Some people go to the gym just to stay in shape. Others go in the hopes of turning into a real-life version of Popeye.
Egyptian weightlifter Moustafa Ismail falls into the latter category, claiming that he’s even often called the “Egyptian Popeye” — and for good reason. Ismail boasts biceps that measure 31 inches around and look strikingly similar to those featured on the cartoon sailor.
Ismail, who now lives in Franklin, Mass., must eat seven pounds of protein, nine pounds of carbohydrates and three gallons of water each day to help maintain his monstrous arms, according to The Associated Press. Still, Guinness World Records is debating whether it should recognize Ismail’s gun show, as there are some who believe the bodybuilder is benefiting from anabolic steroids, arm implants or some other enhancement — claims that Ismail vehemently denies.
Ismail isn’t letting any skepticism about the validity of his arms get to him, though, reportedly saying it’s “motivation for me — it’s not something that’s gonna put me down.”
The 24-year-old reportedly works out two hours a day, lifting as much as 600 pounds, and started working out after an uncle criticized him for being overweight.
The debate will continue to rage on about whether Ismail’s arms are natural despite Ismail’s insistence that they are. Amidst the conspiracy theories, others believe Ismail is legit.
“When I first saw him I thought ‘Oh my God, he’s a freak’ — the big Popeye arms, he’s incredible, but he works out hard, so good luck to him,” said Janice Vincuilla, an amateur bodybuilder at Ismail’s gym.
Perhaps we should cool it on the Popeye talk, though. According to Ismail, spinach is one thing he won’t touch.
Popeye photo (right) via Facebook/Popeye
If I’m Brooklyn and the league, you’ve got to think we’re pretty soft, the way we’re playing. We’re a soft team right now. We have no toughness, and that stuff’s not toughness. All that stuff, that’s not toughness.
–Doc Rivers after the Celtics lost a fight-filled game against the Brooklyn Nets
— Shaun (@s_carmody) November 29, 2012
In addition to the pushing and shoving everyone is talking about, the Celtics and Nets also played a basketball game on Wednesday night. And this happened.