Mezza writes for the Beef mag - The Great British Magazine - Article 5

I had just won the Musclemania British overall title, and I needed a break from the gym, cardio, and contest diet. I had around 3 months or so before the Musclemania World championships. I took a break from the above, and mashed up some serous junk food almost destroying my body in terms of condition and cuts. Anyway a few weeks passed and I got myself together. I still hadn't decided whether I would do either the NPA finals or the BNBF finals, but I knew I could only do one of them, as my body wasn't in the shape it should have been due to me slamming in the junk food. I knew I needed longer in order to get in shape. As the NPA final was a few weeks later than the BNBF I choose the NPA show, as I would not have been in the shape I needed doing the earlier show. After the NPA final disaster hit me again - can you guess? My back. I tore it again. Unbelievable – my lower back. I knew what was coming - the pain - without going into too much detail, as I explained in the last issue what it was like. So again 2 weeks out from a show, this time the world championships, I was bedridden.

So no more posing practice, no drying out my body the last week; just sharp, knife-edge shooting-pains that were driving into my lower back every time I moved. A week out I called Michael Phillips and told him what had happened and I didn't think I was going to make it. Well as everybody knows I did the show. I remember sitting in the taxi going there, and my back was pulling and aching so much, but I held it together and didn't moan, as I do like to moan when things are not right. ;0) Like if ever I eat out and there is not enough food on my plate! The life of a bodybuilder eh?

How about this: “I AM PURSUING SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME HAPPY BUT NO ONE SEEMS TOO HAPPY ABOUT IT” Bet a few of ya can relate to this. The quote is from one of the Rocky films. So I made it. I remember the night before the show, it was time for sleep. But could I sleep? You must be joking. I tried and tread, but it was not happening. I thought “sod this”. So I got up and checked my condition for the umpteenth time and flexed many times. Got my clothes on and went for a wander around. I asked “What time does the pool open?” About another 2 hours I had to wait, so I went back upstairs, got my jacket on and went for a long walk. Yep in the middle of the night. Madness, yes, but I could sleep. Anyway time passed SLOWLY and finally the pool was open, but I noticed they had a sauna. Now I had never been in a sauna before, but thought mmm I could maybe pose hard and squeeze some water out. But my gosh it got hot. But sure enough I was posing away and sweating water out, I was in there a good 30 minutes...

Showtime came, I got the title, and had a quiet moment to myself and thought all the years and years of training and now I have a World title. Fivos and me became friends, we ate coco-pops, ice lollies, you name it, for the Pump of course ;0) Tony Monty had his long sock covering his bits while he asked Karina to tan his back! Cheeky. Happy days...

Next HOLLYWOOD Looking back at one routine in particular, THE WORLD OF DEMONS, I was standing in a night club with Karina, me drinking diet coke as I was 3 weeks out for the ANB Yorkshire show that was in Huddersfield, and I just shouted out on my god this is it! Karina said what you on about? Listen, listen! I said. I started freaking out now. Basically what happened was, the deejay was pumping some tunes out and the demons voice started vibrating through the club. As soon as I heard it I knew that it would make a masterpiece intro to a posing routine. Now I already had a new routine planned out, but this I knew would nail it. I asked the deejay what it was, and he said it was just unnamed white-label, but he would burn me a copy onto disc. He took my phone number, but to be honest I didn't think I would hear from him. But sure enough I did, so I went back to the club the week after to pick up the disc. Two weeks to go before show day, I then had to think how on earth can I pose to this?

