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Big Guns Club, The
|I know it's kind of hard to believe, but I really did have 20" biceps in high school. Almost! They were 19.5". I was pretty lucky. My father played and coached football and was a pretty big guy himself - he's 6' 1" and weighs 262. I can remember when he weighed 295! And he has always looked rock-hard. He's an amateur powerlifter, and he has obtained several lifting records in his carreer. He even won an arm wrestling contest before a Professional Wrestling Match we once saw. He got a trophy and $300!
My friends used to stare at his arms and make comments even when I was very young. Guys always shook their heads and said, "I'd hate to have your dad mad at me! Man! His arms!" I didn't know it then, but they were almost 23"!
From the time I was old enough to follow him to the gym, at about 11, I was lifting weights. At 12 I began drinking Protein Shakes with him in the morning and at night, and food at our house was plentiful and balanced. I did homework from 4:00 to 5:30. He got home from work at 5:30, we had dinner, and we were in the gym from 7:00 until it closed down at 9:30 PM. I went from 137 lbs. in 7th grade to 168 in my Sophomore Year.
My dad started me on supplements at 14, and after that Summer people began noticing my arms - they were 14.5" at the time, and because our high school uniform consisted of long grey pants, black shoes, and a white knit shirt that fit pretty snugly, my arms stuck out even when I had them relaxed. Girls in my class were always touching my arms, and guys either made comments about their size, or wanted to know how I got them that way. I was getting pretty obnoxious, and I look back on everything I did and laugh a lot now.
I was so turned on by all of the attention, that by Junior Year I had blasted my arms two times a week mercilessly and kept up my regular workouts on the other days. With the help of the shakes and the supplements my arms had gotten to 17.5" by the Summer before my Senior Year. It was in July, the day of my 17th birthday, that a group of us came up with the idea for the "Big Guns Club."
Three of the guys on our football team - the biggest guys on the team (not necessarily the best, just the biggest) - were with me in our garage. We were trying to see who could do the most curls with 100 lbs. on the bar. After 30 minutes of this insanity we were on the floor hurting like hell, and that's when my friend John decided we should measure our arms.
John's were 15.5", Paul and Dennis were both between 15.5 and 16.5", and I had reached a pump of 17.5"! We were all so turned on by the size of our arms that we began posing in the huge mirror on the garage wall, looking like we were some posing team at a Bodybuilding Contest.
The end of July and all of August we trained like fiends. We wanted to impress the whole school in September! After work - we all worked for my dad's construction company - we began drinking protein shakes and taking supplements like crazy and then going to the gym all evening. We got into running and lifting on a massive basis. ALL of the money we made working that Summer went to pay for the stuff we took.
In September when we went back to school, we had ALL decided we would buy our uniform school shirts two or three sizes too small. That's how obnoxious we were! I was huge compared to the guys in my Senior Class - we all were! The four of us were bursting out of our shirts, and we loved it. Huge pecs showing - it was easy inside of those tight shirts to make them bounce and ripple! Everyone wanted to touch them! People stared and spoke in whispers - some even laughed behind our backs - but we didn't care! e loved being huge. The year was going to be great!
I was 17, almost 18, and sitting in high school classes that bored me out of my mind. I hated French, and I especially hated my Fench teacher, and my mind was always wandering.
John sat across the aisle from me and he was always egging me on to do stupid things. We sat in alphabetical order in this Catholic High School and David Curran sat in front of me - always. He was about 5'3" and weighed about 130 lbs. By this time I was benching 385 and I would spend my time with my feet extended under his desk and my hands wrapped around the back of his chair. Useing my quads and mostly my biceps, I'd raise him and his desk off of the floor and do a sort of make-shift curl. John would make hash marks on a notebook, recording the number of "curls" I could do with David and his desk. By Christmas I was up to 118! I know it made David angry, but I didn't care. What was he going to do about it?
This movement made my biceps pump up huge, and I'd pull my sleeve down over my entire upper arm, right don to the elbow, and then slowly flex and watch it rise up over my swelling bicep until it covered less than half of my upper arm. It was about to burst into shreads. The shirt was knit, though, and could take the pressure.
By the time I had it fully flexed most of the people sitting around me were staring at my massive arm, and John was laughing his head off. Once Mrs. Dekle saw him laughing and asked me what I was doing to entertain John. I'd said, "Nothing." And the idiots around me burst into laughter. She told me to stand up and show her what I was doing. So I stood up, pulled my sleeve down over my bicep, and then little by little I pumped it up until it actually tore through the sleeve! (Remember, it was about three sizes too small.) The class whistled and applauded, and I got sent to the office. Little did they know, when I told my dad, he thought it was funny too. "Do it with your other arm," he said. And I showed him how I had mangled the right sleeve. PUMP! PUMP! PUMP! And then "Rrrriiiiiiiiipppppppp! and the left sleve as gone too! He laughed hysterically and he even bought me a new shirt!
