It was the day I learned my wife was pregnant with our first child. I took a long and hard look at myself and realized I wasn't where I wanted to be. That was on multiple fronts: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and especially physically. I was by no means an out of shape guy. I wasn't fat or small. I am 6'4" and was approx 220 at the time, but despite the decent genetics I still was weak for my size. Prior to beginning Starting Strength, I did mostly cardio work especially cycling and hiking. Despite my decent shape by modern fitness standards, I knew I wanted to be better knowing I was going to have a child soon and stand between him and the world while he grows up. I discovered Mark Rippetoe through YouTube and it instantly clicked in my head. I needed to get stronger.
I began my NLP in January 2022. My first workout was humbling. Squat: 135, Press: 65, Bench: 105, and Deadlift 225. Itís something being over 6 ft and 200 lb but still struggle to lift an empty bar over your head. Over the course of approximately a year and a half I ran my NLP. It took me so long due to some life events that stalled or revered progress. Some of these events were injuries that prevented training all together and one major event was the birth of my son and his subsequent health issues. The long nights and stress meant sleep was hard to come by which made recovery from lifting difficult. Thankfully though, persistence paid off. In August of 2023 I ended my NLP with these numbers: Squat: 365x3, Deadlift: 445x3, Press: 135x5, Bench: 215x3. My squat and deadlift excelled while my press and bench lagged behind. One of the major injuries during that time was a mountain biking accident that screwed up my shoulder for a while. I was still able to squat and deadlift but my shoulder couldnít take the upper body movements for a significant length of time. Now that I am 6 months into the Texas Method, I weigh approximately 250 and my most recent numbers are: Squat: 420x3, Deadlift: 515x2, Press:160x3, and Bench: 215x5. My bench and press still have a long way to go but they are climbing steadily now that my shoulder is mostly back to normal.
If I had to give advice to someone who is just starting out, I would say to be consistent, trust the process, and donít give up when things get hard or you experience a set back. It doesnít have to be a perfect 6 month LP. It took me a year and a half to run the thing through but I canít argue with the results. I look and feel much better than I did prior to starting out. I stand taller. My shoulders are broader. My back looks much bigger. I am much more prepared to take on the duties of being a husband and father. I have learned to face my fears and push through difficult moments. Overall, I would say that getting stronger has been one of the most beneficial things I have ever done.