Masters Class, The
|Something a little different -- dedicated to a real special guy (you know who you are) -- thanks for everything, Scott
|They come into the room, if you can call this hallway blocked off with
screens 'a room'. They are ready for the challenge -- ready to
compete. The older men are first -- 70, 60, 50 then 40. Most have
done this before, many times before. They greet each other as they
remove their sweatshirts, strip off their pants. They talk as
friends, reminisce about the heroes of their youth -- Jack LaLane,
Charles Atlas, Serge Neville, and of course, Arnold.
I am the interloper, the voyeur, trespassing on their world. If they think me out of place, they don't let on. They are friendly. I feel welcome.
The stage manager tells the first group that they have 15 minutes as he calls off their names, confirming their presence and checking them off his sheet. They prepare, rubbing oils and spraying PAM, making their skin glisten to show off their wares.
Some have bottles of jelly which they eat. Anything for carbs.
They pick up dumbells, 20s, 30s or 40s, to pump their bis. They do dips to pump their tris. They lie on benches, doing flies or presses, their chests expanding. It's all about the pump.
The first time I see him, he is walking through the crowd. His ebony skin is taut, his muscles massive. He has the body of a thirty year old, someone half his age. He walks with a tired confidence. He sees a chair, and sits with a sigh.
He sees me and smiles. "Mind if I sit," he asks, as if I have some authority here. I nod. "Just like last year," he says, watching the other men lift and preen. He shakes his head. "No competition. No challenge. I'm going to win again." It is a lament, not a boast. He wants the challenge, but it is gone. "This is my last year," he adds. "Why bother? I need to do something that pushes me. Can't keep winning this contest." He sighs.
He lives in a neighboring town, has trained for 45 years. The work shows on his body. He pulls out some oil, begins to rub it on himself.
"Don't get any on the chair," warns a worker. "The hotel won't like that. We'll get blamed."
He laughs. "I won't," he says, dismissing the complaint.
His arms are thick. The bicep jumps up and down as he raises and lowers his arm. His pecs are round, full. The mass is apparent as he presses his fingers into them, rubbing oil on, making them shine and stand out. He stretches his legs, never leaving the chair. He bends to oil up the ripped quads, the thick hams, diamond-shaped calves. He takes care not to get anything on the chair.
He tells me a little of his life. He goes to the gym, of course. He rollerblades. I tell him that I bike. He smiles and checks out my thighs. Not in his league but not bad, or so I hope.
Unlike the other competitors, he does nothing to get a pump. He's big, but I think he looks smooth. He sits, watching the other man add size to their bodies. He just smiles, self-assured in his pending victory. I'm not as confident of his win, but that's not for me to say.
The stage manager calls for the class. With a slight groan, he gets up. Some of the others are bigger, more defined. As he walks to the waiting area, I wonder how he'll take not being first. I look at the chair. There is no oil on it.
The competitors called to the stage are replaced by new competitors. They are from a different class, a younger age. The story repeats itself. Greeting. Removing clothes. Getting a pump. These younger men have bodies that are less ravaged by time. They are bigger, not having lost as much mass. No longer limited to a heavy-weight class, the super-heavies make an appearance. Men with two-hundred-fifty plus pounds of ripped muscle waiting for their turn under the lights.
The older men move from the waiting pen and take the stage. I sneak to the side. I want to see my new friend. I wish him well.
He seems a different person now. He looks bigger, more ripped. The audience is his fountain-of-youth. He looks like a twenty-year old as he poses to the music. His bis rise high, and his eight-pack flexes with confidence. He looks ripped. He strikes a side chest pose, the hemispheres of his pecs protrude inches above his defined waist. His bi is clearly defined, an elongated football shape that must be 20 inches. His legs are massive, thicker than any other competitor. While others have suffered the unstoppable effects of time, not he. He's tight, massive and strong. I can't believe he's the same man. He devistates his competition.
I wait to congratulate him. The men are slow to come out. One of the competitors has pulled a muscle and needs help. The competitors are now comrades, helping their wounded colleague. He is gracious in victory.
After grabbing his stuff, he vanishes in the sea of ironmen awaiting their chance to triumph.
The big men are now in the pump room. They are the youngest of the master class. They are my age. I feel small in their presence, unworthy, weak. They pay me no mind.
One competitor is pumping up in his sweatsuit. The others know him. They laugh as he mimes his routine, cut off from our reality by his earphones, lost in what he needs to do to win.
A man begins to do push-ups at my feet, pumping his already massive chest. His powerful arms raise and lower him on command as his body expands with the pump. He talks to another. "Were you in the marines?" "No. I was Army." They exchange stories of their common military bond.
