The Bodybuilding Bug
The day he turned thirty, my friend Ben joined a gym. "I've decided to have my mid-life crisis a decade early," he announced, clinking glasses with his friends at the local watering hole. "And since I can't afford a sports car, I'm investing in this!" He tapped his pudgy torso, indicating his soft body.
Someone yelled, "That's big belly futures!" and everyone laughed, Ben included. He was a warm kind of guy, friendly and unpretentious. Everyone liked him - but almost no one slept with him, you know? Good that he was turning attention to himself while he was young, we said, not before it was too late. We all wished him well, even if we knew in the back of our minds that he probably wasn't going to succeed. I mean, joining a gym at thirty, when you've never exercised a day in your life? Come on...
Online, Ben and I would chat frequently while at work, sending little posts to each other when we should've been doing our jobs. He kept me updated on his progress as he began his beguine.
BigBenBear: Rough. Guys are HUGE here! Maybe should've joined Bally's instead.
BigBenBear: Seriously, pretty intense.
BigBenBear: swear 2 God. I think some of them LIVE there!
BigBenBear: nothin' else in their lives but their bodies
BigBenBear: if I ever get that obsessive, feel free 2 smack me upside the head.
And then I didn't see him for a while, kind of lost track and forgot about it. A couple of weeks later - easily, maybe a month, maybe as much as six weeks - when we chatted online again. The conversation went like this:
Marty_Party: Ben! THERE you are! Haven't seen you in a while, buddy.
BigBenBear: Hey, Marty! Sorry, haven't been online a lot.
Marty_Party: 2 busy at work, right? <eg>
BigBenBear: lol right
BigBenBear: more like at the gym
BigBenBear: Been working out like a BEAST!
Marty_Party: That's right! The mid-life crisis! How's that goin'?
BigBenBear: I LOVE IT!
BigBenBear: My gym is freakin' AWESOME, man!
BigBenBear: I've made so much progress!
BigBenBear: REALLY getting into it
Marty_Party: Sounds like you've got the bug.
Marty_Party: Sounds like you've been bitten by the bodybuilding bug.
BigBenBear: I've caught the fever, as they say here
Marty_Party: Glad that's going well. Didn't expect you to stay with it.
Marty_Party: No offense... ;)
BigBenBear: None taken... :D
BigBenBear: We should get together. Would love to see you.
BigBenBear: Would love to have you see ME! <G>
BigBenBear: We should work out together.
Marty_Party: Absolutely! I would love that! When? Name your time!
BigBenBear: what are you doing after work?
And that's how I found myself following Ben's bad-ass directions all over the north end of town, the blue-collar side of the tracks, with their ponderous trucks and constant posturing. Why on Earth did he choose a gym in this (red)neck of the woods when he could've easily joined something a little more convenient, a little more urban, a little more in the safety of the community?
Doesn't matter. I found it - took some doing, almost like it was purposefully hidden from the main road - freakin' dumb-ass zoning board - but I spotted Ben's jeep in the lot, so I knew I was in the right place. I parked in the spot directly facing him, surprised to see him sitting in the driver's seat waiting for me. As I pulled up, he got out.
He looked... different - that's all I could say. Though it was seasonally too warm for them, he was wearing heavy, thick-cotton sweats, tops and bottoms, so his shape was vague, indistinct, but there WAS something different about him. He still seemed heavy and large, but he didn't seem as fat, you know? Like a linebacker, or an off-season bodybuilder - what was he hiding?
"Marty! Whassup?" As we shook hands, he pulled me in for a hug. When I wrapped my arms around him, I felt the difference - he body wasn't soft anymore. He wasn't pudgy little Ben-the-Bear anymore. He was hard as a rock.
I pulled out of the embrace, looking at him curiously - his face looked a little flushed, but angular, tight and defined. It was the face of a guy in prime athletic shape - that was it! No jowls! No double chin. That had been the difference I'd spotted before. Patting his torso through the thick sweatshirt while looking him in the eye, I asked, "What's up with you?"
With a teasing, anticipatory smile, Ben raised the front of his sweatshirt high enough to reveal the difference - his rock-solid eight-pack. He flexed his abs hard, quickly checking them out himself then studying my face for the reaction.
"Holy shit," I said, delighting him.
