dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Friday, 22 June 2012

Zack 'King' Khan

The first I heard of Zack Khan, it was another British bodybuilder in an interview with Giles Thomas of MDTV calling him a “big horrible monster”. It was said in the voice of a hater, but received with interest, curiosity, and excitement. If somebody is hanging out in the pro ranks looking like a big horrible monster, then I for one wanna see him. In the sport of professional bodybuilding, it’s perfectly acceptable to look like a freak. It’s envied, called for, and loved. 

The first I saw of him was on the Bodypower Expo poster on the door in a local gym. He could barely fit on the poster. We’re talking mass to spare here, you know what I mean?

Then I heard his endearing accent when I hit on his YouTube video blogs, documenting his road to recovery after an extremely serious injury to both his legs, ripping his quads on squats. Just that alone tells you something, doesn’t it? It’s hardly your typical everyday niggle. It’s not catching your pinkie on the dumbbell rack as you lift the 25 pounders off to do a set of seated hammer curls. Ripping both your quads means you must be really going for it, really pushing the limits.

What I see in this man is the best breath of fresh air since Gregg Valentino. The bodybuilding scene was getting boring. All these new Everyday Joe pros get you down. They are getting shorter and shorter and they look like barrels. Worse, they have zero personality. There are only so many Shawn Ray “back in the day” videos you can watch. I mean, Shawn’s a consummate professional with the microphone, but he’s no comedian. There’s not enough talking smack these days, if you ask me. The golden age, with the likes of Ronnie and Jay and Flex and Kevin and Chris, are gone. But all is not lost.

Because here we have Zack ‘King’ Khan, a British heavyweight of epic proportions who has the balls to reveal his life to the cameras and inspire people like me to write blog posts like this. Rather than go through the motions of buttering him up, I’ll get straight to the point and say that he makes us smile. He makes us laugh. And that’s all we really ask for in a pro, you know. That’s more than enough. Great physique, strict ethic, size to burn and a gritty condition are dozen to a penny (sort of), but someone who puts smiles on faces, amid the usual sour bunch? Priceless.

I’d have quite happily gone through all of Zack’s video blogs in order, from 1 to 97 onwards. He tells it straight, he cooks, he goes shopping, he gets around on crutches inside his house, he wears face paint, he smiles when he’s doing heavy seated rows, he’s down to earth. What comes over predominantly is that he’s a really nice fellow, all in all, a really brave nice fellow.

It’s thoroughly entertaining witnessing Zack churn out his innuendoes and lingo while cooking pasta in the microwave, or thinking on the spot while doing seminars, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s nothing but a big softie with his cheeky smiles and playful attitude. The proof is in the pudding of any pro by their training sessions, and Zack leaves the fancy stuff at the door when he shifts some insanely intense weight. By golly, the size of him! A YouTube commenter said that he cares about nothing except being huge. Well, I seriously doubt that's true, but even if it is, amen to it!

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