Bullied to Bodybuilder: Using fitness to build confidence

By Keith Kocinski 10.03.2014 blog

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every five high school students experiences bullying.

There are many ways to overcome this form of abuse, and, like former victim Nixlot says, THERE IS A WAY OUT. Just don’t give up.

First, reach out to someone you trust for help, like a teacher, parent, or mentor. Let them know what is going on and see how they can help. You should not have to withstand those hardships, especially alone.

One effective way to deal with bullying is what Nixlot is doing — using fitness to help build your confidence and strength. I am not saying you need to get big and strong to beat up your bullies. I am just saying bullies aren’t as likely to bully someone who appears confident and noticeably fit. Nixlot never sought revenge for the years of bullying he suffered. He just got bigger and stronger and the bullies simply stopped bullying him. He is no longer a target.

I personally have been working out since I was in high school, and fitness is now an important part of my life. I can honestly say from experience it really does provide me with a greater sense of confidence and pride as I meet certain goals. Even people who bullied me in the past noticed the changes and apologized for their actions when they ran into me later in life.

I will tell you the workout Nixlot put me through was extremely tough even for someone who works out a lot. We started off with a warm up, then began our workout, alternating sets of bench press, bicep curls and push-ups.

The workout looked like this:

10 sets (x) 5 reps of 225lbs bench press

10 sets (x) 25 reps of 40lbs. dumbbell bicep curls 10 sets (x) 25 push ups

We did this whole sequence together with no rest. Then we took turns, one of us repeating the sequence while the other took a minute to rest.  This workout is primarily for chest, shoulders and biceps training.

The weight may vary based upon training experience.

At the beginning, the workout wasn’t too strenuous, but over time and as sets progressed, I found myself starting to really struggle. As I continued to become more fatigued, Nixlot seemed to get stronger. He upped the ante by benching 315 pounds on his 4th set and then 405 pounds on his last set. That is pretty impressive for anyone, let alone a 16-year-old high school student.

Nixlot and I were half-way into the workout when I really couldn’t do anymore. I wasn’t too proud of giving up half-way, but it made for some pretty funny video though!

Below is a video from the painful workout Nixlot put me through that you didn’t see during the broadcast. Even Maggie Rulli got in on the action!

Also, don’t forget to talk to your parents, doctor or personal trainer before hitting the weights or trying any new fitness routine.

Send me your stories about how you’ve overcome bullying in a positive way. Just like Nixlot, maybe your story can be an inspiration to someone facing similar hardships!


  1. Mustang M. G.

    i love this video and article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Kingjones

    No because some people can’t handle it like other people

  3. Mack

    Yes I think it is a very good workout.it has made him very fit and awesome! So I say he should keep the bodybuilding workouts up

  4. Sydney Jones

    This is amazing this can make somebody healthy and protect themselves from bullies.this was a brilliant idea and people don’t use this for bullying other people.

  5. Gracie

    My goodness he’s only 16! That is some amazing dedication. The story is very inspiring. I can’t imagine being bullied like that. (Keith, great job with that brutal workout!)

  6. LiveLaughLove

    This is awesome. A creative, healthy way to beat your bullies. I am going to try to spread the word. Maybe that might help another child who is bullied.

  7. wolfr2934

    Yes, Because Your Confident Builds You Upp And If You Dont Have Confidents Nothing Will Ever Be Achieved Also Its Could For Your Body

  8. Sarah

    My thoughts about his workout plan is that he is absolutely amazing. I do agree that too much of anything can be bad for you- but certainly not for this guy. Good luck out there!

  9. 19240

    Yes it is a good workout

  10. katelyn H.

    no because if you work out to much your bones will snap because they can’t handle it anymore.

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