This page is dedicated to the stories behind the competitors. Why they complete? How they got started in the sport? What are their future plans? Want your story included here, or know someone you think should be. Email us and we will post it here. news@michiganNPCnews.com
He was a football standout in high school at an early age he excelled at the sport. In fact he never left the field seriously. He play tail back, strong safety, and returned all the kicks. Even as a inspiring football player he loved the sport of bodybuilding. He always followed the sport closely and bought all the Magazine's.
After a bad knee injury (his knee cap fell off his leg) the last game of his senior year, after he had a verbal with EMU he decided to quite playing and move onto what he really wanted to do - bodybuilding. In 2005 he placed 4th in the NPC Michigan in the light heavy‘s, he took a year off because he got married and returned meaner then ever and entered the 2007 Michigan won the Light heavy’s and the overall. After that he got forced on the North American right away knowing that he still needed some work to compete with the best in the Nation. He just got done with the NA and placed 6th out of 28 people in the Light heavy‘s.
He has been training since he was 15 years old. His parents got him an old sand weight set and he trained with that for about 8 months until he grew out of the weights. After that he started at the local Gym called The Outback. He stayed at the outback for about 7 years. The outback was a great place to get started because it had a some good lifter there. He got a lot of training in with Craig Gallo a power lifter and 1000 lb. squatter and some other people that help him get better. He left the outback when he moved out of the town he grew up in and he is currently train at the Brighton Powerhouse gym where he will stay as long as he lives in Michigan. The owner of Powerhouse, Wallie Gumiela, totally goes above and beyond what is expected of a gym owner to do for a athlete.
What’s going on now and what’s next:
Ever since the NA he has done a photo shoot for Muscular Development and ad in the trenches video on their website, he got a shoot with Anthony Sbriglia from Muscle Mag and a shoot in LA with Alex Ardenti for Muscle Mag and REPS Magazine. He also had another shoot in LA with Muscle and Fitness.
The articles will started hitting the stands in the January issue and later dates. Now that he has gotten all of the photos shoots out of the way he can started with his off season. He plans on competing in the JR Nationals and the North American next year. He is in this sport to be the best bodybuilder he can be. He is hopeful that takes him to the pros in the next few years and then he can start my pro career.
He have a lot of friends in the sport of Bodybuilding. Almost all of his close friends compete or are planning on competing. His training partner is James Mason and is coming to the stage next year so watch for him. His good friend Earskin Presily (2008 Mr. Michigan) trains at his gym and trains with him when their schedules match. His good friend Rob Mostia just won the Central States this year. He is surrounded with good athletes and they all help each other when one of them needs some extra motivation.
Born and raised in: Dexter
Current Residence: Pinckney
off season weight: 250
In season weight: 215
Current Occupation: Local 190 Plumber
Favorite Healthy Food/Meal: Peach tea oatmeal
Favorite Cheat: Food: Pizza
Favorite Music: Anything that gets me going I listen to it all
Favorite Body Part to Train: Legs
Least Favorite Body Part to Train: I don’t really have one I love to train everything
Wed: light Legs and Hams
Sun: Heavy Legs
I take days off when I need one about every 15 days or so
Dead lifts: 700 lbs
Bench: 505 lbs
Squat: 600 lbs
If you were going to start profiling Michigan NPC competitors, John Simmons would be on a short list of "must do". My friendship with John spans over twenty years. My own kids refer to him as "uncle" John. I have asked him several times to give me a profile for this site. He always said sure but, self promotion has never been his style. I finally pried a list of accomplishments out of him when we judged this year’s Michigan together.
John entered his first show at the age of 29 in 1989. He easily won the light heavy and overall at the Great Lakes. I head judged that show and John has reminded me, I made him step off stage at pre-judging to remove a rubber band from his wrist.
His career from there is a progression of big placings:
1990 NPC Junior USA First Place Light Heavy
1991 IFBB North America First Place Light Heavy
1993 NPC USA First Place Light Heavy
1996 IFBB North America First Place Heavy Weight and Overall and qualified to turn pro
John recently was promoted to vice chairman of the Michigan District of the NPC. He now head judges most of the shows held on the east side of the state. If you want advice about your placing, just ask this IFFBB pro. He will give you it to you strait without any BS. He is approachable, and loves to talk body building but, do not expect it to be "sugar coated". As a fellow judge I admire John’s ability to handle difficult discussions about placings with competitors after the show is finished.
This soon to be 49 year old veteran is training for the Tampa Pro Invitational in August.
John also promotes a body building show held in September at Wayne State.
Kenneth Jackson, who is 32, started his athletic career in football. He played in high school and continued his love for the sport in college while attending the University of Michigan. He is proud to be a member of the 1998 National Championship Team and a 4 year letterman. When he realized the football days were over, he still wanted to compete in sports. He always enjoyed lifting while training for football so his days as a bodybuilder began in 2005. He would often grab magazines off the shelf and read about competitors, both professional and amateur. He believed this was the path that was planned for him and he began to actively pursue the sport.
Kenneth started training and entered his first competition in 2005 as a Light Heavyweight and placed 7th in the NPC Michigan show. He was hooked, however, he was not satisfied with this placement and realized he needed the guidance of a professional. He sought out the expertise of the last IFBB pro, Darien Bond. They began working together and training hard out of the Southfield Powerhouse.
Kenneth entered the NPC Michigan in 2007 as a Light Heavyweight and placed 2nd. He then entered the Motor City Classic and not only took 1st place in the Heavy Weight class, but won the Overall. If there was any lingering doubt before, he was certainly hooked on the sport now. He entered the NPC Jr. National Championships held in Chicago in June of 2008. This was the first time he competed at this level. He placed 1st in the Light Heavyweight Class. Together, with his trainer, he decided to continue to diet and train through the next few months and enter the 2008 NPC National contest. He placed 10th out of 41 competitors in the Light Heavyweight class.
During the day, you will find Kenneth utilizing his Bachelors of Movement Science degree by managing and training folks out of his gym, Level Health and Fitness, in Shelby Township. He also takes time out to travel to Southfield to train with Darien. He has plans to continue to train hard, eat clean, put on some weight and compete in the USA's and the North American's as a Heavyweight in '09. Most importantly, Kenneth is getting ready to wed his best friend, Nikki, in September '09. You can find Kenneth on Myspace and Facebook and hopefully his own website will be up and running soon.
Off season weight: 240
In season weight: 198
Favorite music: anything loud
Favorite cheat food: Burgers and fries
Best diet food: oatmeal and egg whites
Favorite body part to train: ALL
Least favorite to train: None, love making changes to all of them!
Submitted by his training partner
Joe Leahy began competing in the National Physique Committee in 2001 at the Novice Michigan Bodybuilding Championships and has never looked back since that first fifth place trophy. By 2008 Joe has won a total of four overall N.P.C titles including the Capital City in 2005 and 2006, The Big Dust Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2006, and The Grand Rapids in 2008. Joe also took home the Most Muscular Award at the Grand Rapids in 2008. In 2007 Joe won the light-heavy weight class at the Jr. Michigan qualifying him as a National Competitor. An unexpected battle with food poisoning the morning of the Mr. Michigan in 2008 spoiled his plans to due battle with the states best.