I started lifting at the age of 12 with a vinyl weight set filled with cement and a cheap little dinky weight bench. But hey, I was 12 and didn’t know anything else – this stuff was great! Probably like a lot of kids that start lifting, I was the smallest and skinniest kid in the class (possibly in the school) and wanted to become BIG. I don’t know what I weighed then, but I was nothing but skin and bones – and short to boot.
I kept the weights in my second floor bedroom of my folk’s house. So, a number of my buddies and I would spend evenings upstairs listening to KISS albums and lifting those cement weights.
There were quiet a few times when the weights dropped and I thought they were going through to the first floor. This would normally be followed by my Dad yelling up the stairs "Hey!" – and that was all he ever said – I don’t know if I could be so calm. I’m still amazed that the plaster stayed on the ceiling of the downstairs living room.
After a couple of years with the vinyl weights (and fortunately no hole through the ceiling) I was beginning to see some little bumps (could this be muscle?) starting to appear. My one buddy’s dad started going to the YMCA to play racquetball and took us along one night to hang out. While scoping the place out, we saw a room filled with air resistance machines (Keiser?). We tried them out and found they worked better than the cement we’d been pushing. So, we started going to the ‘Y’ three or four times a week; every time my buddy’s dad was playing racquetball. Fortunately, he was really into the sport, so we got our ride to the ‘Y’ without problem.