From the very early age of 4 years I was always impressed with strongmen, and actually went to a school fancy dress party at age 5, dressed as Atlas. My mother had made me a 50lb. replica weight from a “Vitabrits” packet, painted a curly moustache on me, and sent me on my way. I actually “felt” strong dressed like the legend “Atlas”.
David Berry 5 years of age David Berry Over 50 years
These thoughts stayed with me till I was 16 and went to join a weight lifting club in Townsville, with the burning desire to compete in the Olympic Games. Well! What a disappointment. Here I was told I was too long and skinny to be a good Olympic weight lifter, and that I should go away and try some Bodybuilding for a few years to see if my resemblance to a stick insect could be minimised.
I didn’t have any money, so I managed to get hold of some scrap steel discs and a bar and started training at home, learning all I could from the American bodybuilding magazines, only because there were no Australian Mags produced back in the early 1960’s.
Steve Reeves was a legend back then, and when I saw him as Hercules in a movie, with his huge arms destroying the pillars of a Roman Coliseum, he fuelled my enthusiasm.
I was active in the sporting arena, with Surf Life Saving Clubs, and athletics, and used my home gym to try and gain some muscle. I married the love of my life, Gioia Tate at aged 21 and struggled somewhat, to fit in training with trying to earn enough money to buy a home and raise a family of three sons. I became so frustrated with the pressures of work and the lack of training, I started again when I was 27 years old, but this was short lived as I had taken on a State Management Role for a large American Company based in Brisbane. This was a high pressure job, and I could see it was affecting most aspects of my life.