Friday, 13 June 2014

'Flex & the City' - The Substance(s) of Bodybuilding

Building; it’s always been a major part of human history and an even bigger part of the construction industry.  Each generation, from “Gen BC” all the way through to “Gen Y”, has had their building obsession.   From pyramid builders to ship builders to builders of skyscrapers and builders of planes and even the black sheep of the building fraternity – the website builders.  However, new Australian statistics have put steroids ahead of heroin and ice as the most used drug in Australia.  Does this mean we’ve seemingly decided that as a society, we’ve built everything there is to build so we’re turning the focus onto ourselves?  With the 50th annual 'Mr. Olympia' competition fast approaching, I decided to examine this further, so I’m stretching-up, grabbing my tanning oil, and taking a closer look at the red-headed stepchild of the international building industry – “bodybuilding”.

Before anything else, easily the most concerning part of this entire issue is that in their quest to look like the ultimate popped corn kernel, the bodybuilders of Australia have sent steroids to the top of the drug-use “iTunes charts”… “highTunes”, if I may.  Following this trend, our city centres should brace themselves because by all accounts, we’ll soon have the strongest generation of drug-addicted vagrants this country has ever seen.  Drug addicts’ physiques have been in the shredding stage for years, this bulk is really all that’s been missing.  What if the option of handing over some spare change to that addict on the street was taken out of your hands?  Sure their enlarged hearts may fool you into thinking they have a lot of love to give, but that over-inflated organ, like Mr. Universe’s kryptonite, may be our only chance for a quick getaway!

 What we need is a solution, and here I go in my attempt to provide one;
  • The problem:  Steroids are obviously too easy to get.
  • The solution:  Make steroids harder to get.
  • My suggested method:  Institute a rule where if you really want to purchase steroids, you have the opportunity to do so. The catch is, you have to sit in a chair with butt flat on the seat and try to reach around for the pill bottle or steroid sachet, which is located directly behind you.
  • Result:  If you can’t reach around the minimum distance necessary to grab the roids/wipe your own butt, you’ve had more than enough already. Maybe to lighten the vibe, you can then ask “do you even reach bro?”, but that’s purely up to the individual.

Sidenote: It doesn’t count as “clean eating” just because you made sure the syringe you used was “sterile”.

On top of this, is “bodybuilding” really an appropriate name for it anyway?  For me the only real bodybuilding will always be ‘pregnancy’.  You literally build a little body, inside you, with eyes closed, no-looking!   It takes nine months, no weights and construction is done!  Can we all take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness of that!?  You’re not bodybuilding.  Your body was already built!  Your mum and dad did that.  Your mum sat on the project for nine months from concept to reality and now you’re claiming responsibility.  You’re “body-renovating” if anything and I’m pretty sure you need a permit for much of the work you're doing.  For the record, if bodybuilders were actual “buildings”, they would be the crappiest structures in the world, immediately behind Jenga towers and the Westgate Bridge.   They require constant up-keep, are expensive to maintain and if you stop building them up, they actually fall apart and get smaller.  Construction never stops!  Can you imagine living and working in a building that’s never done being built!?

Next, we have to address the obvious survival issue.  We need to appreciate the inherent threat to civilisation that body-builders pose (excuse the pun) and how they could potentially lead to the extinction of regular human beings or “body-builts”.   In a world with an over-crowded population where food and natural resources are becoming scarce, like small babies; bodybuilders are constantly growing, needing to consume inordinately high amounts of food as they do, leaving less for the rest of us.  Why don’t we get them to build something useful?  We have enough bodies on this planet. Our cities are crowded enough as is – why don’t you rip out four sets of home-building and then head over to areas affected by natural disasters and super-set with some re-building?  I'm just saying, back in the early 20th century if you were obsessed with size and “aesthetics” you built the Titanic or Empire State Building, you didn’t change the grip on your barbell and start swallowing horse pills.

The only way to put things back in balance is to start using bodybuilders to cut down on our natural resources.  At least stuff like substituting the gym pull-down equipment for having them in charge of the cable system in the elevators in a few office buildings.  What better incentive is there for proper technique and controlled release on the decline than having seven people’s lives hanging in the balance?  At the very least there should be an individual who is actually qualified to carry the heavy 15 plastic Woolworths bags to the car in one trip, because we don’t want to make two trips.

Sidenote:  Also, stop referencing body-building as your “religion”.   The bible talks about God building the Earth in six days, it talks about a bloke named Noah building an ark and it does not mention him bringing “two of every plate weight” with him.

There should be a caveat on you wanting to be a bodybuilder and part of that should be that you have to enlist in the army.  If your qualifications include: Herculean strength, enjoyment of pain, prone to violence and habitually rub dark cream all over body, then you my friend have enlisted to defend this nation.  Word to the wise from my personal observation though, when your six pack has gotten to the point that it’s so big it either looks like a stuffed ciabatta under your belly, or like Garfield the cat is pushing his face out from inside your stomach, you’re done bro.

So whatever your stance, I think we can agree that if ‘Bob the Builder’ was around now, he’d be trading in his wheelbarrow and shovel for a barbell and a pec-deck.  Whether that means we’ll soon have a generation of voters who look like the villains from Space Jam remains to be seen.   However, from the bulking and benching to the shredding and cycling to the lifting and loading, one thing is for sure; there seem to be plenty of ups and downs to lifting til you drop.


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