Moustafa Ismail will appear in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records now that his 31 inch biceps have been confirmed as the biggest on the planet. The 24-year-old with arms as wide as a man’s waist began bodybuilding ten years ago. In 2007, when he failed to win a place on the Egyptian bodybuilding team, “Big Mo” relocated to the United States where he’d “have better access to gym equipment and could focus on training,” he told The Sun.
He trains at least twice daily on strength exercises, cardio and body sculpting and claims he can lift an incredible 500 lbs. “Working out makes my mood better. I like that in this type of sport you can see your improvement in your shape,” he said. I puzzle over how he fits those guns through his tiny shirtsleeves.
“People always say ‘you remind me of Popeye the sailor man’. This makes me laugh. The truth is I don’t have any spinach in my diet, I can’t stand the stuff,” said the young Egyptian. When he’s not pumping iron he’s pumping gas at the two service stations he manages near his Massachusetts home.
So what does he eat to maintain his form? Mo’s daily diet includes a pound of steak or fish, three pounds of chicken and four cups of almonds, washed down with gallons of water.
Moustafa, who admits to drinking protein shakes to help with his bodybuilding, chalks up his record-breaking bulges to hard work and genetics: his Egyptian father was a wrestler.
But is it really DNA and protein drinks? Are his biceps muscular developments or is something else at play?
Previously, Gregg Valentino held the biceps record with arms measuring 28 inches around. This American bodybuilder is one of the most controversial in the sport. His fame crossed into the mainstream when he starred in a documentary exploring the use and abuse of steroids called The Man Whose Arms Exploded. (Clips are available on YouTube, strong stomach required.)
In that film he graphically describes how his steroid misuse led to serious infection in his right biceps. Valentino described his failed attempts to drain the hematoma himself, using the same needles he used to inject his steroids. He finally sought emergency medical treatment and his arm was saved at the cost of significant reduction in biceps size. But he’s still working out and still using steroids.
The new record-holder has not commented on his own steroid views.
I’m not a doctor and will never be mistaken for a body-builder, but Mo’s masses look crazily cartoon-y to me. Why don’t his muscles subside when he quits a pose? Where are those classic muscleman “veins-like-ropes” winding beneath his skin? And don’t biceps pop up (and not down)? What’s the story with those underside “batwings”, Big Mo?
Is his physique sustainable? I mean that in the most literal sense. The world’s biggest biceps must also have swollen carbon feet. Think of the massive meat consumption, world travel, and – uh – protein drink mixes - necessary to support continual development and maintenance.
I fully endorse Popeye’s credo of individual freedom, “I yam what I yam”, but I bet Olive Oyl would agree that this is nuts.
Image via oddity central