While sitting back and relaxing on vacation, I had the chance to open a new book (The Sports Gene, Epstein) and it got me thinking to some of the freaks Newell Strength has encountered. When I say freaks, I am not talking about lepers or anything like that. It is important to note though that these guys were born with a gift and most people will be quick to shout “PEDs!”, but this is not the case, as you will see below. That is a natural reaction any time someone sees someone that is physically superior to themselves and I think it’s the Ego’s was of protecting your self-image. But next time, consider the fact that there people that have far superior IQ’s to your own and I bet the first thought you have when you meet them or hear of them isn’t: ‘Wow, he must be on some brain performance enhancers.’ Accept that fact that some people won the physical lottery and marvel at their superior feats of athleticism.
The guy below is Donald Thomas. In 2006, he was sitting in his high school lunch room telling everyone about his dunking feats and the school record holder for the high jump jumped in to talk some smack. That led to them going out to the track and having a challenge. On his first day ever attempting the high jump, Thomas cleared 7’! He went on to win the World Championships the very next year, clearing over 7’8”! It has been reported that his Achilles tendon measures in the range of 10” long, allowing him to store incredible amounts of kinetic energy. Needless to say, he has not improved very much since that time, although he is still a world class high jumper. And perhaps this is because he has never shown a real drive and willingness to put in the hours and hours of practice that other elite athletes have done in the past.
The next guy I’d like to mention is Michael Lockett. I met Michael in 2007 at one of my bodybuilding shows and he was walking around in a 4X t-shirt. He was very nice and I knew of him winning the Team Universe as a natural bodybuilder the year before at just 24 year of age! He was the guest poser at my show that day. When I talked to him, he told me he only ate about two times per day and he would snack on twizzlers whenever he felt like it. Needless to say, when he came out on stage, the audience gasped in awe (perhaps horror?) and I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like it; including the many pro bodybuilders I have had the pleasure of meeting. I have video of it somewhere and I remember he came out to a Biggie Smalls song. His legs looked like they belonged on a T-Rex or better yet, a teenage mutant ninja turtle. I have never and probably will never see muscle that looks like that again.
Mike was a boxer in the Cleveland projects before he got into bodybuilding. He was shot a number of times and at that time thereafter, then took up the sport. When he stopped doing his ‘road work’ (aka, jogging), he put on 25 pounds of muscle! No, not from lifting, just from stopping his running routine. I believe he has what’s known as a myostatin deficiency, which is rare, but is easily found in Belgian Blue Cattle and some whippet dogs. And I will say that I was the first one to postulate this theory back in 2007 before all the cronies started saying the same thing. Basically myostatin is a gene that we are born with to inhibit muscle growth, as a protective mechanism. Muscle is costly and the body views too much of it as a bad thing. Last I heard, Mike recently won the Kentucky state championships and took 2nd at the North American championships. Before that, he disappeared from the scene for 6 years the summer after I met him. I believe the sport is not really a challenge for him as he pretty much looks like this all the time. I am a fan though and I can say, he is the freak of freaks!
Next month, I will be highlighting a few more freaks that I have come across, so stay tuned!