There was no visible bodyfat anywhere on his waist, every sinewy muscle, every insertion point, every beautiful vein and ripped-up cut, like someone painted a thin layer of warm skin over a marble sculpture. I would call it impossible if I hadn't seen it right here before me. His abs were a work of art, his core radiated phenomenal strength.
There wasn't an ounce of fat on him.
"See a difference?" he asked, dropping the shirt - leaving the rest of his body a mystery. He smiled like he already knew the answer.
He shrugged it off with mock humility. "Just hard work and determination, my friend," he said.
I snorted. "Well... maybe mild obsession."
"Not obsession," he said, shaking his head and moving in to emphasize, "focus."
He blinked and kind of... shuddered then, like he had a sudden chill - his skin WAS flushed, I was sure of it. I would swear he looked sick if he hadn't been in such amazing shape.
"C'mon," he said, already beginning to walk toward the gym. "Let's get to it. I feel like gettin' started."
Passing through the door, I could see why he chose to meet me outside the building - the music was so loud. Throbbing, painful blasts of hard rock and hip-hop street beat, shouting was the only way to be heard over it. Even at the front desk, it was too loud, but Ben just ignored it and signed in.
It was also hot as hell. Outside, it may've been early fall, but inside the gym it was the throes of summer. It was like stepping into a full-blown sauna. Ben smiled when I melodramatically opened my mouth and panted like a dog. "Ah, it'll help you sweat," he said, wrapping his arm buddy-buddy around my shoulders. "Wanna do cardio for a couple minutes to warm up or you wanna get right to it?"
I grabbed the front of my shirt and pulled it in and out a few times in an effort to create a breeze on my body. "I don't think warming up is gonna be a problem," I said. "I bet I sweat off ten pounds today."
Ding! <Sound of Light Bulb going off over my head> THAT explains...
And then we were in the gym, on the main workout floor - the place was only a single level anyway, but it was just one big room. About ten cardio pieces including a couple stationary bikes, couple treadmills, a few ellipticals over against the far wall, a full line of Hammer Strength machines in one spot, dumbbell rack, benches - flat, incline, decline, military - in another, and the squat racks, leg presses and smith machines in their own area in the back. Everything was mirrored, any surface could reflect - it was gonna take me a while to figure my way around, like in the Maze of Mirrors at the carnival.
Then the clientele - like Ben, they all wore heavy sweatshirts and sweatpants, or they'd removed one or the other, working out in soaking wet t-shirts that clung to their heavily muscled torsos or spandex shorts wet through the groins and the ass-cracks. He was right - there were some BIG boys here at this gym. And every one of them was in the same kind of phenomenal shape - every one was rock-solid and huge, unrealistically ripped, pumped up like bodybuilders backstage at a contest.
Not that anybody paid any attention to us, or each other for that matter. So focused on their workouts, so intense in their reps and their concentration, there was almost no interaction between them - no conversations, no idle chit-chat, just the encouraging chants of occasional spotters over the blaring music.
We did a chest workout - typical of guys working out together for the first time. I think Ben was trying to show off, you know? Personally, I'd been working out for well-over ten years, earning an above-average physique, one that got plenty of comments while around the pool, or shirtless on the dance floor, but of course, nothing like the guys at THIS gym.
Until now, far superior to Ben, too. For a guy who'd only been working out for about six weeks or so, he handled the weight like a guy who'd been benching for years. For someone who'd just started lifting, his form was exceptional - and he was strong as hell, too! Just not right. Some of us work out for years to get to the place some people get to naturally in weeks - damn genetics!
But it wasn't just form - it was also intensity. You know, you get together with your buddies to work out, but it's mostly an excuse to just pump up while you visit, or gossip, or talk about a personal problem one or the other of you was having. It wasn't like that here - Ben and I were more like competitors than buddies. And I wasn't about to let him out-bench me.
I hung with him at 225, but suddenly, he's throwing quarters on either side, pushing us up. "Two seventy-five?" I shouted over the annoying music. "Really?"
When he answered, I wasn't sure if he was being serious or not. With a wrinkled brow, he asked, "You wanna go right to three-fifteen?"
He was all business. No wasted movement, no distractions, nothing but the muscle and the resistance. And the muscle won every time.
