Meeting a Mentor, Ken Kline
A big group of my new friends decided to go to the beach. I was pretty fired up to get to show of my body to all the hot babes at the beach so I was pretty excited and besides that I love swimming. We had been at the beach for about an hour when a chance encounter happened. Carl (my roommate) was swimming while I was lying down on the beach trying to get a tan. All of the sudden Carl yelled at me "Yo Layne come here quick man!" When I got there I saw my roommate talking to a man that was in his mid to late 40s maybe 50s. I asked what was up and Carl informed me that this guy he had been talking to used to train and prepare some competitors in the Mr. America contests back in the 70s and 80s. He then introduced himself as Ken Kline. Evidently Ken had started talking to Carl by asking him how often he worked out. They had talked for awhile when Carl told Ken that I was an aspiring amateur bodybuilder. I proceeded to ask Ken 10,000 questions at once; I was so excited I couldn't contain myself. After about half an hour of talking to me he said "Hey why don't you just come over to my place sometime and I'll sit down with you and Carl and talk to you about training?" I said OK and he gave me his phone number. When I got home I looked him up on the internet to make sure he was for real and not a joker and I found out that he was indeed the real deal so Carl and I set up a conference for a day the next week.
We got to Ken's apartment and he had us hit some poses and flex different muscles for him and he asked us different questions about our training and diets. He taught us about different lifting techniques we had never heard of before and different styles of training as well as new exercises such as the vacuum. He filled us in on a lot of things that we never new about and told us about which foods were good to eat and which ones we should stay away from etc. He also taught us about the importance of vitamins and minerals. He also started us on a new workout plan, which was quite peculiar. I won't get into specifics but I'll just say that Carl and I ate a lot of eggs, bananas, oatmeal, and took a lot of vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins over the next two semesters. After six weeks on the program I had lost 5% body fat and maintained my strength.
After that six weeks was done we started on a new program designed to help us gain weight, and gain we did. By the end of the semester I weighed 192 pounds and my body fat had stayed the exact same as when I started bulking at 182 pounds. When I went home for Christmas break my friends absolutely freaked out! The guys in the gym were asking me what kind of cycles I was on and my parents were asking me whether or not I was natural or not. It was a great feeling. Over the break I was re-united with my original and best workout partner and best friend Mike. Mike brought out a drive in me that I didn't have when I lifted with anyone else. I ate like mad and lifted like a mental patient (psychotic). When I went back to Florida I was 195 pounds at the same body fat.
Preparing for the Mid-America Muscle Classic
When I came back to Florida I had a new goal. I had learned of an all-natural contest that would be in my area in August ... the Mid-America Muscle Classic. Some of the best amateur naturals in the country would be there. I sent my entry form in and started making preparations. I decided to enter the men's novice and teenage divisions. Knowing that I was going to be in a contest made me lift with even more intensity. Drop sets, super sets, giant sets, you name it I did it. Whatever I saw I ate. I kept pushing myself and by May I was up to 201 pounds.
Now it was time to cut. You never know hell until you go on a low carb diet. I made life miserable for my family that summer but they understood why I was so moody and didn't give up on me. The support I received from my friends and family back home over the summer was unreal. Well the weeks went on and the cuts came out more and more. Every week a couple of new veins, a couple of new striations. By the date of the contest I was 180 pounds and had 3% body fat.
The Night Before the Show
The night before the contest I got no sleep. I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning and began my carb up. The 7 hours between 5 o'clock and 12 o'clock were the longest 7 hours of my life. But soon enough it was time to go to the contest and my friend Aaron and I drove there. I remember the car ride vividly. While I was munching on my pan pizza all I could think about was the contest. I was sooo excited that I was shaking and I couldn't shut up. I don't think Aaron got a word in the entire car ride. When I stepped in the competitor's room I about fell down. These guys were HUGE, and I can't even begin to describe to you how huge these guys are in person. I thought to myself, "it's over, hell I might as well go home now."
I jokingly told one of my competitors that I hoped I wouldn't get laughed off the stage, but when I took my shirt off no one was laughing, and I realized that I was ready. Aaron who was in the back room with me said, "This contest is yours, go out and take it." So I made up my mind that's what I was going to do. The next 6 hours (prejudging and finals were a bit of a blur). It was so surreal, like I was watching someone else in my body. I was in the zone. Every pose I hit, I knew that I looked good and it showed. Finally the time came to announce the teenage winners.
Placings "And the Winner is ..."
They started announcing the placings 3rd place, then came time for second place. It was between another guy and me (who happened to be a friend of mine from high school). As they started to announce the name I closed my eyes and tilted my head towards the sky. "And in second place ... Josh Kuhn." My head dropped, I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw was my mother in the back of the audience smiling at me. They announced me as the winner and I pumped my fist. At that moment, there was closure in my life. It was like no matter what anyone had said to me in my younger years, no matter what they had done to me when I was a kid, no matter how much they had hurt my pride, that all had become null and void at that moment. I had something that no one could take away from me. I was a champion.
I also ended up winning the men's novice tall class but I lost the overall to the short class winner. I had done far better than I had ever thought I would've done in my wildest dreams. The rest of the entire night I had a smile on my face that could not be wiped off. I had done it. No one could take it from me, no one. Now there is a new goal that I train for and when I accomplish this goal, there will be another article to detail how it happened.
I would like to take the rest of this article to thank the people that made my accomplishment possible. If I miss anyone, I am truly sorry.
My parents who always stuck by me and believed in me NO MATTER WHAT THE ODDS. I love you mom and dad.
Dr. Joe Klemczewski
My Brother Jamon
The Sorensen Family
If I missed anybody, it is because I am short of memory, not from being short of appreciation.
I love you all thank you for your help and support.