My Story – 29 Years & Counting
It's taken years to get to where I am now, it's not always been easy but it has been worth it. I've learnt so much over the years and Lift Learn Grow is my way of passing on this knowledge to you.
The Early Days
I was the weedy kid.
I had my growth spurt early and went through a period of being the tallest in my friendship group. Thanks to puberty this didn’t last too long and my friends eventually caught up with me. However, this meant I went from the weedy kid to the weedy and lanky teenager.
You know, skinny limbs and weak.
I loved sports but throughout my school years I was shy and never willing to get involved more than I had to. I’d do the compulsory sports classes and played football for a weekend team but never particularly excelled at anything.
I always felt like I was holding back from who I really was. I had very low body confidence and actively hated changing in front of other people. Showering in school was enough to send cold shivers down my spine and the thought of running around topless in the summer was something other people enjoyed doing, not me.
The Teenage Years
Come my mid-teens I began to learn that through training you could make yourself bigger, faster, leaner or stronger and naturally I was sold on the idea.
I thought that I would finally be able to look how I wanted to look, I'd get better at sports and my shyness would melt away. With this in mind I joined my first gym and began training.
I remember walking to the bank with my dad and brother to withdraw the money I needed to join, full of excitement not only because I’d never held that much money before but because now I was joining the gym and the future was bright.
I whole heartedly believed I would be muscular and strong in no time.
I devoured bodybuilding forums and fitness magazines in search of the best workouts to get me the results I craved as quickly as possible.
In the gym, I spent most of my time lifting weights that were far too heavy for me, scared of the free weights room and firmly believing it was only a matter of time until I got the body I wanted. I never truly understood much of what I was doing or why I was doing it.
This all changed when I found kickboxing, I was hooked from lesson one and threw myself into it, hoping that through learning to defend myself I would get fit and my confidence would sky rocket. Due to the additional expense, I stopped going to the gym opting to create a makeshift home gym away from prying eyes and the perceived judgements of others. Together with my brother, we bought a cheap bench, wobbly rack, pull up bar and an assortment of plates and bars.
We trained pretty much everyday, taking advice from books, magazines and forums, jumping from one programme to another. I convinced myself I was making progress when in fact I was 100% what’s called skinny-fat, neither lean enough to be considered “ripped” or muscly enough to be considered “built” but instead, living in a no man’s land of unhappiness and body dissatisfaction.
Early 20s & Uni Days
Heading off to University I still had a limited understanding of nutrition and its effect on training. I continued to train aimlessly trying everything from giants sets, tri sets, drop sets and more, to finally pack on some muscle.
My lack of nutritional knowledge and tendency to be swayed by everything new led me to some ridiculous places. I went through phases of; no carbs, no fat, Atkins, and more, in my futile attempts to live up to the body ideals that were shoved in my face everywhere I looked.
The more I tried to find out what worked the more overwhelmed I became.
Armed with the idea that if I could just get there everything would be alright, I continued with my goal to build the body like the guys in the fitness magazines and continued to jump from one false promise of sure results to another, until I decided enough was enough.
Sick to death of spinning my wheels, finished with university and with a passion for fitness that was only growing, I decide to enrol on a personal training course.
I knew if I could continue to learn about fitness and nutrition then there was a chance for me to, not only find out what really works but, to discover how I could begin to rebuild my body confidence too.
Mid 20s & The Present Day
After finishing University I went on to successfully complete my Personal Training course and began helping clients from all walks of life achieve the body of their dreams. At this time I also threw myself into kickboxing, I began training full time, took several gradings over a number of years, competed nationally, became an instructor and started teaching.
I haven’t looked back since and consider myself beyond fortunate to be doing something I love as a job.
Now having spent years teaching people how to train effectively, eat properly and make it fit into their lifestyle, I now want do the same for you.
Over the years I've learnt more than I could have imagined.
Through continual and consistent education and experimentation I've learnt what I need to do to get me to where I want to be and everyday I'm taking the necessary steps to get me there.
All this is not to say that I’ve finished learning, I'm not sure I ever will but I can say my fitness journey has progressed and evolved more that I thought possible. I've come to realise that fitness is fluid and completing one goal leads to setting another.