If you've read some of my other bodybuilding articles or visited my website you may have seen a few pictures of me. The most important thing for you to realize about these pictures is that when I first started bodybuilding, I didn't look anything like I do in the photos. I can remember being teased as a child by the "skinny" kids in my neighborhood – oh yes, they all had fun calling me "chubby" and pointing out that I had to wear "husky" pants while their moms could shop for them in the "slim" section of the local clothing store.
As an adult I know that kids can be cruel when teasing one another and that they lack the maturity to understand the harmful impact of name calling. But as a child being teased, my ego was crushed and I felt very insecure about my physical appearance – especially when I was hanging around the skinny kids.
The first time that I went to train at a gym I had this same insecurity. Since I was only 12 or 13 years old, I did not look like the guys who'd already been pumping iron for years. In fact when I went to the gym for my first public workout, I still had some of the "chubbiness" that the skinny kids had teased me about.
Now, of course, things are very different. And when I think of the fun and benefits that I've enjoyed from all of my years in bodybuilding, I'm glad that I did not let my childhood insecurities or the "intimidation factor" keep me from starting my workout program. Over the years I've also learned that this intimidation factor can be a major obstacle that keeps people from realizing their bodybuilding or fitness potential.
If you've ever failed to get started on a bodybuilding or strength training program because you think you're "too fat," "too weak" or "too anything" to workout in public, you've fallen victim to the intimidation factor . Don't do this! The important thing to remember here is that anyone who has ever accomplished anything in life had to start at the beginning – and that includes all of the experienced bodybuilders and weightlifters that you see at a gym.
Once you get to the gym and start pumping your GUNS you'll probably find that most of the people there are too busy working out to notice how you look or how much weight you're lifting. More importantly, if you're focused and efficient in your training you won't have time to worry about how other people look or how much weight they're lifting. The point here is that I know from personal experience how insecurities about your physical appearance or condition can discourage you from getting into the gym with the "skinny kids."
But just like I did, you must overcome these feelings and get about the business of building the body that you desire. Just remember that it's okay to be a beginner and that it does not matter where you start – it's where you finish that counts!