It was the first time Scott Wood has competed in a body building event.
When he stepped out in front of the judges during the 2013 NPC Heartland Classic in Oklahoma City, Okla., Wood was completing a dream he’d had since he was 16 years old.
“I have always wanted to compete in bodybuilding since I started exercising at age 16,” Wood said. “I started exercising to put on a little bit of muscle mass, as I was a very thin kid, and exercise changed the course of my life.
“I went from wanting to be a software designer to a personal trainer, and it has been that way ever since.”
Wood owns Image Total Fitness in Great Bend, and he’d been building up to competing for nine years.
“I have followed various professional builders over the course of the last nine years,” Wood said. “Three or four years ago I decided to compete but then backed out as I just did not feel like I had enough muscle.
“This year, I finally decided it was time to go for broke.”
The result of going for broke?
Wood finished in first place in the Novice and Open Division of the Light Heavyweight class. He finished in second place in the Overall Novice and Open Division.
“I have never competed before this year, so I was very happy with my placing,” Wood said. “Due to the time and months that it takes to prepare for a competition, most competitors chose one or two competitions a year to compete in.”
Competitions for bodybuilding is separated into two parts.
The first part has each competitor from a weight class in front of the judges at the same time, and each of them hit a series of poses.
The second part happens in front of a live audience, with each competitor stepping out individually to hit the poses in a 60- to 90-second choreographed routine.
“Bodybuilding is judged on symmetry,” Wood said. “How well the muscles are shaped, and how proportional they are to the other muscles on your body.
“In addition to symmetry, you want to appear confident and composed on stage. You are holding these poses for minutes at a time so you must practice posing for months in advance so you are not shaky on stage.”
Preparation goes far beyond that, though.
“Preparation for a bodybuilding competition usually starts quite a ways ahead of a competition,” Wood said. “I started my competition prep in February. This process includes tracking all of your daily food intake, how many grams of protein, fats and carbohydrates are taken in each day. Each day is made up of six meals, 40 grams of protein per meal, and various amounts of carbohydrates and fats for my body weight and body fat percentage.
“As you get closer to the date of the competition, this food intake decreases to help shed body fat. Preparing for a competition also includes a lot of cardiovascular activity. For me, it was three days a week, with the other four days being strength training days. The goals of dieting down is to maintain the most muscle mass possible, while getting body fat levels to the littlest amount possible.”