We flat-benched heavy. We inclined heavy. We did weighted dips. We did this decline dumbbell thing that was like a cross between a press and a fly. My pecs were screaming! I couldn't say the last time I worked out this hard. Maybe when I was a psycho-teenager and could recover instantly. I'd be feeling this workout tomorrow, I thought. (And for a few days after that, too.)
Worse, I was sweating like a stuck pig. It was so freakin' hot in this gym! "Heat keeps your muscles warm," Ben said when I asked him about it. "Less chance of injury. Ask any wrestler. Besides, it feels good to sweat. Now stop stalling and do your reps."
Cable crossovers. We were doing them laterally, so your arms were spread wide in this crucifixion-like pose on the stretch-side of the rep, and arms together directly in front of you for the flex. I wanted to know where a guy with six weeks of lifting experience had learned all these cool alternative movements, but talking during the workout seemed frowned-upon, so I decided to wait 'til later to ask.
He'd pulled his sweatshirt off after the second set, and it was the first time I really got a good look at the changes he'd gone through. I mean, I was shocked. He was one big, ripped-up mother-fucker. Cut sharper than a fitness model, thicker than a porno star, rugged as an action-hero, Ben had an obsession-level body impossible for someone with as little experience as he had.
"What are you on, man?" I asked him, as he squeezed out his reps.
Through gritted teeth and flexing pecs, he growled, "I'm... on... fucking... FIRE!" He released the weights and they slammed back into the stack, then he started flexing in the mirror. Crab shot, side chest - through the sweat-soaked t-shirt. Finally, frustrated, he grabbed me by the front of the shirt and pulled me toward the locker room.
There, in the better light, he marched right to one of the full-length mirrors on the end of one of the rows of lockers and flexed again. He slipped his t-shirt over his head to reveal his impossible torso, so muscular and cut. He made eye-contact with my reflection. "C'mon," he said, making a motion with his head. "Take it off. Let's see where you are. Gotta be pumped big after a workout like that."
So I took off my shirt - not to appear any less a man. I mean, I wasn't anywhere NEAR as big as him, but I looked pretty damn good, too. I would show him I wasn't afraid of a little competitive flexing. Sure, my abs were a little soft and I lacked his hard edges, but I was nothing to sniff at.
Pulling my shirt over my head, I immediately began to flex in the mirror before I glanced at his reflection and saw him standing there with his big, hard dick in his hand, masturbating himself while he watched me. "What are you doing?" I asked loudly, taking a small step back.
"Can't help it," he growled, pounding away on his big cock. "Lifting and flexing make me... Hot... so fuckin' hot... uhngg..."
And just like that, he shot - he blew his load with a power and a force reminiscent of his workout. I was unable to move, I was so horrified, and naturally I was caught directly in the stream of it. Even from three feet away, Ben managed to cover my bare torso with rope after rope of his salty white cum, where it mingled with my sweat and coated me like masculine after-bath splash.
I opened my mouth to holler, "Ben, what are you DOING?" but only got "Ben..." out before one streak of it hit me in the neck and side of the face - I swear to God, I could freakin' TASTE it!
It all happened so fast. Looking back on the moment, re-playing it in my mind, I don't think there was any way I could have NOT gotten hit. I mean, I never had the fastest reaction time to begin with, but even instinct worked too slowly that day. Besides, in truth, I think he was gunning for me. So to speak.
Looking back on it now, I think he was purposefully trying to cum on me. I know it sounds ridiculous, and maybe it's the manifestation of my fevered mind, but it all seemed a little too well-plotted, a little too purposeful to be an accident.
I can't help but think that the reason I felt so damn sick that night was because he came on me in that germ-breeding hot-house they called a gym.
About four in the morning, I woke in a cold sweat. One of those, "oh shit, here comes the flu" kind of cold sweats - shivering but sweating, body girding for battle. I laid in the bed for a few minutes trying to warm myself in the blankets before giving up on the idea of comfort. I didn't feel nauseous exactly, more like I was on the precarious edge of control. Laying down had given me the drunken spins, but being vertical wasn't much better.
I slept in flannel pajama bottoms and a t-shirt, yet even adding a thermal over-shirt didn't help all that much. Cold. So freakin' cold. I ended up wrapping the comforter around my shoulders, parading around the apartment like a medieval monk, before finding myself hunched before my computer, updating my blog and drinking hot tea while shivering and fighting off the oncoming fever.
