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Brad’s chest heaved up and down as he dried the sweat from his bare pecs and torso. He felt quite gratified with his lifts today and was ready to reward himself with a muscle-relaxing half hour in the gym’s steam room followed by a hot shower before heading out with his pal Steve to celebrate Steve’s 39th birthday.
"Hey Brick! Lookin’ awesome Man! How long today?” barked John, the gym’s resident towel boy and general gopher.
Brad whirled around almost losing the towel around his waist.
"Four and half hours today Dude! I feel great today!”
Brad liked the nickname "Brick”, born four years ago when he had first joined the club not long after moving to LA. At first he had thought it a cruel name, believing it to be a joke about his mental faculties. Afterall, even Brad would concede he was not a brainiac. He reflected on how anyone could have contrived that name from Brad Rick Wall? His gym membership application form, which he had signed "B. Rick Wall”, recorded the birth of his new identity which he now fondly embraced. Admittedly, he preferred "Brick” to Brad as everyone seemed to be named Brad these days. Besides, his legal name didn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Hence, he had quickly become known throughout the membership as "the Brick Wall” and no one ever had to ask why.
Coming from an athletic family with his father being former college quarterback stock and his mother having snagged a few track medals, Brick was swimming in a luxurious gene pool. He stood an imposing 6’3” and had developed from a lanky 165lbs in high school to a brawny 225lbs at his prime age of 26. He had dark black hair, olive skin and perfect proportions. His features always warranted second and third glances from admirers. Thick black eyebrows on a slightly raised brow gave him a hint of cro-magnon masculinity paired with a square jawline you would swear was drawn from a comic book while his hair possessed that slick jet black look with an almost blue hue in the sheen. His eyes lit up his dark features as they were a crystal sky-blue like you were looking at the shores of the Carribbean. His back had a "V-taper” that made you sweat just slightly to look at it as well as a sublime curve that, at his pelvis, accentuated his long round glutes that evolved into large quads housed on long legs.
He had truly earned his name through hard work during his college years. Finishing High School at 6’2”, 165lbs, Brad worked hard to live up to his father’s expectations of succeeding his football career. Placed on the team through a few favors cashed in by good ole Pop, Brad underwent an aggressive regimen to build his physique. Endless hours in the gym, merciless diet cycles and supplements all enforced by team trainers had Brad eating and lifting incessantly. His body exalted as if Zeus favored him over Hercules. He easily added weight and effortlessly converted it hard, striated muscle. Life was good. Brad was entranced by his physical transformation. His lifting became like a drug to him. It was soon evident Brad had more motivation to improve himself than to improve his average football skills and assist the team.
At the end of his first year in college, Brad quit the football team much to his father’s dismay and dedicated all his time outside of class to musclebuilding. At a young age Brad had known he was attracted to men and possessed an amazing charismatic quality of quietly making his preference known without damaging any relationships with his family, "macho” pals and adoring female throngs. His efforts in the gym were certainly not unrewarded! Brad quickly fell under the wing of several bodybuilders whom he was surprised to learn lifted on the "same side of the gym” as himself. He became the prodigy of several builders (whom he fondly called "the Big Boys”) a good ten years older than himself, benefiting from their experience in training technique. In return they seemed to benefit from enviously gazing at his Adonis-like form!
After another year, he had truly transformed into "The Brick Wall” having grown another inch to tower over most builders at 6’3” at the young age of 20. He had attained 200lbs of pure muscle, which diminished the physiques of most other builders his age. The attention he commanded was intoxicating to him and he grew accustomed to having his way with any man he chose. He enjoyed hanging out with "the Big Boys” often growing tired of the fawnings of those his age. They would always follow the same routine; they would lift for several hours, shower up and then head out some chow and a few brews.
Some Chow & A Few Brews
Most of Brick’s Pal’s were in the 35-45yr category and although they had big muscle, their competitive bodybuilding days had passed. They now concentrated more on lifting than bodybuilding. It often seemed "some chow and a few brews” translated into a decadent night entailing pizzas, platters of hotwings, burgers, hotdogs and more bottled beer than a couple of kegs could hold. Brick always had a great time as did the "Big Boys” although Brick didn’t partake of the spoils quite as the others did. Watching the "Boys” attack a table of eats amazed Brick at how much they gulped down and he always jibed that this was the reason they hadgraduated from bodybuilding to powerlifting.(Indeed, most of the "Big Boys” had graduated from size 33-34 posing briefs to size 40-42 lifting trunks!)
