Size Matters: a report from the trenches of professional bodybuilding

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  1. Big-T

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    Auteur: Erik Hedegaard

    Interessant verhaal, de moeite om eens te lezen:



    What would make a man eat seven meals a

    day, dead-lift six hundred pounds, and pump himself with drugs that turn his brain to mush, make him crazy, and could eventually

    kill him? Erik Hedegaard enters the world of professional bodybuilding to find out.

    DAVID DEARTH HAULED HIS BODY, IN ALL ITS ARTERIAL



    and noodle-veined glory, up onstage, once again facing the crowd, his muscles heaped over him like a load of dirt-farm potatoes. He lowered his head briefly, then sucked up his chest so that his lats flared away like wings. He was short, but the crowd didn’t care. His abs locked down into his stomach, granitic cubes.

    "Yeah, Dave!" the crowd went.

    "All right, Dave!"

    "Dave, Rock-n-Roll Wild Child—yer back!"

    This was at the Sixth Annual Pro International Bodybuilding Championships in Niagara Falls, New York, sanctioned by the International Federation of Body-Builders (IFBB). Dave and the other competitors were here to win big, but failing that, a top-three placement would still guarantee them a place in the Mr. Olympia contest, or the 0, as it’s known in the business, the event all bodybuilders dream of winning.

    And yet Dave, being Dave, had other reasons for wanting to dominate here. As usual, he was in desperate need of money—for his rent, his food, his steroids, his diuretics, his ex-wife, his kid. Also, perhaps more important, he’d been away from the IFBB Contest circuit and talking lots of loud shit at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California, the so-called mecca of bodybuilding.

    The competitors now fanned out across the stage, lumbering in time to some crappy Star Wars—era music. Dave swiveled the ball

    his glutes and thighs gleamed like things aeronautic. -

    Wayne DeMilia took the microphone. Wayne was the IFBB official in charge of the pros, not widely loved and much feared. He was telling the contestants to form a line like they just had. His request caused some confusion. The big guys flailed around up there, banged into each other, then veered off without direction.

    After a while, Wayne had about had it. "Come on, guys!" he said. "Can’t you remember how you stood fifteen minutes ago?"

    There was some derisive hooting in the crowd. Later, during a moment of silence, Wayne began calling out the names of the five finalists: Mauro Sarni, Ray McNeil, Milos Sarcev, Jim Quinn— Big Jim Quinn, the biggest guy there...

    Dave swayed.

    Wayne leaned into the microphone. "Finalist number five!" he said. "He’s competitor number nineteen! David Dearth!"

    "Yeah!" the crowd went. "O.K.!"

    Dave dropped his head, breathing deeply. He was going to win this thing. Win or place second. He felt sure of it. He was in great shape. The crowd had let him know he was the freak to beat. He began shaking his fists.



    THERE ARE, IN THIS COUNTRY, AROUND 30 MILLION PEOPLE WHO


    lift weights somewhat regularly. But only a fraction of those could be considered hard-core practitioners of the sport—as even they call themselves, freaks. Freaks are often the ones who, at Gold’s Gym in Venice, are likely to note on the men’s room wall that BEING ON THE JUICE IS THE BEST. Freaks such as these can have steroid habits that can suck down nearly $100,000 a year. They are on strict diets. They wake up, pop their vitamins, go train, come home, make a few phone calls, take a nap, train in the evening, watch TV, and go to bed. They may eat seven meals a day. Their dress clothes—when and if they wear dress clothes—have to be custom-tailored. Quite often, because of the drugs, they are coïtus maniacs—"dogs in heat," one top IFBB official told me. "Even if an ugly girl walks by, they’re ready to roll. They are absolutely nuts, and they don’t care."

    In this world, of course, there are many big men. There’s Arnold, the biggest of the big; Lee Haney, eight times Mr. Olympia; and Do-rian Yates, the current Mr. Olympia. But none loom so large over bodybuilding as the brothers Weider, Joe and Ben. Ben is the president of the IFBB, which now has affiliations in over 150 countries; his main concern these days is getting into the Olympics, which most observers think is a lost cause (due to steroid use).

