WaHi Gym-Goers Bare Their Biceps in Curling Contest

By Ben Fractenberg on July 25, 2012 8:47am 

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Beefy Uptown gym-goers flexed their muscles Tuesday as part of a biceps competition aimed finding the neighborhood's biggest guns.

Members of J's Big Gym on 181st Street did curls, had their arms measured and flexed for the judges to determine who had the burliest limbs in the "Right to Bare Arms" contest.

"It's good inspiration. It's motivation of spirit and strength," said personal trainer Omar Arache, 34, who won the completion by curling 55 pounds 10 times with his 15-inch biceps.

Arache, who grew up in Washington Heights, has been going to the gym since he was a teenager, pumping iron at least six times a week.

Competitor Raphael Ainbinder, 19, said he was initially intimidated about participating.

"I was a little hesitant. There are huge guys here," he said.

Still, Ainbinder came in second place, thanks in part to his dedication.

"It's open 24 hours," he said of the gym. "I come here sometimes if I can't sleep."

Professional muscle man Ben Rodriguez showed the newbies the proper way to flex before they went before the judges.

"You have to be comfortable enough to get in front of strangers and show your physique," said Rodriguez, 51, who has benched pressed 405 pounds and squatted 525 pounds.

Winner Arache was awarded two months free membership at the gym.

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