"Just wait Brick!” grunted Jack, "It happens to everybody once you hit 35; your body just isn’t designed to stay fine tuned that way. You start to broaden, thicken and mature. Its just natural!”
Jack proceeded to take a monster bite out the rack of ribs on the platter in front of him.
Jack was 42yrs of prime aged beef. He had huge arms, gargantuan shoulders and a massive back. He had one of the most impressive upper bodies in his competitive days at 5’11” and 225lbs. Such that Brick kept a few framed pictures of Jack at home as inspiration. Jack now aspired to huge bench presses and other powerlifts. He didn’t really worry about getting cut anymore and had progressively grown since Brick had met him. Brick guessed he was probably about 270lbs of packed beef now. Jack was sitting next to his best friend, Bill who was a bit shorter at 5’9” and possessed some truly amazing glutes, quads and calves. Bill was compact in size and now worked mainly on squats and deadlifts. Once Bill had quit working intensely on his total physique and began concentrating on his lower body he had grown quite a bit wider and had developed a more stocky build. Looking at Bill from behind Brick figured Bill had probably tipped the scales at 250lbs by now.
"Well, doesn’t seem too damn natural for those jeans of yours!” spewed Bill, spraying Jack with the remains of a mouthful of beer.
"What the fuck do you mean?” barked Jack.
"Looks your jeans haven’t quite ‘matured’ as much as your gut, Bud!” chuckled Bill, taking another deep swig of his beer.
"They’ve just shrunk up some” Jack defended as he leaned back stretching a bit.
"Oh? I guess the button shrunk so much you can’t see it anymore, huh?” Bill quipped, pointing at the gap between the bottom of Jack’s muscle shirt and the jeans waistband, which was now spread apart a good 2 or 3 inches due to the absent button. The entire crew started to cackle.
Jack grimaced, " Damn, that’s the second time this month! Shit! I can’t find any jeans that are worth a Damn anymore.” Jack was scouring the surrounding area in search of the liberated button.
Bill grinned, "Don’t worry Jackie Boy! Remember, its all ‘natural’.”
"Who the fuck do you think you’re ribbing Wide Boy?!” Jack rebutted, yanking the back of Bill’s cutoffs. "Looks like you’ve made a few adjustments here yourself, Pal!” indicating a deep "V” cut out of the back of Bill’s cutoffs’ waistband. "Guess you’re suffering from the ‘shrinkage’ epidemic too! Although doesn’t seem this vent is adequate enough! I can’t even see your waistband!” Jack howled as he pulled up Bill’s untucked shirt showing a belly covering his waistband.
"At least I’m not alone!” laughed Bill as he caught Jack in an armlock, hugged him close and took another gulp of beer placing the empty glass next to a family of six other drained mugs.
All the guys laughed and continued to drink and eat. Brick really enjoyed the celebrity the pack of them commanded in Luther’s, the local sports bar/BBQ joint. They always sat at the large center table and enjoyed the feast Tracey would ensure the table held for them. Tracey didn’t mind all the work to keep up with the appetites of this crew. They were eye candy enough for her and the tips more than made up for it. Most nights saw several guys-and gals- from the bar and restaurant sending over beer and the occasional platter of eats all in hope just one of them would take off their shirt and give the crowd a good show. It was never a problem for one of them to oblige. Despite the fact that the "Big Boys” were no longer in bodybuilding caliper shape, they were still awesome specimens to average folk. The size of their arms, legs, pecs and backs were truly ominous. Size was their weapon and their outings to Luther’s were guaranteed insurance they never had to worry about that.
By the end of the night they all felt pretty blurry as Tracey cleared the long picnic style table of all the empty plates, platters and beer mugs.
"What’s wrong Harley? Move your ass already! Time to go.” Ordered Jack.
"Mmfff. Wait. One sec. Almost…Mmff” Harley continued chomping more than a mouthful of a roasted chicken leg quarter he had grabbed off his plate before Tracey snatched it from the table.
"Damn this stuff is good! I can’t get enough! Hey Trace’ tell the cook the new chicken dish gets the ‘A-OK’ from me!” Harley bellowed, shaking the chicken in his fist.
Tracey yelled back heading into the kitchen, "Anything slathered with hickory sauce that had more than two legs and walked on the earth would get the ‘A-OK’ from you Harley!”
"What the hell is she trying to say, huh?” With a scrunched up face and still occupying a larger than normal berth on the bench, Harley looked to his cronies with the leg quarter tightly clinched in his paw and some stray strings of chicken meat protruding from his lips.
"She means you’re right, Harley, you never do get enough! Come on, time to go!” laughed Bill as he gave Harley a gentle punch in the side.
