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Stupid Things We Did As Beginner Bodybuilders

Friday, 08 December 2006

As teenagers we were desperate to get huge through bodybuilding. Here are some of the stupid mistakes we made in our early bodybuilder years... 

Besides the usual rookie bodybuilder mistakes of under eating, over training, not enough rest days, training to heavy, eating junk foods, eating 3 times a day - you know, all the usual mistakes we also had some fun stories that border on stupid.

One of the main problems was we got all these old bodybuilding magazines from the 60's and 70's from a second hand store, so the information we were working with was 10 to 20 years out of date, but we did not know. 

Weight Loss Made Easy

Picture this: Hot summers day in Australia, school holidays, I arrive at my bodybuilding friends house - no one around. I go inside and look around, I hear many voices from the bathroom. I go there.

Stepping into the bathroom I see 4 kids sitting around, one in a bathtub of iced water, shivering and teeth chattering, he can barely speak.

"Sitting in cold water burns as many calories as jogging"  comes the explaination, "We're cutting up."

They were each having turns sitting in iced water for 20 minutes as their 'cardio' for the day.

Fortunately for me I was quiet the long distance runner in those day so I passed on the bath. 

Massive Growth From Herbal Steroids

If you were training in the late 80's you will remember the big marketing push herbal steroids got in all the bodybuilding magazines. Basically the herbal steroid pills were made from chlorophyll or some such. The reasoning was that this is what made plants grow, it'll make you grow too.

They were touted as a safe, natural, non toxic, non hormonal steroid alternative. Safe? Lets get some.

So 5 teenager bodybuilders head off to the local chemist, a brief argument ensues outside as we discuss the oldest looking of us and then send him in to buy the herbal steroids.

He comes out 5 minutes later brandishing the expensive bottle.

One of the over eager bodybuilders is so keen that he grabs the bottle, grabs a handful of herbal steroid pills and swallows them.... almost.

He chokes on the 'safe' herbal steroids as some are caught in his throat, the rest of us crack up laughing, he continues to choke, more laughter, still choking... WHACK! Any excuse to hit one of our mates, a thump on the back and he is OK again.

We race home and with water we divvy up the rest of the bottle swallow the tablets then head to the gym.

Nothing, no growth, no stronger, nothing. As should have been expected, really.

Bulking Up With Budget Fatty Foods

I moved into a new flat with another guy who was training, he was 6'6" or so and 140kg, and naturally very strong.

We started training together, eating together, we were going to be the next big tag team in pro-wrestling.

To bulk up we used to head down to the butchers then over to the supermarket everyday, then back home for a cook up.

2kg (4.4lbs) of lamb chops on the BBQ, followed by 2 litres of Ice Cream (1/2 gallon), surprisingly we did not seem to grow too much on this diet, probably because it tended to be the 1st and last meal of the day.

It would clog our digestive tract so much that often we could not eat again until night time.

Buying Our Food In Bulk From The Live Stock Supplies Store

Rather than buying our foods at normal retail prices at the supermarket we found a much cheaper solution.

Many of the breakfast cereal makers sold their excess at the Live Stock supplies store, for a lot less than supermarket prices.

We used to go in and get 25kg bags of wheat bix for about $10, when a 2 kg box would generally cost about $5 . The only problem was it came in a great heshan bag (cloth sack) and was a mixture of all the different brands they had.

No problem for us.... until...

About 4 weeks into the bag we noticed that there were Wheat bix crumbs around the kitchen, looking about for the cause we noticed a hole in the bag near the floor.

Listening carefully we were then able to discern squeaking from inside of food bag - mice had moved into our food. Not only was it a nice warm , dry and dark shelter but they were surrounded by food.

End of that plan, back to the supermarket for us.

4 Hour Leg Workouts During The Hot Australian Summer

Somehow we got this training routine that included 20 sets minimum for each body part.

For legs we had many machines at the gym so we trained 5 sets each of the following:

  • 5 sets of squats
  • 5 sets of leg press
  • 5 sets of hack squats
  • 5 sets of leg curl
  • 5 DROP sets of leg extension
  • 5 sets of sissy squats

All this was done at midday in a gym with a corrugated iron roof and 2 industrial fans in opposite corners, it was 35 degrees in the shade (95 Fahr).


With about 6 guys training this used to take about 4 hours to do.

Then we would train back... 20 sets.

Magic Mountain Water

My bodybuilding training partner went away for a week to the bush and stayed at a mates farm. With one week away from the gym he was concerned when he came back that he would be weaker.

The opposite, he was stronger than before. He explained it away as it must have been that magic mountain water, and went straight back into serious overtraining mode.

If only we had worked out that the time off had allowed his body to recover then we may not have been 'hardgainers' those first 5 years


I am sure there are some more stupid bodybuilder stories to tell, in fact I know there are but I'll save them for a future article :) 

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