Viking Beast Media Origin Story: My Fitness Journey

Viking Beast Media Origin Story: My Fitness Journey
December 30, 2023
Viking Beast

Disclaimer: if you click on a link/ image in this article and decide to purchase, Viking Beast Media will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This will directly fund my out-of-control passion for supplements.

I'm 24 and have been into fitness for over seven years. I focus on eating well, getting enough sleep, etc. Every six months, I check my health by getting my blood tested, including my testosterone levels. I've noticed that when I lose weight, my testosterone drops more than you'd expect for my age and lifestyle. The craziest change in total testosterone has been from the mid-600s to the low-200s.

This drop in testosterone affected my life quality, but I have no interest in taking anabolic steroids or TRT (at such a young age). So, I started looking for natural ways to boost it. That's when I found out about Tongkat Ali, a natural supplement. I did my homework and decided to give it a try.

It wasn't easy to find a trustworthy brand, but eventually, I found Nootropics Depot. They test their supplements religiously (and those from competitors), and share their findings in-depth on Reddit. It looked like the obvious choice, so I placed an order. I'm usually doubtful about “testosterone boosting” supplements because most are, for lack of better words, absolute garbage. But let's talk about my experience with Tongkat Ali from Nootropics Depot, and find out if you should give it a shot.

So, sit back, grab some popcorn and let’s dive into my review of Nootropics Depot Tongkat Ali.

Pectus Carinatum aka a F’d up chest

A cool 12 year old boy in a maze

Take a deep breath, exhale, and imagine yourself 10 years back in time when I was just 13 years old.

One day I noticed that my chest was looking weird. One side was different from the other and my ribcage seemed to be pointing forward in the middle.

For a young teenage boy, you can imagine I felt pretty bad about this. I told my mom, and we went to the doctor.

It turned out I had something called “pectus carinatum”, which is a chest deformity that develops during your teenage years.

With this knowledge, I faced a difficult choice. It was possible to do an operation to get my chest fixed. However, it would take about two years to recover and the procedure was new in my country.

The procedure goes as follows: they create two holes on either side of your chest and place a metal bar in between (over your ribcage).

I wouldn’t know the outcome upfront, since nobody in my country had completed the entire two years yet. Also, it would affect my life tremendously since I wouldn’t be able to do sports or other activities for a long time.

The doctors said that it would be purely for aesthetical purposes because my chest deformity wouldn’t affect my life in any other way.

Together with my parents, I refused to do the procedure.

A young teen

A guy with a buttoned shirt next to the Mona Liza

I was a very skinny, tall teenager, and didn’t enjoy food at all.

The fact I was so skinny, made it a lot more obvious that there was something wrong with my chest. I always believed that everybody could see it, so I avoided clothes that would fit tight.

I decided to only wear buttoned shirts, so you couldn’t see the middle of my chest sticking out.

In the locker rooms during gym class, I would be very quick in changing and always turn the other way. One time a kid commented on my chest, and it got to me.

I didn’t take my shirt off ever. I wouldn’t even go swimming anymore, which I loved as a kid. Instead, I played online videogames such as Runescape most of the time.

First contact with the gym

Quote "Dream big." on a wall

When I was about 14, a college of my mom took me to a hardcore gym.

I couldn’t even squat with a wooden stick. I can still feel the excruciating pain of our first leg day together.

It was like 300 Spartans simultaneously put their spears inside my legs. I was bedridden for an entire week.

I went to the gym a couple of times a week, for a few months. I didn’t make progress, because I didn’t know anything about food, and didn’t eat much at all.

I got injured and had to go to a physical therapist. That was the end of my first short gym experience.

Teenage years

A couple in a cool pose on a festival

Since I was a little kid, my parents took me to all kinds of music festivals.

I’ve always loved them, and when I was aged 15-16 I went even more. Now one thing I like about festivals is mosh pits. I’m talking metal, and punk band kind of mosh pits.

I didn’t care that I was skinny and weak. I would run in and absolutely lose myself.

During these years it turned out that my chest deformity wasn’t purely an aesthetic problem. I would often have pain for weeks, even with just a minor inconvenience happening to my chest.

I noticed this even more after festivals. I had trouble falling asleep, simply because of the pain. Also when my heart rate went up too much, it felt like it was pressured against my chest.

It affected my life both mentally, and physically.

