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Inside the Muscle
My name was announced. It was time.
It was natural to be nervous, though I felt oddly confident and had expected it to be much worse. Everything started to move in slow motion and I felt a strange sense of detachment coming over me.
"Go all the way to the `x' in the middle." I heard the voice next to me and an arm helpfully moved the black curtain aside so I might pass. I began to walk out onto the risers, making my way towards the small x formed by two pieces of masking tape which was centered in a pool of intense light. To my right was a tall black curtain with a few different colored lights shining on it from above. In my peripheral vision I noticed a bluish area and remarked to myself that it matched the color of the material around my waste.
To my left was the black void of the auditorium and the thousands of people it held. They had come from all over. The fans, the enthusiasts, the devotees, the obsessed and other practitioners; they had come from far and wide to see, well, me. Not only me and not specifically me, frankly, as I had never done this before so how could they possibly know they would see me today. But they had come to see the concept of me, the idea of me and the ideal that I was attempting to represent, the perfection of male physical development: the competitive bodybuilder.
I moved slowly at first. My pace that of a deliberate walk, my sense of detachment became stronger and I began to see myself as if from the outside, though I had an acute awareness of the sensations of my body. The air in the auditorium was fairly cool, and I could feel it moving over my skin as I made my way into the light at the center of the stage. My skin felt electric and I felt the air with every nerve ending as it was pushed aside and around my form.
My shiny blue posing suit covered the bare minimum in all areas, amounting to little more than about a quarter inch's worth of elastic between the deeply low-cut pouch in the front and the smallish triangle that tended to get wedged between my glutes. My nipples were tight and hard, pointing straight down at the floor from the shelf of my chest. The rest of my paper-thin skin felt much the same way. I was aware of it almost as if I had put on an impossibly tight, completely transparent bodysuit. It seemed to exert uniform pressure, contracting all around me, and I was aware of my own size pressing out from within my skin.
My awareness continued to split itself in two, part remaining feverishly connected to the movements and sensations of my body and part floating outward and up a little as I watched myself moving out onto the stage. Able to glimpse my shadowy profile as I moved towards the `x,' the audience began to give me a welcoming round of applause. They were the applause given out of courtesy and custom to anyone about to engage in a performance of some sort, when that person is completely unknown to the audience members themselves.
As I mentioned, my gait was deliberate. One foot in front of the other, though that isn't quite how I'd describe what it's like to walk as a bodybuilder. When your thighs each have the dimensions of the average man's waist, your legs tend to have to move around each other as you walk, and you have to move your feet somewhat in the pattern of an arc with each step. If you don't let this happen naturally when you walk, your thighs wind up scraping together all the way from the knee up and it tends to hurt as the muscles get pushed around one another.
My arms, hanging down at my sides, swayed back and forth to match my gait. Though, again, when your proportions differ from the average man, so to will the way your body makes average movements. The lat muscles are considered to be part of the back and they are trained with the rest of the back muscles, but they are actually something of a "side" muscle as well. When developed to their full potential, they naturally push out on the upper arms, creating a leverage effect that tends to make it look like a bodybuilder is forever holding his elbows out to the sides. From the inside it doesn't feel any different than just letting your arms hang down relaxed at your sides, except that there are several inches of air between your hands and your sides themselves.
Some bodybuilders inflate themselves and walk out on stage while maintaining the very artificial, contrived posture called the "relaxed" position. As an audience member myself, I had often thought those guys looked arrogant and like they were trying just a bit too hard and I wondered if it was off-putting to the judges. I didn't to look that way so I just made sure I stood tall and with good posture and made my way out to the `x.'
And then I got there.
It took two steps, one left and one right, to get from the edge of the pool of light to be standing directly on the masking tape indicator. As I entered the lighted area, the volume of the applause grew dramatically, if automatically, and I was instantly aware of the heat from the lights. The connected, totally-self-aware part of my consciousness hoped my color would stay even, that I wouldn't start perspiring and that the layer of oil covering my body wasn't too shiny. The disconnected, floating-over-the-front-row part of my consciousness as my body moved into the light and turned to face forward. The applause that had grown in volume virtually stopped and there were general murmurs of appreciation and surprise as I did go on to assume the "relaxed" position.
My overhead consciousness helped my inside awareness adjust my body into the right position to show maximum muscular size while I waited to begin displaying my physique. Heels close together, feet pointed outwards at about 45 degrees. Knees slightly bent to bring out some tension and definition in the quads. Hands closed in fists to show forearm details, knuckles pointing down. Elbows slightly bent and pointing outward, arms pulled away from the body, shoulders tensed. Deep breath, chest inflated, abs tight but not fully flexed. Shoulders and arms pushing slightly forward, flaring the lats. Breathing is slow and steady, somewhat shallow so the abs can stay tight, focusing on chest expansion and projection. Stand still.
Why that is called the "relaxed" position will forever remain a mystery to me. Try standing still in that position in front of a mirror for several minutes and see how relaxed you feel. Then project what that feels like with probably about a hundred more pounds of muscle on your frame and you'll begin to guess what is really feels like.
I watched myself assume the bodybuilder's position and I was very please with what I saw. I saw a man projecting confidence but not arrogance. A man who know he had put in the work and was comfortable with the results he had achieved. I saw a highly developed, 5'10" 260lb. body carrying about 4% body fat standing there presenting itself for display and review. I saw this from above and felt it from the inside. I heard from the audience's reaction that I fit here, I belonged on this stage, among these competitors, and I felt, for the first time in my lift, the exhilaration that is knowing that your body and your muscles aren't things you work on and show off, that they are *you* and that *you* are on display and that people like what they see.
This is the second story I've posted to Nifty. My first, "Remembering Ken," is in the Athletics section, though I have as yet to finish it. Please let me know what you think. I'd lover to hear any ideas or requests you have as well as your own experiences and fantasies involving bodybuilders and men with huge muscles. Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org)