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
Competes in: Bodybuilding
What motivated you to start working out?
I have always self-motivated in regards to fitness and working out. In high school I played Football and Wrestling. Upon attending Michigan State University for my undergraduate studies I switched my focus into strength building and being physically fit for the Army National Guard (NG) prior to becoming an enlisted infantryman. I recently transitioned into being a Signal Officer for Army NG last year and continue to strive to lead by example for my soldiers. Being physically fit is a must.
How long have you been training?
I have been weight training for about 10 years now.
How did you hear about the Michigan NPC and why did you decide to do that particular NPC show?
I originally heard about the Michigan NPC through a couple of friends who had competed within the last couple of years. After meeting a great friend and coach (Jeff Vasque) my dream of doing my first competition soon became a reality. Jeff was a tremendous blessing in my life. Jeff has received 25 bodybuilding titles and is a Biochemist so his expertise was essential. My dedication coupled with his workout and nutrition program assisted me in winning my class in my first bodybuilding competition.
Where do you train? I train at Power House Gym East Lansing. I am currently completing my Master’s Program there for Clinical Social Work.
How many hours do you work out and how often?
I train in the gym 6 days on and 1 day off. My workout splits range between 45minutes to an hour. I currently spend 30 minutes a day doing cardio in the off season. However, that time increases during prep.
What is the toughest part about getting ready for the show? The toughest part about getting ready for a show was time management. Work, school, internship, Army, and meal prep does not take a back seat to my time in the gym. Therefore, making sure I balance my time efficiently is important.
What is the most enjoyable part about contest prep?
The most enjoyable part about contest prep for me was seeing the end product of the hard work and dedication towards achieving my goal. Prior to stepping on the stage it is rewarding being able to see the level of conditioning I was able to achieve.
Competition Background: 2015 Flint Mid-Michigan: First place in Middle-Weight
Contact information: Email: email@example.com Instagram: blakevito
Contest Weight: 176 lbs
What Motivated You To Start Training? I have been an athlete all of my life. Growing up, I played every sport I could. As I got older, I began to focus on football and my weight training became sport specific. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play NCAA Division II Football at Hillsdale College where weight training and conditioning became an integral aspect of both my offseason and inseason programs.
How Long Have You Been Training? I have been weight training for 13 years and I have loved every minute of it.
How Did You Hear About The Michigan NPC and How Did You Decide To Compete in Bodybuilding? I was blessed to meet one of my best friends and coach Jake Brannan in 2013. Jake introduced me to the sport and the nutrition necessary in order to take my training to the next level. I decided to compete in 2014 with another close friend and training partner of mine, Bret Lintz. We both had a blast will continue to compete in the future.
Where Do You Train: Powerhouse East Lansing. I am a law student at Michigan State University and this Powerhouse location is convenient for between class cardio sessions and weight training.
How Often Do You Train: I train 5 days per week. I try to train one hour with weights as well as include a cardio session after each workout. The length of cardio depends on whether I am in an offseason or contest prep.
What Is The Toughest Part About Getting Ready For A Show: Lack of sleep. As a full time law student, balancing a prep is a challenge. The school and work life does not stop for bodybuilding. Therefore, I try to maximize the efficiency of my workouts with high intensity and time under tension movements to accomplish the most I can in a shorter period of time. Unfortunately, my school work still usually keeps me up until the early hours of the morning.
What Is The Most Enjoyable Part of a Contest Prep: The end result. Dieting and training for a full 16 weeks is a challenge both physically and mentally. When you achieve the desired level of conditioning to become stage ready, it makes all of the sacrifice worth it. Win, lose, or draw, you can be proud of what you have accomplished.
What Are Your Future Plans? I plan to compete in Classic Bodybuilding at the Arnold Amateur in 2016. My physique inspirations are the beautiful and aesthetic physiques of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s like Bob Paris and Lee Labrada. My pursuit of the ideal in bodybuilding is a mix of classical lines, conditioning, symmetry and enough mass to round out the physique into a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing package.
I would like to thank my sponsors Advanced Muscle Science and Forerunner Labs for supporting my endeavors and taking an interest in my bodybuilding career.
2014 NPC Western Michigan: First Place True Novice
First Place Novice Middle
Fourth Place Open Middleweight
2015 John Simmons Classic:First Place Open Middleweight
Contact Information: Statler.Jason@gmail.com Facebook.com/Jason.statler.1 Instagram: Jasonastatler
Competed in: Grand Masters Bodybuilding
Contest weight: 173
What motivated you to start working out? As a child, I was always out of shape and no good at sports. When I discovered bodybuilding magazines at the age of 26, they encouraged me to believe that I could have a better body.
How long have you been working out? 31 years, but with intensity only for the past 8 years.
How did you hear about the Michigan NPC and why did you decide to do that particular NPC show? I had read about NPC competitors all the way back in the 1980s, and so I had great respect for the sanctioning body and what it has accomplished. So, when I moved to Michigan, it was the obvious choice to make!
Where do you train, and who is your trainer/nutritionist? I train at Powerhouse Gym in Madison Heights and Body Rocks Gym in Livonia. My nutritionist is IFBB Pro Shelby Starnes. I am very privileged to be able to work with Shelby.
How many hours do you work out and how often? I currently lift weights for 6 sessions per week (45 minutes to an hour) and have 6 cardio session per week (approximately 40 minutes each).
