My Starting Situation…
I was a skinny little runt like any typical Vietnamese kid when I was growing up. The only thing I had going for me was that I was above average in height compared to other Vietnamese kids.
I barely weighed a measly 120 pounds when I first entered high school at 5′-9″ tall. By the time I dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade, I weighed a whopping 125 pounds at 5′-10 1/2″ tall. Furthermore:
- I never touched or even held one girl’s hand during the whole time I was in high school because I was shockingly afraid that some girl might laugh at how skinny I was.
- I never took my shirt off during physical education classes because I was deathly afraid that other kids would laugh at the ribs that were poking through my chest.
- I never went to football games, dances, or any type of student activities in school because of the shockingly low self-esteem and self-confidence that I had about my stick figure body.
- If I did not wear a belt, my pants would slide off because I had such a skinny ass. A girl slapped my ass one time and I was devastated and traumatized for several weeks because I thought she was making fun of my skinny little ass.
- I purposely avoided wearing any short sleeve shirts or pants because I did not want anyone to see my skinny arms and legs. And no matter how much I ate, I was never able to gain any weight and fill out my small size T-shirt.
In my family, my grandfather, dad, and older brother were all big and tall men. I was the “black sheep” of the family and it used to piss my dad off that I was skinny.
He would always force me to drink a glass of milk and eat a block of cheese everyday before dinner so that I would grow bigger.
Unfortunately, I was lactose intolerant and could not consume dairy products because my body did not produce the chemicals to digest dairy products.
My dad did not know what being lactose intolerant was so he would beat my ass with tree branches and bamboo sticks for being stubborn, defiant and not obeying his demands that I eat more dairy products so I can get bigger.
I tried to explain to him that milk and cheese made me fart and burp really bad and that my stomach would be in a lot of pain but he never believed it.
I remember on one occasion, my older brother, little sister, and myself were leaving the house to go to the state fair, and my dad did not permit me to go because he felt that I was too skinny and weak to be on the roller coaster or ferris wheel.
It was excruciatingly painful to know that my little sister in the 6th grade was “strong” enough to be on a roller coaster but I wasn’t.
It was very demoralizing and difficult to try and explain to my little sister why I couldn’t go with her to the state fair.
Although my dad was able to hijack a communist navy patrol vessel, fight off Thai pirates and bring our family out of Vietnam after the war, he had absolutely no idea about health, fitness, nutrition, or building muscle.
He basically stated that if I wanted to go to the state fair next year to make sure I started eating more cheese and drinking more milk. My dad’s health & fitness philosophy was very simple:
- If I had a severe migraine headache (which I often had) it was because I didn’t eat enough milk and cheese.
- If I had a stomach ache it was because I didn’t eat enough milk and cheese.
- If I had a cold or a flu, it was because I didn’t eat enough milk and cheese.
- I had a fever, it was because I didn’t eat enough milk and cheese.
- If he saw my ribs poking through my T-shirt, it was because I didn’t eat enough milk and cheese.
- Pretty much everything that went wrong with me when I was young was because of milk and cheese.
Despite all the ass whoopings and bamboo canes I received from my dad for being skinny, I eventually got numb to it and just accepted it as a way of life for a typical Vietnamese family.
However, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for me (and made me realize I had to do something about my skinny ass) happened when a good friend of mine named Paul, set me up on a date with his next door neighbor named Christy, who was exceptionally cute!
(Disclaimer: Names have been purposely changed here to protect the innocent.)
This was indeed a very rare opportunity for me after I had dropped out of high school.
Christy’s mom had ask my friend Paul to chaperon Christy on our first date.
As I pulled up to their house, I had this outrageously wild idea that I would let Paul drive my car (which only had two seats) and I would sit in the passenger seat and Christy could sit on my lap!
… and I could hold her in my arms! That would be awesome!!!
What happened next literally broke my spirit, shattered my manhood, and destroyed every ounce of masculinity I had in me.
Christy had a gorgeous 5′-10″, 125 pound figure, and as she climbed into the passenger side and sat on my lap, her weight literally crushed me!
I couldn’t believe that my skinny ass was so weak that I couldn’t even sustain the weight of a 125 pound girl on my lap.
