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Iron Will: 17-Year-Old Bodybuilder Prepares for Contest

June 6, 2007

By David Schulte, Tulsa World, Okla.

Jun. 6–His bulging biceps, thick chest and sculptured thighs scream that David Taylor is a bodybuilder.

The 17-year-old senior at Broken Arrow High School has been competing for three years, but his passion for the sport goes beyond achieving a chiseled physique.

He believes that working out and eating a healthy diet have shaped his character as much as his body.

“If you have a hard physique, it shows you that you are a hard worker,” Taylor said. “I just like the self satisfaction that it gives me.

“I feel I can do anything if I put my mind to it, and I can achieve any goal that I attempt.”

His immediate goal is winning the teenage and middle weight divisions in the Oklahoma Bodybuilding & Fitness Championships, which will be held at the Performing Arts Center at Union High School, 6636 S. Mingo Road.

The annual event is a national qualifying event for bodybuilding and fitness competitors.

Taylor began pumping iron for contests when he was 15.

He found bodybuilding appealing because it was an individual sport, and success would be determined by how much effort he put into it.

“I could gauge my progress independently,” he said.

“In a team sport, you may be the all star or standout, but your team may not be victorious.”

In 2005, he entered his first bodybuilding competition in Edmond and placed first in the teenage division.

Last year, he placed second in the teenage division and third in the lightweight division at the contest held at Union.

Taylor lifts weights five days a week and does aerobic exercise to burn body fat seven days a week.

His workout schedule is similar to that of most adult bodybuilders, but he admits that occasionally he falls victim to his youth.

“I tend to overtrain,” Taylor said.

“I always train heavy and hard, pushing every set to (muscle) failure almost, but I need to quit that, because I am going to get injured.”

His training and strict diet require self-discipline, but they have not hurt him academically.

Taylor’s grade point average at Broken Arrow is above 3.5, and he believes that his self-discipline in bodybuilding has carried over to his schoolwork.

“It helps me with school in the fact that I built a regime in my day where I dedicate a certain amount of time for training and for studying,” he said.

Taking classes for college-bound students, he is preparing for a career in sports medicine.

This year, Taylor also took health science technology courses at Tulsa Technology Center Broken Arrow, 4600 S. Olive Ave.

Taylor’s goals in sports medicine are as ambitious as in bodybuilding, where he aspires to be Mr. Olympia — the most prestigious title in the sport.

“I would really like to help in the development in hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging clinics,” Taylor said.

“As people get older, their body slows down a little bit, and you can help them.”

Eileen Luis, a personal trainer in south Tulsa and chairwoman of the Oklahoma National Physical Committee, sponsor of the bodybuilding and fitness competition at Union, described Taylor as a role model for all people.

“David is proof positive that most bodybuilding and fitness competitors are highly successful overachievers that balance busy professional lives with family, school, volunteer work, and tons of other responsibilities,” Luis said.

Luis is not the only one who thinks that Taylor is highly focused for someone so young.

His academic counselor, Judy Grass, described Taylor as a polite, considerate student who has never been a discipline problem.

“He’s a well-mannered young man,” Grass said.

“He takes care of business and is responsible — he is working toward his future.”

For the remainder of the summer, Taylor is studying for a national diet and nutrition test in Orlando, Fla., that goes toward a college scholarship should he achieve a high score, he said.

He is also training for a teenage national bodybuilding championship that will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., in July.

He believes both activities will help him achieve his goals in bodybuilding and sports medicine.

“I want to be known as a great competitor and a great overall person — someone that you can look up to,” Taylor said.

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Contest

Oklahoma Bodybuilding & Fitness Championships

When: Saturday. Prejudging starts at 9 a.m.; Evening finals competition begins at 6 p.m.

Where Performing Arts Center at Union High School, 6636 S. Mingo Road

Cost $15 for prejudging and $30 for finals competition

For more Call 492-7006

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Copyright (c) 2007, Tulsa World, Okla.

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