    It’s Joe Weider, though, who is most responsible for making bodybuilding what it is today. Without the Master Blaster (as he is sometimes called), there would be no Arnold: Joe paid the Oak’s way here from Austria, put him through school, and essentially promoted him to the top. In fact, like Arnold, Joe has ridden the fitness craze of the ‘80s to become something of an empire unto himself. He publishes magazines (Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Men’s Fitness); sells nutritional supplements (Flex Fire, Sugar-Free Big, Dynamic Body Shaper); hawks exercise equipment, books, videos; and rakes in, he says, nearly $1 billion a year.

    With his squirrelly little mustache and silver hair, Joe is a curious, amusing fellow given to spirited fits of hyperbole. "Bodybuilders don’t walk on powerful legs," he likes to say grandly. "They float! They actually feel sorry for the average person, struggling to feel worthwhile, watching his body deteriorate."

    There is no denying that Joe, as well as Ben, loves bodybuilding and bodybuilders. Even so, neither of them is widely liked. For years, despite the Weiders’ denial, rumors have circulated that the IFBB’s contests are fixed in favor of the most marketable contestants. Moreover, Joe recently began paying twenty-four of the sport’s top professionals a total of $1 .5 million a year to appear in his magazines only. While the money keeps the guys in food and supplements, the contract language limits their exposure, and bodybuilders are, by nature, exposure-loving sorts. So they must be pissed, almost as pissed as the magazines who can’t feature the top guys on their covers.

    "Everybody’s very upset," says one magazine publisher. "They are dominating the sport, and they are so greedy. But if you insult the Weiders, you get cut off."

    In fact, Joe had been paying the so-called Weider athletes for a long time, without demanding that they work just for him. But that was when the other magazines did everything the Weider way. Then, with the introduction three years ago of a new, competing organization—the World Bodybuilding Federation—that changed. The other magazines began to write about the WBF,

    and both Ben and Joe felt this as a knife to the heart.

    "I always thought these magazines were loyal to us because we were the biggest," Joe recently told me. "But they changed their colors so fast it was unbelievable."

    For the betrayal, Joe and Ben decreed the magazines would be shut out. But they weren’t the only ones. So would the thirteen pro bodybuilders who left the IFBB, among them David Dearth.


    AFTER THE 0, THE NEXT BIGGEST SHOW IN BODYBUILDING

    is the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, held every winter in Columbus, Ohio, and presided over by Arnold himself. Total prize money, $225,000—a pittance by the standards of modern athletics. But this is bodybuilding; the $80,000 top prize is considered a fortune.

    It was here that I got my first look at the world of competitive bodybuilding, hooking up with Dave, who wasn’t competing, and his girlfriend, fitness model Sherilyn Godreau.

    "Gawd," I said when I first met Dave, and he was pleased.

    Sherilyn, who has big eyes and major breasts, nodded happily. Dave was wearing Doc Martens, jeans with ready-made rips, and a muscle tee. His hair was tied back in a ponytail. His arms were as big as trash cans, wild with veins and, upon first viewing, a little sickening. They looked like they were about to burst.

    We went to a restaurant. Restaurants are where bodybuilders spend much of their time. The place was packed with eating, somewhat mellow freaks. Characteristically, there was not a lot of smiling going on. Dave ordered a baked potato, a few pieces of fish, and some steaks.

    He had complaints. "The public doesn’t look at us as athletes," he said between wolf bites. "What the public sees us as is prima donnas in our underwear, flexing and showing off. They don’t see all the work and sweat and frustration, the constant dieting, the year-round training."

    I’m not sure, but he may have had this on his mind because of what Arnold had said a day earlier in The New York Times: "If somebody talks to me about bodybuilding in a serious way, I say

    - Let’s be honest. It’s nonsense. Fifty guys standing around in their little posing trunks with oil slapped on their body. Showing off in front of five thousand people. It’s a joke."

    This statement caused a great hue and cry among bodybuilders, none of whom believed Arnold had said it. Shortly thereafter, he offered a clarification. He’d been quoted out of context, he said. He would never do anything to hurt the sport he so loved. Nonetheless, he had given voice to the primary anxiety of serious bodybuilders everywhere: that far from looking manly in front of a crowd on contest day, they simply look silly.


    LATER, I WENT UP TO DAVE AND SHERILYN’S HOTEL ROOM. THE BED


    was a mare’s nest of sheets and flung clothes. Dy-O-Derm, one of the products bodybuilders use to give themselves that George Hamilton effect, was smeared across the bathroom mirror and puddled on the floor. Dave studied himself in the mirror, trying to figure out what to wear for a trip to Arnold’s World Gym Fitness Expo.

