The Zyzz Legacy??

(Regarding Zyzz) “If you need to take that many drugs to look like that….you need to kill yourself – Jamie Lewis: Chaos and Pain.

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Zoolander

Zyzz

Zyzz

It’s been three years to the day that Russian born, Australian, Aziz Shavershian died in a sauna in Pattaya, Thailand. (Who the fuck uses a sauna in Pattaya?? – this place IS a sauna 24-7/365). Zyzz used to refer to himself as the Son of Zeus and Brother of Hercules? If he was such a fan of Greek mythology, maybe he should have tried reading the story of Icarus.

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Believe you’re a god…

The gods punish hubris

Before the era of the internet (non) celebrity, men were attracted to the sport through masculine representations of wholesome, enduring icons who had, funnily enough, actually achieved something via competitive avenues. With words like “competition” and “achievement” being too hard for many of Generation Useless to aspire and commit to, they seek out a new forms of “overnight success” via whichever flavour of the month presents the latest and most attractive path of least resistance.

arnold zane

reeves  They weren’t called “The Good Old Days” for nothing.

It’s said that Zyzz;s legacy was that he attracted thousands of new guys to the sport for which I personally am extremely thankful  for. After all, who wouldn’t want to share a gym with hundreds of new guys, most in the early twenties, looking to emulate their hero and inspiration by working out (upper body only), using boat loads of drugs and primping and preening for the daily upload to Instagram and the next music festival?

I know every region of the world has it’s own cultural version of the douchebag, but the Zyzz imitation phenomenon is one which is pretty endemic to Australia in particular and is largely the result of misplaced hero worship.

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If working out in a gym with serious, hard working individuals dedicated to excellence has the effect that it raises your own performance; then isn’t the converse also true?

Bodybuilding…. What happened?

 

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  9 comments for “The Zyzz Legacy??

  1. superplexsteve
    August 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I admire Zyzz’s personal transformation and business acumen. He found a niche in the fitness market and I believe he knew exactly what he was working towards. We can simply credit him with fuelling the perception that bodybuilding and fitness can now be considered cool and acceptable. There doesn’t always have to be an in depth explanation for these things. Acceptability – whether that is a good thing or not, I’m unsure. We live in a fast food culture and young men want results quick. They see how popular Zyzz became and like you say, they want to emulate him. I believe a lot of people will become disheartened when they realise how long the muscle building process is. A lot of these individuals probably won’t keep up with this game once they hit their 30s and have sensible jobs and responsibilities.

    A lot of people fail to realise that bodybuilding is a lifestyle and it should not impact negatively on other aspects of life. If you want a great physique, then you’ll make the necessary adjustments.

    What is your opinion on the Men’s Physique class? It attracts a lot of people to bodybuilding who would not have considered it previously. They incorrectly believe that the Men’s Physique look is more achievable than classic bodybuilding, but I would say that belief is wrong. The upper echelon of physique competitors would still do some damage in traditional bodybuilding.

    Steve

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    • August 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks for your comment Steve.

      Zyzz definitely attracted a lot of guys who idolised him and held him as their standard for more than just his physique. I knew a lot of young teens and early twenty something guys who embraced his attitude and the demeanour that he projected – the “live fast, die young rebel” has always resonated with kids from any generation. What was disheartening was to see so many young gym friends hit the drugs super fast and along with that, get involved in the drug party scene as well, because, “if it’s good enough for Zyzz…”

      Just as I alluded to in my rant/article, the Zyzz worship seems to be endemic to Australia, so it’s annoying to be tarred with the same brush when these kind of guys are associated with the sport. The media wants headlines, and bodybuilding has always fought the gamut of negative stereotypes for years. Guys like Zyzz and his legion of lemmings don’t do anything to advance the stereotype in a positive direction unfortunately. If it was all a part of Zyzz’s conscious marketing strategy and business acumen, then I’m sure he’s in heaven laughing at us who continue to perpetuate his brand on the webz, haha.

      I definitely agree that many of these kids are short-timers and they’ll be burned out and discouraged in due time. I spoke personally to 18 years back home that were hitting a gram of test a week stacked with orals and asked them, at 40 where did they expect to be physique and health wise….

      I’m not a fan of the Physique class even though I’m loathe to admit that genetically I’m probably more suited for that type of competition. I think the upper echelon have some amazing physiques though I just don’t like how the posing shorts cover a third of their bodies. Guys competing in this class back home are even known to skip leg day!

      Again it’s a problem that seems to be cropping up in shows in Australia whereby promoters are trying to enable everyone to “give it a go”. We even have a class for women who have had a baby! Where do we draw the line? As Lee Priest said in regards to the lighter 212 pro division – “We didn’t need that when I competed…if you can’t stand up there with the best, you shouldn’t have a separate division to cater for your special needs and deficiencies.” I tend to agree with him.

