I’ve decided to make some comparisons between two men who are often likened to each other in the field of fitness and bodybuilding on Bodybuilding.com, YouTube comments and anywhere else people decided to fight wars about who they think is better. I am not writing this because I favour one to the other. I am a drama major, and as such, it is my job to analyze human behavior based on evidence or what is presented to me by a script and discussion between me and other theatre/film makers. Therefore, I am doing this purely out of interest in two very unique individuals with physiques that are legendary and possibly conflicting views on life, the gym and general health.
Aziz Shavershian, commonly know. As Zyzz, was an Australian amateur bodybuilder, personal trainer, and former male stripper. He attended a single sex school, an environment which I, myself, am familiar with, though it might be different in Australia. His last few video entries on Youtube showed young man, who might not have been very intelligent, but who had a zest for life that was almost contagious. It comes as no surprise that he is one of the most highly viewed people on the internet. He says that his decision to start lifting weights came at a time in his life when he felt that he had to prove people wrong, since he was very meagerly built, and felt that he had had enough of all the foul balls that life had thrown at him. He felt that he needed to become a stronger man, not just in body, but in mind, because the world had pushed him around for far too long. He says,” they told me I could be anyone I want to be… so I became Zyzz.”
This motivation sounds very similar to the backstory of many a villain on the Marvel universe, which predicates a grand metamorphosis into a deathly and horrid figure who embodies fear itself. I figure that Zyzz started to get serious about getting bigger and stronger in order to amend a broken self esteem. The depth of the fissure in his heart must have caused by years of torment and bullying in many situations, and he resolved to become unbreakable, mentally, by becoming a human pillar. This also motivated his philosophies on life, which he shared on the internet with his hordes of followers. How many people cared for his opinions is astounding, because he never actually appeared on television at any moment before his death. The articulation of these ideas, though, would be any English instructor’s worst nightmare, as they would not want anyone to bestow themselves with the title of “a sick cunt.” Still, he generated many viewers because his messages were mostly motivation, and his other videos were rather funny and bizarre. He advocated for living one’s life on their own terms. He achieved this by becoming the most muscular and lean person in every loud, sweat-drug-and-alcohol-fueled place he frequented on his down time. The scariest video for me, though, is the one where he rubs his nose vigorously, saying,”I’m coked up, brah.”
The last quote ties into this next paragraph, which examines the aftermath of Zyzz’s death. The Australian print, online and television media crucified Mr Shavershian and his antics, because they thought that his life was “nothing to aspire to” and he represented the dirty side of bodybuilding. You may sat that his results were ill-gotten, if you are not a P.E.D enthusiast. An article named “Pumping Idiocy” gives you an idea of what many intellectuals would think about Zyzz, given that he was neither a bodybuilding champion nor a clean Australian icon like Ricky Ponting, Sterling Mortlock or Hugh Jackman. Again, it is not my place to attack Zyzz, but the author of “Pumping Idiocy” does have a point in the sense that many young people might be led astray by Zyzz’s example if they follow everythig he did to the letter. He did not set himself out to be anyone’s father-figure, but influential people are often blamed for their loyal subjects’ fuck-ups. To conlude, all I am saying is that I understand, somewhat, what caused Zyzz to do what he did. He was trying to fill a void in his life and acquire immortality at the same time. He did what he thought would make his stronger, happy, socially accepted and remembered. Unfortunately, his body couldn’t withstand the punish which he subjected it to, and it eventually gave out, much to the dismay of thousands of ‘mirers.
Jeff Seid is an American, 19 year old professional physique model. He is exactly my age, which makes me respect and envy him. His story is slightly less amazing ad that of Zyzz, in the sense that his progression as an athlete is not very surprising at all. He started out as high school jock, renowned for being good at every spirt he played because he was well-conditioned enough to play them. After entering several modeling contests, and winning, he decided to make lifting and training people personally his profession. Given the way he carried himself online, and what he writes about himself on his website, he does not strike me as anyone with a crisis afflicting his self-image. In fact, he is very self-assured, and he has been that way for a long time.
I stumbled upon a video made by a Youtube user in which Seid uses a few Zyzzism and performs some self-worshiping poses very similarly to Zyzz. Apparently, he denies knowledge of Shavershian and being influenced by him, which is plausible, so I will not argue about that. One thing that does seem to follow Seid like a black cloud is the question of whether or not he is ‘juicing.’ Again, I will wait for an official denial or confirmation from Seid himself, because I do not doubt that he achieved his results naturally. He has been lifting weight since he was in high school, and he was lean for his age all the way back then. It is only natural that the body will let go of excess fat as one ages and continues to be active, which is something people need to understand. However, an official confirmation from Seid himself will get me to retract my words.
The main differences between Shavershain (Zyzz) and Seid have been covered in this post. Like most models, Seid is a athlete-turned-model, whereas Zyzz hulked-up out of bitterness and self-loathing. Zyzz garnered a cult following, without an official television, radio or film appearance, whereas Seid is logically progressing through the ranks of the IFBB, has pumping iron as his official job, is sponsored, and will most likely win the Olympia physique title after the older men lose steam and he rises to higher levels of strength. Seid’s story, though, is not a zero-to-hero narrative like that of Zyzz, which is why Zyzz is still viewed by so many people every hour, regardless of his absence from the earth.