Sunday, April 1, 2012

More inspiration..........

I got this e-mail the other day, and I wanted to share.  I really can't believe it when I get these kinds of e-mails because I see what I do as such a nothing.  So when I get them, I'm really blown away.

Dear Paul,

I´m sure you´re busy as hell and probably get a thousand e-mails form readers daily, but I wish you have the chance to read through this one.
I usually tend to keep stuff to myself, but I honestly feel the need to thank you.
My story starts on october 2010. I was 21 years old, sitting at a chubby 175, zero muscle mass and not a single care about it. Life was good, and I was happy.
Everything changed that month, tho. I lost a loved one, developed a severe depression and, all of sudden, life didn´t make sense anymore.
As a way to clear my mind, I decided I would go back to regular exercising and get in shape again.
It started well, I cleaned my diet and slowly started to run 3x a week. Phisically I was improving, but my mind was still fucked and getting worse.
Long story short, my depression was killing me. I started to run 10km a day for 6 days a week and was eating something like 1000kcal a day.
Not surprinsingly, I dropped to a malnourished and unhealthy 121 pounder at 5´10´´ in july 2011.
That same month, I completed a half marathon in 1h44min. Funny thing is I hated running. I only did it because I was afraid to regain weight.
One week after the half marathon, I was training in the treadmill and almost passed out. I was weak, sick and needed help.
That day, I decided I would turn my life around again.
I seeked medical aid, quit running and decided to go back to lifting weights, something I loved to do as a teenager.
As a compulsive reader, I started to research all I could on weighlifting. That was the time I came across your blog.
On August 2011 I was a little better, so I started `lifting´. I was doing the typical BB body part split you see on commercial gyms.
But as I dug deeper into your writings and learned about the compound lifts, I thought: Hey, that makes sense.
I slowly started to incorporate frequent squatting to my training. Then benching, chinning, deadlifting, OHPing...
Not surprinsingly, I was hearing crap from the `personal trainers´ at the gym, because the stuff I was doing was dangerous and I should just stick to cable flies and curls.
I didn´t trust them, tho. I trusted you.
So I didn´t care about all the crap I heard and all the laughs from the bros looking at me squatting the bar. I kept at it. I worked my ass off.
I was already disregarding isolation movements, but when I read your post from January 3rd I decided that 2012 was gonna be dedicated to smash the compounds and get as strong as I can.

Fast forward to today.
I´m sitting at a lean 158lbs, looking good and as healthy as possible.
People are complementing me daily, and life is awesome.
I´m currently squatting 240x3, deadlifting 355x3, benching 180x3 and OHPing 120x3.
The same bros that used to laugh at me now are coming to the squat rack to tell me I´m strong.

I can honestly say that your writings changed my life.
I can´t thank you enough for that.
Just make sure to remember that you are a role model to a lot of people, myself included.
Thank you for everything.


  1. For every person who contacts you like that there are probably hundreds more who don't but who've taken away something positive just the same. Your simple act of sharing simple qualities like dedication, consistency, honesty and sacking up to life in general - all with humility - is a great service in these dark times of everything being watered down, stunted and pussified and everyone getting so goddamned offended at everything that they can't even move.

    This blog is a testament to the power of changing the world for the better the only way anyone ever really can - by changing themselves for the better. It allows people to say, "The world is fucked up, but you know what? I'm not gonna be." If one man influences another to do that without even having to say it, that's no nothing. That's huge.

  2. Yea man... this sounds like me. After I finished my wrestling season in high school I decided I was going to "see my six pack." I started exercising all the time and eating virtually nothing. I bottomed out at just under 130 pounds at 5'7. My mom's trainer was asking me why I wanted to be so thin, and I told him I was getting ripped. He then pointed out I only weighed slightly mroe than my mom; at which point I saw the light and started reading everything I could about weight lifting. 1 year and over 40 pounds later I am much happier. Thanks for the site, Paul.

    I also have a quick question about stalling on 5x5 squats. My 5x5 max is only 275 but I've been stuck there for a couple weeks now. I've been reading a lot recently and it seems a lot of people don't like 5x5 squats so I was wondering about your view on them.


    1. I think that 5x5 is like anything else. A useful tool that can be applied with success at various times.

      If you've been stuck at it for a while, switch the rep/set scheme up for a bit and see if that doesn't spur some new progress.

    2. Hmmm yeah, I've done Texas Method for about a month and a half now and increased my squat 5 rm by about 20 pounds; but my recovery at college is awful. Gonna switch back to squatting once a week where progress is slower but more consistent. I can always go back to it over the summer. Thanks for the pointer man.

  3. Paul it's great you get letters like this. It's why we the one great thing about helping people. While you never expect (at least I don't and I'm sure you don't either) to receive recognition like this it's always nice and appreciated.

    I wish this guy would have shot you a picture of himself. I bet he's ripped like a mother f*****. He's a testament to what consistency can do for someone and it's damn nice that those folks in his gym are coming over and giving him the props he deserves for busting his ass.

  4. arnold
    Lou I only squat once a week.Last week-
    180x15 always on a friday-i will only squat, no other exercises-progress is very steady-no plateaus- unlike 5x5 3 times a week which just burnt me out once the weight got beyond 300lbs.bench and shrug mondays,rack pulls rdls one hand ring lifts,overhead press wednesdays.ive put 30lbs on my dead-25lbs squat and 24lbs bench in the last 4 mths on this split.less is definatley more for me.
    Paul-seen hobo with a shotgun yet?
    best grindhouse film for years! rutger hauer is epic!!

    1. Haven't seen it yet. I am so behind on movies right now. Jamie busts my balls every time we talk because he's recommended about 10 movies to me that I haven't seen yet.

  5. I'm sure there are a lot of people who feel like the writer of that e-mail Paul.

  6. It takes a lot of balls for a weak beginner to walk into a globo gym and start getting strong. I feel lucky that I was able to start out at my work's gym, where there are fewer people and the people who where there tended to be my size/shape.