    "I’m having a bad hair day," he said to Sherilyn. "Do you think I should wear that Gold’s baseball hat?"

    "That’d be cool," said Sherilyn.

    "A bad hair day is when I don’t look cool," said Dave.

    "I like your hair, David," said Sherilyn.

    Dave smiled at her. He told me his last marriage, his second, had ended not long ago and since then his girlfriends had been "little, petite, and stupid." Not Sherilyn, though. "She’s smart, she’s in the fitness industry, and she eats great."

    He looked out the hotel window at a church across the Street. "It’s going to be great having coïtus looking out at that," he said. "We won’t call it ‘coïtus’ tonight. We’ll call it ‘making love.’

    Sherilyn laughed gaily. Dave turned on the TV, trying to find some superhero cartoons, his favorite kind. They reminded him, he said, of what he once wanted to be: big. "Most bodybuilders," he said, "were losers at other things, myself included. I couldn’t make it in football or in wrestling. I always wanted to be a super-hero, so I took up bodybuilding."

    Later, he held up a pair of shorts. "I’m going to put these on when we get there," he said. "The guys like the size and the mass. The girls like the ass and the crotch."

    On the way to the fitness expo, Dave drove with aggressive flair, gunning his car around corners, making illegal turns. A motorcycle cop pulled him over and asked for his license, which he didn’t have. The cop left to write up a summons. Dave remarked that, back in Venice, he still had fifty-two unpaid parking tickets. In 1989, the year he won the amateur nationals and turned pro, he was also a coke addict, snorting between three and eight grams a day. "We would just party and have coïtus all night," he said, "and at five in the morning go buy beer and start drinking to go to sleep." Eventually, he developed a heart arrhythmia, nearly died, and has since cleaned himself up. More or less. "Half the reason I live on Valiums and Xanax and Halcions right now is to keep me keyed down. I pop a couple of Xanax and

    it’s like, ‘Oh boy, I got a buzz. I’m O.K., I’m fine.’

    The cop returned and leaned down to the window. Dave looked up and tried smiling.

    "Three citations," the cop said. "One for the turn. One for no operator’s license. And the third one for operating while your driving rights are under suspension."

    "Shit," Dave said. The total came to $1,000.

    Afterward, Dave tossed the citations into the backseat, where they were immediately lost in a pile of other garbage.


    EXACTLY WHAT MAKES A PROFESSIONAL BODYBUILDER WANT

    to build his body in the manner he does is difficult to say. On the other hand, what bodybuilders are and how they customarily behave, as a group, is much clearer.

    "The bodybuilder lives day to day," Wayne DeMilia told

    me one afternoon. He then recounted a story of a body builder who in just a short time won just a whole boatload of money. "But

    what did he do? He went out and bought a car that cost $80,000. That’s their mentality. They get money and then, ‘Well, I gotta go to the gym in a cool car!’ They don’t have a grasp that this will not go on forever.

    "I tell them this all the time," said Wayne. "I’m sure Ben and Joe have given up. They say to me, ‘Aw, don’t even bother. They’re bodybuilders.’ These characteristics have not changed in the forty or fifty years since the Weiders first got involved with the sport."

    "Why?" I asked him.

    "A combination of things. If people tell you all day long you look great, you’re fantastic—it affects your head. The coïtusual aspect—male, female, whatever, saying, ‘I want you’ —it’s a big head trip. Then you have to live the part."

    Wayne, whom I found to be quite charming, shook his head. "We were in Germany on tour, and four or five of them are looking at one of those white-blonde gym girls. There was talk of a gangbang. I said, ‘I don’t want to know about it. I think you’re all nuts. If she takes on three or four of you at once, how many hundreds of others has she had? You’re will take that risk?’ One guy says, ‘A hard-on has no brains.’ That’s how a bodybuilder takes life," Wayne said. "Very lightly."
     
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    THE FITNESS EXPO AT VETERANS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM

    was filled with bodybuilders and their girlfriends. Everywhere you looked, there were women in high heels, with frosted hair piled to the sky, holding hands with built guys wearing flattops, rooster tails, and whitewalls into which had been razor-cut pairs of dumbbells.

    While Dave was not here to compete, he was here to make money. He took a seat at the Hot Skins clothing booth to hawk photos of himself. He didn’t get too many takers and a while later planted himself at the Twinlab supplement booth, a few feet away from Lee Haney, the former Mr. 0 titleholder, who was selling pictures and posters hand over fist. Haney had an assistant who handled the cash and brushed lint off of Lee’s shirt. After a few hours Dave had sold $500 worth of his own photos.

