Today was actually better, relatively speaking, I felt overheated in the morning, but pretty minor compared to the rest of this week.  I think I might be through the worst of it.

Feeling confident, I headed back to the gym after work for another 60 min spin.  Spin instructor tonight was Mike.  He was deep in conversation with another student right after, and I didn’t get a picture, oh well.

The class itself went well, relatively easy actually.  I don’t credit myself for that, I think we just had a lot of new people in class, and Mike was taking it easy.  This is fine with me.  I know there were new people because when Mike asked at the start if anyone had any questions, these two girls put up their hands and asked “how do you… make it go slower?”  I thought that was cute 🙂

So, a lot of speedwork, a lot of racing, not a lot of climbs.  It was fine with me, I just flushed my system out and relaxed.

A workout with no fever built up my confidence some more, so when I went home I went to the convenience store, to say hi, buy some lemon juice, etc.  As I walked in, all happy, the woman behind the counter looks at me and says, “Jeremy you look so happy.  You must be putting on weight.”

This stopped me in my tracks, like someone knocked the needle off the record.  Do people even know record players any more?  haha.  I gave her back a thin smile and said, “is that a compliment in your country?  it isn’t a compliment here.”

She said, “no, no, it isn’t – I just mean you look so happy and carefree, you must be putting on weight”

Are you trying to get me to buy lots of junk food from your store?  I gotta tell you… it’s working!”

So now that I am back home, I am looking in the mirror and am like, maybe I DID put on some weight this week from being sick??  I don’t know, I can’t honestly tell… what kind of a backhanded compliment mindf*@# was that?  LOL  Just a random trolling from the 7/11 family, I don’t know what to say… Mac store caught me slippin!  Gotta go back to the gym!!  I have barely been to the gym for weeks, can’t really dismiss what she said so lightly.

How we see ourselves is a big part of your first year or two in the gym, and really sets the tone.  The experts often ask you to visualize what you WANT to look like, and you can pick a role model, Arnold or an olympic athlete or a supermodel or whatever.  That’s all well and good.  But once you start seeing early results from the gym, once you START to sculpt the David out of the block of marble, you get your first glimpse into what the fit version of you might ACTUALLY look like.  Once you see those results, you have a better palette to paint your self-image out with.  Once you start to see toned arms or lose the love handles, it gets inspiring.

There has been a lot of attention brought to bear on how women have a lot of image pressure placed on them by the media.  I can easily see how warped the system is, we all can.  But men are hit by it too.  Most of the toys little boys play with, the cartoons they watch, the comics they read, the male heroes tend to be pretty built, all muscle, maybe some abs.  But boys are also taught to reject criticism from their peers, “can’t let someone mess with you”, or whatever.  So a lot of guys flex their negative self-image issues in private.  If men didn’t have self-image issues, there wouldn’t be genital enhancement spam in your inbox, steroids in the gyms and hair transplants.

It’s the reason why the average guy lifting weights spends a disproportionate amount of time on biceps and chest.  All they care about is the aesthetics, not the function.

I was reminded of all this this week because a man just made the guiness book of world records for largest biceps.  This is the man, Moustafa Ismail.

They are calling him a “real-life popeye”, which is ridiculous!  Popeye had big forearms!!  Not biceps!  I do not mention that point as a trivial one.  If this guy was working out his biceps all the time, doing everything humanly possible to cause hypertrophy, his forearms would also be BIGGER.  But his forearms are much smaller.  Forearms are what establishes your grip.  Popeye was a sailor, he was hauling around heavy ropes all day, he had forearms from pulling with his grip and his arms all day, that’s the origin of that cartoon.  If this guy’s muscles were legitimately that big (which they are not), any weight heavy enough for him to curl to overload his biceps would be TOTALLY too heavy for his normal looking forearms to grip!  So from a functional standpoint, obviously fake.  No giant biceps and triceps without monster forearms.

so what are his arms really?  He injects some foreign substance into his arms, something so artificial, his body can’t flush it out and it stays there.  Think of it like injecting Crisco into your arm, you are just pumping it up with oil.  I guess the popular chemical for that these days is called Synthol.  Wikipedia says Synthol is 85% oil, 7.5% lidocaine, and 7.5% alcohol.

I remember years back there was a documentary on a guy called Greg Valentino, the doc was called “The Man Whose Arms Exploded”

Greg being dragged away by the Sheriff’s Dept

Greg also pumped oil into his arms.  Unfortunately, he developed scars, cysts, tumors, SOMETHING, his arms became infected, junk leaked out, it caused scars in his arms, which led to giant DIVOTS in his manscaped biceps.  It was gross.

So why do some guys do this?  Image issues.  The same reasoning that leads women to get comically oversized breast implants.

Notice this woman is holding a Guiness plaque as well.  I guess the record books don’t care HOW they got big, biggest is biggest is biggest.

What makes me laugh about Moustafa this week though, is how smug he is, he is actually GIVING ADVICE on how to build your arms up!  check this vid:

“good genes”?  LOL

3000 grams of protein a day?????   ROFLLLL  By my calculations that’s 12,000 calories a day… ummmm, NO, just stop talking

The ultimate irony is, I remember when watching the Valentino biopic, it would show him working out, groaning like he was being ripped to shreds just trying to curl 75 pounds.  If those are his straight working sets, that is NOTHING for a guy with really big arms.

son, I am disappoint

So the guy with the biggest arms in the world probably also has some really weak arms, crushing your muscles under the constant pressure of all that trash.

I don’t know what to say, men and women alike need to wake up, stop focusing on the aesthetics and start focusing on the functionality.  So you have the biggest arms in the world, but can barely lift anything?  You bench press like crazy, but are scared to take a yoga class?  Trouble lifting your arms straight over your head?  Trouble balancing yourself on one foot?

Some food for thought.

See you tomorrow!