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Muscle Evolution editor, Werner Beukes posing inside Body Conscious gym

A sport of extremes

I have always found bodybuilding interesting.

It was a strange territory with its own discipline that I got introduced to as a teen when I started lifting weights to become bigger and stronger for the game of rugby. Looking from the outside bodybuilders were often, at the time, perceived as threatening, grotesque and even disgusting. I ignored all the negativity and instead appreciated the distinct difference.

I was also watching Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone movies like Predator, Commando, Rocky and Cobra. Always looking for more knowledge, I started buying an American hardcore bodybuilding magazine called Flex.

Around this time I attended my first bodybuilding contest in Johannesburg and saw an IFBB Pro for the first time, Gary Strydom, considered by many in dominant bodybuilding culture as one of the most iconic South African bodybuilders of all time.

This all happened in the 1980s and 1990s.Today, more than ever, bodybuilding is still a sport of extremes. In fact, if all sports are not about extremes, they are not sports. It is about testing the capacities for human performance. And it is nothing new. The Greeks and Romans in ancient times developed an admiration for strong and well-formed men and women.

Todays’ bodybuilders still continue that sacred quest for physical perfection in a world of extremes.

* By Werner Beukes, Muscle Evolution Editor

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