Hey you all,

I am squatguy, aka The Honest One.

All my life people have told me that I'm too honest, too nice. And it's gotten me in trouble before.

But this is about how I found Starting Strength, how I applied it and how it changed my life for the better, forever.

In 2011 I was coming out of doing a 6-month bid in the local county joint, somethin' light, they called it. But it was heavy to me. I was a scrawny kid, 25 years old and fresh out of engineering school when I picked up a third DUI and faced the mandatory 180 day sentence. Lost in life, lost in my head. Drinking and smoking the drugs, studying my calculus and beyond physically weak. I went in at 6'3" and 170 lbs, a stick figure. I've been a stick figure my entire life.

Well that experience taught me that I had to change my body, somehow. All the other guys were bigger and stronger. And while I was lucky to have found a solid crew that protected me and took me as one of their own, I knew that I had to become a man myself. I had tried "lifting weights" before, half-assed, sporadically, generally just lost in the jungle of misinformation about fitness, weights and 'going to the gym'. I was a lamb to slaughter.

I hit the fitness trail like a hound on a bone that spring, sniffing for trees to piss on. The first book I read when I got out of the joint was 'Born to Run', so I ran barefoot for a while and found that running fucking sucked. But 'Born to Run' led me to discover Barefoot Bob, and Barefoot Bob led me to Mark's Daily Apple (MDA) and his crew of Paleo lunatics. So through the MDA forum I got to read about lifting heavy things, sprinting and eating meat, whole foods and fat--- it was the first time I encountered such truth in fitness and nutrition.

And then it happened. Some guy mentioned Starting Strength in a post about lifting heavy things.

I googled it.

I went to Amazon and bought the Second Edition.

It arrived a few days later, I read the entire thing in less than 24 hours.

The next night, in bed getting ready for sleep, it occurred to me that I had no choice if I wanted to change my body: I needed a squat rack or power cage.

But I had few dollars, so I googled a DIY power cage and found the wood cage that is now famous on the internet. I asked my father for help, we bought the wood, cut it at home depot, drilled the holes, assembled it and by the end of the week I had it in my parent's living room. I begged them to move the furniture around so that the cage could sit where I had room to move and lift and deadlift and press and so on.

I had a collection of old, standard sized plates in the basement and a 5' bar. My next realization was that I needed a 7' bar to fit the dimensions of my new power cage.

I ordered a 1" standard, 7' bar from Sears.com, another $50 bucks, and by the end of the next week I was ready to start.

My first notes went something like this, scribbled on a dusty yellow legal pad:

"Squat: 45 x 5 x 5 --- hard as hell"

The next day I wrote that I was sore as hell too!

Drank a gallon of milk a day like Mark said. I was at 220 by the end of the year. A fat 220 but strong, too, and I liked it. I was a big guy now. Or at least big compared to what I've been my entire life to that point.

The rest is, some combination of weird history and on-and-off lifting, drinking and smoking (though that's over now). And I still haven't gotten to my 2/3/4 nor do I have a six-pack of abs. I've never done a bicep curl in my life and I have deceptive strength to the naked eye. I don't have lower back pain and I move better at 31 than I did at 18.

But I can lift heavy televisions and boxes, and tables. And I'm the strongest man among my circle of friends. I can lift my wife who is a healthy 200 lbs. I have a daughter now. My squat PR is 270 @ 220 bodyweight, my deadlift at 340 and my overhead press at 135. I lift 2 - 3 times a week with varying workouts, this morning I did 50 back squats with a 115 lb sandbag in 5 sets of 10. Two days ago I did 50 push presses with the same sandbag in 10 sets of 5. Before the sandbag, I was doing heavy singles on the back squat and hit 250 @ 190 bodyweight.

I'll come to the barbells again, and I have no doubt that I'll hit my 2/3/4. And I'll keep growing and lifting and eating. I eat 24 raw eggs a day now in shakes, mixed with milk and frozen berries, 6 eggs at a time throughout the day.

That's my story. It's not the perfect application. It's not what Mark would recommend. But it worked for me, I applied SS to transform my life, my body and my outlook.

Thank you Starting Strength.