Local bodybuilders pump up for Virginia Open

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Remember the last time you watched a bodybuilding contest on ESPN? Those Adonises looked like the very picture of health and fitness, don’t they? With their thick, cut, bulging muscles from calves to shoulders, the mega-mesamorphs appear that they’re feeling on top of the world, nothing but energy and adrenaline.

On the outside that may be true; bodybuilders indeed spend months, even years perfecting their physical being, and it’s obviously paid off. On the inside, though… it may be a different story.


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After spending nearly a year training for his first bodybuilding competition, Dwight Williams began his final week of dieting. He was used to eating lots of skinless chicken, oatmeal, egg whites, and tuna salad (not necessarily in that order) to buff up and cut down for the 2004 Virginia Open event in Hampton. But the second week of May was the toughest yet.

&uot;I started off by eating no carbohydrates, sodium or sugar,&uot; he said. &uot;I was eating lots of green vegetables and other foods with protein.&uot; This is done to thin a bodybuilder’s skin, making it as tight around a muscle as possible.

As the week progressed, Williams suddenly stunned his body with, in bodybuilding terms, a &uot;carb blast.&uot; Along with the requisite two gallons of water a day, he started downing loads of potatoes and other high-glucose cuisines, good for a quick build of muscle.

&uot;I think I lost about six pounds that week,&uot; he said with a laugh. &uot;I wasn’t feeling well until Friday.&uot;

Over in Wakefield, Pam Boykin started her days off with the largest of wake-up calls. &uot;As soon as I got out of bed, I’d walk 30 minutes before breakfast,&uot; said Boykin, who has been training at the Suffolk YMCA for seven years. &uot;A lot of people believe that the body burns more fat on an empty stomach, and it always worked for me.&uot; Boykin also worked her way through abdominal aerobics every other day, cardio six days a week, and weightlifting three times a week. Her methods paid off in 2002: she won four titles at the Old Dominion Open bodybuilding championships, her first competition.

&uot;I’d always wanted to do another one,&uot; she said, stepping off a treadmill at the YMCA, where she splits her training with X-Treme Muscle, a Hampton gym. &uot;It was just a matter of timing.&uot;

Though he’d always been an avid weightlifter, Williams didn’t really consider bodybuilding until about a year ago. &uot;I was curling 150-pound dumbbells at the Callahan Center at the Newport News Shipyard (he’s an engineer), and I asked if they had anything heavier,&uot; he said. &uot;They told me that they didn’t.

&uot;I was getting a lot of positive feedback,&uot; he said. &uot;My friends told me that if I was going to work so hard, I should think about competing. They told me that I should go that extra yard.&uot;

On May 15, Williams and Boykin headed to Phoebus High School in Hampton for the competition. Boykin was in the Women’s Masters (35+ years) class, Williams the average height Male Novice (beginner) group.

To the sounds of Melissa Ethridge’s &uot;Bring Me Some Water,&uot; Boykin moved her way through her posing demonstration. &uot;You’re always nervous,&uot; she said, &uot;but once I got out there, I was OK.&uot;

Williams, who used a heavy metal song for his performance, wasn’t as lucky. &uot;I was halfway though my routine, and I forgot it!&uot; he said. &uot;I just ad-libbed my way through the rest of it. I didn’t know what everyone was going to say, but they told me it was a great job, so I was happy.&uot; After the Masters and Novice classes, the tournament held an Open event, in which all competitors could compete. This was less complicated, as the competitors just came out and posed without music.

Afterward, all the physical and mental preparation paid off for both local bodybuilders; Williams won first prize in his height class, then grabbed the overall Novice title. Boykin took second in both the Masters and Open group.

&uot;I wasn’t pleased, because I wished I’d have gotten first,&uot; she said. But she still took home a pair of trophies.

For now, Williams is ready to get back to healthy dieting, not the extremes he went to earlier this month. &uot;That’s it for now!&uot; he said. &uot;I’m going to try to put on some more muscle, and work on my posing.&uot; He may compete at the National Championship American Challenge in November at the Virginia Beach Pavilion.