Start of my fitness journey

A skinny boy's "before" gym picture

4 months before my 17th birthday, on the 19th January of 2016, that’s when my real fitness journey began.

On that day I didn’t realize it, but it was then that I probably made one of the best decisions of my life. I lay in bed, alone in my room, and watched a movie called

“Never Back Down”

Something in that movie inspired me. It lit a fire upon my ass so big I can’t even describe it.

I went to the mirror beneath my stairs and made a picture of myself in my underwear. My starting physique.

Then and there I committed to doing whatever it takes to transform my body into something I could be proud of.

I didn’t have a single clue about how I was going to do it, or where it would lead me. That didn’t matter.

I convinced my parents to get a weight kit from a local store. Two iron adjustable dumbbells, a barbell that weighed 4.5kg (10pounds), and some weight to put on it.

I also bought a simple adjustable bench and some push-up stands. Awesome, I was ready to go headfirst into my journey.

I looked up exercises I could do, and workout routines. Then started training nearly every day. I would work out for 2 hours at night in my room and do push-ups whenever I could.

When I woke up I did push-ups, during the lunch break from school (I went to my grandparents) I did push-ups, after school…

You get it, I pushed myself up, a lot.

Mass gainers

A boy that made progress in the gym mirror picture

After 3 months I finally realized that working out by itself wasn’t going to cut it.

I had to learn to eat more, a lot more if I was serious about achieving my goals. So, I went to the store with my mom and bought a huge 5kg bag of mass-gainer, and mass gainer protein bars.

Those shakes were over 1000 calories each, and I would drink as much as I could every day. Now the issue was, those shakes tasted so bad I can still taste them while writing these words so many years later.

I would have to run to the toilet, puke, make a new shake, and drink it again. It didn’t matter though, I had a dream.

Never Back Down was my mantra for reaching that dream.


An individual painted in Joker style from suicide squad

I held myself a goal to train for 6 months to go shirtless on Halloween. Painted like the joker from the suicide squad.

Reached the goal, and in mid-winter I walked around half-naked on Halloween. It was awesome.

I met my girlfriend that night, who I’ve been together with for over 5 years now. Wouldn’t have happened, if I had never picked up those weights.

A couple picture on Halloween

Reaching milestones and moving on

At home gym small barbell and weighted plates

I trained at home for over a year and hit many milestones during that time.

One day I was doing an ab workout I found online, and all of a sudden I saw something. Something I hadn’t seen before. It was… MY FIRST AB. A moment I’ll never forget.

I ran downstairs to my mom and yelled LOOK, and we both said like OMFG the first ab.

Another milestone was my first 100kg (225 pounds) bench press.

I had to tie a part of the weight to my small barbell with a bathrobe rope. Then I had to lift it from the ground and get it on my chest before I could do the bench press.

Both my parents were there for safety, and when I lifted that for the first time, it felt amazing. I was super proud of myself, and how far I had come.

The fact that my small barbell didn’t crumble under the pressure of 100kg of weight, still impresses me to this very day. I still use it in my home gym.

Training at home had its limitations though. I couldn’t train my legs properly, because I was mostly bound to bodyweight exercises or light dumbbells, and there wasn’t any more weight I could fit on my small barbell for certain exercises.

While training at home was great, it was time for me to join a real gym. I was nervous at first, but it went great. It didn’t take long until I loved the place. This was at around the age of 18.

Who inspired me

A muscular individual with fire on the background at a Rammstein concert

During the next 2 years, I had a whole new set of people that inspired me, such as Zyzz, Jeff Seid, and David Laid.

Most of them were a little bit older and had life journeys I could relate to. They started skinny, gamed a lot, and were insecure.

However, they made a lifestyle change, got a super aesthetic physique, and became confident in who they’ve become. One quote from Zyzz, who died at age 22, hangs in my room up until this very day. It goes as follows:

“Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun, fuck a mundane predictable life working Monday to Friday with something you derive no pleasure from; just living life out till you grow old and wither away. Find a passion, form relationships, and don’t be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks, trust me it’s a lot more fun that way.” ― Zyzz

I got big (too big)

A muscular, individual but with some fat, before weight loss

My interest in fitness only grew from there, and so I learned more about everything I could find.

I improved my diet, trained ridiculously hard, and started learning more about supplements such as pre-workout.