A man steps toward me, searching for a place to rest. He is big. Six five, six six maybe. He must weigh 275 pounds, all muscle. He sits down, his legs straight in front of him, unbent. The back of the chair presses into his massive back, causing the overflowing muscle to bulge wide. His pecs are two shields, large, round and full, covering his torso with their thick flesh.
Another man grabs the door frame, hangs off it and does pull-up after pull-up. "Wow, look at those lats," whispered the man in the chair, but not too loud. The man on the door knows his strong points, no need to let him know his psych out is working.
He sighs. Unlike the last man in this chair, it is not the sigh of confidence. It is a sigh of defeat. He sits, watching the others prepare. He introduces himself. "They call me Rocky. I've competed for 25 years," he says. "I've always placed in the top five." He tries to hide it, but there is a tinge of saddness in his voice. "Not tonight." His face hardens. "They say losing builds character." He takes a deep breath. "This will be good for me," he says. Is he trying to convince me, or himself? Does that matter? "It'll make me stronger."
He watches the others. Few are pumping up. At their size, they don't feel the need. They are walking anatomy charts already. Rocky flexes, a subconscious reaction to the others. His body wants to fight, wants to win. It is his mind that knows he's lost. He sits there, a steely determination on his face. He won't let the others know his weakness.
They call for the super heavies. He gets up, takes his place in the line. On stage he strikes a massive double bicep on command. When the top five are announced, he is not one of them. Rocky takes his defeat like a man and steps off the stage.
I watch the super-heavyweights pose. They are huge. Their lats are thick dense topographic maps of muscle, rippling. They are mountain ranges separated by an inches deep valley. I know that in that valley is their spine, but the muscle hides it, making it an invisible river of bone. I try to act cool, but the sight of them flexing begins to get to me. Why shouldn't it? There is a confidence in the way their biceps rise, the way their pecs flex. Don't they want to impress me when they shake their thighs, letting wave after wave of unflexed muscle undulate? Then they stop and flex, showing the striations of their quads, flexing the redwoods they call legs. I feel my mouth getting dry, so I turn away.
On the sideline, the sixty-year old champ watches. Has he been there all along? He is talking to Rocky. He pats him on the back, reassuring him of his talents. "Don't worry about the ravages of time," he says, "you'll win again." I see him drop something into the defeated man's bag.
Rocky turns and leaves. I glance at him, watching as he walks through the empty corridor, alone. There will be no plastic trophy for him today.
When Rocky returns home, people ask how he did. Did he win? He says, "No." His tone says it all. Don't ask him anymore questions.
He goes to the gym to train. In the locker room, he strips. He looks at himself in the mirror, thinks of just a few years before. His traps were taller, pecs thicker, lats wider, arms stronger. He hates getting old. When he opens his bag, he finds a pair of posing trunks. They aren't his. There is a note.
"Guy. These trunks are special. They stop time. They give you back what is rightfully yours -- youth, power, muscle. Don't believe? Try them. They are yours now. Pass them on to another when you are done. The rules are simple, guys younger than 40 charge them, guys older use the charge. Try it. You'll see. The Champion."
Rocky shrugs. He looks at the trunks, bends over, puts one foot in, then the other. He pulls them up.
He feels it immediately. He feels invigorated. He feels young. He feels strong. He turns to the mirror and he sees the change. His pecs don't have the sag of age, but are firm and thick. His shoulders are wide. He has a ten-pack and the mid-life bulge of fat is gone. His traps are bigger. He twists, and sees that his glutes are ripped. His legs are cut. He's back to his championship condition.
He pulls on a pair of sweats, and goes to the gym. 'Let's do legs,' he thinks. He goes to the squat rack, loads it with six 45 pound plates. 'Good warmup weight.' He cranks out 15, butt to the floor. It was easy. It hasn't been easy for a couple years. Rocky puts on two more plates. 15 more reps. No problem. He smiles. 'Let's go for four.' He does 10 reps. Some of the younger guys are noticing. They're pointing, and looking over. He gives them a show. Four more plates. He does a set of 8, then another, then another.
"Man, that's awesome." Rocky has a fan. It's a kid. He's seen him training here for a few months.
"Just getting my second wind," Rocky replies.
"I'm Joe. Joe Jackson. Your technique is great. I can never seem to get all the way down."
"Too much weight. Go lighter. Call me Rocky."
"I know. I've seen you in the magazines." Joe thinks about Rocky's advice, "But I want to be strong. I'm going to be competing in the local competition in the fall. I need to be big."
"The judges don't care how much you lift," he says, "they care about how you look."
Rocky looks Joe over. The kid has potential. He's beefy, not much fat. What did the note say? Something about charging the trunks.
