"I prayed to God to put muscles on my skinny body. He answered me with a pair of dumbells."
Ever since I was a young boy I always believed that all men are meant to have bodies like Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren (obviously watched Rocky IV a few too many times).
I looked quite different to my 'idols.' I was very skinny and sometimes described as lanky.
One of my brothers had more or less a perfect body without weight training, although he played quite a lot of sport. At age 12 when I left Nigeria to attend a boarding school in England, I was put in the same dormitory as another Nigerian who was 'born' with a perfect body too.
I always respected guys with good bodies because it was something that I'd have liked but wasn't given.
At age 14, one of the American guys at my dormitory, George Wallis, bought a pair of dumbells and said we could all use them. I was so excited and immediately began curling them; I was so competitive and wanted to be the best bicep curler if it were possible. I remember one of the guys in the year above me curling about 85 reps of an 8kg dumbell without resting in-between, breaking my record of 80 reps. "How dare he?" Once the news got to me I returned from classes and curled 120 reps. I find it hard to believe that I could ever do that because I don't think I can do that today. I wasn't hungry for muscles; I was starving for muscles.
George left the school at the end of that academic year and upon hearing the news my selfish immediate concern was "what about the dumbells?" My Housemaster read out a letter to some of us who shared the same dormitory. It was written by George to bid us farewell. I was filled with excitement when he officially mentioned that the dumbells should be given to me - my own dumbells!
For the remaining 4 years at school, I curled those weights nearly everyday, staying at school while my friends went to have fun in town, just to build muscle. I was either dedicated or obsessed; I'd like to think the former. My chest remained flat for that academic year as the press-ups weren't enough to grow the muscle mass. During the summer holidays at the end of the academic year, I spent most of my pocket money on a vacation gym membership at Imperial College, London, where a different brother of mine, SI, was once a member. I was inspired by SI because we were once skinny together but he'd worked out and built up muscles.
By the end of that summer vacation, I'd significantly increased the muscle mass on my chest as well as my upper body as a whole. When I returned to school (Michaelmas term) the girls noticed the new "sheriff in town." I also improved in sports, leaving as the top try scorer in rugby, best senior boy athlete for 3 consecutive years, school track and field captain and school triple jump record holder.
I learnt a lot more after leaving school, trying out whey protein, creatine and getting into free weight training at university. It's a journey and I'll always learn along the way. I give training tips to people and am also happy to receive tips from fellow "fitness freaks" regardless of how long they've been into it.
What Made Me "ME"
My parents are my role models for obvious reasons. They always sacrifice for their children; they're great!
Dara Torres (USA Sprint swimmer) is so amazing winning a silver olympic medal at 41. I draw inspiration from her.
Sylvester Stallone also inspires me, truly being "Rocky" i.e. taking a lot of hits but continuing the fight.
My Body Proud Moments
Getting more ripped the healthy way. Is CLA really the answer?
Stretching My Comfort Zone
Don't forget the green vegetables, especially broccoli
When weight training ensure you know what muscles are being trained (prime mover). Focus your mind as you train and visualise the effects of your exercise resulting in the sculpted muscle that you desire.
Treat people fairly. Help the helpless/vulnerable.
Talents I Wish to Hone.
I beat Stephen Jones at an arm wrestle just after graduating from university in 1999. He is currently the captain of Wales' Rugby team.
My Passion Project:
Areas I wish to Solve / Resolve / Enrich:
My Philosophy / Message / Wisdom:
The improvements that I've noticed in my physique over the years...very grateful. Thank you God!
Greetings Ben0ski. I want to congratulate you for your birthday. I wish you the best of the best in your special day and enjoy it to the maximum in company of your dear beings. I hope your birthday brings to you the good luck for your next projects. Congratulations again and keep going on. An affectionate greeting and hug of my part.