I learned a new word the other day thanks to the Del Bros Facebook feed.
I realise Mike and Joe Delaney may not have invented ‘brotivation’, but as a newspaper headline writer I was still jealous I hadn’t thought of it first.
As it turns out, I bumped into the Del Bros last weekend when I flew over to the UK for BodyPower Expo in Birmingham — it’s the British version of the Arnold Classic.
Joe told me that he wished he hadn’t spent so much on protein powder at the beginning of their quest given it’s only a supplement to, and not a replacement for, real food.
After a chat with the pair, I was very impressed. The brothers have put in an awful lot of hard work to achieve the kind of ‘bestethics’ I hope to emulate in the coming years with my physique. So bualadh bos, lads! (That’s Irish for “round of applause”.)
I booked BodyPower because I thought it would be useful for inspiration and motivation given I had just come off the S2B program.
It’s pretty much what I imagined — a giant showcase for the biggest supplement companies, which were corralled into one area of the National Exhibition Centre, and a bunch of other companies selling everything from T-shirts to physique-friendly burgers.
There were also some interesting lectures, two of which I attended that were all about nutrition.
And there were Beach Body and Strongman contests as well.
But one thing that really annoyed me was that there wasn’t a map of the exhibitors. How basic is that? I had flown over from Dublin, booked a hotel for the night and paid about €40 for the weekend ticket… and no map. But there was a programme on sale for £5… which only made me madder.
Anyway, all gripes aside, it’s worth attending if you’re into fitness. But in retrospect I should have got the 6:20am flight to Birmingham and gone back home that night. You could easily see everything in about 4 hours or less and even the lectures were repeated over the weekend.
A lot of people showed up partly to meet fitness models/bodybuilders they admired. One lad I recognised from the Trinity College gym had stood in line three hours to shake hands with Greg Plitt, who is probably the top fitness model in the world, appearing on more covers than anyone else.
Now, if it was waiting to meet Nelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama, I might stick the three-hour line. But that’s an awful lot of time to spend in a queue.
Ironically, I met Greg Plitt the next day and didn’t have to stand in line at all.
I was in the hall outside the Expo and noticed him coming the other way.
Me: Greg Plitt.
Me: Any chance I could do a quick two-minute video interview with you?
Me: I understand if you don’t have time.
GP: Sorry, sir. I still have to have my lunch and be back at my booth 10 minutes from now.
What a nice guy. I was impressed, not least by the fact that he was sticking to his meal plan!
Speaking of which, I went to an Indian restaurant in the burbs on my first night in Birmingham and mightily impressed a diner at the table next to me.
He was out with his wife and kids and came up to me after dinner and asked incredulously: “‘Ow much can you eat?… Myself and the wife watched you have a starter, main course… and you had puddin’!”
His granting me props for my appetite made my day, I have to say.
I also cleaned up the next day in the wardrobe department. Most of the supplement companies were handing out free T-shirts with their sample powder packs and so I made sure to bag my Optimum Nutrition shirt right off the bat.
For those of you who don’t know, ON is in the top tier of supplement companies on the planet and I’m blowing its trumpet because it’s owned by an Irish food conglomerate called Glanbia.
In my enthusiasm to get a free USN shirt, I fell onto their stand as my right foot caught their raised platform. My right knee slammed onto their floor but I quickly regained my composure, went up the nearest rep and said: “I just fell on your stand. Any chance of a free T-shirt.” It worked a charm, but the guy told me not to tell anyone else or everyone would be injuring themselves.
Below is a 90 second video I shot with Steve Cook, who is ON’s most recognisable fitness model. He’s the main face of ON if the magazines are anything to go by and he does excellent videos for his Swoldier Nation, which you’ll find here.
I had asked in advance if he could give this blog a shoutout. But the result didn’t end up exactly as planned, although the video’s funnier for it.
Here it is: