Dave and I were asked over to our friend Steve and his wife last night for dinner. To give ‘advice’. Their 12yo son Chris is my son’s best mate – total ‘partners in crime’ in everything they do – mainly fitness oriented stuff inspired by us and our friends. Their older son is well into his 18th year and is a teen bodybuilding star. And, as our Brit friend Mr Shakespeare would have put it, ‘There’s the rub’.
Billy has been absolutely brilliant as a caring supervisor of the younger boys training efforts to gain strength for acrobatics and stuff. But he’s started to get the bodybuilding ‘addiction’, and his parents are worried.
Since graduating from High School, he has refused to go on to college but has taken local jobs in order to focus on his bodybuilding. And keeping company with other bodybuilders means that, whatever he has, it isn’t good enough. And now he just lost a job through missing shifts because he was late leaving training sessions. Winning competitions seems to have made him lose focus, and it has become an addiction. He wants to turn ‘professional’.
I’ve never understood the point of wanting to look like that (above left), and certainly not understood the point of bodybuilding ‘just for the sake of it’. We train to keep strength and fitness and to look reasonably good when we are performing, since our bodies are on show. But, although we like a good tan in order to make us look good on stage, we would hardly go to the lengths that the professionals go to – applying it with a paint roller!
If we trained with huge weights like these guys, we would end up with no flexibility and be unable to create our balances and whatever which are part of our show. We train with lighter weights. That gives you strength without ridiculous bulk; I would say that the next pic is about as far as it is sensible to go…
Steve and his wife and their boys are really close, and yet he seems unable to address this situation. The boy is never going to make his fortune as a bodybuilder, and he needs to plan for a sensible future. In Against All Odds I introduced a Scottish boy who combined his bodybuilding interests with studying maths at University… and, sensibly, went on to some high-flying job in computing. Rhuari would make a really good role model for Billy, but he’s 4000 miles away. The only other bodybuilders we know (Chad’s private gym) do seem to hold down some sort of proper jobs – they are Billy’s main influences now, so maybe we can talk some sense into all of them.
Billy now talks of supplements, and of course the next (and dangerous) step is steroids. If anyone in Chad’s gym was caught doing that, they would be out on their ear right away. There are few rules in Chad’s empire, but that is one of them. So let’s hope that between us all we can coax Billy to think about a more sensible future. Mind you, if you read my preceding books (hint!!) – Loving the Boy and The Power of Love – you might reasonably come to the conclusions that, at Billy’s age, we weren’t much better at planning a sensible future than he was!
Dave always thinks of me as the ‘philosopher’, proffering advice which is not always welcome but is often right. This is a reputation I could do without (!) – especially in this case, because frankly I’m a bit flummoxed.
We’ll find a way, despite clearly showing in this blog that, as gay guys, we appreciate well-built male bodies. But maybe not like that first picture in this post. This, on the other hand, is very nice…
And so is this:
It’s the definition that we like, and the strength – not the Schwartzenegger look! More:
Showing off that strength:
Don’t forget the flexibility, especially shoulders, which this guy seems to lack at present…
…you can still look great from the rear without losing that ability to move your body around…
Don’t under-estimate the abilities of the guys who stay slim to hold their bodies in great positions using their strength:
So. Bodybuilding for the sake of it isn’t our thing, and we need to help Steve I guess. Billy shows no interest in using his abundant muscle for any purpose. He may be good for pulling cars along with his teeth…
…or entering those stupid ‘World’s Strongest Man’ competitions hurling huge rocks about but, again, it is not our thing and we just don’t see the point. Unless, I suppose, you are the winner and walk off with the cash prize. But we’re not going there with our arguments when we talk with Billy! And I can see it coming: he’ll say “but you do this stupid stuff” (like Josh and Ben here):
…and I suppose he’ll have a point. But, at least, we get paid each time and, we could point out, he can’t do that stuff because he is too inflexible.
Of course, neither we nor his parents expect him to just walk away from bodybuilding.
There’s going to have to be some compromise. Modelling may be one option, like our gym friend Carlos:
He’s a tanning addict, too – but using the sun and occasional home UV, not paint rollered on!
And, as Dave suggested, finding Billy a girlfriend might be another. Anyways, Steve seemed happier after our chat, and both he and his wife do communicate well with their kids, so we’ll have to see. Billy’s main inspiration does seem to be to want to be ‘bigger’ than any other fit guys he sees…
…so maybe he just needs to see less of them. Goodness, I don’t know… we all need to work on how to approach this.
Definitely a little problem to wrestle with: bye for now!