May 23, 2024

Lauren Shelburne | Banner Paul Yoo, senior business administration major, trains for his next competition as he does ab rolls in his apartment.

Paul Yoo, senior business administration major, and Isaac Lowe, junior kinesiology major, see bodybuilding as more than a hobby.

Yoo started training as a natural bodybuilder after he quit wrestling in his sophomore year of college.

“I had nothing else to do except school and that was too easy so I just started working out,” Yoo said. “I researched MuscleMania and they do natural bodybuilding. I picked a date for a show and then I trained for it.”

Yoo’s first competition was at the MuscleMania Orange County Championships. He placed first in his class and first overall. Yoo said watching his diet and daily routine is important as he trains to compete.

“I do 50 pushups and 50 ab rollers every time I wake up in the morning,” Yoo said. “It really makes a difference.”

Lowe also started bodybuilding after his sophomore year in college.

“In college I didn’t have a sport and I had to associate myself with something so I became a bodybuilder,” Lowe said. “It’s my new sport.”

Lowe’s first competition was at National Physique Committee Europa in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2014.

Lowe’s previous roommate and non-competing bodybuilder Spencer Ross, senior business administration major, said he saw a big difference in Lowe’s schedule when he was training.

“I support my friends by working out with them, helping them stay on their diets,” Ross said. “I always trained with Isaac and helped him train.”

Lowe said the sacrifices made through bodybuilding will be worth it in the end.

“College, social life and competing all together is next to impossible,” Lowe said. “I’ve definitely lost a lot of social connections through body building because you have to focus on yourself more.”

Ross said bodybuilding is more than a sport.

“It’s one of the highest forms of art because it never stops,” Ross said. “A painter, when he’s done with his painting, it’s done. But there’s always something you can get better (at), always something you can tweak or sculpt a little differently. It never stops.”

Yoo said he plans on competing in the Musclemania Universe in Miami in June.

Lowe said his goal is to get his professional status in bodybuilding to build a career in the fitness industry.

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