About King of the Gym

Alex's weight training progress picture

My progress picture from late July 2014

Hello, my name is Alex, and I am the owner and author of King of the Gym (previously MyWeightLifting.com).

First off, thanks for reading my site! I hope you've found it to be a helpful resources.

On this page, I'll talk about this website, its purpose and what it has to offer to you.

I'll also tell you a bit about myself and my history – I'll try not to bore you with too many details of my life story. Rather, I'll make it relevant to you and your goals.

Last Updated: 9/13/2016

I originally wrote this page in August 2011. However, I've periodically updated the page to keep things current. My last edit was September 13, 2016.

Why You Should Care About King of the Gym

This is your portal for quality weight training resources. Everything you need to achieve your ideal physique and strength goals is within this site.

...That sounds nice, right? Yeah, sure it does. But it also sounds like the kind of generic tagline you'd expect to hear from any other weight training website.

You deserve a better, more specific explanation of why you should use and trust this site. I want you to feel confident that you can always come here to find reliable strength training and bodybuilding information and advice.

I am aware that there are a plethora of other fitness websites that you could visit instead. However, King of the Gym has many benefits over the competition. Listed below are five unique advantages of this site that separate it from the pack.

  1. Get Big, Lean, AND Strong. This site teaches you how to gain muscle mass, get shredded, and build more than enough raw strength to back it up. What's the point of looking like a behemoth if a twelve-year-old girl scout can outlift you? And where's the fun in being as strong as an ox if you have the body of a stick figure? I say, take the best of both worlds.
  2. Personalize Your Program. Your body is unique. You respond differently to certain techniques than the next guy, which is why I don't believe in a "cookie-cutter" approach. I do my best to explain how you can make modifications that can maximize your results (assuming you have the basics down).
  3. Do It the Right Way. You can feel confident using this site. My advice is based on several years of personal experience, observation, and up-to-date research. Just pick up the dumbbells, follow the advice, and bask in the results.
  4. Ignore the Outside Noise. Only here can you find well-organized and easy-to-follow guides designed to deliver high quality content on the basis of one theme: maximizing both muscle size and raw strength.
  5. All Truth and No Scams. Unlike many fitness mega-sites and supplement companies, I don't skew the truth to sell you the latest overpriced and over-hyped product. Knowledge is the most powerful weight training supplement, and nobody can put a price tag on that!

Who Is Alex?

As I said in the intro, my name is Alex and I am the owner of King of the Gym. I started this site in July of 2009, and have been working on it in my spare time ever since.

As of September 2016, I'm 27 years old and have been pumping iron for about 11½ years consistently (with the exception of a couple 1-2 month breaks).

Overall, I'd consider myself to have been generally successful in achieving my fitness goals. I've added about 50 pounds of lean mass to my frame and I've gotten a whole lot stronger, too.

You can view my progress through the years in the image below, with the first photo being from December 2004. (This image will be updated periodically, as time goes on.)

Physique Transformation

Update: Last photo added is from June 2014

Weight training is an incredibly fulfilling passion of mine that has paid dividends in personal rewards. Besides the obvious benefits of achieving mind-numbing strength and essentially becoming the poster child for human aesthetic perfection, it has also provided me with the bonuses of greater confidence, discipline, persistence and better overall health. For these reasons, I plan to lift for the rest of my life.

Although my efforts over time have led to a desirable outcome, my triumphs along the way did not come without accompanying failures and mistakes. Rather, I have gotten to where I am now, precisely because I was able to work through my failures by learning from them...

...Therefore, it is with pride that I'll share with you my mistake-laden training history in an attempt to highlight some of the more important lessons I've acquired on my fitness journey; in getting to where I am today from where I started during my formative years as a naive and impressionable young lifter.

Technically, my first attempt at lifting weights was when I was around 11 years old. I found a pair of dumbbells in my family's old apartment. But these weren't just any dumbbells, mind you. They were top-of-the-line, excruciatingly heavy 3 lb. dumbbells!

Now, armed with the belief that I would soon be more ripped than any of my action figures (including my seriously jacked Wolverine action figure), I was compelled to started my very first "routine."

My memory is vague on the specifics, but I do recall jumping up and down, and doing plenty of push ups. But that was the equivalent of child's play compared to the gruelingly intense dumbbell work that ensued. Not just any dumbbell work, though. I'm talking no holds barred, dumbbell curls. Hundreds of repetitions worth...

...And not to brag or anything, but I sometimes did curls with both dumbbells in one hand. Do the math. That's a whopping 6 lbs. I know, I know... you probably just got really jealous after hearing that. It's cool, though. I get that reaction a lot, so I'm used to the envy.