Anyway, way I got my head together, mixed another tune in after the intro the demons voice, and hey presto! But the only way to practice the routine was in the garden due to what I was doing for the routine. So there's me in my posing trunks in the garden, my mother pressing play on the tape player. Remember tapes? Tell you what, they were better than CDs! Anyway, before long we would be arguing, due to the system having a mind of its own. But little did I realise, half the street were stood at my gate watching me with my demon mask on, posing away. Kinda embarrassing it was. The first routine I ever did of the above is different to the one on my DVD and You-Tube. . . . Next year if what I have been asked to do goes ahead, I think I will start with the original part of this. Whilst that routine is on my mind, I remember the Muscle Mania Britain show. I was back-stage and I found myself a quiet room to prepare in away from all the hustle and bustle. The door opened and someone said “have you got any spare tan?” I said sorry I don't have. Time passed, the prejudging took place, when I got back to the room where my training bag was that had all my things, I noticed that my dream tan had gone from the side of the table. I immediately left the room and went into the big room where everybody was preparing, looking for the bloke who came into my room. Before I found the empty room, I was checking out the man who I knew was the one to beat. He had his tan on but it was not dream tan. I saw the bloke who came in to my room and he was with Mr Muscle himself, whose tan was now looking kinda good.. mmm. I could see the empty tub of dream tan on his chair! I said “Did you find some dream tan?” You won’t believe his answer. He said “No English”. What I said no English? Woooooooooooo! My eyes weren't just about to turn green they were green! Anyway what could I do? So I turned round and left the room. Oh man, then guess what happened? I was stood outside my room and I watched someone else from the same camp of people walk straight to my room, so I said what are you doing? he says: "Looking for tan”. I said looking for xxxxxx tan? What does it look like in here a xxxxx shop? Get out! Tony Monty was stood outside the door, and would have heard me kicking off. Distant dreams of days gone by.

Just had a customer come into my shop, and as always I ask what their diet is like and what their physique goals are. His main source of protein was tuna and whey. I said ”this is what my pussy cat eats.” I pulled a tin of tuna out of my bag, and said if you want to be the size of a cat then keep eating it. He laughed. What should I have then? he asked. I said you must improve the quality of your protein, eg: steak, eggs. I said if you really do like tuna you must have one or two other protein sources with it.

A message to all those who look at the photos of the Bodybuilding Champions in the mags and think there must be a secret to becoming a champion. I will tell you: There is a secret place where only the chosen are on the list: It's where all the champions train, it’s called The Secret Gym, where there are secret new exercises, and top-secret supplement brand that makes all the other products insignificant. The secret workouts are performed during the night, it’s called NIGHT PRINCIPLE TRAINING.

I will tell you how to become a champion Bodybuilder - for free: How do you become a champion? Well you can't go to college or University and learn how to become one, and no matter what you eat drink or anything else you may decide to take that won’t make you become a Champion either. So what is it that separates champions - ie: the people at the top - apart from their bodies? Your mind is stronger than any muscle on your body. Many times when my body was giving in mind would say: DO IT! This is what you want. I would visualise myself ready and on stage. Sometimes when your mind is weak, your body is strong. Your body helps your mind, but ultimately you need both to make it to the top in bodybuilding and remain there. You either got it or you haven't, there is no in-between. So what does it come down to – our DNA ? Does that give some of us a different drive? Who knows?, and yes are genetics certainly help lots, but listen up you can have all the genetics in the world but if you have not got a strong mind, am sorry to say you may never get to reach your true potential in bodybuilding. In bodybuilding you need lots of discipline if you want to win a top title and become a champion. . . . Either you think you can do it. Or you think you can’t. EITHER WAY YOU’RE RIGHT. Most times in my store when customers ask daft questions or comments I can normally hold it together, but today took me over the edge, here is how it went: The Lad says to me: I had to come off it. I said Why's that lad? He says “Look at my eye”. I looked at his eye, then glanced at my training partner Big Armer. The lad says did you see it? What your eye? No the extra vein I have in my eye. Oh boy I tried so hard to keep a straight face but it was too much for me. I burst into uncontrollable laughter I had tears in my eyes. Big Armer had to walk outside my shop. When I got myself together, I said yes you are now ONE OF US. He was now laughing to. I said you know some people are into veins and many times when people are trimming up for as show they show me their extra veins. I know one or two girls who are into veins. I said I will pass your number onto them if you like! ;0) Imagine that. “Ohh babes just have a few extra scoops of XXXX and let me see ya veiny eyes.” Also this woman strolls into the shop and says “Them tubs look like buckets of paint, and probably tastes like it too.” Another customer buys the huge tub, the weight gainer, and says “I am going to have to rip the label off?” I said What? Why? He said “So I don't look stupid walking around town”. So he did just that. Some people do make me wonder!!!!

