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My name is Andre Evans, I’m 20 years old, I was born in Hartford Connecticut. The area I lived in wasn’t the best place for me as a child. Got a lot of my personal things stolen. Seen and heard a lot of things I’ve shouldn’t have experienced at a young age. But when you don’t have a choice, there’s nothing you could really do. Every time something in my pocket or in my house got missing. My parents did the best they could to get me new ones. I never told them it was stolen. I never really wanted them to know everything I had, had got taken away from me. As time went on as a kid, all my friends moved away. Some out of the street, or worst out of the state. Sad to never see those people again. My family was the last ones out.
It was freshman year and forget what you see in movies. It was the craziest year of my life. Fights every single day, teachers not showing up for class so what the kids would do is lock ourselves in the room and just chill the whole period. I missed so many periods that I could have been learning. I needed to get my mind off everything. Sports was a big thing in high school. Everyone I knew was either in a club or playing sports and I knew football was going to be for me, I mean I played backyard football and I always played PlayStation football games so I said “hey, why not”. I weighed about 125-130 pounds my freshman year playing. It was a little embarrassing, the varsity players saying they would crack me. Coaches didn’t know where to put me on the field .I ended up playing corner back. It’s funny now that I look back getting tossed around that field like a hot potato. I knew lifting weights were the key to getting bigger. About a week after I went down to the weight room and I saw all the varsity players’ bench pressing squatting 2-4 plates. The first day was pretty intimidating, I didn’t know the proper lifts, and I was really insecure and embarrassed so I never went back. I haven’t touched a weight in 2 years since then.
My next move was to New Britain. I was a sophomore and at the time I was 135 pounds. That first year I wanted to get use to the school before I do anything. Me and my brother didn’t really feel like we fit in. Everyone at that high school new each other from middle school and freshman year. So my brother and I just stuck together for the first couple of weeks till we met friends. That year was better than my freshman year, even though I had a rough start.
It was vacation time and my brother, father and I went to Jamaica to see family and friends. I saw my cousin that I haven’t seen in 5 years and he was huge. He had the biggest traps I’ve ever saw. When he puts a shirt on, his traps would look like they were wanted to tear the shirt. I wanted to look just like him. His back was cut and thick, it was ridiculous. I asked him where he works out. We lived a little on the poor side of the country so I knew there wasn’t a gym nearby. I was so curious. He told me he goes to his friend’s house that’s like a half a mile away. Every morning around 7 he walks there and meets up with his friends. One morning I went with him and his friends and the five of us went to the backyard and I saw nothing but rusty weights everywhere on the ground. They also had a dip bar behind the bench. My cousin hopped on the bench and benched 205 for 8 reps. it was a PR for him. I didn’t even think I could do my own body weight. I hopped on and did 135 for 4 sloppy reps, once I hit that, I knew I was going to get strong fast. That day was the start of my life.
Once I got back home I started doing pushups like my cousin told me. I was doing them every day. I would do 100 before I went to school and 200 before bed. I gained about 7 pounds in about 4 months I was cut. Not like Rambo but I had some muscle that was noticeable .I found 1 twenty pound dumbbell in my basement and started curling it, I would get text messages from friends to hang out on a Friday night and I was too busy curling weights and doing pushups.
It was the end of 2012, it was the middle of my junior year and I was in the weight room benching. I was repping my body weight doing about 140 for 12 reps. My friend/ quarterback got the coach to talk to me about playing for the team. He got me into something I wasn’t ready for, knowing that the last time I played it was rough and I’m only about 15 pounds heavier, it might still not be the sport for me. They didn’t know that but I said I will anyways. I felt a little more confident. I had my arms a little bigger and I was a lot stronger from when I first started. I did a lot of heavy lifting with the team. Mostly squats, bench press and cleans. My bench was a lot stronger than my lower body. I was benching about 50 pounds heavier than my squat, which isn’t good for a football athlete. I did pretty well my senior year. Got a couple of rewards I felt more disciplined. I worked out with the football team till the off the season which was November of my senior year. Maxing out on bench with 285lb, and squatting 350 for one rep. That whole year I was straight on creatine. Creatine was my steroid. I was taking hardening workout pills to help with my pump and protein was there to help me grow naturally. That was the end football I didn’t really want to gain crazy weight for football. I play outside linebacker and was only 145-150. Which wasn’t good weight for the college level. Coaches liked what they saw at the combine especially that my broad jump was an impressive 9.5 feet. I really just wanted to body build.
