Fall Classic show
Cold Lake paramedic and firefighter, Jason Spears was in Edmonton this past weekend. He was competing in the 2017 Muscle Beach Fall Classic at the Winspear Center. Spears has spent the past 6-7 months preparing for the body building competition. It’s a process that requires a lot of dedication, and discipline. The Fall Classic is a regional show on the body building circuit.
You may remember our story on another Lakeland bodybuilder, Harrison Maas. Like Maas, Spears underwent a long, and grueling training process to get ready for his show. In the spring, Trevor Watson, owner of Muscle Beach in Cold Lake, mentioned that Spears should think about competing. With the encouragement of friends, and family Spears decided he would give Trevor’s idea a go.
“I think it was March or April, when Trevor Watson, owner of Muscle Beach and my trainer, said I was going in the right direction He said I should really think about competing one time, or more times, but one for sure. That was the driving force. He put the idea in my head. From there we started focusing on the training.” Jason Spears explains.
Things changed quickly for Jason Spears. Different training regiments, and heavier volume sets became a regular part of Spears’ week. Another big change was his diet. Nutrition is essential to body builders, but it’s not a regular diet by any means. At certain points, he was devouring between 4000-4500 calories per day. Some days he would work in gym for two hours, but always a minimu of five days a week. Rest is essential. Any body builder will admit, and it’s basic science, muscle doesn’t grow while working out.
“You need rest. Muscles don’t grow while you’re working out. They grow when you rest. The gym itslef just tears them apart. You need the down time. It was still four to five days in the gym for sure. Meals six, eight times a day.” Spears says.
Two months away
With the show six to eight weeks away, Spears hunkered down. He started looking at down regulation of his diet. He started carb-cycling, and added in water intake. He also added an hour or two of cardio per day to burn fat layers, and the water he was storing. That added to a total of three hours of training per day.
“It really starts impacting, and more or less takes over your life. You start thinking only about when your next meal is, or next training session is. You need to balance a family life, and a work life on top of that. I’m a full time paramedic, and I’m at the fire hall as well.” Spears says.
As the competition grew ever near, Spears began taking less water, and carbs. Once in Edmonton, Spears partook in the weigh-ins, and hit at the top of his class weight, 165 lbs. With weigh-ins complete, he registered for his classes. He signed up for Open Masters, which is based on age, and Open Class Lightweight.
“The show is on Saturday night, so you have a 24 hour period where you can start to refill your body with carbohydrates. The intake of the carbohydrates will help draw out any subcutaneous water you have left. It will swell out the muscles for you.” Spears explains.
Minutes before going on stage, Spears and fellow competitors were still in-taking food. They also pumped up back stage using weights. The aim is to get as much swell into the muscles as possible. Spears admits he was tired before going on. The final piece of the puzzle was the spray tan. Spears says the spray tan helps to showcase the definition of the muscle. Once on stage, Spears had 60 seconds of posing routine to show off his best features. After each individual performance is complete, the judges bring out all competitors in the class to do mandatory poses.
Walking away a winner
Spears did the stage routine three times. Once for each of his classes, and as part of his Open Lighweight Class victory, he did an overall category stage appearance. He didn’t take home anything in the overall category, but did take the first place in Lightwieight, and a second in Open Masters. It was a very successful weekend for the first time competitor.
“It was overwhelming. I told everyone I was training to win, but at the same time if I come in dead last in my mind I still won. I went through it, I showed up, and did what I could. In the end, I trained for it, and what happens happens. I was there to show myself I made it that far, and of course everyone who helped along the way. There’s the time away from home, the guys listening to me at work talking about it all the time. Everyone was super supportive. A couple community sponsors helped out, Chirs from Empire GYm sponsored me. Andre and Damien from A&A Glass.” Jason Spears says thankfully.
See ya next time
It may be a year until we see Jason Spears in another body building competition. Although he was given a buy in to the Northern Alberta event in June, Spears thinks he will most likely skip it. He is targeting a return to the Winspear for the 2018 Muscle Beach Fall Classic.