    Sherilyn, whose job here was demonstrating a butt-tightening machine, came over all excited. Arnold had just asked her her name. Sherilyn told Dave what she had answered. "I said, ‘I’m Miss Florida Fitness,’ and he goes, ‘That’s great!’

    Dave frowned. "No, you didn’t," he said.

    "I wanted him to know that I was somebody. Instead of being a bimbo on a machine, I wanted him to know that I had a title."

    "‘Hi, I’m Miss Florida Fitness,’" Dave said, mocking her. "You don’t blow your horn to Arnold."

    Arnold, of course, is every bodybuilder’s hero. The first time Dave met him was near Arnold’s restaurant in Venice. Dave was

    walking around in his tank top, and there he was. Arnold said, "Ahhh, heet a double bicep for me!" Dave demurred. Arnold said, "Come on, do it! You know you want to!" And so Dave did, flexing his biceps as big as he could. "Ah, you’re big!" Arnold said to him.

    Now Dave said, "Arnold tells me to lick his boot, I’d be there." A fan walked by and shouted at Dave. "Hey, Dave, when’re

    you going to compete again?"

    Dave gave him a thumbs-up sign. "Niagara Falls. I’ll be there."

    "Great," the guy said. "Great!"


    AT THE ARNOLD, THE WOMEN’S EVENT WAS JUST FINISHING UP.

    Backstage, the big guys milled around, among them hot rookie Flex Wheeler, Paul Dillett with his twenty-three-inch biceps, and a huge young pro by the name of Mike Matarazzo (also known, sometimes, because of his looks, as the "Joey Buttafuoco of bodybuilding"). All greased up, they padded nervously, waiting to go onstage. The room was hot and held the smell of the oil— coconutish. The bodybuilders studied their feet or themselves in a mirror. They didn’t look at each other, except out of the corners of their eyes, and they did not speak.

    The only one who did was Mike Matarazzo, who said to Dillett, "Paul, you’re like Godzilla—Godzilla with a small waist."

    Dillett didn’t say or show a thing.

    An NBC Sports camera took a closer look at Mike. He blew his fluttering tongue into the lens. Onstage, the crowd went wild for him, and when the results were announced—Flex Wheeler won, Mike came in sixth—the hisses sounded like jet roar.

    Mike grabbed his gear and went back to the hotel as Arnold and fellow NBC sportscaster Don Criqui arrived to interview Flex. Sixteen years later, you could still see what made Arnold so appealing in Pumping Iron, the documentary in which he famously equated the thrill of the pump to the thrill of the orgasm.

    "Make a hole, make a hole," said a point man pushing through the backstage crowd.

    "Make a hole, make a hole," Arnold said humorously.

    Meanwhile, Mike Matarazzo was wobbling into an elevator at the hotel, where he promptly collapsed. Wayne DeMilia got him to a hospital. The doctors thought he looked O.K. But Wayne

    suspected that Mike had been taking diuretics and hadn't drunk) told the doctor, "His body-fat

    is almost zero. His body is probably eating itself from within.

    We’ve got to get fat and carbohydrates in his system immediately."

    The doctor said, "I’ve never heard of this stuff."

    Wayne said, "That’s why I’m here."

    Later, during his recovery from his brush with death, Mike said to Wayne, "I didn’t think it could happen to me."

    "But it happened to Momo," said Wayne.

    "I’ve been stabbed," said Mike, thinking of another time he had come close to death, "but I thought it couldn’t happen to me."

    Momo was the nickname of S’2", 205-pound professional bodybuilder Mohammed Benaziza, who in late 1992 made the rounds of the European IFBB shows with a black bag in which he kept all kinds of legal and illegal drugs—thyroid supplements, clenbuterol, Nubain, and the diuretics Lasix and Aldactone, which are used by bodybuilders to reduce water levels beneath the skin, giving their muscles that ripped look. During the Dutch Grand Prix show on October 3, 1992, those who touched Mo-mo’s skin reported that it "was so cold and clammy it was like touching a dead person." He won the show but was so cramped up afterward that he could barely walk. He was vomiting almost continuously. A doctor was called.