Then I checked my messaging service and saw that Ben was online! Four-thirty in the morning, and that mother-fucker was surfing. Well good, he could listen to me bitch.
Marty_Party: Hey! What are you doin' online?
BigBenBear: What's ANYONE doin' online at 4 in the morning?
BigBenBear: Hey man, I'm sorry about this afternoon.
BigBenBear: Didn't mean for that to happen like that. I swear.
I still wasn't sure if I believed him. I mean, okay, he'd reacted immediately, reaching over and trying to wipe if off me. But the way I'd been sweating, it seemed more like he'd been trying to rub it in - I was literally shiny from it, like a bodybuilder in the middle of a contest.
And then he'd grabbed some paper towels, which were almost as ineffective as his hands had been - they'd had no absorbency at all, just mulchy brown one-ply. I swear, it was like he'd been TRYING to smear it all over me - I couldn't knock that feeling.
Marty_Party: Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Marty_Party: Just don't bring it up at cocktail parties.
Marty_Party: figuratively AND literally
BigBenBear: No worries. Just between us.
BigBenBear: Now... what are YOU doin' online?
Marty_Party: Can't sleep. Feel like shit.
BigBenBear: What do you mean? Sore?
BigBenBear: good workout, btw
Marty_Party: No, cold. Have the shakes. Sweats. Think it might be flu.
Marty_Party: Think I caught something at your gym.
BigBenBear: The bodybuilding bug!
BigBenBear: You've "caught the fever"
Marty_Party: Yeah, yeah. Very clever.
Marty_Party: Fuck you.
BigBenBear: Well... guilty on ONE count.
BigBenBear: Truth is, you might've caught it from me at that
BigBenBear: just been getting over this kind of flu
BigBenBear: oops... <guilty throat clearing>
BigBenBear: You want my advice?
Marty_Party: Oh, yeah. You've shared so much with me today.
Marty_Party: got your cum on me - got your flu germs in me
Marty_Party: why wouldn't I want your advice, too?
BigBenBear: don't be bitter
BigBenBear: You want my advice or not?
BigBenBear: I think you do.
BigBenBear: I KNOW HOW TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.
Marty_Party: <sigh> okay... what?
And that's how I found myself back at Ben's gym at five o'clock in the morning riding a stationary bike when I should've been home sipping chicken soup. I know - ridiculous, right? But his advice - "Sweat it out" - seemed logical at the time. Yeah, sweat out the impurities. Get rid of the germs. Help the body battle. The minute I read his post, it made complete sense to my pre-fevered mind.
It made sense to go to his gym, as well. It was open 24/7, and it was so freakin' hot in there that those germs didn't stand a chance. Ben had bought me a week pass, anyway. And I thought, what have the folks at MY gym done that they deserve this? I'll bring this flu right back to its source.
So there I was in my flannel pajama bottoms - bike shorts beneath - t-shirt, and heavy thermal long-sleeve over-shirt, hunched over the handlebars of a stationary bike, shivering and nearly nauseous. I tied a bandana around my head to help absorb the sweat and a baseball cap over that. Next to me, a hand-towel and a gallon of fresh water, so cold that it too was sweating.
Honestly, though it seemed like a good idea when Ben suggested it, as I started the ride I wasn't entirely sure. I confess, I was enjoying the heat of the place, even if it didn't seem to be warming me up much, but the prospect of actual exercise was suddenly daunting.
I actually forced myself to start pedaling - that's how intense the battle was - and though the first few minutes were rough, once I found a rhythm and my blood started pumping, I felt a little better. Weird, right? - but TRUE. I mean, you would never think there was truth behind the idea of "sweat it out," but as I got going, as the "body machine" took over, I felt exactly that. I guess I WAS purging myself of impurities and sickness - Ben had been right, the more I sweat, the better I felt.
I lost myself in the driving music - which still wouldn't be my regular choices, but there was no avoiding the volume - adjusting my pace to coincide with the beat, enjoying the sweat as it trickled down my body and neck and face. A machine - I was a machine, driving out the germs, the collected impurities, the stored imperfections... the bodyfat.
I rode and rode, that one thought driving me - and it wasn't until the bike automatically turned off after sixty minutes that I realized I'd ridden so long. I took the information in with barely more than grunt for acknowledgement. I felt too good to care.
