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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 9, 2010

Healthy living and dedication help bodybuilder Jack Davis muscle his way to the top

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Jack Davis recently placed second out of 50 competitors in a regional bodybuilding contest.

The 26-year-old Guilderland resident was only one spot away from receiving his professional bodybuilder card at the competition, which was held in Pennsylvania on Nov. 13.

Davis competes in the United States Bodybuilding Federation, and said there are not many resources for bodybuilding in this area, which he would like to change.

He started lifting weights at home when he was 14, while he attended Guilderland High School. He dabbled in lacrosse, but said he never made it to the varsity level; he just loved lifting weights. He progressed to weight lifting at the Guilderland YMCA, throughout high school and college, but he only started competing two years ago.

When Davis first became interested in bodybuilding, he said he had to do research online to find the best organization in which to compete. He had to learn a lot online because of the lack of local resources, he said.

“I love weight-lifting and following a healthy lifestyle, so competing was kind of like taking it to the next level and challenging myself,” Davis said. He now works out at the Gold’s Gym in Guilderland, and also provides personal training at the YMCA.

Davis explained that there is a science behind preparing for a competition. Twelve to 15 weeks before a contest, he phases most carbohydrates out of his diet, while doing cardiovascular exercise, and lifting weights. He said he could lose roughly 25 pounds in 12 weeks, and bulk up his muscles at the same time.

“It’s kind of a complicated process that I don’t think a lot of people understand,” said Davis. Bodybuilding takes dedication, he said, and he spends up to four hours in the gym a day.

He also explained how a bodybuilding competition works. The competitors are broken up into weight classes, and are judged according to four criteria — leanness, muscle definition, muscle size, and proportion.

“It’s really not just about big muscle,” said Davis. Before a competition, he coats his body with a bronze tanner. And, during the competition, he puts on what he calls his “game face” — an intense look, bordering on the fierce. The looked is a marked contract to his natural mild expression.

The overall winner of the competition is awarded a professional card, meaning he can go on to compete for money. Davis called bodybuilding an “older man’s sport,” and said the more mature a person gets, the more muscle he develops. The man who won first place at the regional competition was a bit older, he said.

“The guy who beat me is a real freak, and he deserved it,” Davis said, praising his opponent.

Attending competitions is about more than the prizes, for Davis. He said he meets people who compete all across the East Coast and learns from them.

“Just like anything, knowledge is power,” he said. With each competition, and the process leading up to it, he learns by trial and error. Davis said he discovers what works and what doesn’t work, and can apply that knowledge to the next contest.

Aside from competing and living the lifestyle, Davis trains others in the aspects of healthy living and fitness. He is a certified personal trainer.

“I like preaching a healthy lifestyle, making people feel good about themselves, and seeing their lives change. It’s really special,” he said. He works with people from ages 16 to 70, and, though he doesn’t train people specifically for bodybuilding, he helps with lifting and nutrition advice.

Davis will compete in another bodybuilding contest this spring, in hopes of securing his professional card.

“It’s all about being persistent and patient,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun, but a big dedication. You’ve got to be well-balanced.” In addition to the competitions, Davis said, he has been contacted by modeling agencies, and isn’t sure where his life will take him in the next six months to a year.

“The future is really uncertain,” he concluded. “But, the way my life is going, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

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