Bodybuilding

Hooked on the pump!

My fascination with bodybuilding began in my early teens. I was always involved in some kind of physical activity at school and in the neighborhood. I played stick ball, street touch football, basketball, and soccer. I also did a lot of cycling and track. No one could beat me running. Although short, I had to play harder and smarter to make up for my lack of height. Very quick and agile, everyone wanted me on their team. Still with all of this activity I had an imbalance in upper and lower body development. My legs were dominant. I had a genetic pre-disposition to carrying extra fat on my lower abs, hips and lower back. I was not pleased with how that looked. I noticed that the older guys were starting to lift weights in the summer and they were shirtless most of the time showing off their six-pack abs. I know now that I am not a prisoner of my genetics and neither are you!

When school was out I caught the old Jack La Lane shows and started doing exercises with chairs, tables, phonebooks, bricks, and jugs filled with water. Soon I started noticing the changes that the exercises combined with the onset of puberty were having. It's amazing what the bodies own natural hormones can do. Along with the usual secondary sexual changes came mood swings and a voracious appetite. I ate everything in sight! Being the first male child, my mother could not understand why I was always so hungry. I felt so guilty. We still laugh about how I would eat all of the meat and drink gallons of milk. In spite of my hyper-caloric diet my overall body fat level was very low.

In high school I had access to the New Universal machine and found that in no time I could leg-press the whole stack. I was really starting to like lifting weights and cared less about team activities. I continued lifting off and on until after graduation at which time I had access to the new Phys Ed center at Drexel University.. the college I was attending that fall. At first I felt a little funny being the smallest guy amongst all of these older college dudes. I did not let that stop me. You should never be intimidated when first starting out. Use the bigger and more advanced guys and gals for motivation and inspiration and try to surpass them.

Soon, I became a fixture. You could always catch the little short guy with the big afro at the gym. It was great! The gym was furnished with free-weights, Universal and the new Nautilus machines. It was complete. One day I decided to increase the weight on my bench-press. The weight was almost too heavy but I could still get about 6-7 reps. I did three sets and I felt a little dizzy and a little uncomfortable. I walked into the bathroom to splash some water in my face and I noticed in the mirror my chest and shoulders looked like they were going to explode. The muscles felt tight and engorged. Did I do something wrong? I decided to do the same thing with my triceps and biceps exercises. I ran into the bathroom again to look and sure enough they were pumped huge. I walked out and asked some of the older guys if this was normal and they all laughed.

They explained to me that this was a "muscle pump". I've been hooked on the pump ever since!

Kevin C.  Brown. Copyright 1996 -  2002 Maximal Fitness. All rights reserved. Revised: September 02, 2002 09/02/02 09:35:33 PM