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Pump & Circumstance

Bodybuilders suffer for their art - and for a shot at the big time<



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"Posing is one of the most demanding parts of this sport," says David Pratt, an immensely muscular and striking man who's been competing since 1980. In contrast to his appearance, Pratt is a polite middle school English teacher in Rocky Mount, NC.

Finally, after keeping a low profile for most of the night, it's Tony's turn to take the stage. True to his word, he puts on an electric stage show.

When all is said and done, Demi walks away with second place in the figure competition, and Tony is awarded first place in the men's open division, lightweight class.

For most of the competitors, the end of the Mountaineer means it's time to relax and take a break from all the rigorous training and dieting. However, for Tony and Demi, the vacation is a short one. Both were back to the 6am workouts and around-the-clock dieting in a matter of days as they ready themselves for the big national show in Atlanta in November. A first place finish there means turning pro. And then what?

Demi hopes to continue to appear in bigger and better competitions, perhaps catching the eye of a supplement company and becoming a spokesperson. Tony is taking a laidback approach to the whole thing. "I'm just working towards being in peak condition," he says. "But if I do turn pro, who knows? I'll guess I'll have to decide how far I want to go with this."

Contact Sam Boykin at (704) 944-3623 or [email protected]. *

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