At the end of my sophomore year, I was ready to compete. After tryouts to make the cheerleading team again for the next year I was introduced to who would soon become my new workout partner, Foster Bryant. He was the most muscular guy I had ever seen and I couldn’t wait to start training with him. Although he had never done a bodybuilding competition we began training and preparing for the day we would step on stage just like our idol, Arnold.
Little did I know the next few years of pursuing natural bodybuilding would lay the foundation for what I did with my professional career for the next twenty plus years…
I entered my junior year at Auburn with an entirely new psychology. I had found a workout partner who shared a love for personal development and goal setting, I was using affirmations and positive self talk, had clearly written goals and was loving school. Since I had started to move into coursework towards my Exercise Science major, having completed the mandatory pre-requisites, I was enjoying anatomy and biology and it was making me even more effective in the weight room.
Foster and I were working out hard and another one of the new cheerleader guys, Kevin Lowe, began to join us for our daily workouts. We were eating, breathing and sleeping bodybuilding at this point in our lives. We were together so much between working out and cheerleading practice that we started to nickname ourselves the “Iron Triangle.” This is a name that I came back to much later in life when I would be working through a naming exercise for what is now the Iron Tribe Fitness brand!
To this day, Foster and Kevin were some of the most challenging and demanding workout partners that I have ever trained with. I have vivid memories of extremely heavy and intense training sessions together. Parallel dips with over 100 lbs strapped to our waists, deep back squats for 8 reps with over 400 pounds and hammer curls with 70lb dumbbells!
If I wasn’t training with Foster or Kevin I would join Stephen, who was now also at Auburn. We went to Kaz Fitness Center Started by former world’s strongest man, Bill Kazmaier, it was THE place to train in Auburn back in the 90’s. Unfortunately, it has now been knocked down and replaced with high rise condo’s.
After several years of hard training under our belts we all decided that it was time to test our mettle and do an actual bodybuilding competition. None of us had ever done anything like it and we truly didn’t know where to begin. So, we researched some shows and picked a date a few months out to start training for.
Things were about to get interesting…