I certainly didn't want to be done.
I wish I could say what was motivating me - this desire, this hunger, this passionate heat, this need to flex, to feel the muscle burning, to squeeze - but it didn't matter. Follow the instinct - make the body work - burn out the imperfections...
I hit the incline ab-board and just started doing reps. Hard crunches with a big flex on top, rep after rep - I was almost screaming from effort. It felt so freakin' good to work - swear to God, almost sexual. I'd show Ben a hard core.
Right into hanging leg lifts - I dangled from the top of the cable-crossover machine, facing the mirror so I could watch myself raise my legs and hit my lower abs and serrats. Again, the reps flew by - I lost count around sixty cause I was so focused on how it felt, on squeezing, on forcing the muscle to work. All angles. Go. Keep it up.
More, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I could see my own intensity - the very thing my workouts had been lacking lately. I could see in my face a confident strength, the necessary ego to push myself beyond limitations, the cocky athletic focus of my youth.
Frankly, it looked sexy - I looked sexy.
When I finished the reps and dropped my feet to the floor, I realized I had a little bit of a chubby - how 'bout that? Working out WAS turning me on. I could see the head of my dick pushing out against my flannel pajama bottoms. I thought it kinda manly. You know, nothing wrong with being attracted to your own masculine power - nothing wrong with displaying the goods.
So there I was looking at myself, this sweat-soaked, hot jock that I was, when I pulled the front of my shirt up to flex in the mirror. And I guess you could say I was shocked by what I saw, but not surprised - that's the most accurate way to describe my emotions.
I mean, okay, my abs still weren't as good as Ben's, but compared to what they were even before I started this workout, I was a monster. I was transformed.
Even as a teenager, when simple metabolism had given me strong abs, I hadn't been as lean as I was now. Certainly not as developed. A visible six-pack, true, beautiful... but flat, not cobbled like Ben's. With my free hand, I pulled the front of my pajama bottoms down, exposing the top line of my pubic hair, to see the definition and veins in the "girdle."
A solid wall, for sure - could take the punch of any brawny bruiser...
Still, could be better.
Without thinking, I hopped back up and resumed doing leg-lifts. I didn't think about the "why" or contemplate the "how it had happened." No. Instead, I followed my instinct and squeezed out a couple more sets. From there to kneeling crunches using the rope and the cable machine. Squeeze. Flex. Make them better.
Better than Ben. Better than anybody.
The best! The freakin' best!
More than a chubby now. When I stood, I had a hard-on. Not rock-hard, not pointing straight up on full-throttle, but solid and obvious and nearly impossible to ignore. Fuck this - I wanted to flex. I wanted to look at them.
The locker room. Yes, there. Better light, easier to be shirtless. Whatever. Had to look - had to flex.
Even at six-thirty, there were some other guys in the gym - a few in the locker room, at least one in the shower - not that anybody was paying any attention to me. I wasn't big enough to be bothered with - besides, they were focused on themselves. They didn't care - I didn't care. As I walked in, I pulled my thermal shirt over my head, but had to work a little bit to peel the sweat-soaked t-shirt beneath it off of me.
But then, in the same mirror that Ben and I had used last night, I faced myself shirtless for the first time. Yeah, look at those freakin' abs! Beautiful - a little more cardio maybe, I noted. REALLY clean 'em up - but so powerful. So sexy. No love handles. No little roll around the waistline. Just hard, solid muscle.
No wonder I was rock-hard, right? Now wonder my dick stuck straight up, betraying my self-satisfaction, my sudden attraction and lust for my own body. I flexed my abs, one hand behind my neck, while I felt my new muscle with the other.
How many flexes before I couldn't resist grabbing my cock? I don't know - it was seconds away, for sure, when the sound of someone slamming a locker door distracted me. I glanced at the sound and made eye-contact with a guy, one of the BIG bodybuilders that roamed around, dressed in his heavy sweats - clearly on the way to begin his workout. I recognized that drawn, cold-sweat, pre-fevered look he had - even if the expression on his face betrayed his amusement at my situation. Instead of being embarrassed, I flexed my abs for him.
"Nice," he said to me, pausing as he strutted past long enough to raise his sweatshirt and show me his - which of course, just blew mine out of the water for their size and thickness. Without judgement, he dropped his shirt and indicated my hard-on. "Better take care of that before it pops on its own." He chuckled as he left the locker room.
Ironically, instead of feeling self-conscious, I was just as confident as ever. I looked back in the mirror, I flexed my abs a few times until I couldn't stand it anymore, then I reached in my pants and grabbed my hard, hot cock.
Effortless. Not even a stroke necessary. I touched it, I flexed my beautiful new abs and I came almost immediately. And not just some little thing. I mean, I shot a load unlike ever before in my life. Long, jetting streams of cum, streaking the mirror, or squirting like a fountain - completely out of my control.
I tell you, with the force of it, I immediately forgave Ben for yesterday.
I was lost in orgasmic ecstasy. And the high didn't peak, didn't let off - I felt completely purged, completely clean, healthy, energetic, vibrant... young. Though I'd stopped shooting, while the physical part of my orgasm ended, mentally, it continued unabated.
I felt fuckin' fantastic!
Whatever that little sickness was, I'd worked it out of my system. Ben had been right - "sweat it out," he'd said. And now it was gone. I mean, talk about reversal. I felt so good, I wanted to work out. Isn't that funny?
Then I realized it was seven in the morning and though I'd intended to take the day off from work, I felt so fuckin' good right now I just wanted to go and strut my shit in front of all those people. I wanted to show off these beautiful, perfect abs. Well, there was always room for improvement...
I just had to work 'em harder.
It didn't take me long to clean up - even with those nasty paper towels - and head home, where I showered and shaved - and masturbated again in the bathroom mirror, flexing for myself. Hell, even my chest showed improvement from the workout yesterday, rounder, a little thicker. I dressed in a tight izod, so it was easy to see the definition of my rock-hard abs, so no one could miss the results of my incredible transformation.
I had to cinch my belt tighter to accommodate the lack of bodyfat around my waist, gathering the material of the pants in an almost comical way. Yesterday, they were too tight - today, they swam on me.
I looked so fuckin' sexy, I had to jerk off one more time before I finally left for the office.
I tell you, I felt fuckin' FANTASTIC!
After breezing through my morning work, I logged on to my messaging service and was pleased to see Ben (still?) online.
Marty_Party: Hey, buddy!!!!
BigBenBear: Morning! You seem to be feeling better.
Marty_Party: Yeah. What gave me away?
BigBenBear: Four exclamation points!!!!
BigBenBear: So, you worked out?
Marty_Party: You were so right, man. "Sweat it out." Brilliant!
Marty_Party: I feel fuckin' fantastic!
Marty_Party: You should SEE me! My ABS!!!!!
BigBenBear: I know all about it. <G>
Marty_Party: Yeah, and you gave it to me. LOL
Marty_Party: So... when are we gonna work out together again?
BigBenBear: Anytime, bud.
BigBenBear: It's not like I'm working.
BigBenBear: ...I kinda gave up on my job.
BigBenBear: Got in the way of my training.
BigBenBear: You understand?
Marty_Party: I'm starting to. <G>
BigBenBear: So give me a buzz when you're out of work
BigBenBear: and we'll go from there. C'ya.
Oh, yeah! Riding high! And going back for MORE!
That euphoric feeling lasted until about lunchtime, when I suddenly and inexplicably broke into a cold sweat.
"What happened to you?" one of my coworkers asked me. "You get a piece of bad fish or something for lunch?"
I shivered. "I... I don't know."
"You look kinda sick, Marty. Really. You should punch out and head home."
"Yeah," I said, somewhat deliriously. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I'll leave. Go to the gym. Sweat it out."
"Are you kidding? That's ridiculous! 'Go to the gym...' You go right home and get into bed. Promise me."
Yeah, right. Whatever. I'd have agreed to anything, anything to get that moment over. They didn't understand - the drive, the need - and I was too sick to care. Get out. Get to the car. Drive - hurry, before it got any worse. Didn't matter what you said. Turn left instead of right - toward the gym.
Sweat it out.
Yeah - the bug. You got the bug. The bodybuilding bug. The fever.
Caught the fever...
Ben... gotta call Ben...
When I entered the gym, I was immediately grateful for the heat - I felt it touch my skin and warm my body.
I couldn't help but think how good I would feel once I started working out.