For 21 years, Craig Dewan has been lifting weights and this year his dedication showed after placing fourth in the heavyweight division on April 6 of the 2013 NPC Natural Ohio Drug Tested Bodybuilding, Physique, Figure & Bikini Championship competition at Lakewood Civic Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio.
By day, the 39-year-old from Little Falls is the registrar at Herkimer County Community College and by the end of his work day a majority of time is spent training for the competition.
This was Dewan’s third year competing and it marked the first year that he placed in the top-five of the heavyweight division. There were over 270 competitors in the event.
In 2010, during his first year competing in the heavyweight division, Dewan placed 12th but improved to finish seventh in 2011.
“After each show, I always talked to the judges and their feedback gives me the motivation to get better and each time I placed higher, I become more motivated to push myself farther,” Dewan said.
In order to place in the top-five and earn a coveted trophy, Dewan said he needed to focus on conditioning and this time around that’s what he improved
The six-foot, 210-pounder said he wanted to enter a bodybuilding competition because he wanted to see what kind of condition he could get his body into while dieting and training naturally in a period of time for the event.
Although there are many bodybuilding competitions, Dewan wanted to enter a natural bodybuilding competition.
“At a natural bodybuilding competition, contestants are drug tested for anabolic steroids and illegal diuretics and although there are many out there, not very many actually perform the tests,” he added.
Dewan said he searched for a natural body building event that does the drug tests and came across the NPC Natural Ohio Drug Tested Bodybuilding competition.
“I really like the competition because it is all natural, with no drug use allowed and every contestant is drug tested,” he said.
In order to prepare for the competition, Dewan followed a strict diet and exercise plan that started on Dec. 1, 2012.
Dewan said he eats a high protein and low carbohydrate diet, along with a lot of cardio and heavy weighttraining.
“I lift weights six times a week and do cardiovascular training twice a day, seven times a week so it is a lot of work but I’m fortunate enough to have a gym in my basement where I can train in the comfort of my own home,” he said.
While competing Dewan said contestants go on stage and perform a posing routine for one minute in front of the judges.
“I compare bodybuilding to an artist with clay because you sculpt and develop muscle to show how tight they can be,” Dewan said.
Page 2 of 2 - When Dewan poses on stage, he said he can feel the competitive juices flowing through his body.
“It’s almost as if training and competing becomes addictive and I really want to continue pushing myself to improve from show to show,” he added.
Since he started competing, Dewan said he has learned a lot about himself through the process.
“It’s nice knowing that I accomplished what I set out to do and through competing, I’ve realized that goals are attainable and what I have achieved wouldn’t have been possible without my wife (Amy) and my family,” Dewan said. “Just because your one person on stage, doesn’t mean you made it alone, there are many people that help you to get to that point.”
Dewan, who has two children Samantha, 14, and CJ, 7, said he also enjoys competing in the show because he meets a lot of people with the same aspirations and interests.
“All the competitors go through the same thing that I do, so it’s nice to get to know them and their families and share stories,” Dewan said. “This year I was fortunate enough to place fourth but it also meant a lot to have my wife, brother (Todd) and father (Patrick) there to help support me,” he added.
Dewan added he’s taking some time off from training, but in two weeks he plans to start up again to reach a new goal.
“I’ve been competing in the heavyweight division for three years now, so my goal is to take the next two years to train and compete in the Masters Division.”