The attention had been outstanding, and that started an endless line of "tricks" I'd do to keep the attention coming. That wasn't so bad, but I started getting other people to do them too!
John, Paul, Dennis and I were always together. Always in the hall together, always at lunch together, always in class together, and always in the weight room together. Other students feared us, and he coach loved us. We made up over half of the starting defensive line and our Senior Year Team was unstoppable. That's when the coach asked us to take Gary, Craig, Warren and Jimmy under our wings. We'd be graduating, and they were the hope of the upcoming team - a freshman, two sophomores, and a junior.
They were all pretty big and workouts with them were great. The eight of us took over the weight room after school, and the four of them worked out as manically as we did. Their bodies were in great shape, and by the time Christmas break was over, and January had passed they were getting huge. Beginning in February we decided to start the club. Rules were that you had to have arms equal to/or bigger than your age. I guess part of the reason that we made that the rule was that we all qualiied.
Craig - 14 and 14", Gary 15 and 15", Warren - 15 and 15.25", Jimmy - 16 and 16", John - 17 and 17", Paul - 17 and 17.5", Dennis 17 and 18" and me almost 18 and ALMOST 20"!
We'd take anyone else into "The Big Guns Club" but they had to meet the requirements. Everybody in the school knew about us and all of the "amazing feats we could perform. That's why we got our pictures in the yearbook under a heading called "The Big Guns Club."
Now I think you can picture it. Eight guys - 14 to 18 years old - 161 to 223 lbs - 14" to 20" arms - 5'10" to 6'3" tall - wandering around a school like they owned it. We did stupid things like lifting Freshmen and passing them around. Inevitably the poor guy being passed would end up in a trash can or toilet. Four of us had a contest in the middle of the courtyard in front of the school where we Military pressed four 125 guys until the last of us gave out. No contest. I ALWAYS won. 31 reps was my record.
We'd do the same with curls, or sometimes we had races carrying a guy like he was a baby or something, and ran around the track until the last guy gave out. That freshman class hated to see us coming!
Ann Raymond, one of the girls that sat around me in French Class happened to be editor of the yearbook that year. She had a thing for me (and so did most of the females and some of the males) and she was always watching me flex. I did it every chance I got. She would touch my bicep and shiver, and alot of the time she spent the entire class just holding on to my upper arm. She was the one who suggested that we have our picture taken for the yearbook. I was the one who convinced her to make it a full page layout with the entire group and Coach Taylor.
I met with the guys after school in the weightroom and we all agreed that this had to be a layout the school would remember in 25 years at the class reunion! We all had watched "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules" and "Twins" together the night before and we knew we were going to do a couple of stunts from those films. (I know - we're morons!).
We had also met at various times to watch "Hercules" (original and update) "Pumping Iron," "Terminator," "Hercules in New York!!!!," "Conan, The Barbarian," "Think Big," "The Barbarians," and other mindless muscle stuffed movies. They all had muscle stunts we could use. (We had lots of time on our hands!)
So the pictures were taken and here is how the yearbook looked: 1. Gary smashing a tennis ball between his flexed bicep and his forearm. It was a close-up of his red face shouting "Yeah!" as the tenns ball "exploded." 2. Craig cracking a walnut between flexed bicep and forearm like the guy had done in the "Three Stooges" Movie as he screamed "DO IT!" at the cracking nut. 3. John grabbed two freshmen who weighed like 115 lbs. and were maybe 4'10" and 4'9" and he was forcing them to do pullups on my arms while I did a double bicep pose. 4. I hoisted two equally small freshmen on top of John's arms while he was doing a double bicep pose. This is the best of the pictures, I think. He could even make his biceps bounce up and down with the guys sitting on them. Can't tell it in the picture, though. 5. Jimmy was defiantly flexing his arm and bursting out of a very small uniform shirt we "found" for him. This idea was stolen from "Twins" where Arnold rips his sleeve in the car. Jimmy is talking to a girl, and he seems not to even notice he's ripped out of the shirt. 6. Paul with a measuring tape around his flexed arm was showing 16.5 inches! He's pointing to the tape and grinning wildly. 7. Dennis was doing curls with a 50 lb. dumbbell showing off his 17" bicep to a bunch of screaming girls and two amazed guys (both of whom we later found lusted after Dennis' muscle bod). 8. Warren was standing curling a 100 lb. barbell with three girls touching his flexed arm, and screaming.
And the picture in the center of the page that all of the other eight are built around - the entire group facing forward, right arms flexed showing off incredible biceps, and left arms lowered in a curved position holding up the coach as he lays across all of our arms. That picture was taken almost four months before graduation. We continued to work out together until the end of May, and by that time 4 more guys had joined us and the twelve of us did a lot of stupid "muscle" stunts day after day.
I'll recount those in Part Two
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