    "The doctor kept saying his vital signs were normal," pro bodybuilder Steve Brisbois has said. "But his face was hard and looked like a mask. His eyes were sunk back into his head. His jawbone was jutting out It was, in some ways, precisely the look judges like to see on bodybuilders. But seven hours after winning the Dutch Grand Prix, Momo went into cardiac arrest and died. The diuretics had drained his body of potassium and magnesium, two minerals essential to the stable functioning of the heart. According to the bodybuilders I talked to, diuretics are the most dangerous drug they take, not steroids. With diuretics, Wayne DeMilia told me, "you are so close to death, it’s scary."


    DAVE WORKS OUT ONLY FORTY-FIVE MINUTES A

    session, four days a week—once a day during the off-season, twice a day while preparing for a contest. But he moves quickly, takes short breaks. "My workouts are very heavy," he likes to say.

    For the incline bench press, Dave will start with 135 pounds for a set of ten; go to 225 for a set of five; go to 315 for another five; and max out at 405 pounds for eight to twelve reps. On the dead lift, he is good to 600 pounds. On the straight-bar curl, up to 185 pounds. For squats, he tops out at 750; on the leg-press machine, a staggering 1,500. He does his dumbbell curls with 110 pounds in each fist. What else? "I’ve had coïtus for about seven hours straight."


    THAT DAVE AND HIS BURNISHED PANOPLY OF MUSCLES WOULD

    actually appear at the Niagara IFBB show, however, was not a certainty at the time of the Arnold Classic. Although Dave told everyone that he would be there, he was not even a member of the IFBB. He, along with twelve other bodybuilders, had quit the Weider federation to join the upstart competitor, the WBF, which was the brainchild of Vince McMahon, the creator of the World Wrestling Federation.

    Vince had a vision based on what even the most enthusiastic bodybuilding fan will generally concede: that a bodybuilding contest is insanely dull. His idea was to do with bodybuilding what he had with wrestling: make it into a mass theatrical event. Thus, his shows were heavy on laserlike lights, scantily clad women, and outlandish skits by the bodybuilders based on names chosen for them by the WBF: the Dark Angel, the Iron Warrior, the Executioner, and the Rock-n-Roll Wild Child, also known as David Dearth.

    The Weiders were horrified by what Vince and the WBF were doing. "We’ve worked with bodybuilding since its infancy to create a respectable, dignified sport, a well-organized sport that we want to be part of the Olympics," Joe Weider told me. "But the WBF wanted to turn it into a freak show."

    In response, the Weiders did a number of things. They prohibited all muscle magazines that reported on SXTBF shows from formally interviewing Weider athletes. And they banned, for life, the thirteen defectors from the IFBB. ("I spell loyalty l-o-y-a-l-t-y, not f-u-c-k y-o-u," Ben Weider once explained.) At that year’s Night of the Champions contest, held in New York City, the show got off to a rousing start by showing thirteen tombstones, each plastered with the name of one of the defectors.

    For a while this was fine with the renegades. They were being paid large sums of money, some for the first time. And the WBF did not give a hoot about steroids. Finally, they could show the world what the word "freak" really meant.

    Then, the policy changed. Vince’s wrestlers were coming under increasing pressure for steroid abuse, and he decided the best thing to do was to begin testing everybody. Of the thirteen WBF bodybuilders, only three or four tested clean. The others—including Dave—were fined. And they had to clean up.

    Which they apparently did. Dave told me his testosterone level dropped from 2,400 to 8. "It’s hell on the girls," he said of those times when a bodybuilder stops his drugs. "They get used to getting it two or three times a day, every day. When you’re not on steroids, you want it like once a week. They’re like, ‘**** me!’"

    (Continued on page 192)

    The second annual WBF show, held a little over six weeks after the bust, was a rout. Some of the bodybuilders looked O.K.— everyone agreed that Dave was ripped—but most of them were an embarrassment: scrawny, relatively speaking, and, in at least one humiliating case, downright fat. Vince must have seen the writing on the wall. Who would pay to see fat bodybuilders? He shut down the WBF, leaving the thirteen guys out in the cold.


    AFTER THE WBF FOLDED, DAVE HUNG AROUND


    Venice. He gave bodybuilding seminars, at greatly reduced fees. He hired himself out as a guest poser at various contests, though he steered clear of the kind of posing he’d done earlier in his career: "Rich old fags, doctors, and lawyers, they want you to pose in your trunks, and then they’ll be like, ‘Can I feel your muscles?’ And then it’s like, ‘All right, how about oral coïtus?’ With that, I’m gone. You leave, and they’re whacking off to the memory."