"Oooof! Don’t do that Man!” Harley had a panicked look on his face. He released the doomed chicken leg and held his stomach with both hands. " Granted, you had to call it a belly these days as his leather vest attested. Harley lived his name in that he was the total biker package: leather boots, pants, vest and occasionally the hat to finish it off. Of course his collection of machinery was impressive as well. And with the build he possessed, Harley always had to have his leatherwear custom made to fit. He only bought the softest, thickest leather available. He had even modeled for a few calendar pictures with his bikes in his full leather armor years ago and was proud that the local Harley dealer frequently used them in marketing ads and kept a life size poster on display in the dealer showroom. For sure, at 6’2”, flaxen blonde hair and 230lbs of well- sculpted beef, Harley did quite well for many years in the modeling arena for gymwear and other products. Although never very dedicated to the competitive bodybuilding scene, Harley put in the hours at the gym and probably more from his good looks than his measurements, he had quite a following of fans.
Harley’s custom skins had weathered well over the years but were suffering from his more frequent outings to Luther’s. As Harley held the sides of his belly, his pals smiled in seeing his vest’s side lacings stretched to capacity testing the strength of the steel grommets they tried to draw together. Indeed it seemed Harley’s vest probably had not been zipped up for several months now and that prospect didn’t seem possible as the sides of the vest front seemed like drawn stage curtains showcasing Harley’s signature muscle T-shirt which proudly read "Harley Hog Heaven” in large raised letters which now had stretched a bit and took on a rather rounded ‘marquis style’ appearance.
Harley slowly stood up, still cradling his belly with one hand and rubbing his blonde buzz cut with the other, inhaled deeply and let out a sonic boom of an apparently long overdue belch.
"Shiiiiit! I think I overdid it.” He groaned. And as if by reflex, he mindlessly reached down and popped open the waist button on his leather pants releasing an alarming creaking sound from the leather.
"No doubt about that Hog Man!” Brick chuckled, finishing the last of his beer and kicking Harley’s boot under the table. "Let’s hit the head before we go.”
"O yeah, gotta drain this fucker before I wheel outta here” grunted Harley, still caressing his belly trying to relieve some of the discomfort. Harley filed off behind Brick toward the restroom, his legs spread wide as he shuffled, his leather emitting loud creaking, stretching, rubbing sounds as he lumbered along. The two stood next to one another in the restroom relaxing impatiently waiting for the night’s beer intake to completely unload. Once finished, Harley gave his trousers a good yank and Brick could hear him take in a good suck of air followed by the expected zip.
"Fuck Man, I think these pants are history.” Harley bemoaned as he fumbled with the button trying to fasten it, eventually giving up.
"Yeah, Dude, I think they may have seen their last night at Luther’s. They are beginning to look more like vinyl than leather these days!” Brick laughed, noting there was not one wrinkle to be found in Harley’s pants. Brick did admire how the leather now gripped Harley’s quads and especially his ass, which seemed to have grown wider and quite a bit rounder and fuller since he had known Harley.
"Shit Man, took me 10 minutes just to get these fuckers on tonight. Don’t want to know how long its gonna take to peel ‘em off when I get home. Oooof. I am so stuffed Man.” Harley placed both his hands on his lower back and stretched a bit.
"Harley, Man! You ate like a Moose tonight. You’ll feel better in the morning. Don’t worry. Just make sure you don’t blow a tire ridin’ home!” Brick smiled and smacked Harley’s leather-constricted ass on his way out of the restroom.
The rest of the crew had congregated near the door and were getting a bit unruly while waiting for the last two to reconvene before departing the scene. Brick really enjoyed these outings and liked the reality and down to earth nature of his friends as well as their easygoing attitude. He liked all the "Big Boys” but knew he would never allow himself to undergo the same changes as he got older. He was looking forward to his first competition and knew he would do well with the "Big Boys” helping him train in all their different areas of expertise. So amidst a few belches, several groans and united belly-rubbing the "Big Boys” headed home to sleep it off, ready for another day at the gym tomorrow. Brick smiled as he watched them thinking of how he could beat his best lifts the next day.
