Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


How I Started in Weight Training and Bodybuilding
Written By : Kirk Fontaine

For as long as I can remember, I loved how the body functioned to keep us alive and read books in reference to this subject. I become self educated at a early age on how my body works. Therefore I became proficient in basic anatomy and physiology, biology, life sciences and also zoology. Then when I entered high school I became interested in how bodybuilders and weight lifters enhanced their physiques.

I started reading all the old physique magazines and focused on the life of the Austrian Oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the fellow bodybuilders that he competed against. His friend and fellow rival on stage, Franco Columbu became my role model. I am a natural ectomorph, small boned and short which was similar to Franco’s measurements when he start weight training and bodybuilding.

I started lifting weights at the high school gym on a old Universal multi-station machine with my high school buddy. We also exercised in his attic with a plastic weight set with a basic weight bench.that you buy at the local department store.

Unknowingly we were working out almost everyday of the week for 2-3 hours. Can you believe that?

I continued weight training with my buddy until I graduated and went to the Marines where I “sowed my royal oats“, meaning I decided to start acting wild and careless – not focusing too much on weight training. My day consisted of my 8-5 job as a Motor Vehicle Operator (2.5ton military trucks) for carrying cargo and military personnel when training in the field.

After my discharge from the military in 1983, I started to go to college back in 1984 then started revisiting my interest in bodybuilding and weight training. I worked out in the college gym and decided to pursue a degree in something health and fitness related since I was exercising on a regular basis and also became interested in bodybuilding and competing. I won several trophies during that stint which ended in 2002 winning 1st place in the Cleveland Bodybuilding Championships and placing 4th in the Master’s Class in the same competition.

I still have that drive to get back on stage at some point in the future. I realize it will be much more of a challenge on many levels 10 yrs plus with out competing but not impossible. It would be great to get a sponsor since right now my finances are little to none due to my unemployment. Hopefully that will change with time. – i am presently looking for career opportunities in personal training.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Kirk Fontaine
'Captain' Kirk Fontaine is a Personal Trainer In Cleveland, Ohio, Ex.Sci Graduate, Marine Corp Veteran and Bodybuilder in Training. He's also the Community Manager of the Straight to the Bar Community over on Google+, and interviews various trainers, coaches and fitness enthusiasts in the weekly Gymchats. If you're a fitness professional and would like to take part in one (or know of someone who should), drop him a line. Find out what he's up to on Google+, Twitter and the Dictated Journeys of a Personal Trainer site. Swing by.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.