I tried to act cool about it and not seem like a quivering little pussy in front of Paul and Christy but the reality was I was hurting trying to support her 125 pound body on my lap.
I had horrible thoughts of my thighs bruising, with internal bleeding, and maybe even cracked bones by the time the night was over.
I had absolutely no fun that night even though I had one of the cutest girls on the planet with me.
I drove home that night shocked, delirious and excruciatingly demoralized that I wasn’t even strong enough to hold a girl in my lap. I kept thinking to myself:
- How would I ever be able to “sweep a girl off her feet”, or…
- Be the “knight in shining armor” to protect and defend her, or…
- Keep douche bag losers off of her when we go out?
After that pain-rich night with Christy, I made a commitment to do something about my pathetic, zombie like body because I was sick and tired of being skinny and out of shape. I vowed to do what ever it took to get my body in shape. (NOTE: This is how shit like the “Napoleon Complex” gets started!)
I wanted so bad to have a strong and powerful physique that all the college and professional athletes and superstars had on TV.
- I wanted to have a body like Jean Claude Van Damne and be able to kick some ass and not be scared of anyone.
- I wanted to have those Football linebacker thighs so I could wear shorts in public.
- I wanted to have abs like those Olympic swimmers and volleyball players.
Therefore, I went on a mission…
I Tried & Failed Many Times To Get More Muscular And Stronger…
At that time, the only thing I knew was:
- Start eating more.
- Saved up money to buy weight gain powders.
- My older brother bought a used cement weight bench for me so I could start lifting weights.
- I started to eat more chunks of pork fat in hopes of putting more fat on me.
- I started going to the grocery stores to read all the popular muscle magazines so I can learn what to do, but I always walked away more confused because every month they said something different.
Despite all my cold cock attempts to get bigger, nothing happened…
… nothing changed…
… and I didn’t gain one pound!
My First Breakthrough In Getting More Muscular And Stronger…
In 1993, I was living in the city of Danbury which is located in the state of Connecticut and met a former Gold’s Gym trainer named Tim who had a physique that looked like it had been chiseled out of granite.
Tim noticed that I would come to the gym with my friends and run my mouth but never workout. I mentioned to Tim in passing once, that he was lucky to be born with good genetics and he explained to me how he grew up very skinny and spent many years in college learning how to get bigger and stronger and that it wasn’t luck at all.
It was very difficult for me to believe that Tim used to be skinny like me when it was undisputed that he was the most muscular and strongest guy in the gym.
Tim was 26 years old and I was only 18 at the time, but he still remembered how it felt not to have a strong physique and offered to train me for free just to help me out cause he knew it would help with my self-esteem and confidence level.
I finally suspended my disbelief one day after I realized I had nothing to lose and within 10 weeks of training I gained an astonishing 18 pounds of muscle!!!
I never felt so much better in my life!
My self-image and confidence shot through the roof! I felt like I had finally broken through to the “other side”. For once in my life, I actually enjoyed wearing a T-shirt.
After six months of training with Tim and going from 125 to 158 pounds, I moved to Fort Worth, Texas and embarked on my personal training career.
I Started Getting Very Consistent Results…
In 1994, my life had gone through so many positive changes after getting in shape that I went on a mission to change other people’s lives through exercise and fitness. I wanted to do for others what Tim had done for me.
I had no intentions of training anyone for money. I just wanted to change other people’s lives so I started training my close friends and a few people at the gym for free and for fun.
The results I got for my friends soon got the attention of other folks at the gym and they started to ask me for training so I started to train them to get good results as well.
Although I knew how to workout at that time, I was still repeating what Tim had shown me but in reality, I really did not understand what I was doing and did not really understand how the human body responded to exercise and nutrition. The results I got for people were good but they were not as consistent as I wanted. You can say I’m a tad bit Obsessive Compulsive in these matters.
I was basically a “monkey see, monkey do” trainer but none of my informal “clients” could really say anything because I never charged them anything, it was pretty much all charity work.
If you know me, you’ll find that if I’m passionate about something, I’m going all in and will play 110%! Full throttle!
My path to becoming a professional trainer was very “unconventional”. I wish that I could tell you that I studied kinesiology (or however you spell it) in college or something but I didn’t. Everything I know about training people came from the “trenches”.
