More than just muscles

Bodybuilding helps 970Muscle competitors stay fit and healthy

A whole lot of muscle: From top left to bottom right, the team, Alecia Gordon, Aome Seck, Megan Sever, Sandra McClinton, Kerry Buler, Quirt Satterfield, Derek Trombetta, Nick Stanko and Hunter Maclaskey. The team will compete in Boulder on April 14.

They’re widely known for aesthetic, shiny, muscle-exploding poses, sometimes plastered on calendars or delivered on stage.

But for the bodybuilders, bikini models and figure and physique competitors of the team out of Powerhouse gym, the reasons for consuming some 6,000 calories daily and exercising at the gym open 24 hours spill beyond the realm of vanity.

Derek Trombetta, 31, of Grand Junction, the team’s instructor and owner of 970Muscle, began the team three years ago. The keyword is “team.” While many bodybuilders compete as individuals, Trombetta utilizes a team aspect to motivate the athletes past a point they might reach on their own.

The team will travel to Boulder April 14 for “The Northern” bodybuilding competition.

“The biggest thing I love is teaching fitness as a lifestyle and using it as a method to make everything else in their life better and more successful,” Trombetta said.

Alecia Gordon, 50, of Fruita, and Sandra McClinton, 47, of Grand Junction, recently began this practice that includes making strict decisions on every bite of food and method of exercising, all combined to maximize their physical potential.

“It’s possible to start doing this at any age,” McClinton said.

“You can’t give up,” Gordon said, “Ever.”

When Nick Stanko graduated from an aviation school in Denver four years ago, he weighed 126 pounds. Now Stanko is a lean 172 pounds.

“It’s just a testament to what you can do,” Stanko said.

But it’s not for everybody. Stanko eats eight meals a day, including between 4,000 and 5,000 calories and at least 350 grams of protein. Each day, he prepares eight meals for the next. It’s typical for bodybuilders such as Stanko to eat a pound-and-a-half of chicken each day.

Quirt Satterfield, 22, consumes about 10 ounces of ground beef and four cups of oatmeal daily.

A variety of motivations compels these athletes to expand their muscles to a point their skin stretches to keep up. For Kerry Buler, 36, it was Jean Claude Van Damme. He owns all 39 of the kickboxer’s movies. Growing up, Buler wanted to emulate Van Damme’s athletic achievements. Now Buler, himself a kickboxer, is forming the physical mold of a Van Damme.

“I like being a little different than everybody else, too,” Buler said.

Although some may question such dedication, the athletes’ results seem to have an exponential effect on others. Aome Selk, 23, Trombetta’s girlfriend, said that because she brings sack lunches into work, and shuns the snacks and candies spread about, others take to eating healthy as well.

“They just start asking me questions about my diet,” Selk said.

The muscles, it seems, are a byproduct of the real results.

“My favorite thing,” Trombetta said, “is this helps them become more satisfied in everything else they do.”


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