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      • superplexsteve
        August 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

        “What was disheartening was to see so many young gym friends hit the drugs super fast and along with that, get involved in the drug party scene as well”. I think therein lies the issue mate – the motivation to train. This just fuels the stereotype that bodybuilding is only for narcissists. I pride myself on the fact that a lot of thought goes into my diet and training, and I believe people around me acknowledge that. Unfortunately, these YOLO lifters are going to be perceived as meat heads and I wouldn’t want to be tarred with the same brush. Unless you’re a genetic freak, what we do requires a level of intelligence.

        When it comes down to it, I don’t have strong feelings against performance enhancers, but I just wish people would try to at least reach their genetic potential before trying out gear. It is all about living fast though isn’t it? No one would want to see a 40 year old, naturally aesthetic dude running around in the party scene with kids half his age. Because that wouldn’t be cool right?

        Regarding Men’s Physique, some people have aspirations to achieve that fitness model look and they want all the perks – photoshoots, supplement deals and modelling contracts. That’s cool, but It’s really not for me. I prefer bodybuilding because I feel it’s more artistic and you would never get criticised for coming in too hard and shredded like you would do in Physique. Also, I just like a good posing routine! A lot of thought goes into this.

        Your Lee Priest quote is interesting. Thankfully, I think most judges are able to see beyond just size. If every aspect of your game is near perfect, then people will respect that. Did you see the results of IFBB Tampa Pro this weekend? Marvin Ward placed second in the 212 class. The dude stands at just 5′ 1″ with a contest weight of ~140lb. He looks like a monster.

        Steve

        Liked by 1 person

  2. August 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    “It is all about living fast though isn’t it? No one would want to see a 40 year old, naturally aesthetic dude running around in the party scene with kids half his age. Because that wouldn’t be cool right?”

    Haha, well, I’m 40 and my GF is half my age so…..ummmm

    I agree that the Men’s Physique category certainly seems to be gaining traction when it comes to self marketing and even more so when it comes to attracting girls. But I definitely agree with you that there’s the artistic, aesthetic component of bodybuilding that’s such a challenge to achieve that makes this endeavour more enjoyable to pursue. If it was easy to achieve an ideal physique, I doubt I’d love it as much. It’s part self-science-experiment, part artistic expression, part homage to the tradition that men have always enjoyed about achieving the physical ideal that makes it so worthwhile.

    I hear you on the posing aspect too. Natural bodybuilding is becoming so popular in Australia now that some of the federations are doing away with the free posing round to cater with the volume of entrants which I think is a huge blow to the sport. You basically file on, hit the quarter turns and mandatory poses and they decide from there. If you want to have your 60 seconds you have to compete in the non tested feds such as NABBA and IFBB.

    Holy Crap! I just checked out Marvin Ward, and although I’ve seen him before you’re right. What a beast at ~140. Such flowing lines and round muscle bellies….That’s what a bodybuilder should look like!

    Keep going with your prep man; I’m following your progress!

    Like

  3. superplexsteve
    August 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Oops, that was a bit of an own goal on my part! But I think you got my point.

    Thankfully, in the UK, the three main natural feds that we have are quite traditional and the posing routine is here to stay.

    I look forward to reading your future posts; your blog has been pretty insightful. I just wish that WordPress had a bigger fitness community. If it does exist, I’m not aware of it and I must be searching for the wrong tags.

    Thanks for following my blog. I have two upcoming shows and would like to finish my debut season strong. The goal would be to place top 3 in the novice class, that is realistic. If I were to place top two, then I would lose my “novice tag”, even better. It’s all about trial and error at the end of the day though. I’m already thinking about what my progress should be this time next year!

    Steve

    Like

    • August 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Yeah I’m technologically illiterate for the most part, especially when it comes to WordPress and blogging etc. Would be good to connect with a bunch of similarly minded guys to share tips and experiences with. Sometimes I get a “like” on a post a few minutes after I post it, and it always makes me wonder, is there a live-feed of newly published blogs or something that I can’t seem to find??

      I’ll definitely be following along with your progress mate. I imagine the natural events are gaining popularity over there? The divisions are stacked back home. There’s basically a gym and supplement store on every street corner; that’s how popular the sport is taking off….thanks to Zyzz! 😉 They have to bring the bikini competitors on in waves because the stage is never big enough to hold them all. The men’s natural divisions often have 20 guys in the novice division alone.

      Like

  4. The Big Man
    January 8, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Straya. .fuck I’ve never seen so many jacked little roiders before.. this was at StereoSonic Perth. I must’ve been the only guy in a normal T-Shirt! The culture has really taken off there.
    Also when your in Cuba and you overhear 3 young Melbourne lads “Nah no more pizza for me today, trying to get shredded for StereoSonic”. 9 months out!! You have to laugh! One WA expat I know thinks the whole scene is bent! Which I have to agree.. All for the wrong reasons.

    Like

    • January 8, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Can happily say I’ve never been to a festival and probably never will.

      Cuba on the other hand! You been? It’s on my to visit list in the near future.

      Like

      • The Big Man
        January 13, 2015 at 9:14 pm

        Cuba – yeah bro, go soon before the yanks turn it into the next Puerto Rico! The floodgates are open.

        Like

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