Going into the Spring of my junior year, I decided that it was time to start putting on some size. For Christmas, I had asked for a weight set to replace the beloved Bowflex. Given that the basement of the house was so small, my Dad had to cut into the ceiling in order to make it fit. I then used the rest of the money I had received as a gift for Christmas in order to buy a secondhand set of olympic plates off of Craigslist.
Nearly all of Spring, I began to work out twice a day. As I began to make changes, my friends from school started to ask if they could workout with me. I would invite them over after school and we would "run the gauntlet."
"Running the gauntlet" was a product of my ignorance. I genuinely had no idea what I was doing. I looked up a list of exercises on the internet, watched some videos, wrote them down on a list, and decided I would go through the list each day performing as many reps as I could of each exercise. At some point I decided I would go straight through the list and perform the maximum amount of reps I could in a minute, then move onto the next exercise without any rest...and that soon became the gauntlet formula.
So everyday after school my friends and I would comprise a list of exercises for the day. There was only enough room in the basement for one person to lift and one or two others to set up the weights for the next exercise on the list for the person lifting. (A term appropriately named: the pit crew) The rest of those in attendance were forced to sit on the stairs going down into the basement until it was there turn to lift or join the pit crew.
There was a leaderboard made of an old dry erase board my Dad salvaged from work on the basement wall with everyone's best attempts. Every night after everyone went home and I cleaned up all of the weights I would plan my goal reps for the next day.
The diet...was still fairly nonexistent. I began to eat more and more. My best friend and I would have competitions every weekend to see who could eat the most breakfast entrees at the local diner. (It was often a comped meal by my high school's alumni due to our building reputation of promising football players for the upcoming season...but no one needs to know that.) Another one of our personal favorites was the introduction of "pasta bowls", which were essentially a few boxes of pasta, grilled chicken, and sauce combined into quantities that were meant to be impossible to finish.
To ensure that I wouldn't get fat from all of this food, I was under the impression that I had to do cardio everyday...which I hated. Due to my distaste of running for extended periods of time, each morning before school I would drive up to the park and run a mile as fast as I could. It became my most common excuse when sent to the dean's office for not shaving before school. I said I was simply too busy due the need to run every morning.
Over the course of the next 8 months, my weight went from 185lbs. to nearly 230lbs.
(3-2-2018 blog post: Part 3.)