The Good Life
So the next day proceeded like many others for Brick, spending most of the day after classes at the gym training with the "Big Boys” followed by some dinner out with the crew. His body continued to transform into a mold for which any professional builder would have sold his soul to possess. Brick continued to rally support for his training by making friends with everyone he met in hopes of gaining all the experience necessary for his first competition he planned to enter just after graduating college. Brick met and developed a close friendship with a competitive builder name Steve Marshall who was in the prime of his competitive career. At 32, Steve had won several competitions and was struggling to add more muscle mass to move to the next level. Steve enjoyed training with Brick as he was amazed how Brick’s body seemed to manufacture pure muscle out of whatever fuels and supplements he fed himself. Steve was enjoying hanging out with Brick since he was on a bulk up cycle to try to add mass and Brick and the "Big Boys” sure contributed heartily to Steve’s efforts. Steve often accompanied Brick to Luther’s and began enjoying the indulgent environment and acquired a taste for all the place had to offer. The routine began to show results as Steve beefed up from a dense, cut 225lbs to just over 260lbs in a little over 2 ½ months.
"Hey Stevie, Man, looks like you’re joinin’ our club huh Pal?” Harley commented as he gave Steve a big bear hug from behind. "You’re getting’ pretty damn thick there Man! Can hardly get my arms around ya anymore!”
"That’s because you’re fuckin’ beergut is in the way ‘HogMan’!” Steve growled as he broke the hold by effortlessly flexing his monster arms outward a little. Steve leaned forward anxiously to devour a fresh plate of hotwings Tracey had quickly replenished for him.
"Besides, I still got 30 more lbs. to go before I’m done and ready to cut up.” Steve explained defensively, as he methodically popped the wings in his mouth like an assembly line, sucking the meat off each one followed by a familiar ‘clink’ of the discarded bone hitting the graveyard tray in the center of the table.
"Tracey, bring back one of those chocolate cakes with you on your next pass, OK?” Steve managed to muffle out.
Tracey nodded, wiping a few beads of sweat from her forehead. "Alright now boys! No more new members at your table or I won’t be able to keep up with you meatheads!” she warned and smiled.
Jack gruffed back " We can’t add anyone else as long as Harley’s big wide ass is takin’ up almost half the bench over here!”
"Watch it ‘Goodyear’, if I stand up you’re liable to launch Brick here into orbit with the likes of you sitting on the other end of this bench!” Harley growled showing some teeth as if they were fangs. Of course, half chewed chicken hanging out of his mouth as usual.
Steve had planned to add mass up to 290lbs- at least 25lbs heavier than he had ever bulked up before in hopes of adding more muscle mass for next season. Although he knew he shouldn’t, Steve had been giving in to strong cravings for sweet, sugar laden foods after demolishing the spicy smorgasbord on the table. He had packed on 10lbs in the last week alone and new he should stick to proteins and carbs but he just couldn’t seem to help himself. Steve knew he needed to get to 290 but was worried at how big his stomach was growing.
Brick was enjoying life as well. Life was one continuous off-season for Brick as he ate all he wanted, worked out hard, and added weight constantly. His frame however, perpetually displayed 100% muscle which baffled everyone. Meanwhile everyone continued to enjoy meals at Luther’s and have a good time week after week while Steve worriedly rubbed his growing round midsection.
One afternoon Brick wondered what was up with Steve. He hadn’t seen much of him outside the gym since he had stopped hanging out with the crowd at Luther’s after having started his cut cycle a few weeks early.
Spotting Steve exiting the steam room in a heavy robe Brick bounded over to catch him.
"Hey Man, why don’t you tag over to Luther’s tonight with us. I haven’t seen much of you lately.” Brick said in a whiney voice.
"I can’t Brick, I’ve got to spend extra time on my workouts to get cut.” Steve replied shortly.
"Yeah, but you started a few weeks ahead of time. You’ll have plenty of time to cut.” Brock questioned.
" I started 2 weeks ago because I had already fucking hit 300lbs and was still gaining!” Steve answered in a frustrated voice.
"OK, so you overshot the mark a bit, no big deal. You’re allowing extra time to work it off. So come to Luther’s with us and just bring some of your fuel mix. You don’t have to eat all that junk the others scarf down. How much have you dropped already?” Brock asked as Steve made his way onto the scale.
"Not nearly fucking enough Man.” Steve indicated pointing to the scale as it read 282lbs. "And I’m so hungry like a mother fucker all the time”
"Ok, I give in. You’re right. You should work. You still have some ground to make up there big guy.” Brock chuckled, trying to ease Steve’s agitated mood as he tugged on Steve’s briefs underneath the open robe, surprised to see Steve’s stomach still well rounded over the waistband of his tightly stretched briefs.
"Exactly, I’ve got to make faster progress. You guys have a good time and I’ll see you here tomorrow.” Steve eased the tension as he unconsciously tried to suck in his gut a little and closed his robe a bit nervously.
