Muscles and more

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 07:00
Local students show off their buff bodies
Damiyen Wilkerson shows off his back muscles at Chugiak High School’s Bodybuilding Show on April 7 in the school auditorium. Wilkerson won the overall Mr. Chugiak title.

Oh my!

Itsy-bitsy swimsuits. Tanned skin (OK, it was fake tan but this is Alaska—we take what we can get). And lots and lots of gleaming, hardcore, ripped muscles.

It wasn’t another Alaska-based TV show. It was high school.

Chugiak High School, to be exact.

The school recently resurrected its popular Bodybuilding Show, and the first performance in years took place April 7 in the school auditorium.

The show featured three female and four male contestants strutting their stuff and flexing their muscles.

It was a fun and noisy evening.

Audience members were encouraged to cheer and shout encouragement, though they were refrained from targeting specific body parts or making negative comments.

Then light-weight male contestants Tryton Winburg and Damiyen Wilkerson hit the stage.

Both wore Speedo-type swim trunks, their bodies oiled until every muscle gleamed as they performed such moves as side triceps, front double lat and front double biceps.

The crowd yelled and cheered, and Wilkerson was eventually named the winner.

Heavyweights Karson Furbush and Thane Perish followed. During the pose-down, their legs shook with exertion. Their muscles bulged.

At the end of it all, Furbush walked away with the title.

And then it was the women’s turn.

Corrina Claugus, Brittany Bond and Olivia Peterson walked onstage in swimsuits that showed a lot of muscular skin.

Their performances were more graceful, more like a dance. Claugus, who is on the comp cheer team, ended hers with a split.

During the pose-down, the audience yelled encouragement.

“You got it,” someone shouted, and everyone else clapped and cheered.

Peterson was awarded the Miss Chugiak title, Claugus received second and Bond third.

Peterson lifted six days a week at Body Renew to prepare for the competition.

“I love to lift,” she said soon after the competition. “I’ve been prepping for two months.”

Being on stage in front of an audience wearing only a skinny swimsuit was a bit nerve-wracking, she admitted.

“Then the adrenaline hits and you concentrate on doing the moves better than the person next to you,” she said.

Weightlifting, Peterson said, relieves stress and leaves her feeling happy.

“It’s the best part of my day.”

After the women’s competition, Wilkerson and Furbush returned to the stage to vie for the Mr. Chugiak title.

They were both damp with wet. They grimaced as they held their poses.

In the end, definition won out over bulk and Wilkerson nabbed the title.

Wilkerson lifts most days to stay in shape, concentrating on lower weights with higher repetitions.

“I mostly lift for definition,” he said.

He’s never performed in a bodybuilding show before.

“I actually forgot part of my routine and had to improvise,” he said.

The show was also tougher than he expected.

“Just flexing for a second is difficult. But holding a pose?” He shook his head. “It’s strenuous.”

Due to weekend track meets, Wilkerson wasn’t able to attend the bodybuilding show practices.

“So I learned everything off a YouTube video,” he said with a laugh.

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