2017 Kentucky Muscle Draws Beauty And Brawn

Competitors took to the stage in Kentucky.

Kentucky Muscle began in 2002 under Brent Jones, a bodybuilder competitor who became a promoter. The show draws up to 10,000 spectators every year. It is modeled after the Arnold Classic of Ohio and three-hundred fitness and bodybuilders took to the 2017 Kentucky Muscle stage Saturday in the Kentucky Expo’s South Wing. Most competitors and spectators hailed from Midwest. They included Joe Bales, 55, of Louisville. He smiled at the judges, flexing under the bright lights, soaking in the cheers. His body that may have some wrinkles but looked toned and taut from training.

“My body is my hobby,” he told the Courier Journal.. Being on stage “is motivation to stay fit all year long.” Bales listed off the benefits: no high blood pressure. No diabetes. “Everything works. And I can still have my cake.” He is one of many who see the show as a way to set purpose behind year long training and dieting.

Strength Wars Movie

Backstage before the shows was hectic but ordered – makeup for the ladies, spray or glaze for everyone. Brittany Halliday of Coal City, Illinois munched a rice cake with almond butter backstage, gushing, “I haven’t had carbs or fats for two weeks. This tastes like heaven.” Other competitors were using resistance bands to achieve their last minute pre-stage pumps. Natalie Hall and Melissa Neal toasted to the competition with a cup of wine from a travel bag. Besides helping them relax, the ladies claimed it improved vascularity. Both are from Owensboro Kentucky. Although some stage lights went out during the Women’s Physique judging, the strong silouettes added emphasis to the judging.

Another 700 people competed in Crossfit-style weight lifting and arm wrestling events. Winning those types of events, while coming with rewards, was secondary to achievements like those of Deanna Chun, a 48-year-old breast cancer survivor. The Vine Grove, Kentucky-resident wouldn’t let an impending surgery to remove a mass in her kidney stop her from participating in a CrossFit competition that required lifting and pull-ups for a timed score. For next year, Kentucky Muscle plans, as always, to be bigger and better.

Should more smaller shows follow this model?

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