Army shows muscles at bodybuilding championship
May 1, 2009
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The best bodybuilders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines gathered at Sharkey Theater here, April 25, for the 26th Annual Armed Forces Hawaii Bodybuilding Championship.
The muscle-filled teams were introduced to a cheering crowd of more than a hundred and the competition started with a team contest.
With a larger number of Soldiers participating in this year's competition, the Army was able to create two teams, and placed first and second in the team posing category.
After the team competition, the participants split up to compete in the individual men's and women's divisions.
In each division's weight class, bodybuilders displayed their physiques and struck various poses at the judges' command during three rounds. The judges assigned points based on each contestant's aesthetic appearance.
Round one showcased muscularity and strength, and round two focused on body symmetry. The third round showed each body builder's unique form and technique during a musical routine of posing and flexing. The showcase ended with a final pose down.
The judges decided the fate of each bodybuilder as the contestants waited on stage.
Staff Sgt. Jeff Herzog, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, has felt this kind of pressure before.
"I competed in my first competition in 2006," said Herzog. "It's tough to get where we are, but we are all here to compete and to show how strong and mean we can look."
Herzog placed first in the men's middle- weight division and said his Army training prepared him for the night.
"The Army promotes overall health," said Herzog. "(Soldiers) live such an active lifestyle, and it's easier to stay lean and healthy."
Fitness and nutrition are crucial while preparing your body for a bodybuilding competition, according to Herzog, because rigorous training is needed to elevate muscle mass.
"You work each individual muscle and work on sculpting your body," said Herzog. "It can be tough but the reward is great.
"I still have a lot of work to do, but I came in the competition the best that I could," he added. "I felt comfortable, and now it's just a matter of increasing."
The Army men not only took first in the heavyweight division, but also second place in the men's lightweight, welterweight and middleweight divisions, and third place in the light heavyweight division.
The women took the stage next, performing the same routine as the men in a friendly flex-off.
Maj. Beth Clukey and Sgt. Saquawia Funderberk took first and second place in the heavyweight category, respectively.
In the end, the Soldiers proved "Army Strong" by taking home half of the trophies awarded at the competition.