When I was 16 years old I saw Conan the Barbarian for the first time, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role. I’d always been a bit of a geek, well, a lot of a geek and had been playing Dungeons and Dragons since I was 12. It had sword-fighting, sorcery and most of all it had Arnold.
It struck me there and then. That’s what I wanted to become, that’s what I wanted to look like, Conan, and so began a life-long love affair with becoming big, strong, jacked and tan.
When I picked up my first weight I was a little under 9 stone (around 55kg/123lb) at 3/4 of an inch below 5 foot 8. Not exactly Barbarian material. I knew I had a lot of work to do and it I soon began, much to my initial disappointment, that it wasn’t going to happen overnight.
Over time, slowly but surely I grew bigger, stronger, faster. I filled out and started to develop some size.
I was in my 20s before people began to ask ‘Do you work out?’ but only when I had my shirt off.
In my 30’s people asked me why I kept doing it if it wasn’t really working.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that people started asking me for advice. ‘What should I do to get big arms?’, ‘How can I loose body fat?’, ‘What can I do to gain size?’
Big, Strong, Jacked and Tan is my journey in lifting and everything I’ve learned from over 28 years in the Iron Game.
Cover image and profile pictures courtesy of Roy Smallpage,