The biggest breakthrough for me in training knowledge and experience came when I started volunteering to train federal prisoners at the correctional facilities in hopes of changing them from criminals into productive citizens. At that time in my life, I was firmly convinced that a good health and exercise program could make a positive change in anyone regardless of what they did in their past.
I had free reign to develop, test, execute, and experiment with any type of training program on the prisoners. I was not compensated financially for my time and efforts but the knowledge and experience I got from it was priceless and has benefited myself and hundreds of my clients later on.
During my experimental training and research on the prisoners, I learned and discovered some amazingly shocking truths about the human body that the fitness industry still does not know today because they will never be able to experiment on other human “guinea pigs” like I did with the prisoners.
I have always been fascinated with athletic performance. Maybe it’s because I view them as modern day “gladiators” and appreciate being “tough”. Therefore, I spent countless hours testing different strength, speed, and conditioning exercises with the prisoners. Sports in prison are just as competitive as they are outside of prison.
Unfortunately the experiments did not always end well. I remember trying to get this one gangbanger to bench 405 pounds one time, and I did not spot him correctly and I cracked his sternum. Afterwards, I told him to shut up and quit whining like a little bitch in front of his gang buddies and he shut up. However, deep down inside, I knew that I had messed up. The sad thing was that I’m a slow learner so this happened several more times before I was able to consistently get someone to bench over 405 pounds.
I can honestly say that I have hurt hundreds of prisoners in my years as a volunteer trainer because I had no clue or understanding of the functions and limitations of the human body.
It is sad and unfortunate that the authorities allowed a novice, dumb ass trainer such as myself to experiment on the prisoners the way I did. Maybe the guards were a little sadistic or maybe they just wanted to see their “favorite” prison sports teams win. I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is that my ignorance caused dozens of prisoners to suffer from:
- Ruptured discs in their necks and spines.
- Broken backs.
- Torn blown knees that require knee replacement surgeries.
- Busted blood vessels in their eyeballs from training too heavy.
- Shitting blood from over training lower body exercises.
- Multiple cases of hernias and torn ab muscles from over exerting the ab exercises.
- Worn out hip joints because of the bad lifting techniques that I was teaching.
- Irreversible arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are many prisoners today that will never commit another crime again because they can’t run or walk straight anymore because their knees and hips are blown out or be able to lift their hands over their head because I screwed up their rotator cuffs. Things were not pretty and did not always go well during my experimental training years.
However, I did have a very keen eye and kept careful records of what worked and what didn’t and after years of experimental training, I started to notice the exercises that were causing all the major injuries (and NOT producing any gains) among everyone and I eliminated them completely because they were just a waste of time.
I then started to systematically set up “double-blind” control groups and start testing all the exercises and training routines that were published in:
- Muscle and Fitness
- Muscle Media 2000
- Powerlifting USA
- and many of the popular bodybuilding books of the 1990′s
I had lots of “guinea pigs” to experiment with so it did not take me very long to determine if a workout routine was effective or not.
I was so obsessed with finding the “holy grail” to changing the shape of the human body that my informal, experimental, “research” went on for over a decade from the mid 1990′s all the way through 2005!
I Organize My Breakthrough Fitness & Athletic Performance “Research” Into A System…
I was blessed to be able to experiment and do the exercise, athletic performance, and nutritional research that I was allowed to do and did not want all that knowledge to go to waste because I no longer had time to train people anymore because I was studying to become a professional stock trader. Therefore, I began to systematically organize my knowledge and experience into a system that I could share with others.
Unfortunately, I never had a chance to publish my research and share it with others because in 2006, I moved to a city called Austin located in the state of Texas and met some really good stock traders so all my attention shifted to the stock market and I began pursuing my goals of being a professional stock trader and was not able to train very many people like I had in the last ten years before that other than my close friends.
In 2008, one thing led to another, which brought me into Gold’s Gym at Tech Ridge which was the busiest Gold’s Gym in Austin, Texas. I have always worked at hardcore gyms so working at a “mainstream” gym such as Gold’s Gym Tech Ridge was a very big shift for me.
I learned a lot about working in a corporate gym environment from my Fitness Manager Ricky, and the senior personal trainers Aaron, Albert and Enrique.