A little before age 20 (2019), I was the heaviest I had ever been at 99kg (220 pounds), and to be fair I got pretty fat.

I had just reached my all-time goal of bench pressing 3 plates (140kg or 315 pounds) and decided to go on a cut (lose the fat).

It was time to say goodbye to my three extra chins. I wanted to be so lean in the summer you could see every single one of my abs in glorious detail.

I lost weight (too much weight)

A super lean individual after six months of weight loss

I restricted my calories and added cardio to my training.

My mom (who has always supported me) would measure me every week. Life was good, and I was losing weight steadily.

I decided to plan a photoshoot on the 5th of august to have an end goal in mind. Once I have a vision though, I go all-out for it, and this backfired completely.

Turns out I cut my calories too hard, did too much cardio, and took the diet way too far. I ended up dieting for 6 months, and in hindsight, it could be considered a crash diet. Read about it here.

Leading up to the photoshoot I lost a lot of muscle, my strength was cut in half, my hormones dropped to dangerous levels, I had no energy to do anything, and there was no joy in life.

I did the photoshoot, and afterward, I had to recover from ruining my body completely. At my lowest weight, I dropped to 76kg (23kg or 52 pounds lost).

I did learn a lot from this experience. One of those things is that I can achieve absolutely anything I set my mind to. Also, I now knew my body extremely well, which comes in handy for the rest of my (fitness) journey.

2020 “my year”

A lean and muscular individual flexing on Christmas

After ending my weight loss phase, I was ready to build my body back up stronger than ever.

A really fun thing happened, my girlfriend started to go to the gym as well. She’s still going strong to this day.

Then 2020 came around, at New Year’s Eve I said “this is going to be my year”, well I’ve never been so wrong before. Covid-19 hit the world out of nowhere, and all gyms closed in my country.

I had to train at home once again. I was training as hard as I could with my little barbell and dumbbells, but progress wasn’t the same.

Fast forward to the end of the year, and I was midway to building my very own garage home gym!

I got the best looking and feeling barbell ever. A cerakote red/black barbell from Rogue. I had plates too, and it was great. It took a long time to get a power rack, and most of the other equipment though, because everything was sold out.

Turns out home gyms are popular during a pandemic.

Note: When my power rack finally arrived, I put it full of Pokémon stickers.

2021 “my year… BROKE my leg”

One legged Romanian deadlifts with a broken leg

New Year’s Eve’ 2021, this was going to be “my year”, covid would end and my journey would continue harder than ever!

It went great, up until April when I tried to sprint my dog on a basketball court. He ran into my leg, and for a moment I was flying through the air.

Then I hit the ground and broke my left calve. I was devastated for a day, but hey life goes on right? I couldn’t stand on my left leg for months and had to walk on crutches.

I adapted to the situation, and still trained every day. I read into studies about cross-education. This means when you train one of your legs, the other one will have a cross-over effect, so it won’t lose as much strength/muscle mass.

I trained that right leg as if my life depended on it. I did this in combination with riding an indoor bike every day (the only form of movement I could do with my left leg). And it worked, very well.

My left leg barely changed during the time I was unable to use it. Bonus, I found out I really like riding that bike, so I continue to do it up until this day.

At the end of 2021, just 8 months after breaking my leg, I was stronger than ever. I finally accomplished another all-time goal of 5 plates on the deadlift (220kg or 490 pounds).

2022 and beyond

A six year bodybuilding transformation

And that brings us near the end of my story up until now. It’s 2022, and training is going pretty well. I weigh 90kg, without feeling fat (luckily), and my strength is going up.

So I guess the Viking Beast Story ends here, for the time being, that is.

Over the years I’ve learned so much about my body, who I want to be, my dreams, and just how to be myself.

I looked up countless articles, took so many online courses, read blogs, and learned from a huge number of people.

All this time and effort taught me about how my body works, how to diet, and how to work out in all kinds of different ways.

With this blog, I want to share what I’ve learned. Not just in a scientific way, but from real experience.

I love to improve, so my journey is far from over. However, at times it’s good to look back and see how far you’ve come already. I often forget to do that.

At the end of the day, I just want to make 17-year-old me proud, and as I’m writing this, I realize that I might be on right track.

I share my journey to inspire, and I hope that over time my words will inspire countless others to find their unique (fitness) journeys in life. I’m excited about the future.

Are you excited too?