After school I continued to work out. I met this kid name Javier Vega .He took bodybuilding as serious as me. He would go to a park about a mile away from my house. I would hit pushups, pullups, and dips with him every single day. I wasn’t employed and couldn’t afford a gym membership so that’s what I did for about 6 months. He was a year younger than me and it was crazy how much he knew. You would have thought he studied at Yale or something. He basically put the weights in my hand. I’ll never forget how we would walk every day to the park and talk about how much I will grow. He was my trainer, my brother my idle. I was finally 19 and I was employed. I had a little money for a small gym so I attended the YMCA. It felt like home, I remember the first time like it was yesterday. Hearing metal plates slam against each other. My eyes lighting up like Christmas morning. I knew this was going to be my second home. I spent most of my days either at work or the gym. I kept growing and growing, getting stronger and stronger. Experimenting with so many supplements. Javier kept teaching me and putting the heavy weights on my lap. I couldn’t stop. I did my first bench press competition at the Y and showed people that body weight was just a number. I dominated in my class weighing 168 benching 285. Months later Javier left me going to another gym and I found a new workout partner. A younger kid, 3 years younger. If you saw him you would have that he was the same age as me. He was taller and almost built like me. We became close and because his method was a bit different then Javier’s. It really shocked my muscles and I became even stronger. We would walk even farther to the gym. Even if it was snow to our knees. We were getting there no matter what. We would bring extra clothes in our bags if it was pouring rain, telling each other that were going to keep going no matter what. He became my big little brother. Where ever he went I was going we pretty much was eating the same foods after workouts which was walking an extra quarter mile to McDonalds or getting Chinese food that was about 5 minutes away from the gym . We both gained weight, me weighing 170 and him weighing just under 200 pounds. I was gaining weight and it had me lifting a bit heavier. I wanted that bulk look to me. Everything went as planned and I left the YMCA Benching 350 pounds, squatting 450lbs.
We left to a new gym called Big Sky which was 3 miles away from our house so we got bikes and now we continue to ride bikes there. I don’t have my license yet but it would be a big game changer if I do. I can’t even count how many times we had a popped tire. We would have to walk the rest of the weigh there and walk back home. It’s a struggle now getting there praying that we make it safety there and back.
The thing that motivated me now is the people behind me. Giving me great feedback or the haters telling me that they would never want to look like me. I tell them “Don’t worry, you never will”. People will continue to think I’m on or took steroids because of how much I grew a lot of people from high school mostly. Family would say it but it would be in a joking manner. It’s a blessing to have good genetics and good supporting parents, helping me get whatever I need. My dad helped me try to understand life at a young age and he always told me that it might sound confusing now that I’m young but when I’m older it will start to make sense. I now see exactly what he was trying to preach to me.
I’m still currently in New Britain, working out in the same Big Sky. I see both my workout partners almost every day. I plan to do my first show next year. I just got introduced to John of BBpics.com who is one of the most creative and opened minded person I know. He has so much experience and knows what exactly what to say when you’re posing in front of that camera. At first when I heard about him from a friend. My first thought is this a good opportunity for me to start my dream. I thought it was too good to be true. It didn’t feel real when I met him for the first time. He knows how to make you feel good about your body. He will make you feel like your weak points aren’t so weak. His shots on camera would make you feel so confident and you will see points in your body you’ve never seen before. I just did my first official shoot and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I felt strong mentally knowing that I can achieve anything, as long as I work hard for it. I’m excited for our next shoot. The thing I like about John of BBpics.com is he is not the type of person that will work with you for one day then go MIA. He always stays touch with me on a daily basis so not only is he your Photographer but a good friend. It’s time for me to get more and more shredded and I can only imagine what I would look like later this year if I continue to work with him.