Exercise.com User Story: BradK
Tell us a little about your background and where you’re from.
I was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. I was very healthy growing up until around the age of 12 when I became very sick with stomach problems. Struggling for years with constant sickness left me at just 120 lb. despite being 6 feet tall.
Recovering from that sickness ultimately is what made me who I am today. The greatest gift I ever received was a healthy body, and I became a personal trainer so I could give others that gift in person and online with my fitness writing.
How did you start working out?
In 11th grade, I was accidentally placed into my high school’s weight training class. I learned the basics and the love of training from my coach, Coach Pratt, and also from my dad at home.
My dad was big into working out, so it all snowballed and became a major part of my everyday life.
I trained the next two years of high school, and in that time gained a lot of strength and size. I tripled my bench press from 100 to 300 pounds and was at a healthy body weight of about 190 lb.
I trained with my high school’s varsity football team every morning towards developing strength.
The last nine months of my training has been my hardest work related to my physique versus strength, though. It was nine months ago that I became focused on bodybuilding to inspire others to follow healthy lifestyles.
What are your current workout goals?
It is important to keep both short and long term goals to keep you constantly striving in the right direction. Here are my short term and long term goals.
- Strict 185lbs Barbell Curl (155lbs now)
- 405lbs Bench Press (350lbs now)
- 500lbs Below Parallel Squat (460lbs now)
- 200lbs Lean Bodyweight with 27-inch waist (195lbs at 27.5 inches now)
- 225lbs Lean Bodyweight with a 27-inch waist
What’s your favorite style of training?
I always prefer some sort of split training and prefer to lift mainly with moderate weight versus constant heavy weights. I had problems with my rotator cuff and eased off for a while; now I am back doing “heavy” training around five to six days a week.
High volume training has always worked best for me and 90% of the people I train with. However, the key to continued success is to keep adding variety to your routine, making it fun, and finding out how your body reacts to different types of training.
How often do you like to change up your workouts?
I change my plan as soon as it stops working for me. I really listen to my body on what is working, look for continued progression, and if it is not there move on to a new plan.
Day-to-day I might change the rotation of certain exercises or body parts, but the same core movements stay in place to keep building strength and size.
What’s your favorite post-workout meal?
What’s the best fitness advice you’ve been given?
Know why you train and what motivates you. To stay dedicated in the long run will take a lot more than a quick motivational video or compliment. It is going to take a real reason to go to the gym every day, eat healthier, and train as hard as you possibly can.
My motivation for training is simple: to inspire others to change their lives through weight training. I lift weights not to out-do or put others down, but to lift them up and show them what is possible.
I also train completely naturally and always will because I lift weights to get healthier, not for a short-term ego boost.
I urge you to find your own motivation for training. Do you train to win a competition? Do you train to motivate others? Do you train so you can run in the yard with your grandchildren one day, or just to have a healthier life?
Find the real long-lasting motivation you will need to train.
Finally, give us an interesting fact about yourself!
Because of a mistake in the school’s scheduling system, I found my passion, and I am hooked on every aspect of fitness. Many people wonder why I constantly lift. They may even consider it self-centered or something used to show off.
However, I lift weights for me alone. I do not do it to try to impress anyone.
Weightlifting has given me the opportunity to change my life and constantly challenge myself. Every workout I can try to progress, to do something I could not do last week.
Before I started lifting weights, I just overcame chronic sickness for 7 years of my life, and weighed 120 lb. in 11th grade. Sickness may have left me weak and small, but I have worked hard every day to try to change that.
Every small gain I look at as a step towards a never-ending marathon. Lifting weights taught me to appreciate the small steps.
Now, weight lifting has given me a career. I get to help others improve their health and quality of life. When I first entered the weight room small and weak in 11th grade by a scheduling mistake, I never knew it was what I was born to do.
Heck, I thought I was going to be a lawyer.
Thank you, BradK!
Special thanks to BradK for sharing with our Exercise.com Community about your life and what you’ve overcome.