Competition carries inspiration

Physique competitions are unique when compared with other athletic competitions. Athletes participating in physique competitions have no equipment with which to compete other than their bodies, and California Baptist University students are taking the stage at fitness competitions this spring.

Yahir Velazquez, senior business administration major and personal trainer at CBU’s Recreation Center, knows the training process athletes go through to compete in events for the National Physique Committee.

“Athletes who compete in NPC events are great athletes who display tremendous commitment,” Velazquez said.

Although Velazquez does not compete, he said he has a passion for training.

Adam Diaz, freshman kinesiology major, has begun to enter the world of physique competitions. Diaz will compete in his first show this summer in the collegiate bracket.

Diaz said first competitions can be daunting but hopes to take away as much as he can, not just an award.

“I hope to gain experience, knowledge and to hopefully inspire,” Diaz said. “Physique competitions can motivate; they can inspire.”

Judges look at body condition, composition and muscularity. They judge based on body proportions, overall fitness and muscular definition. As this type of competition is not a bodybuilding contest, contestants get marked down if they have too much mass.

Diaz said he is not worried about the work it will take to get to first place. He focuses on what sets him apart from his competitors.

“The message I carry is why I belong, why I know I’ll get there,” Diaz said. “I was brought here to inspire, to motivate, to tell people to live life to the best of their ability, whether it be using your physique, mind or talent. Always work to improve. Hard work over anything.”

Diaz said he appreciates the support of the global fitness community. He has been welcomed and received encouragement from those he has come into contact with so far.

“People work together even though they compete,” Diaz said. “People in the fitness industry love helping each other; strong people lift each other up.”

Velazquez and Diaz both said they hope to prove that Christian athletes can be a part of physique competitions.

“Fitness industry gets back to the basics,” Diaz said. “You’re grateful for the simple things God has given you: life, breath and your body. Then you pray to become legendary.”

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