Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.
At almost 50, Larry Duplechan, RealJock member: hotblkmuscl, wants everyone to know that you can be "healthy, hot and attractive" in middle age. This legal secretary, novelist and musician stays fit by lifting weights, eating right and getting plenty of sleep.
Why do you want to be featured as a Real Athlete?
I'm almost 50 years old. I'm out to show the world that a middle-aged black gay man can be healthy, hot and attractive.
What is your fitness level?
How do you stay fit?
I've always taken good care of my body: no smoking, very little booze, good food, plenty of sleep. And, as I hope should be pretty obvious, I work out with weights.
Do you play a sport? If yes, what and how long have you played?
I've never been a team sports guy. I ran track in the 1994 Gay Games in New York (sprints), which was my first and only athletic comptetion. I didn't win any races, but I didn't embarrass myself, either.
What is your favorite muscle group to train? Why? What is your least favorite muscle group to train? Why?
I like to train chest because I'm a chest freak. I love big pecs. I hate to train legs, because it's so doggone tough. I do it anyway because squats will help your entire body to grow.
What's your favorite body part? Why? What's your least favorite body part? Why?
Of my own body? I have really nice arms: I have a pronounced split in my biceps and they have a nice peak to them. Least favorite? Probably my shoulders—I just can't seem to get those big, round deltoids I'd like.
What celebrity / pro athlete do you most resemble?
I've been told I look like Denzel Washington (no, honestly). But I think he's just the first handsome black man who pops into most people's minds. In my father's day, it was Harry Belafonte - people said my dad looked like Harry.
What sports and fitness goals have you achieved? What do you still want to accomplish? Why?
I was a skinny kid and I always wanted to be a "muscle man." I think in my own small way, I've achieved that. I've been lifting weights since my 20s, and I was about 125 pounds. I'm about 163 now; I'd like to get to 170 pounds solid muscle. I want to look like a "muscle daddy" as I hit my 50s.
What inspires you to train? Who inspires you?
I'm really, really vain. There. I said it. What inspires me to keep training is the admiring looks I get from people, men and women, and when people tell me I don't look my age.
What impact has sports and fitness had on your life?
Fitness is a way of life for me. I decided in my 20s that I didn't want to be one of those people who hit their 40s or 50s and say, "Gee, I wish I'd taken better care of myself." And back in the day, when I wasn't eating that junk food or pounding those beers, my friends laughed at me. And now they're fat and looking old. He who laughs last…
Have you experienced homophobia in your sport or in pursuit of fitness? Please describe.
Years ago, back in the 80s, I remember some other black men saying things behind my back but pointedly loud enough for me to hear, about "girls using the gym." But that was a long time ago.
What three words best capture your essence?
Love. Honesty. Generosity.
What do you do in terms of diet, vitamins, nutrition and supplements to maintain your health?
I try to eat organic food as much as possible. A lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, not much meat. I'm currently eating a lot—I mean, like a family of four—because I'm trying to put on weight. I take a multi-vitamin every morning.
What's your best health and fitness secret?
It's no secret, but most people have trouble with it: healthy eating, no smoking, little or no booze, and lots of exercise.