    Eventually, the Weiders decided that the defectors should be let back in, for a price: Dave would have to pay the IFBB $10,000, which could be marked down against any winnings.

    Not one to miss a marketing opportunity, Wayne DeMilia thought of a fabulous idea for his upcoming 1993 Night of the Champions show in New York. It would begin with thirteen caskets opening onstage, with each of the guys rising from the dead.


    OF ALL THE SPORTS CONCEIVED BY MAN, NONE


    bears a closer resemblance to bodybuilding than auto racing. Both, for instance, rely on high-octane fuels to keep the engines running. The only difference is that one engine is mechanical and the other corporeal.

    By the time I saw Dave at the Niagara Falls show, eight weeks after the Arnold, he was looking pretty dismal. Mainly this was because of the diuretics, which drained his body of water, making his skin appear that much thinner, until now it was shrink-wrapped to him like cellophane. It allowed the striations and cuts in his muscles to form a magnificent containered world. On the other hand, his walk wasn’t so much a walk as an upright scratching forward. He also developed a minor speech problem. "Yesterday, I couldn’t say my name because my carbs were so low; now I can’t say it because my lips stick to my teeth."

    Dave once told me he viewed his own immersion in bodybuilding as an ongoing attempt to do himself in. "It’s like how far can I push myself without dying? If you walk the line and don’t die, well, man, it’s a helluva rush. With bodybuilding, if I don’t die getting

    ready for the show, I’m going to look awesome. That’s the stupidest mentality in the world. But that’s part of the rush."

    He was on steroids, too, of course, for whatever extra bulk they might give him, and for this contest in particular, that edge was more than just nice. Despite being a member of the IFBB once again, he still felt that he was in serious shit with Wayne, Joe, and Ben, and, consequently, anyone else connected with them. He says that the local promoter, for example, had refused to pay his way to Niagara Falls or even supply free tickets to the show for his family. And then the guy told Dave that he didn’t really care if Dave was in his show or not, which hurt Dave’s feelings tremendously.

    Wayne DeMilia told me that Dave had called him a few days before the Niagara show to complain about his treatment.

    WAYNE: First of all, David, when you were with the IFBB you were not a top competitor. Secondly, you left us.

    DAVE: But I’m David Dearth, the Rock-n-Roll Wild Child!

    WAYNE: You’re David Dearth, who hasn’t competed in the IFBB for two years. Whatever went on in the WBF is over. All of that wasn’t real. David, you are not the Rock-n-Roll Wild Child.


    UP IN HIS ROOM WITH Sherilyn DAVE STUDIED himself in the mirror. He flexed his leg until the large muscles pumped up beautifully round; then, almost instantly, smaller striations appeared, a map that expressed a kind of route through it all. He pivoted slightly so that he could see more deeply. "My calves are starting to look fuller and bigger," he said. "The glutes are coming in."

    Sherilyn nodded. "Your lats are out so much more than they were, honey. They look really good."

    Two days later, Dave was scary to be around. He didn’t talk much; when he did, his words were unintelligible gurgles. He and Sherilyn hadn’t left their room except to go to the restaurant downstairs. Sherilyn was edgy because Dave was edgy. They began to quarrel. "Guys are good for only one thing, and sometimes not even that," Sherilyn said morosely. "They’re such big babies."

    She looked around at her surroundings, another crappy hotel.

    "Jesus, I’m going stir-crazy," she said. "I can’t stand this. I’ve got to breathe."
     
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    JIM QUINN CAME OVER TO SEE DAVE IN THE Restaurant. Jim had a 104-degree fever, his sinuses were infected, and his hands were shaking. "I feel like shit," he said.

    Dave stared up at him, nodding, though his eyes didn’t really appear to focus. Quinn said,

    "I can’t even stand up." Then he said, "Benaziza," and he and Dave nodded slowly at the memory of the big dead guy. In the arena of physical culture, Momo had been godlike. But he had not been a god. They say Benaziza died because he drained his muscles and organs of too much water; every time he urinated, he brought himself that much closer to his end. I suspect, though, he just forgot who he was. His death was caused by a memory lapse.


