set the stage for future success. 

For those who’ve given it their all and still haven’t experienced the results they’ve worked so hard for, I intend to provide them with the information that will put them on track.  I want to be a part of helping them to finally change their physique and realize the many benefits of bodybuilding. 

I invite you to join me on this ride.  If you want the real deal, the low down, the “shit that works”… that’s what I’m here to give ya. 

You provide the ‘will’ and I’ll provide the ‘way’. 

Until next time,

Michael Wheeler

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