Lured to a mirrored pool he fell in love with himself and died unable to stop looking at his own reflection. In many ways the life of amateur bodybuilder Aziz Shavershian, better known by his online handle Zyzz, reflects the myth of Narcissus. Gaining an online following in 2010 for his modern take on aesthetic bodybuilding and his unique personality, he was seen as the next big thing in the bodybuilding community.
Zyzz’s Early Life
Zyzz was born on March 24th 1989 in Moscow, then in the Soviet Union, to Maiane Iboian, who works in Hospital Human Resources, and Sergei Shavershian, currently residing in Ukraine. Aziz was raised in Eastwood, New South Wales and attended Marist College High School where he was awarded the title of Dux of the school. The title of Dux is awarded to the highest ranking students in either academic or sporting achievements. Surprisingly he received it for academic prowess.
A self described “extreme ectomorph” Zyzz felt throughout his high school days that he was too thin. He hated going out with girls and feeling like he was the same size they were. He always held a passing interest in bodybuilding. It wasn’t until the summer after he completed his studies, when out clubbing that he noticed the different way that buff guys were treated by the people around them. Noting their “presence”, as he put it, and spurred on by the results his older brother, Said Shavershian, was getting at the gym Zyzz signed up and began pumping in earnest.
Who is Zyzz?
Initially working out exclusively to get girls it wasn’t long before the pursuit of physical perfection became an obsession. Four years of five day per week workouts added up and in February of 2010 he began posting to bodybuilding forums and 4chan’s /fit/ board. He quickly gained a following bringing the new Australian bodybuilding movement of “Aesthetics” to the fore. Famous for popularizing the term “You mirin”, meaning women are admiring his physique, his unique personality and ability to inspire others to follow in his footsteps brought him the fame he desired.
Allegations of steroid use were brought to him throughout his career, an early video showed him receiving an injection of an unknown substance. His older brother Said was arrested in early 2011 for possession of anabolic steroids, a charge he would later plead guilty to. Zyzz would deny ever having taken steroids to “The Daily Telegraph” and that he achieved his shape through hard work and nutrition. Though his former employer, stripping agency Sydney Hotshots, would describe him as a great guy “aside from all the steroids”.
What Happened to Zyzz?
Using his new found fame Zyzz was able to successfully market a range of body building supplements and published a book “Zyzz’s Bodybuilding Bible”. All that while still studying business at university. In mid 2011 he began filming a reality show, “National Road Trip”. Various Australian celebrities traveled the country visiting famous landmarks. He received frequent mentions on bodybuilding news sites, including an interview with simply shredded. By all accounts it seemed the way was clear for Zyzz to make his mark on the sport of bodybuilding.
Sadly in August 2011 his body just couldn’t handle the strain he was putting on it. During a month long trip to Thailand, where performance enhancing drugs and hormones can be found easily and cheaply, Zyzz was found dead in a sauna. The post-mortem report revealed that a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect had caused a cardiac arrest, no toxicology report was made public.
He lives on through the adoration of his fans who to this day post tribute videos and discuss bodybuilding on his subreddit.