"Joe, let me finish working legs. When I'm done, if you want, maybe I can give you some pointers on your routine," he says. Might as well try. So far, the note has been right. Rocky feels like the champ again, the champ he use to be.
Rocky continued to lift heavy. He used weights he hadn't used in years. No pain, no gain might be fine for younger men. But when you reach a certain age, your joints rebel. But today, he's strong again. He's his old self.
He meets Joe in the locker room. The kid is striking a few poses.
"Looking good, Joe."
"Thanks," he says, looking at his double bicep pose. "They're only 18, though." Joe pauses, looks at Rocky. There is something in his eyes. Fear? Desire? "Would you show me," he says finally.
He smiles. "Sure." Rocky lifts of his shirt. He notes a look of awe in Joe's eyes. The kid appreciates muscle. Rocky hits the pose, shows Joe what real muscle is.
"Damn!" The exclaimation was unintentional. Joe blushes. "I mean, god, I'd love to have peaks like those."
Rocky bends, signals for Joe to feel his arm. Joe squeeze, but Rocky feels the hardness of his muscle. It is a rock with no give at all. Rocky smiles. He feels strong.
"Your muscles will mature. Give it time." Time. That's Rocky's problem, or maybe it was Rocky's problem. "Let's shower. Come over to my place, I'll show you some tricks of the trade. That OK?"
Rocky takes off his shoes, socks and sweatpants. Will he still retain his new vigor without the trunks? He's gotta find out sooner or later. He pulls them down. His dick looks bigger, his nuts fuller. Without the trunks, he's still his young self, everywhere it appears.
In the shower, he catches Joe looking at him. He's a mature man. No, he's a mature bodybuilder. He's got his champion form back. He thinks back to the competition. The winner was huge -- ripped abs, massive legs, wide back, solid pecs, thick arms. Ten years ago, that was Rocky. Now, it's him again. Looking like he does now, he would have won. 'Wait til next year.'
He looks at Joe showering next to him. 'Good bone structure. Thick. He can lift a lot of weight, in time. Thick muscle bellies, too. I can do a lot with this kid. I can make him a winner.' Rocky checks out his dick too. Joe is hung. No drug-induced atrophy there. So many of the men Rocky's size have used, he almost expects to see the effects of it.
They leave the gym together. Joe follows Rocky to his house. Rocky has never done this before. It feels strange. Joe told him he was 19 and in college. Still...
Joe has no fears following Rocky inside. Rocky makes Joe feel at ease. Or is it the other way around? Joe tells Rocky about wanting to study exercise physiology in college. Maybe open his own gym someday. Rocky advises Joe on nutrition. The conversation turns to posing.
"Do you have a routine?" Rocky asks.
"I've been working on something. Maybe use some heavy metal to pose to. Hard beats, you know, to strike poses too."
"It's a start. Why don't you show me? I've got some music." Rocky walks over to his CD's. Pulls out some new wave disco music. "Do you need some trunks?" Rocky can't believe he said that, but he needed to bring it up. Why not be direct?
"I could just do it in my briefs?" Joe said.
"Nah, I got a pair. Put you in the right frame of mind." Rocky goes to the bag, pulls out the trunks.
"Ya. Ok." Joe seems a bit shy, but he gets over it fast. He pulls off his shirt. His young body is tight. Firm. There is no fat around his waist. He removes his pants. His legs are toned, like a runner, but with a bit of size too. Joe looks up tentatively, then pulls down his briefs. he takes the trunks. There is no noticable effect.
Rocky starts the music. Joe begins to pose. His routine doesn't flow. It is too haphazard, too jerky. Rocky shows him the correct way to show his bi, the way to twist his wrist and point his fingers to make the peak as large as possible. Rocky talks about Joe's strong points and how to accentuate them. He tells him how to hide his weak points.
"Can I see your routine?" Joe asks. Rocky says sure, but he needs his trunks. Joe strips them off and gets his briefs. He sits on the couch.
Rocky decides to put on a real show for the young man.
"Ever heard of Gypsy Rose Lee?" Rocky asks. "Of course not. You're just a kid." Rocky is the teacher now, instructing, "Everyone needs a gimmick, something that sets them apart. It isn't just the pose and the muscle. It's the show, it's the anticipation. It's the tease. That was Gypsy's gimmick."
With his right hand, he grabs the bottom of his shirt. He lifts it, stopping at the base of his pecs. He flexes his abs, the hard eight-pack ripples to life. He rubs each bulge with his left, sticking his fingers in the divide between each. Rocky's face shows surprise, like his abs have never been there before. He stops, and lowers his shirt. He stands there, bouncing his pecs, raising his hands to his collar. With a sudden motion, he rips, tearing the shirt in half, revealing his massive torso. He pulls the remains from his arms, flexing his lats wide. He looks at Joe, winks, and throws the rags at him.
