健美大神之路（A Bodybuilder Is Born）
Episode 16 – Compare Yourself To No One But You!
I had just returned from the Olympia weekend in Las Vegas. Despite the sleep deprivation brought on by my insisting on partying like it’s 1999, I was totally fired up to train hard. Being around so many awesome physiques had motivated the hell out of me. Randy had not been able to go, since he had only been working at his new job for a few weeks.
Besides that, unlike me he didn’t have a magazine paying his way, and the young man did not have the couple grand in folding green it takes to have a good time in Vegas for three days. And that’s assuming you stay away from the ‘escorts’ section of the phone book and the fancy steakhouses. Even without gambling, I still manage to leave Sin City every time scratching my head and wondering, ‘how did I manage to spend all that money in so little time?’
Through the magic of pay-per-view television, Randy had watched the Mr. Olympia and was equally jazzed about getting bigger. Much bigger. For a minute I wasn’t even sure he was being serious and I sniffed the air around him to make sure he hadn’t been smoking dope.
“Man, I want to look exactly like Ronnie Coleman!” he exclaimed as he picked up a pair of 85’s and set them down near the incline bench.
“Me and him are the same height, so I need to weigh 320 in the off-season and diet down to 287 just like he does if I want to be the best pro bodybuilder ever. How long do you think that would take, if I train really hard, eat a ton of good food every day, and eventually add in the – you know, ‘special’ supplements?” I looked my naïve charge dead in the eye and said what had to be said. I don’t like to be cruel, but it is my obligation to save him from living in a fluffy dream world with marshmallow clouds and licorice-stick trees.
Bursting The Bubble
“Probably never, Randy.”
The look he shot at me was part anger, part hurt. I think he knew even before I had said anything that he was being delusional. Randy has about as much chance of looking like Ronnie Coleman as he does waking up tomorrow morning with an extra ass growing out of his chest. And nobody wants that – do they?
“How can you say that, when you’re always telling me not to put limits on myself?” he spat. “Now you are saying I can’t be that big, that’s just not cool.”
“Easy there, let me explain. How hard was it for Ronnie to win this Olympia, based on what you saw?”
Randy shrugged. “Not too hard, I guess.”
“You didn’t get to see the prejudging like I did, so let me fill you in. The second the guys walked out on stage a little after noon, it was obvious that Ronnie was in another league. I almost want to say he was in a different species. In fact, the guy next to me said he was going to check out back for a parked UFO, because Coleman simply had to be some alien. No human being could possibly be so huge and ripped.”
Human Or Mutant?
“But Ronnie is a human,” Randy challenged.
“He is, but he is very, very different from nearly every other man alive today. Certainly he trains his butt off with some monster weights. I know in his leg training alone this year he was squatting 800 pounds for reps and leg pressing 2,500 pounds. Ronnie also eats like clockwork every two hours. But you have to also realize that the man is a true genetic freak. His body responds to the training and eating in a way that almost nobody else’s does. Ronnie is an inspiration to a lot of us, but as far as making it your goal to be a clone of Ronnie – it’s not even remotely realistic.”
I could tell Randy was still unconvinced. I knew he needed a little positive feedback right now. “You have a lot of growing left to do, and I have no doubt you can be a very good bodybuilder,” I offered, “but these top pro’s, the guys in the Olympia top ten, they are simply a different breed. They are literally mutants, except instead of having titanium claws like Wolverine, they have the ability to grow far more muscle mass than a normal human.”
“Yeah, but the drugs…” Randy tried to interject. I shook my head emphatically.
“No! The drugs really aren’t that important. Without those very rare genetics, all the drugs in Mexico and Thailand combined wouldn’t result in a body like these guys have.”
Randy was silent as he picked up his dumbbells for his fourth and final set of inclines. I gave him one forced rep and he set the dumbbells down before hitting a hard side chest in the mirror, followed by a crab most-muscular. Now that he was back to his usual lean condition, striations were evident in his pecs. I could see I had alienated him by dashing his dream. But this dream was not a healthy one.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
“You know, there is only one Ronnie Coleman in bodybuilding, just like there was only one Michael Jordan in basketball, one Barry Bonds in baseball, one Muhammad Ali in boxing, and one Peter North in adult film. These men were at the very top of their game for a time, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t others around them who were also exceptional. The point is, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else anyway. That always leads to disappointment.
“健美界只有一个罗尼·库尔曼，就像篮球界只有一个迈克尔·乔丹，棒球界只有一个贝瑞·邦兹（Barry Bonds），拳击界只有一个默罕默德·阿里，成人电影界只有一个彼得·诺斯（Peter North）一样，他们都是各自领域里的翘楚，但这并不意味着他们周围的人不优秀。我的意思是你用不着和别人比，那样只会让你失望。
A long time ago I got over the whole issue of constantly comparing the way I looked to the pro’s in the magazines, or even in comparison to local amateurs. All I worry about is how I look compared to the Ron Harris of yesterday. You are a lot more impressive than the Randy I met over a year ago, and that’s something to be proud of. In another year you should be even better, and so on. That’s what it’s all about. Does that make sense?”
Randy nodded. “Yeah, it just gets depressing sometimes seeing how far I have to go before I can stand next to these guys in the magazines without looking like a little girl,” he laughed.
“One day you will realize that great physiques come in all shapes and sizes,” I assured him. “Guys like Frank Zane looked incredible and never weighed more than 200 pounds on stage or had arms any bigger than 17 or 18 inches. That’s why you should indeed try to increase your measurements and muscular bodyweight, but don’t worry that it doesn’t stack up to some 300-pound mutant with 23-inch arms.”
He looked in the mirror and hit a front double biceps. “Only 110 pounds and seven inches to go, baby!” he said. I didn’t bother commenting. He might indeed get to such a size someday, but in the meantime I am trying to keep him focused on short-term goals. Once he gets close to my size and strength, he can start thinking about going after the mutants. By that time, the reigning Mr. Olympia might be 350 pounds ripped with thirty-inch arms. Well, you can’t stop progress, can you?