Called to the Bar – Shirtless, of Course!


Today’s pictures are a tribute to the value of the bars – high, parallel and pull-up – in developing the upper body, and particularly the shoulders, chest and back. And thus, also a tribute to the street workout culture of the countries of the former Soviet Union.





Abs and chest, too, of course – but look at that lat spread! One more on the abs…


Any regular reader of these posts (the words, that is, as well as the pictures!) will be aware that we have had a house full of family over the festive period. My parents have no sporting instincts whatever, and Dave’s very little either (although his dad used to spend hours shirtless in the yard when he lived over here). We, along with my son Leo and his friends, tend to hang out shirtless and barefoot most of the time (‘sporty style’ you might say) when at home. We (adults) have worn shirts more than usual during this holiday visitation, but Leo cannot be persuaded and is tiring (as I am too) of hearing his gran (my mum) saying ‘Why don’t you put a shirt on, dear, you’ll catch cold…’ ‘Mum, does he look ill? He’s going across the yard with Chris to lift weights and get all sweaty…’ Oh well. Soon be over. It seems very mean to say that, but two sets of parents in the house is becoming a bit oppressive, and I’d cheerfully settle for just my old mate Colin and his family – now they’re ‘on our team’, and his son Ollie is a fanatical shirt-free sports freak too. ‘Skyclad’ is how his mum Natasha puts it – a polite form of saying he’ll be happy totally naked if they let him. As, indeed, Leo, Chris and Ollie spent most of their time on our last vacation in Wales.

Good news is, my parents are going to take on the management and maintenance of our Welsh place Cefn Derwen as it becomes increasingly difficult for us to get over there. It is our pension fund, and makes good money with holiday lets, but increasingly it looks as though our barn conversion (to a gym, naturally) was rather a poor investment along the local young Farmers are happy to use it! So the Yuletide family conference has been very useful – and gives them a retirement project. They’ve known the place for years before Dave and I bought it.

We’re expecting another important family announcement on New Year’s Eve, so watch this space. NYE is also going to be a long, long, sleepless night, as I’ll explain next time.

Meanwhile, back to the bars, with that all-important look of determination:



Notice that that guy is balanced on his forearms!

Meanwhile, turning the bar vertical, you’ve got to admire the strength of the middle guy in this Chinese trio performing in Beijing:

Performance by an acrobatic group in Beijing

OK, back to the more realistic now! A Russian, and then a British, guy on parallel bars:

bc_rus handstand

brinn bevan

And then another Russian:



Another way:


And another way: read a book while you train:

.Cover 3 ThumbCover2 ThumbCover1 Thumb..preferably one of these!

And when you’ve done all that bar training, cool off!…

cool down

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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5 Responses to Called to the Bar – Shirtless, of Course!

  1. Lorenzo says:

    from which site did you find this one?

    • tonycavanagh says:

      Lorenzo: Actually, the source site is on the picture anyway, I definitely didn’t find it there, and I’ve a fancy I just did a general Google image search for gymnastics pictures, something I do regularly. Or it could have come from a post on Sorry I cannot be more certain.

      • Lorenzo says:

        thank’s a lot.
        I love so much. your site. I’d like a post totally about cool guys in rythmical shoes

  2. tonycavanagh says:

    I need you to explain ‘rhythmical shoes’!! Do you mean ballet? I am not sure that I have enough of such pictures – let’s see!

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