So Steve seemed to spend endless hours at the gym over the next months but it paid off big time. He added about 15 pounds of very dense, striated muscle to produce a 240lb competition ready package. He went on to win a few competitions and place in several others that year. He was so pleased with his progress he continued to push his bulk up cycles further and each time add more mass which worked great for him although he found it increasingly difficult to cut up afterwards and was beginning to have trouble staying on his diet throughout the entire the season.
Brick graduated from college and became very serious about his building career. He had compiled a 6’3” frame (massive height for bodybuilding) carrying 225lbs of perfectly proportioned, super-cut muscle and had managed to land several endorsement deals (thanks to many of Harley’s connections), which allowed him to live very well and train fulltime. The "Big Boys” were proud of Brick as he took several titles in his first competitive year and placed in every competition he had entered- a very impressive record. Flex mag placed him on their cover as the most promising newcomer touting his measurements. Indeed, with a 52”chest, 21”biceps, 33” waist, 36”glutes, 31”quads and 20” calves, the "Brick Wall” was a national phenom.
Since they were now both competing, Steve and Brick had become best friends even though they were 10 years apart and enjoyed training together while the "Big Boys” were always available to assist and provide tips and guidance.
A few more years passed with great success for Brick and Steve had done well too although now at age 38, Steve seemed to have less success on the platform and was struggling to maintain his build. Brick watched during the last few off seasons as Steve had desperately tried to improve his aging physique by adding more muscle and bulking out now to a huge 360lbs to end up only being able to cut down to about 265lbs of "not-so cut” beef. In addition, Steve now would indulge more than a few times during the season attending blow out sessions at Luther’s with the "Big Boys” often resulting in a smooth if not an occasional slightly bloated appearance at showtime. Brick knew it would be hard for Steve to face the fact that his competitive career was about over.
Steve chucked the empty Ben & Jerry’s container into the trash can where it joined several others and he dropped his guilty spoon in the sink as he made his way to the bedroom to get into his training gear. He knew he would need to spend the whole day on cardio to try to make a dent in his indiscretions at Luther’s last night. He opened his closet door and stopped to view himself in the mirror that hung on the inside of the door. He hit a double bi pose and thought he looked pretty damn imposing. The mirror only held in its framed reflection the span of his collar bone and a dash of his massive shoulders. He then turned sideways to view his pecs only to see that the frame didn’t quite include all of his stomach or his ass. In truth he was not surprised, although he had a mountainous chest at 51” it did not entirely diminish the fact that his 37” waist (well, 38” by tape measure) was always looking a bit round these days. He decided to put his gear on at the gym and grabbed a pair of black jeans from his closet deciding they might minimize the temporary large size of his lower half. As he pulled them on, he felt them quite snug around his massive quads and repositioned his legs closer together to assist in pulling them on. They slipped up a few more inches and again stopped just below his hips and butt.
"Damn! That custom shop never cuts these big enough in the leg!”
Steve continued to tug them on a little on each side as he felt them inch over his glutes and tighten up more.
"Holy shit these mother fuckers are tight!” Steve griped, realizing he must have grabbed and old pair of 35s from last year.
Then he spied the tag on the back in the mirror showing them to be 37s.
"Fuck, definitely an entire day on cardio and a full hour in the steam room today!” Steve mumbled to himself accepting the fact he would need to buy some new clothes to go out with Brick and the crew tonight to celebrate his 39th birthday. He proceeded to wrench himself into the jeans and once on huffed several times to get them zipped only to see the waistband button separated at least 3 inches from its mated hole. One vain attempt to try to get them buttoned and Steve knew it was hopeless. He shook his head looking at himself in the mirror rubbing his still very full round belly bulging over his unbuttoned jeans, thinking to himself, "It really fuckin’ sucks making 39 twice on the same day!”
And, at that, he walked into the bathroom to determine exactly how much cardio and steamroom time he would have to endure this day. Mounting the scale he prepared for the worst estimating he might have surpassed 265lbs. After a few gyrations trying to bend in his skintight jeans so he could see over his overstretched gut to see the readout, he let out a bellowing howl sending birds flying from the nearby neighborhood trees.
"F U C K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 277lbs?! I’m screwed!”
Steve snatched an oversized sweatshirt to cover the top of his jeans, ready to head to the clothing store first instead of the gym. On the way out of the house he grabbed another container of Ben & Jerry’s from the freezer (the last) and figured " Fuck it! Why not at 277?” He quickly shoved a heaping spoonful in his mouth, pushed his seat back a notch in the car, unzipped his jeans so he could sit down and sped off to the Big & Tall store to find some clothes for his birthday celebration that night.
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