A rare sight! The jellylift admin in a vulnerable state!
Almost one year ago, I started lifting consistently. April 20th will mark the one year anniversary of the purchase of my very first gym membership <3
I don’t film my lifts at the gym nearly as much as I used to, so I don’t have much footage but I have plenty of progress pictures… but hold your horses! I’m getting there.
I used to be real tiny. For my height and age, I was pretty underweight. At the ripe age of 16, I was 5’7″ and barely 110lbs. See here:
Good lord I actually never realized how small I was. Look at my legs! Sticks for legs! Twigs for legs! Look at my calves!!! SHAWTY GOT NO CALVES!!??!?!?
I was always super weak, and in high school I absolutely despised PE class because people were always commenting on my wee little arms and legs. Which is, yknow, f**ked up. But high school sucks and that’s something which is universally understood so I’m over it.
When the weightlifting unit came around in PE 10 and I couldn’t even bench the bar, I took every opportunity possible to be “sick” or have some reason as to why I couldn’t participate in the unit. I couldn’t do a single pushup and wouldn’t DARE go anywhere near the squat rack. As an ex-gymnast, I expected to be pretty strong due to what being proficient in gymnastics demands from your body. But alas, all I had was core strength, and my arms and legs were sticks ‘n’ noodles. I managed to scrape by in PE 10, and along comes PE 11!
Since I took the course during COVID, one of our assignments was to create an at-home workout program. I decided I was tired of being weak and implemented a ton of resistance training into my program, rather than the strictly abs and cardio that I had been doing at home since I quit gymnastics.
I hated it.
I loved the feeling of moving my body, but wasn’t seeing ANY progress. This is largely due to the fact that I had no clue what I was doing.
PE 11 comes to a close and I managed a decent grade, and continued with my weird, senseless routine for the rest of the summer as I really didn’t have anything better. All of Fall 2020, I almost completely fell off of exercising.
Then comes along Darryl Williams <3
At the beginning of 2021, my friends introduced me to Bullyjuice’s (Daryl Williams) 30-Day At-Home Workout challenge, and that was a F**KING GAME CHANGER. We did it as a group of about 5 of us, which was a great way to stay committed and to hold each other accountable. Over the course of those 30 days I was actually starting to see progress, and felt my upper body growing stronger, and the consistent expenditure of energy was forcing me to eat more. I totally fell in love with the feeling of being able to hold up my own weight in a pushup, and reaching a point where I could do 5 standard push-ups felt like a million bucks. In fact, here’s a little anecdote from the day I was officially able to do a standard push-up:
January 16th, 2021:
After the 30 days were up, I continued doing some random workouts off of Bullyjuice’s Youtube 2-3 days a week.
The summer rolled around, and my routine wasn’t nearly as steady as when I was in school, so I struggled to fit in consistent workouts. A friend of mine introduced me to Sydney Cummings, who had great functional training workouts and full-body movements, compared to Bullyjuice’s more isolated training. That taught me to move my body in a completely different way, and left me sore in places I didn’t know could be sore.
Between Spring of 2020 and Summer of 2021 I had probably put on a good 10-15 pounds. With eating more and my wacky workout schedule, there was a little bit of progress scattered throughout.
Then I started university. My first year was ATROCIOUS. All of my classes were still online, and I was stuck in the house 5 days a week by myself, just wasting away at my desk in my bedroom. I’d never been at a lower low and what better way to fix it all than hiding those feelings in your muscles? I decided I needed to get back into exercising, and figured I should start working out again. I was way too scared to join the gym on campus, solely because I didn’t think I was strong enough to be in a real gym. I remembered the wonders of Bullyjuice’s 30-Day challenge and decided to redo it, and BOY what an incredible choice that was. I powered through it and remembered how much I loved resistance training, and once again felt myself slowly getting stronger. I realized how f**king hot and sexy it was to have muscles and I WANTED MORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!!!
I started implementing light weights into my workouts, and then asked for a weight set for Christmas, and it has only been uphill from there. This is from November 2021 when I was doing strictly at-home workouts with light weights:
And this is January 2022 when I started working out with heavier weights:
Nothing crazy, but there was a little bit more definition around my shoulders and I trimmed a little bit around my waist as well. Which I realized wasn’t what I wanted. I WANTED to be BIG. I had been small and dainty and frail my whole life. I was sick of it.
I started going to the gym with my dad. After I had done so much research over the past few months, I discovered how my dad actually had no clue what he was doing in the gym. Despite being weaker physically, my lifting knowledge was far vaster than his. I knew it couldn’t go on like this. So I developed my own split, which did me wonders.
Day 1: Chest and Shoulders
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Back and Arms
Basically a Push x Pull x Legs split, with minor adjustments.
My first week in the gym, I was just ITCHING to try out the bench press (flashback to Grade 10 when I couldn’t lift the bar). I knew I was stronger now than I was then, and when I laid down to bench for the first time in 3 years, the bar moved like butter and I don’t think I had ever felt anything better.
I began lifting at 3 days a week, up to 4, up to 5, up to a consistent 6 days a week.
Which, admittedly, 8 months later left me feeling VERY burnt out, and I decided to drop it back down to 5. I wouldn’t recommend 6 days a week to ANY beginner. See Physique Update #1 for a more recent discussion of my current lifting progress.
I bought my first membership <3
I had been going consistently for 2 months and figured it was time. There have since been ups and downs, but I rarely fell off.
I did 75HARD.
TO HE** WITH 75HARD.
Here were my outlines:
For 75 days:
- Follow any nutrition plan designed for your goals, with no alcohol and no cheat meals
–> eat clean: no fast food e.g mcdonald’s, a$w, burger king etc. eat slow, fresh foods/home cooked meals, 135g protein daily, no alcohol, little to no eating out, no candy in the house, no junk food, no food after dinner (6:30/7:00)
- Complete at least one >45 minute workouts 5-6 days a week, rest days are a 15 minute walk outside
- Drink 3L of water every day.
- Read 10 pages of an educational or self-improvement book every day.
- Take a progress picture every week.
It was tough for sure, and I would say I stuck to it 87% of the time. The idea is you do it for 75 days, and if you fall off, you have to restart the 75 days, and in turn it all becomes habit rather than a challenge.
I think that it was a little ambitious considering I was only a few months into my fitness journey, but it was a great challenge nonetheless.
from then to now
It has been a hell of a journey, with tons of ups and downs and twist arounds. I get myself down pretty often, since day to day I’m not seeing a ton of changes. Sometimes I feel like I look the same as I did when I started, or that I haven’t really built that much muscle and it’s more just storage fat, or that I’m not as strong or as big as I should be after having been lifting for a year. But then I slow down, look at how far I actually have come, and realize that at least now I’ve got something wicked like this to show for it: