550 up – Success!… and a Joke…


Yesterday, I blogged that Dave and I were off to a weight training challenge – 500 individual lift movements (full range!) against the clock. And using a weight which means you can just squeeze ten repetitions, three times each exercise – no easy short-cuts! The exercises were specified but could be done in any order, so obviously we spread out the muscle groups to give some parts of our bodies time to recover whilst we exercised other muscles. The clock was initially set at one hour, but that was a bit optimistic for guys who always insist to take each exercise to the full range of movement, no cheating. So it was later relaxed to 70 minutes.

Today, several bits of me ache, but with that satisfying feeling of a job well done. The tops of my forearms seem to have taken this challenge particularly badly, and I also ache across the back of my shoulders. But, Dave and I made 550 lifts in that time…

No doubt there are plenty out there who’ll say ‘that’s nothing, mate!’ but, given that there was sometimes waiting time to get a particular resistance machine because other guys were still on it, and time to make up barbells to the correct weight and so on, I think that was pretty good going for an ageing 30+ dude…


There was a bit of sweat around at the end, I can tell you…


…although, unlike that guy, there were no sweat pants for it to drain and soak into…

You might ask what use such ‘childish’ challenges are; but then weight training is meant to be a challenge – you’ve always got to push yourself past that one step further…


The guys who are really putting in the effort will always be wearing an expression of grim determination.


I think that being an acrobat means that facing up to a challenge comes with the territory…


and adding in performance on these definitely adds up to that little bit extra of a challenge…



Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbCover 3 ThumbMore about what drives a few soon-to-be middle-aged men to carry on indulging in this stuff (or, more accurately, how we got into it in the first place, can be found in these (click on covers for more information about the print copies and there are e-books out there too).

And now for something completely different…

I’ve commented lots on how the USA in general and Tennessee in particular seems to have a phobia about guys appearing shirtless in public places. So finding this little gem in my inbox from a friend was quite a surprise:

murrMURFREESBORO, TN—Saying it was potentially disruptive to an educational environment in which all were entitled to see his rock-hard abs, administrators at Merritt High School suspended hunky senior Ryan Magnuson Wednesday for wearing a shirt. “When a teacher noticed that the shirt was obscuring the view of his shoulders, pecs, and the rest of his muscular torso, the student in question was sent to the office and ordered to remove the inappropriate garment,” said assistant principal Janet Norcross, citing the school’s zero-tolerance policy for students who’ve got the goods but refuse to flaunt them. “The student handbook makes perfectly clear what we expect of our beefcakes, and we expect them to comply.” Norcross added that Magnuson was initially given the option of turning his shirt inside out, as long as he did it nice and slow.

I will now have to admit that we have traced this to a satirical magazine called ‘The Onion’


But it’s fun… like the (hopefully) inspirational images which follow:


abs 8

adam corelli 3


green pants



Matthew Scott McGue



rock boy

Between a rock and a hard place – that’s a good one to end on for today!

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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