Written by Team Juggernaut
By Brandon Lilly
Do you know? Do you set out a plan or do you just go with the flow of what your training partners are doing and hope, wish, and pray you get better? Well I will tell you this much… For me powerlifting has never been easy. I was 175 lbs. when I started lifting and I remember walking out 135 lbs on a squat bar and wiping the blood from my lip after I fell to the ground with it. 135 lbs. Think about that. I have never been much more than average at any endeavor I ever tried to partake in, but when it came to picking up a barbell, I didn’t care how many times I failed I would not quit.
I hear so many sob stories of guys having better genetics, or more money for supplements and drugs, or better equipment to train on, or whatever. I get sick of it. I have trained in every kind of gym from a high school gym with no dumbbells, to a garage powerlifting gym, to the best two gyms in the world, and everything in between, and I always got better. Some of you will disregard what I just said above and point to my genetics, supps, or my Zodiac sign, but I’ll will look you in the face and tell you I gave up everything to be the best I could.
Imagine being a hot shot sales executive at 25 years old, six-figure income, brand new home, brand new Lexus, both paid for, and imagine having a burning inside you so bad you that you would walk away from all of that, your friends, your family, and every safety net you have ever known to follow a dream that makes no sense. Powerlifting pays nothing, costs a fortune, and in five years you’re a memory at best. So why did I leave? Because I couldn’t look myself in the mirror and say “I have done everything I know how to do to be the absolute best I can be.” You know what walking out did? It gave me back a set of balls the world tried to take away from me. If you let it the world will make you soft and beat your ass down over and over until you accept the bullshit you’re fed everyday. Not me. I like my balls just fine, thank you.
For two years I trained at Westside and Lexen Xtreme gyms in Columbus, Ohio and I trained with and beside the best in the world. You know what else? I didn’t fit in. Why? Because I have strong opinions and beliefs, and so do a lot of the other guys in those gyms and we butted heads. I found myself alone, with loads of doubters, internet haters, and I honestly wondered if it was worth the price. I went back to the old mirror that had long since taunted me, and I again looked but this time realized I was on my path to being my own man, saying “Fuck your methods, and rules, I believe in myself.” So I found a couple of guys willing to believe in my training methods, and take a chance on training with me. In four months we all improved, we all did things completely different than we had been taught but we were getting stronger. No longer was I walking in the gym with my head down, but I walked in head high, and with a purpose. I was not going to fail. I started training to be strong and stopped chasing a PR every time out. I just wanted to make each lift better, and if I did that the PR’S would come.
In three months after changing everything I knew in training I hit my best geared total of 2530, and the very next month I hit 2105 raw with just wraps and a belt. Numbers that had been dreams just months prior were now reality because I was willing to give it my all. So the next time you wanna take a day off, or skip out on a set, go find your “mirror” and ask yourself… “What am I training for?”