    "COME ON Guys!" WAYNE DEMILIA WAS SAYING now, in Niagara Falls. "Can’t you remember how you stood fifteen minutes ago?" Later, he called out the names of the five finalists, and there they were, all together, doing what Wayne told them to do. "Gentlemen, feet together please, quarter turn to the right, lat spread—"

    "Dave!" Sherilyn called out from her seat.

    "Hey, Dave," another fan yelled.

    "Side chest," said Wayne. "Turn to the rear. One leg back showing the calf. Now, double bicep. . . lat spread, gentlemen. . . turn to the front. . . abdominal and thigh."

    "Whoa!" the crowd roared. "Whoop!"

    And then Wayne’s voice began to swell, taking over the auditorium, filling it with the sound of his Brooklyn honk. "If the music man’s ready," he wailed, "pose down!"

    This is the final bit at any bodybuilding contest, that moment when the competitors go at it mano-a-mano, each striking poses, trying to outdo the other guy. It lasts for several minutes but seems to go by much more quickly. Dave hit a couple of double biceps, Jim Quinn stuck his elbow in Dave’s face, Dave moved out of his way, and then it was over.

    Wayne had the microphone. "The fifth-place award will be given to competitor number nineteen, David Dearth!"

    There was a moment of silence; then, as a whole, everyone in the auditorium began to boo.

    "You got the bone!" someone yelled.

    Afterward Dave was scowling, and his voice was thin. Sherilyn stood by his side, holding his hand, talking to him quietly. "Lots of people told me you had the best overall physique. They screwed you, David. Your legs were striated from here to here."

    Dave didn’t seem entirely convinced, or else he was too depressed to be moved. "Maybe what I’ll do now," he said after a while, "is use this time to get off my cycle. I’d love to clean out."

    "Oh, honey," said Sherilyn. "I would love for you to."


    Dave shrugged and went to find some food. "Even though I won $1,000 here, I lost money," he said. "I’ve got to give $500 to Wayne for my fine. Then I have my hotel bill, my food, my drugs, our airfare. How," he said, "do they expect a professional bodybuilder to live?".
     
  4. NewbieNeo

    NewbieNeo Dutch Bodybuilder +10 jaar member

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    mijn mening is dat als je iets TE doet 't nooit goed voor je is, net als topsport TE belastend voor je is...
    kijk maar naar tennis met hun tennisarmen en kapotte knieen, of naar judo met hun platvoeten en bloemkool-oren.

    maar goed, als iemand dat er voor over heeft, dan is dat zijn goed recht...
     
    Laatst bewerkt: 20 okt 2002
  5. Pump

    Pump Dutch Bodybuilder +10 jaar member

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    idd, helemaal mee eens, BB is een hartstikke leuke sport en een kuurtje af en toe kan ik zlef begrijpen, maar waar die pro's zich mee volgooien (hoeveelheid) begrijp ik niet..
     
  6. the bear

    the bear Cool Novice +10 jaar member

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    Heftig verhaal. Vooral die diuretica zijn ontzettend eng. Ik heb foto's van Paul Dillet gezien op het moment dat hij op het podium duizelig wordt en out gaat, nog nooit heb ik zo'n zielig hoopje mens gezien.
    Het probleem begind volgens mij al bij van die gasten die steeds langer kuren zonder te herstellen, en op een gegeven moment gewoon continu gebruiken. Wat mensen ook vergeten is alle anabolen behalve op je spieren ook effecten hebben op het brein endorfines, dopamine etc. Deze stoffen spelen een belangrijke rol bij verslavings processen, anabolen kunnen ook de verslavende werking van andere stoffen weer verhogen.
    Persoonlijk vind ik de professionele bodybuilders van nu freaks; mensen die goed zijn in wat ze doen, maar voor de rest lelijk en niet helemaal lekker in de bovenkamer. Ze verpesten het imago van krachttraining en bodybuilding. Veel mooier vindt ik mensen die niet alleen voor hun fysiek trainen, maar ook niet te belabbert zijn om te trainen voor powerlifting, of eens wat olympish gewichtheffen, strong-man, sprints; "renegade"-style (zoals coach John Davies het noemt). Als iemand ook de kracht coordiantie en explosiviteit heeft die bij een gespierd lichaam horen, dan heb ik daar enorm respect voor, daar draait het om.
     
  7. Geoffke

    Geoffke Advanced Bodybuilder +10 jaar member

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    "and pump himself with drugs that turn his brain to mush, make him crazy, and could eventually kill him"

    :o :toilet:
     

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