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JBLM body building championship

Flex and pose on stage, Sept. 5

The competition begins at 9 a.m. with pre-judging, and lasts for about an hour - resuming at 4 p.m. with the flexing and posing contests. File photo

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Ronald Raymond isn't expecting Arnold Schwarzenegger to show up flexing and posing.

But Raymond is hoping some facsimiles arrive, or at least some want-to-be look alikes step up on the stage Saturday, Sept. 5 at the body building championship at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Nelson Recreation Center. It's all about incentive.

"That's right," said Raymond, the facility manager at Soldier's Field House and the event coordinator. "It's an attempt to get them involved."

After a three-year hiatus, the body building championship returns to JBLM. Forty-one have signed up - 31 men and 10 women. Registration is over and admittance to watch is free.

There are two different divisions in the men's competition. There's "Body Building" and there's "Physique." The first is for the experienced competitor and the second is for the novice.

"In ‘Physique,' they don't have to do all the posing that they do in ‘Body Building,'" Raymond said.

The contestants wear a different kind of shorts and only do two poses - front and back. In "Body Building," they have seven mandatory poses.

The competition begins at 9 a.m. with pre-judging, and lasts for about an hour. It resumes at 4 p.m. with the flexing and posing contests. There are no favorites going into the competition.

"Well, the idea is to deal with the novice competitor rather than the guy who has been doing this forever and a day," Raymond said. "We're more interested in the folks who are just getting started and to help give them a leg up and let them know what to expect, and to give them a taste of the contest."

The idea behind the competition is to give soldiers motivation to get into the weight room and to watch what they eat. It's a prod.

Body building requires two positive things - weight lifting and weight watching, or watching what they eat.

"That's the most important thing of the whole competition," Raymond said. "There are a lot of people who can lift weights. But not everyone can diet."

Each of the competitions are broken into different weight classes. For the men in the body building, there's light weight, middle weight, light heavy weight and heavy weight. In the men's physique, it's broken into heights - up to 5 foot 7 inches, up to 5 foot 10 inches, and over 5 foot 10 inches.

While Raymond is hoping this becomes an annual event, he's taking a wait-and-see approach.

"Not too sure," he said. "We'll see."

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