Top 4 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Bodybuilding | FKN Gym Wear

Written by Jonny London


Posted on February 04 2020

I was 14 when I started bodybuilding. That was almost 200 years ago, or at least that's how old my elbows and shoulders feel some days.

There was no Instagram inspo back then, just glossy fitness magazines that I'd read from cover to dog-eared cover. I'd absorb every piece of advice from my bodybuilder heroes as they promised me that by taking their protein powder, I would change my life from being a short ass nobody, to still being a short ass, but with big muscles and a red corvette!

So here I am, young, naive and still short and here's these magazines telling me that by lifting weights I could get cars and girls? Take my money Joe Weider!

There weren't many opportunities in the small town where I grew up. I couldn't rap or play basketball, but there was a gym and a chicken shop, what more would I need?

Bodybuilding became my life, I knew what I wanted and I thought I knew how to get it. I bought all the gym clothes, a weight belt, a bottle of liver tablets and three kilos of powdered milk, it was game on.

Of course there were early gains, crazy ass gains, but this was an entirely new experience for my skinny little body. I could have just done pec-deck and bicep curls every day for the first year and would have gotten decent results.

It's funny to look back now, it really was an incredible learning experience, but knowing what I know now, here are the top 4 things I wish I knew when I started bodybuilding.

Before we start, I just want to mention that my goal has always been to build muscle and stay lean, not enter any strength competitions. These 4 points are based purely on my own personal experiences. I'm not a coach, a nutritionist or Instagram famous, but following these simple guidelines worked and continue to work for me. Let's go.

1. Nutrition - You Don't Have To Drink Tuna Shakes To Build Muscle.

Early on, I would have eaten pine cones if someone said I'd gain muscle. I remember being told that tuna was the best thing I could eat, lean and full of omega  oils, but I can't stand it, so someone said drink Diet Coke with it to kill the taste. 

Of course I took that one step further and blended tuna and Diet Coke into a foamy 'drink'. What did it taste like? Imagine a glass of Coke, then empty a can of tuna into it and stir. That's exactly what it tasted like.

Over the years I've tried every conceivable meal plan you can think of, but ultimately it just comes down to consuming more calories than you burn from a variety of protein, fat and carbohydrate sources.

Don't let anyone fool you, nutrition is not rocket science.

2. There's No Perfect Training Routine - Mix It Up Every Workout.

If you utilize solid compound exercises and supplement them with targeted isolation movements you can't really go wrong.

The trick is to mix up every workout. For example; on chest day, say you do bench press, incline press, dumbbell flyes and machine press. The following workout do the same exercises, but change the order. Never let your body get used to the same routine.

Even messing with repetition numbers can make a difference. Week one do 4 x 8 rep sets, the following week do 4 x 12.

We're not here to break any lifting records, we're here to build FKN muscle.

3. Most Supplements Are Horseshit - Not Literally, But Maybe.

A wise man once wrote, How do you make a Mass Gainer? Add $80 to a tub of sugar.

Don't get me wrong, I fell for ALL the ads. I bought the Cell-Tech and the bee pollen. Mass Tech was telling me that it was 'Scientifically formulated to build chest and arms', I'll take 3 tubs please!

A word that a lot of these companies use is 'Mass'. Gain Mass, Build Mass, Mass On Dat Ass! I made up the last one, but as it turns out Mass is just a marketing term for fluid and fat.

If the goal is purely to move the needle on the scales at the expense of your jawline, then be my guest, you will definitely gain weight, but don't confuse mass with muscle.

Supplements definitely have their place in bodybuilding and their place is to supplement your bodybuilding diet. I currently use a low carb protein powder and a pre workout before training. I don't know if they're doing anything, but I like the taste.

4. Stretch for fucks sake!

As a man who began bodybuilding in the 90's, stretching was something that girls and vegans did, except that stretch that looks like you're holding up a pole, we did that.

Who knows if I'd have less injuries today, but stretching more would have certainly saved me a fortune in physio treatments I'm sure.

These days, using rollers and gym bands and things is quite commonplace before and after a workout, FKN even sells them.

I personally do my rolling every night at home on my tubular foam devil because no one needs to see the faces I pull when I nail my ITB (iliotibial band).

So there you have it...

This list could have easily been over 100 things I'd do differently, but it's been fun looking back on just these 4.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with these 4, what things would you change if you started again from the top?

I honestly think I'd still do things exactly the same, they seemed like great ideas at the time!

Well done on making it this far into the post, was definitely a long one! Please subscribe to the mailing list below to stay up to date with all of my ramblings and remember. FKNLIFT