About Hemp Hogan

 About Hemp Hogan

I'm Hemp Hogan, and my primary hobby has been lifting weights since age 13. I've had a quite a few experiences in gyms, and life, since I began. Here are some of the highlights. 

At age 12, I was standing in front of a mirror at my childhood home assessing the strength of my shoulders.  With nobody home to hear me, I stated aloud, “I’m goanna need big shoulders to make it in the world”. The next year, I began lifting weights at the local health club. I was fortunate because the World Wrestling Federation wrestlers came to town on a regular basis, and guys like Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes, Junkyard Dog and Rowdy Roddy Piper trained at my club on a regularly. I watched them and mimicked their movements in the gym. Being around such positive energy was inspirational. 

From the first time I laid eyes on a bodybuilder, around age 11, bodybuilders seemed like a clean-cut, athletic, positive, upbeat image representing the quintessential athlete. I wanted that for myself. A couple of years later, I began to bum rides with older friends, or have my mom drop me off at the gym. I didn’t know what to do, so I just did 3 sets of 8 on everything. My only goals were to get bigger and stronger for no reason. I was too young to worry about symmetry, or even know what that word meant, but I did gain a lotta muscle thickness that I could shape later in the gym.

I wanted to be a bodybuilder, but I didn’t know how to begin. There were 3 or 4 older guys, one who was a former NFL player, that I hung out with at the club. One day the old player said to me, “boy, you ain't got no muscle. Get into powerlifting, and get yourself some muscle to shape first". This made sense to me, so I got into powerlifting in 1981, and I lifted some heavy weight around the country. In 1986, after I set some records in that sport and got all of my related surgeries and injuries out of the way, I finally had some thick muscle to shape up and convert into a lean and muscular physique.

Along the way, I had plenty of injuries, pain, surgeries, and pain pills. One injury occurred in 1993, when I was shrugging 800 pounds for 4 sets of 15. On my 60th rep, a loud pop echoed throughout the entire gym.  A buddy ran from across the room saying he had heard something and wanted to know if I was okay. I said, “nope, I’ll see y’all in a year”. The pop was the C6/C7 disc in my neck popping open like a bag of jelly, but they put a dead man’s bone in my neck, and a year later, I was back in the gym eating hydrocodone pills like they were candy. Pain pills were starting to become more widely used and abused in the early 90's than ever before. Scripts tended to be 90 pills, but the big deal was refills. One phone call to the doctor's office was all it took to get more pills. Although pain pills come with the territory, they also come with a price. The pills were an obstacle to my goals. It was time to start taking two stairs at a time again, instead of two pills at a time, but it seemed impossible to do. It was impossible, that is until 2015 when Madre Ayahuasca called me to the Amazon Forest in Peru for Ayahuasca duty. There, I spent 10 days deep in the jungle with Shamans who guided me through several ceremonies, and several lifetimes. The result was that Madre Aya had hit my "reset" button and finally re-connected me with my "old" self. Thank God and thank The Universe for Madre Ayahuasca!

Now, I was older and dealing with the same health and life issues as everybody else my age. I had my gallbladder removed in an emergency surgery, and my prostate is as big as a Volkswagen Beetle, but I always continued to pursue weightlifting because I knew that consistency is the key to success. You don't have to enjoy lifting every time you do it. You just have to do it., and know that if you didn’t get something that you wanted, then you didn’t really want it.

In 2016, I finally decided that I really wanted to be a professional bodybuilder. I was at a point in my career where people in my industry knew who I was as a professional. I figured it was time to “come out of the closet” with my physique with the people at work. Fitness was becoming more mainstream anyway, and more people were getting muscles and looking more like me. Coming up in bodybuilding in the late 70’s and 80’s was not widely accepted, to say the least. Arnold did a lot for fitness and bodybuilding when he got into movies and dispelled myths about, health, fitness, and bodybuilding. I met Arnold when I was 11. I shook his hand at the Special Olympics. His hand was like a catcher's glove. He told me it was nice to meet me. I was hooked! Two years later, I  bought Arnold's Encyclopaedia of Bodybuilding and studied like it was my bible. 

Just 44 years later, I became a professional bodybuilder in 2019. Until then, my main calling card in fitness was the physique that I had built and maintained., but adding professional bodybuilder to my resume' didn't hurt.  People need role models to inspire them; especially in fitness. If somebody has the look, and lifestyle, that you want, then study them and model yourself after them. I've been given a gift of being able to develop and maintain a healthy physique through diet, exercise, and proper supplementation, and I believe it's my responsibility to share what I've learned with as many people possible while I'm on this planet. Knowing that I might possibly help some people with what I know is worth all of the experiences I've had in this life.

Let's heal together, 
Hemp Hogan

Any questions, comments, or pertinent statements?

Let ‘em rip!