After a few months of working at Gold’s Gym Tech Ridge, I was promoted to their Lead Personal Trainer and started training the other trainers on how to get people leaner, stronger, more muscular, faster, quicker, and have more conditioning.
I never thought I would ever go back into training again after I got into the stock market, but somehow or another I was pulled back into the gym environment.
At the end of 2009, I was recruited by the Online Trading Academy to come and help coach other stock traders because of my stock market knowledge and coaching experience, so once again, I left the gym environment.
I was disappointed that I did not put a book or DVD together of all my knowledge and personal training experience that I had acquired over a decade of research on prisoners so when I left Gold’s Gym Tech Ridge, I finally decided to put up this personal training blog so that the priceless knowledge I had on how to get people in shape and improve their athletic performance can be shared with others.
I Have Helped Many Others Get Leaner, Stronger, Faster, Quicker, & Have More Endurance…
I have helped hundreds of others obtain a strong, healthy, lean, muscular, and powerful body and I can help you as well. Here are some examples:
Bobby “Mr. Awesomeness” Rinehart is a club manager extraordinaire and by far the most popular club manager in Austin, Texas. It was a great privilege to have train him. I took Bobby to a hardcore, all natural, Texas Classic Powerlifting competition and took 1st place in April 2010. It was a kickass day for Bobby and his fiance Irma. You can watch Bobby’s competition video with his fiance’s “lovely & illustrious” commentary under “Client Testimonials” in the “About” tab.
Cedric Green is another client who had retired from powerlifting and when we first met, he was doubtful that he could ever get back into competitive shape again. When we first started training, I told Cedric to train with me for at least 6 months first before he competes again. However, he was so happy with the progress he was making with me that he went ahead and registered as a “walk on” and competed against a dozen Division I-A schools to take 2nd place at the Longhorn Open in November 2008 in Austin, Texas.
My life has completely changed since I changed the shape of my body and I really enjoy helping others get into great shape.
I not only enjoy helping athletes such as Bobby or Cedric but everyone from all walks of life. Below is a picture of me training Tejano musician, Alejandro Alonso, so he can be prepared to perform at the 2008 Tejano Music Awards.
And this is me helping Alex Torres (from John B. Conally High School in north Austin, Texas) set a whopping new record of 5 steals in one game at a baseball tryout which got lots of attention from several Division I-A college recruiters.
I Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness & Athletic Goals Too…
As you already know quite well, there are a lot of people running around trying to convince you that they have all the answers.
Well, unfortunately for you, I don’t have ALL the answers. But I do believe that I have SOME of the answers (and I think the answers I have are pretty important and effective).
You SHOULDN’T just blindly believe me either regardless of how many prisoners I have experimented on. In fact, I would recommend that you approach my materials with a healthy skepticism, and a “scientific” perspective.
Many folks get into fitness and personal training because of self-image issues, medical concerns, or a desire to improve their athletic performance. As I began on the journey to change my body and mind, amazingly enough, my life began to change.
I started to achieve more success in health, wealth, and relationships.
I strongly believe that these are the three major areas of life that I think are most important for everyone. When you have:
- A healthy and powerful mind and body.
- A healthy and rock solid financial life.
- And a healthy unwavering relationship.
It makes life more fulfilling and really worth living.
In this blog, I want to share some of the positive changes in my personal life that I have achieved through proper health & fitness.
Good luck with your training and athletic endeavors and if you are new to this training blog, then go to the “Start Here First” tab and let’s get your ass leaner, stronger, faster, quicker, and have more endurance then the Energizer bunny.
Talk to you soon!
Tai “The Asian Wonder”
Your #1 Online Personal Trainer
Fast Joint Rehab & Recovery Expert
Speed Training Expert
Migraine Headache Treatment Expert
Badass Sports Psyschologist
Current Student Of Wu Chi Chuan (Wuji Quan)
Current Student Of Zen Buddhism
Former Student Of Wing Chun Kung Fu
Former Lead Personal Trainer At Gold’s Gym
Heart Attack Survivor
P.S. – Below are some examples of how developing a strong and powerful mind and body has changed my life. I share it with you not to impress you, but to impress upon you, that once you get in good shape, anything is possible! Enjoy!
It’s nice to meet lots of beautiful women but I’m not greedy, all I need is one special girl in my life…