Remembering Why I Started

I’ve never been in shape.  That’s an embarrassing admission considering that I’ve been lifting weights or at least exercising for 23 years.  I

John Greaves III at age 19

Not the best starting point. June 1992; 130lbs

started out as a skinny kid and that didn’t change until my girlfriend at the time had to rescue me from under a bar loaded to 135lbs. I weighed five pounds less than the weight that was pinning me to the bench at the YMCA and I never wanted to feel that humiliated again. I started lifting weights and the habit has stuck with me through two decades and some change, an overseas deployment and at least one thirty day stay in a federal disaster area.

But I’ve never been in shape.  I’ve gotten close, back when I would cut weight to fight but I’ve never had the sort of physique that turns heads, that makes others envy.  None of that’s important. What IS important is that I’ve never developed my physique to the point that it fulfilled that subconscious promise I made to myself years ago as I read every muscle magazine I could find.  That quiet resolution I made behind my own back to be more.

Time for that to change.

So last week I started to make that change.  I began a different diet, increased my water intake. Hired Nate King, the owner of The Grit House Gym and a physique competitor to keep me nutritionally honest.  Our goal is not only to get the flab off but also to help me create a year round eating plan that will make sure I keep it off.  Won’t be easy, my palate was born in West Africa and it loves foods cooked in raw palm oil but my eyes grew up seeing tons of guys with ripped physiques who eat the same foods.  Nate and I just need to figure out how to make it work for me.  Oh yeah, and I’ve got a meet next month so we’re trying to keep my strength levels as high as possible while I lean out.  Hey if it was easy, everybody would do it. I don’t care.

Time to become who I should have been years ago.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 ESV

Height: 5’9      Age 42

Goal: Physique recomposition.
Goal: 190-195lbs    Starting Weight: 202
Goal: 31 inch          Starting Measurement:  39
Chest: relaxed
Goal: 44 inches  Starting Measurement: 43
Goal: 17.5 inches flexed/16 relaxed Starting Measurement: 17.5 inches flexed/16 relaxed

John Greaves III is a freelance writer in North Georgia. He is the founder of Garage Gym Life and a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. John’s diverse athletic and writing background allows him to write about a variety of topics from sports to business. You can find out more about him including how to have him guest post on your blog, write for your magazine or ghostwrite a piece for you by clicking here.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on