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For My Mom

She didn’t just bring me into this world, she set me on a path to leave an impact on it.


There’s one story about my mother that comes up again and again. In every interview when a reporter asks me about my training routine and what got me into lifting weights, I tell them the short answer: fitness magazines piqued my interest, and my mother did the rest, buying me my first weight set.

The long answer, and the part I don’t often have time to tell, involves the fact that she didn’t exactly have the money to get me that weight set. We lived in a simple council flat in Crumpsall Manchester, England. Walter, my father, was a painter. Pat, my mother, was a bartender. We were not destitute by any means but we certainly didn’t indulge in luxury purchases. Since my parents grew up in an era when weightlifting was an alien concept, they could have easily told me to find another habit and move on. There was just no need for me to have it.

But I was blessed with a mother who paid close attention to me; she saw that my interest in weight lifting wasn’t a passing fancy and that it had ignited my imagination and motivated me in a healthy way. So she scoured the classified ads, found a used weight set, scraped together what she could, and made the sacrifice to buy her son what he wanted.

I’ll never forget coming home from school one day and finding the gold set of Weider weights and doing a double-take. I screamed, “Are you kidding me?!” I got straight to work and haven’t stopped since.

It humbles me to no end to think back to her sacrifice and the seismic impact it had on my life and career. I’ve written a fitness book, continue to share new workouts every month in this magazine, and am the proud owner of a line of protein supplements and healthy food. I’m able to share my love and motivation and help others achieve their goals and it’s all because I had a mother who cared, who put the wants of her children above her own.

On this Mother’s Day, I want to say thank you, mom. I hope you never forget that everything you did for me, great and small, made me the man I am today. I love you.

To all the moms out there who put their children first, have a happy and blessed Mother’s Day. You’ve earned it.

Yours in health,


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