What is the toughest part about getting ready for the show? For me, it is definitely the lower energy level from following a lower-carb diet.
What is the most enjoyable part about contest prep? I would have to say it is the looks I get in the gym starting about 6 weeks out. People can see your body changing week to week. They definitely notice.
N.P.C. contest you have done and your placing’s:
2008 NPC Natural Michigan – 2nd Place
2009 NPC Natural Michigan – 3rd Place
2010 John Simmons – 2nd Place
2013 Great Lakes Ironman – 1st Place
2013 Midwest Challenge – 2nd Place
2013 Central States – 4th Place
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Competed in -Men's Physique and Natural Body Building
40 years young
I became a body building enthusiast when I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator, I knew at that moment I wanted to be more than a bag of bones. I have been lifting seriously since 2010, Prior to that it was more of a hobby to weigh more than my high school weight of 145 lbs. I was introduced to the NPC through Walt Jones ( owner of The Rock Fitness Center). Today I train at the Powerhouse Flint, I am my own trainer, nutritionist and also a personal trainer (NASM) and a graduate of Bryan University ( Advanced Health and Fitness). I often train on average for 1.5 hrs 6-7 days a week. I love the challenge of altering my body, bringing up weak points as well , so the hardest part for me is eating enough while maintaining a full schedule of clients. The most enjoyable part of contest prep is seeing all the hard work show itself. In my career I have 2 overall physique championships, about 15 top 5 finishes ( including 10 1st place finishes) and most recently the overall at the 2015 Flint Mid-Michigan.
I can be found under " Vince Strange" Facebook, Vinsanity 75 Instagram and Vstrange1@yahoo.com
Competed in: Lightweight Body Building
Contest weight: 150
What motivated you to start working out? I just wanted to stay in shape and look good in the summer time.
How long have you been working out? Been going to the gym on a regular basis for the past four years.
How did you hear about the Michigan NPC and why did you decide to do that particular NPC show? From my brother in-law, I particular in my first show again because my brother in-law was doing an NPC show.
Where do you train, and who is your trainer/nutritionist? Believe it or not I workout at Planet fitness/ No nutritionist.
How many hours do you work out and how often? I workout 5 to 6 days a weeks. 1 hour weights/ 45 minutes cardio.
What is the toughest part about getting ready for the show? By far the toughest part is staying on a strict diet. What is the most enjoyable part about contest prep? The day of the show/plus I get to eat what I want to eat day of the show.
N.P.C. contest you have done and your placing’s: 1st. Lightweight div. 2013 npc show powerhouse. 2st. lightweight div 2013Central States 1st. Lightweight div. And Overall winner 2015 Flint
Contact information: email@example.com
Contest weight: 152
What motivated you to start working out? About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to pursue something that I KNEW would yield results if done right. My passion is the pursuit of an amazing physique with long term health as the purpose. I want to be in better shape and in better health when I’m 50 than I am now!
How long have you been working out? 10 years.
How did you hear about the Michigan NPC and why did you decide to do that particular how? I heard about the NPC through friends who had competed. The organization has a great reputation and I became aware that the best of the best compete with the NPC. I wanted to compete at the 2014 Grand Rapids Bodybuilding Championships because I knew I’d be up against the best competition.
Where do you train, and who is your trainer/nutritionist? I train out of Elite Fitness and Health on Alpine and 4 Mile in Grand Rapids. I oversee the personal training operation there and at a few other locations as a District Manager for a growing personal training company called Compel Fitness. With my education and background, I am fortunate enough to be able to train and put together diets mostly on my own.
How many hours do you work out and how often? I work out anywhere from 4-6 days a week, depending on where I’m at in the year. My training sessions last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour in a half.
What is the toughest part about getting ready for the show? One of the most underrated skills in fitness is time management. The toughest part about getting ready for a show is the schedule. For me, it was getting my meals in on time, every time, every day, getting to sleep on time, keeping the days timed perfectly throughout prep that presented the biggest challenge. I love it though, it’s a mental challenge. If you want it, you’ll make it happen.
What is the most enjoyable part about contest prep? The inner competition. For me, it was knowing there was 5-10 guys out there, somewhere, training for the same prize I was. It was putting 10 years of practice and knowledge on the table, culminating in my best physique ever. It was waking up every day with a drive to be at the absolute peak of my mental and physical game all the way through the day, with meal prep, time management, workout intelligence and intensity and focus. It was envisioning your body as a machine, and you the mad scientist, plugging the necessary variables into the equation to equal the desired results. It was attacking every workout with 10 years of passion with every rep. I loved the challenge.
My training team works out of Elite Fitness and Health on Alpine and our website is www.elitefitnessandhealthalpine.com
Contest weight: 167-170
What motivated you to start working out? Wanted to feel better about myself. I was "skinny fat".
How long have you been working out?. 18 years.
How did you hear about the Michigan NPC? Remi Bruyninga threw me in a headlock and after several attempts convinced me to do my 1st show and did a great job of coaching me to it.
Where do you train, and who is your trainer/nutritionist? I train all over SE Michigan. I do all my own training and nutrition and contest prep. I work help others do the same (I work as a trainer/consultant in the industry).
How many hours do you work out and how often? 2-4 weight training sessions per week, most are 30-40 minutes each.
What is the toughest part about getting ready for the show? Food prep
What is the most enjoyable part about contest prep? The finished product (my body) come show time.
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
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.
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.