Jokes aside, this initial attempt at weight lifting obviously went nowhere. But at the least, it showed I had a desire to lift weights since I was a youngster.

I began seriously training in February 2005, when I was 15.

As was the case when I was 11, my goal was still to gain as much muscle as I could. I wish I could say that I had a deeper motivation, but it was simply because I thought it would be cool to have bigger muscles.

I had a more official set up this time than just a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells. I used my Christmas money to buy the equipment I needed to build a home gym. My purchases included a 210 lb. Olympic weight set and a Gold's Gym home gym. The Gold's Gym system was essentially an all-in-one bench/squat uprights/leg developer/lat tower/preacher curl attachment, which (at the time) I thought was the coolest thing ever; especially with its ultra low $150 price tag, compliments of Wally World.

I wasted no time in setting up my new equipment in my basement. I couldn't wait for my first workout.

I hopped on the Internet to do some research and find a routine. I ended up using a 5 day per week body part split as my first routine. From what I had read, I was convinced that this was the best kind of training approach for my goal.

I was wrong.

While I did make some very noticeable size and strength gains in my first few months of training, it was not because of my routine, but rather, in spite of it. What I experienced was "newbie gains."

For those who don't know, newbie gains refer to the rapid increase in strength and muscle size that occurs within a beginner's first few months of consistent weight lifting. Whether you, as a beginner, choose an appropriate routine or one that is absolutely horrendous, your body will respond by producing muscle and strength in overdrive mode, in order to adapt to the intense training-induced stimulus...

...And while it may be true that you'd see noticeable improvements using a less-than-optimal routine, you would actually be missing out on much greater results from using a more sound training program. Furthermore, newbie gains don't last forever. And once they run out, your progress will come to a halt if you continue using a poor quality program.

This is essentially what happened to me: I made great strides in my first 3 or 4 months of training. But after that, my progress slowed to a crawl. I continued doing the same thing for a few more months, but predictably, I had relatively little new progress to show.

I was frustrated because I knew I should've be gaining more. And I was right. But unfortunately I didn't realize the problem was actually my crappy routine. Instead, I figured that my diet must have been the culprit. So I proceeded to bump my caloric intake up by around 500-1000 calories per day. As I would later realize, this was a big, fat mistake (pun intended).

Soon after changing my diet, I felt reassured. The boost in my calories seemed to be the catalyst needed to bust through my plateau. After all, my bodyweight did start to increase again, and my strength gains picked up, too.

But what I didn't notice, until a few (possibly several) months down the road, was that a majority of the weight I was packing on was actually fat!

Due in large part to viewing myself only in mirrors with favorable lighting and conveniently ignoring other indicators that would have tipped me off to the unwanted fat gain, I only became aware the existence of this newfound jiggly mass on my body after deciding to take a progress photo one day. This photo is the 4th from the top in my progress picture collage on this page (see above, right). As you can see, I was on the verge of developing into a teenage Michelin Man.

In hindsight, changing my diet was the completely wrong choice. I needed to change my routine from an advanced routine to one fit for my novice level of experience. Luckily, there is a lesson to be learned from this blunder.

  • Beginners Should Do Beginner Routines. You should train according to your experience level. As a beginner – regardless of your ultimate goal – you should ideally be on a simple 3 day per week full body weight lifting routine. Not a body part split routine. I learned that lesson the hard way, so hopefully you won't have to.

Of course, the above is just one example of my knowledge gained through training-related trials and tribulations – As I mentioned earlier, I have amassed a small treasure box full of bits and pieces of wisdom, through the highly effective process of trial and error...

...And I should emphasize that the "trials" involved in my many "trial and error" experiences weren't simply blind guesses as to how to approach given objectives or situations. Rather, my decisions were almost always based on some degree of prior research.

And so, despite having actively sought the correct solutions and being convinced I had found them, it would often turn out that I was completely misinformed. Below are some more of the major discoveries I made:

  • Eating Every 2-3 Hours Is NOT Necessary. For several years, I was brainwashed into believing that I needed at least five evenly spaced meals per day. If I went more than 3 hours without eating, I'd become increasingly irritable. I was convinced that my muscle and strength would begin to disappear if I didn't get my meals perfectly timed. I felt indescribably liberated once I found out that this was all just one giant myth. I now eat just 3 (rather large) meals a day, which contain all my daily macronutrient and caloric requirements. And guess what? Nothing bad happened! My muscles didn't fall off and my days became infinitely less stressful.
  • There Is No Such Thing as "Clean" Eating. Not only did I obsessively adhere to eating on an arbitrary eating schedule, but I also adhered to an unnecessarily strict diet in terms of food choice. I always made sure that my meals consisted solely of so-called "clean" foods (as opposed to "dirty" foods). For example, I'd always eat brown rice, but never white rice; skim milk instead of 1%, 2% or whole milk; whole wheat pasta, but god forbid I ever had any white pasta; and the list goes on. Luckily, though, clean eating is a boogie man. It's not real. You see, all food is essentially just energy (i.e. calories), consisting of some combination of macronutrients (i.e. protein, carbohydrates, fats). At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is whether you eat the right amount of calories with the correct macronutrients proportions. You won't get fat by eating fatty and sugary foods, so long as this doesn't interfere with your caloric and macronutrient goals. This is why people have lost weight before eating McDonald's, donuts, ice cream, among other "dirty" food choices. This doesn't mean you should binge out on cotton candy and scoops of Crisco – You do still need other nutrients (i.e. fiber, vitamins, minerals) in your diet. But the point is that you don't have to live in fear of eating the wrong foods. If you're smart about it, you can fit your favorite "dirty" foods into your diet plan without any negative effects on your results!
  • Strength Does Matter. For probably half of my years training, I couldn't have cared less about gaining strength. While I was always excited whenever I hit new personal records, strength training was never a priority. Since my primary focus was on muscle building, I rarely trained with low reps and heavy weight. But I should have. After hitting a plateau in muscle gains a few years ago, I set out to find a solution. After some deep digging, I learned that strength training should always be an integral part of your programming, even if your only goal is to gain muscle. In accordance to the principle of progressive overload, you must continually increase the stress on your muscles to force them to grow. There's a number of ways to do this, such as increasing the reps, sets and/or reducing time between sets. But you can only get so far with said methods before you stall out. The most obvious and effective method of achieving progressive overload is to lift heavier weights. This, of course, increases your strength. Then, having achieved a higher level of strength, you now have a new starting point from which to add reps or sets; thus, continuing to progressively overload your muscles.

Why I Started King of the Gym

I founded King of the Gym (at that time it was MyWeightLifting.com) after completing my sophomore year at college, while majoring in Finance (though I soon switched to Entrepreneurship).

My motivation for starting this website was catalyzed by my longstanding passion for lifting weights, combined with an apathetic attitude toward the traditional business topics that I'd been introduced to in my first two years of classes.

Above all else, I just wanted to do work that I actually enjoyed while creating something of value for others. I thought this website would be the perfect way to satisfy those criteria.

I knew that I could share all the knowledge I've collected in my years of lifting weights. And I saw that there was a need for more clarity within the online bodybuilding/powerlifting community, where bad information is running amok.

There is an overabundance of poor advice that is readily dispensed at the most visible of "mainstream" fitness websites and communities. And while there may be nooks and crannies of accurate information burrowed deep within these mainstream sites, chances are the answers you'll find will be at least partially wrong, unless you know where to look. It's all but impossible to distinguish fact from fiction, especially if you're new to lifting weights.

Put bluntly, in order to find sound weight training information online, you have to be able to wade through a lot bullshit. Heaping piles of it. As discussed earlier, I had been misled many times by following such bad advice...

...And so, I have made it my mission to seek out and uncover the obscured or hidden facts; and to present them in a clear, well-organized, consistent and direct manner.

Through analysis of my own experience, careful observation of others' training and a great deal of reading and research; I have been able to identify and uproot the troublesome myths and dogmatic attitudes that undeservedly absorb the attention of the average novice, while blocking out the truth. I have been working to plant seeds of knowledge here, in hopes that they grow in visibility, making them easier to find, for those those seeking accurate advice.

As far as any certificates or degrees for training or nutrition are concerned, I have none. While I certainly don't dismiss the usefulness of official credentials, they are not required for the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. Furthermore, possessing credentials does not automatically translate to expertise.

That said, I do plan on becoming certified as a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), as personal training is one of my future aspirations. I have recently taken (and passed!) a prep course specifically for the CSCS exam.

Since deciding to build this website, I've put in many thousands of hours of work: researching, planning, writing, re-writing, coding and more.

In many ways, creating King of the Gym has mirrored my actual training experiences. That is, I've made many mistakes and spent tons of hours on unnecessary tasks and projects.

But with all the mistakes and inefficiencies of the past, I have attained an equal number of valuable lessons and become increasingly more productive and focused in my operations. I've discovered more about operating an online publishing business than I would have ever thought possible in such a short amount of time...

...Fast forward to today (September 13, 2016) and I have begun to see the fruits of my labors. My website now receives over 80,000 visitors per month – a number that continues to grow.

Additionally, this site passively generates a modest side income for me, which I use to grow the site and pay off bills. My long term goal is to make this my main source of income and employment.

I hope you find this site to be both informative and enjoyable. If you consistently and intently apply the advice you learn here, then success is in your future.

Train smart and stay hungry,

– Alex