Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian (24 March 1989 - 5 August 2011), better known by his Internet handle Zyzz, was a Moscow-born Australian bodybuilder, internet celebrity, personal trainer, model and a part-time stripper who established a cult following after posting multiple videos of himself on YouTube, starting in 2007. In late July 2011 he came to more general media attention when The Sydney Morning Herald published an article about the arrest of his older brother, Said Shavershian, for illegal possession of anabolic steroids. On 5 August 2011, whilst on holiday in Bangkok, Thailand, Aziz Shavershian suffered a heart attack and died at the age of.
Shavershian was born in Moscow, Russia, the youngest son of Maiane Iboian, who works in cardiology, and Sergei Shavershian. He has one older brother, Said Shavershian, who is also known by his screenname "Chestbrah". In the early 1990s, Shavershian and his family moved to Australia. He was raised in Eastwood, New South Wales, and attended Marist College Eastwood Catholic secondary school, where he achieved Dux of the college. Prior to his death in August 2011, he was to graduate from the University of Western Sydney, with a degree in business and commerce.
Before becoming a bodybuilder, Shavershian had been described as a "skinny kid" and an ectomorph. Once he completed secondary school, Shavershian who was inspired by his bodybuilder brother, joined a local gym and began learning about nutrition and training, and applying it to his pursuit of becoming a bodybuilder. He would spend three to four hours a day training in the gym. His favourite professional bodybuilders included actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane. Almost four years into training, Shavershian stated that: I can safely say that my motivation to train goes far beyond that of merely impressing people, it is derived from the feeling of having set goals and achieving them and outdoing myself in the gym. I absolutely love it, the feeling of pushing out that last rep, and getting skin tearing pumps is something I don't see myself without. Prior to his death, Shavershian was the poster boy of a subculture of amateur bodybuilding in Australia, dubbed "aesthetics", which he had made popular. He had established his own protein label, "Protein of the Gods", released in June 2011; a clothing line and on 17 May 2011, Zyzz's Bodybuilding Bible was released, based on a compilation of bodybuilding knowledge he acquired over the four years of training. He asserted that the internet helped build up his brand, and it was ultimately made possible through the use of social media.
Throughout high school, I was always an extreme ectomorph. I could eat anything and not put on fat, muscle, or weight, or so I thought. I was always fascinated with bodybuilding but lacked the motivation to start training hard until after I was done with my final year of school and exams were completed - it was time for a lifestyle change. I was ridiculously thin, I'm talking the skinniest guy in my grade in school; people always commented on how skinny I was and I hated it. I was always known as the skinny kid. I remember feeling like a little bitch when I was out with girls, walking next to them and feeling the same size as them. After My HSC, it was holidays, and I started going clubbing every weekend and always noticed whenever a jacked dude walked by, they had a presence a lot greater than that of a "normal" person. The guys respect them, and the girls are all over them, and really, who wouldn't want that?
"At the time, my brother was training for a year and I was very impressed by his progress, and joined up at my local gym. I had absolutely no idea about anything gym-related, and it took months and months of research to know exactly what to do and how to go about my training and eating."
If you asked me this question when I started training, my response would've been completely different. Originally, it started out innocently enough, I wanted to get bigger so I wasn't so skinny, and have a bit of a build on me to impress girls. I'd look at pictures of shredded guys and tell myself, that's going to be me. 4 years into my training, I can safely say that my motivation to train goes far beyond that of merely impressing people, it is derived from the feeling of having set goals and achieving them and outdoing myself in the gym.
"I absolutely love it, the feeling of pushing out that last rep, and getting skin tearing pumps is something I don't see myself without.
I wouldn't even use the word motivation, I don't need motivation now, as training is a necessity in my life. It's all a part of my lifestyle, and I couldn't imagine any other life than the gym/training/dieting lifestyle, as it is rewarding physically and mentally in ways beyond measure, you would have to experience it yourself.
"My end goal is not to be some massed up freak, but rather to have a physique that can be looked as art; streamlined, tapered, and universally appealing.
What is your training philosophy?
"My philosophy is - in a nutshell - don't follow what a piece of paper says. Go with how your body feels. If you have written down that you want to do 8-10 reps, but you feel you can push out more, then you do exactly that.
If you're counting every single rep like its nothing, you aren't training hard enough. When I deadlift, I don't think "hey I'll stop at 5 reps" I think, I'll stop when my wrists won't let me hold the damn bar. It's all about pushing yourself. The human body wants to stay idle and does not want to change unless you force it to. The more uncomfortable and the more pain you feel in your workouts, the greater the end result of your physique.
"Pump your favorite music, visualize your goals in your head, and eliminate all negativity in your mind and get into the zone.
Honestly I count down the hours, take a pre-workout shake, and make it an epic event to go to the gym so even right before my first set I have a "mind-pump" as it were. Sometimes when I go normally and go through the motions it feels like I'm not working out at all. When you train like this, the time goes like nothing, rather than the norm of people having chats, chilling out, doing a set, waiting for ages, talking, etc. Trust me, when your mind is in it, you will get more effective workouts and better results. Stop with the "I hate leg day, not looking forward to it" etc remarks. You ****ing love leg day. You can't wait to ****ing squat
"Here's a little trick I use in my training, it may be of use to you.
Pretend there is a crowd of thousands watching you, and if you pull out as many reps or pull the weight that you hope (say 200kg deadlift 3 reps) you win a million dollars, and actually believe in your mind that it is true. Watch yourself push harder for reasons that I cannot explain. Try it in your sets tonight. When you think you can't even push a single more rep out, picture this in your mind and you will push out 3. Or even up the stakes, pretend a gunman is pointing a gun at someone you love and you MUST complete the reps or push the weight to let them live. That's seriously the lengths I go to in my workouts, sets, and reps, to push myself as hard as possible.
"It's as much of a mind game as a physical one. You are battling against your body with every single rep, and in the end it's your willpower and determination that are the ultimate deciders in whether or not you will achieve your goals, or fail and give up. I take it if you have read this far, you don't want the result to be the latter.