My last show of 2006 was The Muscle Mania World Championships held at the Universal studios in Hollywood. It had been a long and very eventful year for me in terms of bodybuilding shows and my back injuries. I was glad this was my last show. Karina and I were no longer a couple, but she was accompanying me to Hollywood as my best mate let me down. I didn't fancy going there on my own in the state I was in, due to the long diet. Even my mind wasn't working sometimes, believe it or not! Through life you may find that even your best mate will let you down one day.

Ok - our suitcases were packed, my brother was taking us to Leeds-Bradford airport. We were all going to wait up. Karina said she would get a few hours sleep, and after 30 minutes or so I said I would get a few hours sleep too. I thought, that's cool as my brother is awake, he said he would wake us both up, so I went to bed. Karina came running in my room screaming: “Get up, get up, we are going to miss the plane!” You guessed it, we slept in, my brother fell asleep! It was chaos. Anyway, the plane was leaving at 7.30, we woke up at 6.40, we got off but it wasn’t going to be. My brother hadn’t even filled up his car with petrol, and we needed fuel fast, as I did to be honest. Didn't think we would make the petrol station never mind the plane, and traffic was now busy. We got to the airport as the plane was leaving. They said if we could get a train to Gatwick we could then board a plane there. So we then drove to the train station at Leeds, traffic was choca now, we looked at the times, it just wasn’t happening, now the stress of all this was zapping the little energy I had and I almost gave up. Karina was so upset as we all were, we went back to Leeds-Bradford airport, and we had to wait for a plane to London. And, yes for sure, well fell out. It was normal for us, so instead of getting a direct flight straight to LA 10 hours or so, it took us just over 24 hours. I wanted it all to end and I was wishing I never got an all-expenses paid trip, I just wanted to be at home. We went from London to Chicago, then we had to get a connecting flight from Chicago to LA. We didn't have much time and I really thought we were going to miss the flight due to waiting so long for our luggage. My poor body had almost shut down, but at last we got to LA, and were dropped off at the hotel. But guess what - we were at the wrong hotel

arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Bet I lost at least a couple of stone due to the stress ;0) Well a few pounds. Eventually we got to the right hotel, I opened my suitcase - now I had put a tub of protein in there. The lid had burst off and now all the powder was all over my clothes - a full tub. All good fun. Time passed and there was a meeting for all the athletes. I remember sitting and just watching these three men walk past where I was sitting. They sat down. They were pumped up full and rock hard. I thought Woooo! Just as it happens they were in my class, these Mexican muscle men. I remember saying to Tony Monty if I could get top 3 I would be happy. As it happens I took 3rd place, and was very happy - but if you Google my name there is a post saying some of the favourites went away disappointed, and Andrew Merrifield went away quite angrily saying he should have won his class! When I read this I thought: What? Who has made this up? I immediately emailed Louis Zwick the producer of the show, and said: “What's going on how could I be angry? You gave me an opportunity to compete in Hollywood and made a childhood dream come true.” I said the comment is untrue, he apologised, but it’s still there. . . Bodybuilding eh? It was middle of November in LA. The sun was out, no clouds over there - just blue sky. Karina, me, the Massive Rob Terry who is in my DVD Pumping up with me, and here in the photo, his partner, Rob Riches, and Tony Monty. We all went in a cab through the Hollywood hills, and stopped off where we could see the famous Hollywood Sign. Venice Beach: When I was growing up I dreamt many times of Venice Beach and Gold's gym there, and now I was walking along this huge beach, but something was wrong. I couldn't help but notice the old tatty shops and some of the people who were hanging around looking, well how can I say other than shady and homeless. We were walking up to Muscle Beach gym. I was so excited but to my amazement when I got there it was such a let-down, and that's all I have to say about it. I was now thinking LA, California, it was not how I imagined it would be. The sunshine, yes, that was great. We were now walking to the famous Gold's gym in Venice, when we got there it was what I hoped and imagined it to be and it was all that. What a gym, but not just the great machines, it was the vibe I felt in there knowing that so many Champion bodybuilders have and do train there, and so many of the photos I have been looking at for the past 22 years or so have been taken in this gym.

Never Forget the Power of your Dreams!!!

Mezza

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