Starting Your Fitness Journey

Starting Your Fitness Journey

Fitness isn't a one size fits all journey or path. Many people discover it in different ways and are influenced to make different decision in regards to how they want to move forward.

Follow along with Cydney, Max and Payton as they really dive into their fitness journeys and how each one of them had a different path to join powerlifting.

Cydney Bushue - 90kg USPA Lifter

What got me into powerlifting? I didn't grow up as an athletic prodigy or having worked out my entire life. I played volleyball, very poorly, during middle school, but after that, I became the definition of lazy. I had no motivation or drive to accomplish anything. I fell into a deep depression, not only because I was overweight, but because outside forces told me I was worthless destined for failure. After leaving a long-term, miserable relationship, I finally looked in the mirror and said "How can I change? How can I be happy with myself?"

At that point, I had no idea what I was doing, so I started with Planet Fitness a few minutes away from my home. I'd go in, walk a mile on the treadmill and lift weights for 30 minutes with garbage form. I didn't know how to operate half of the machines, and in the end it was barely beneficial for me. I was coming in with the mindset of "I'm working out so now I can eat whatever I want. That's how it works, right?" While going to Planet Fitness did get me moving, I didn't take it seriously.

I discovered powerlifting when Brian and I started dating. He recommended I go to and use one of their free programs to get started lifting. It was intimidating looking at it all. While the movements were simple, like tricep extensions, dumbbell bench, etc, as a newbie, I had to Google every single exercise.

As the relationship between Brian and I developed, he took me to a powerlifting gym in Kansas City during May of 2018. On my first day JP Price showed me how to squat which began my adventure. Though it took years to develop an interest in it.

Lifting is hard, results aren't immediate and muscles aren't built overnight. It was difficult not to look around and see all of these amazing people who had been lifting for years killing it. But as it goes, I constantly compared myself to them. People don't realize that the mental game is just as hard as going in and lifting the weight itself.

Brian always helped me keep my head on straight and showed me that I had a genuine talent for the sport. It was because of him, my amazing coach, and all of my friends that I kept pushing myself to become better. Every day is a chance to be better than I was yesterday and after that, nothing else mattered.

I finally learned how to move past everyone's judgments and properly lift after years of practice. It took a lot of investing in myself and pushing to get into the gym, even on the days where it seemed impossible to go. In the end, I am so grateful for the ones who convinced me to stick with it and I'm happy that I never quit.

How did I get into powerlifting? With the help of a few good people.

Max Hall - 74-5kg CPL/IPF

Like many I have had multiple starts to my fitness journey.

The first time I started working out I was 13 years old in grade nine of high school. I had just started playing football and basketball. Before that I had played soccer, volleyball and done martial arts. I never really enjoyed sports, until I found football where something just clicked in my head. This was the first time in my life I wanted to be good at something.

I was a small skinny kid. Being horrendously undersized for football and wanting to look like Zac Efron so girls would like me lead to me finding the gym. We had a magazine fundraiser as a school I ordered a year’s subscription to Men's Fitness. I became entranced with all the celebrity, athletes and super workouts. They really didn’t get me the results that were promised but they did fire me up for training and created a spark. A spark that would one day become my burning passion for fitness.

My second start to fitness was after I had dropped out of college. I had got in an abusive relationship, stopped working out and lost 35lbs. I was back to being skinny I lost my spot on my college football team and among other things I dropped out of college and moved home.

This is when I friend of mine that was a training partner of mine in high school came and dragged me to the gym. We did legs. I was crumpled underneath a 45lb bar. I didn’t stop though. I kept going. I felt everyone was judging me but I kept going. I fell back in love with fitness. It gave me a sense of stability I needed in a time of vulnerability. My mental health improved, I discovered powerlifting soon after, and I haven’t looked back.

Fitness has changed my life since I took that first step.

Payton Cowan - 100kg USAPL/IPF

The reason I started lifting was a combination of many things. The first was my dad had just started CrossFit, and because of the really close relationship I have with him I told him we could start doing Crossfit together. However, after the first little bit I realized that CrossFit was not something that I enjoyed and stopped doing that, and general fitness all together, for a little over a year or two.

The second reason I started lifting was because I was unhappy with my body, and I was tired of people making fun of my weight (even though it was never that high). I started this leg of my fitness journey running every day and dropped a total of 20lbs!

However, at the end of this journey through the land of running I was even MORE unhappy than before. I may have lost weight but I still didn’t feel great or look good in my opinion. I was caught in limbo wondering why I just was not satisfied with the progress I had made in my fitness journey. With all of that running through my head, I began getting mildly depressed.

Then, during my sophomore year in high school my good friend Sean introduced me to the wonderful sport of powerlifting. While our training did not follow what my current training looks like at all, it did open the doorway for me to begin my journey chasing a goal that I couldn’t love more.

The final reason I got into fitness was to make people proud. I realized in high school that there are more things in life than video games (however I still love video games) and I decided that I wanted to do something with my life that would make people proud.

I still chase that goal every day.

What's Your First Step?

What is your path to a better you? What was your first step? Let us know so we can follow along and support you on this ever changing and growing journey of greatness.

Follow Their Journey

If you are looking to follow and learn from some amazing people and powerlifters follow the links below for some great stories. Or if you are looking for programming, you can find our free programs here or you can reach out to one of our team members to see how to take your training to the next level.

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