Rocky turns to his side and bends over. He straightens his arm, flexing his tricep, then pulls on the lace to his sneaker. Rocky continues to draw his arm back into a rowing motion. He makes a fist and flexes his bi as his back bulges. He turns his head to Joe again, smiling. Rocky notices that Joe looks uncomfortable, squirming to hide the bulge in his shorts. 'Everyone needs a gimmick.'
Rocky kicks off his shoes, then pulls off his socks. He stands, turns to Joe and walks over. He flexes into a crab pose. "POW!" he yells, causing Joe to jump.
Rocky relaxes, grabbing his belt and unbuckling it. With deliberate speed, he pulls it off, whipping it to the side. Rocky takes the belt with both hands, snapping it as he flexes his torso in a show of muscle against leather. Lats and delts flaring, Rocky snaps the belt a second time before disgarding it.
Rocky unbuttons his pants, turns and walks to the back of the room. Stopping, he turns his head to look at Joe. Facing the wall again, he methodically unzips his pants, spreading the front. He stops, and turns his head to Joe again, a look of "huh?" on his face. He puts his thumbs in the waist of the pants at his hips. Pushing down, Rocky flexes his glutes into a massive bubble butt that can only be built through heavy squats. In a sudden motion, Rocky spins to face Joe, jerking his pants to his knees, then over his calves. Carefully Rocky steps out of his pants, flexing his freed right leg, then his left. Rocky's quads form a hard curved ledge over his knee caps. He strides back over to Joe.
Bending over, Rocky says, "Posing is theatre. It's about getting the audience on your side. It's about pulling them in, then letting the out again, like fishing. It's about the tease and the gimmick. That's what you got to learn." He looks at Joe, then stands back up. "But first, the basics."
Rocky pulls his briefs off and reaches for the posing trunks. As he pulls them on, he feels the whirlwind engulf him. His body seems to inflate with more power, growing. His abs bulge, become as rough as the underbelly of a lizard. The hemispheres of his chest become rounder, more ripped. His lats become heavier, and his traps bulge higher. His delts become bowling balls sitting on the tops of his tree thick arms. His legs become incredibly defined and stretch the trunks to their fullest. Rocky feels the hormone rush of a 19 year old, hot and horny and wanting to grow bigger at all costs.
"Man, you're pumped huge!" says Joe, the bulge in his shorts straining for release.
"Thanks." Rocky notices that his bulge is also bigger, but still flacid. The trunks made everything about Rocky bigger. Rocky explains to Joe about the manditory poses.
For the next few motnhs, Rocky continues to help Joe train. As often as he can manage, he gets Joe to wear the briefs. The effects are always the same. Time is running backward for Rocky.
Joe won his contest. He wore Rocky's briefs as a token of luck, but it was really Rocky who had the luck. The briefs were charged big time after being worn by a teenclass winner, even if it was a local show. The accolades of the audience and Joe's stellar perforance provided the briefs with a massive charge. The energy Rocky felt when he put on the briefs felt like a stamped of wild horses engulfing his body. He actually gained 25 pounds of muscle immediately. Rocky's arm grew over an inch, his chest 2 and his thighs 3. His gray hairs actually turned brown, and his skin became tighter.
After Joe's win, Rocky began to train some of Joe's friends. They wore the brief too, adding their teenage energy to the briefs. Afte each new youth, Rocky felt the whirlwind engulf him again. He felt younger. He had more endurance, more strength. He was also getting bigger.
In the gym, Rocky reclaimed his title as the strongest lifter. Young studs that had displaced him now couldn't keep up as he lifted heavier and heavier. The effects showed on his body.
Rocky's arms have grown to over 27 inches, unflexed. His thighs stretch the tape to 36 and his waist is only 29. His chest is a full 69 inches of muscle. Even his dick was bigger, a full 11 inches of manpower that could have multiple orgasms. Not bad for a man approaching 50. His hormones are in such a state that he'd throw a rod if a pin dropped too hard. Eleven inches is hard to hide.
I see him a year later at the Masters Nationals. I barely recognize him. Like the year before, he sits in a chair and looks at the other competitors as they preen before the show. "It's mine this year," he says. "No one's got my size, my strength, my symmetry." He's right. "One day, I may give this up, but not now." Rocky tugged on his briefs as he took the stage.
"Damn, I didn't look that good when I was 25," whispers one of the other competitors. "Wonder what his secret is?"
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