Team Malmstrom members compete in bodybuilding competition Published May 13, 2015 By Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Over the years, bodybuilding has grown in popularity and status to become one of the biggest sports of the fitness world. With names like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbo and Ronnie Coleman among the ranks, the sport has been brought into the lime light with a dedicated following of fitness enthusiasts. For Malmstrom AFB, a bodybuilding competition held at the Grizzly Bend May 8, gave local gym buffs a chance to show off some muscle. Airmen, friends and family of all ages turned out to participate in cheering on their favorite competitor. Consisting of two groups, male and female, the entrants were judged on muscle symmetry, size, pose, stage presence and overall performance. For the men, the contestants went head to head and were judged as an overall group. Trophies were doled out based on weight class. The women were judged on figure instead of by weight class. "To mentally prepare for something like this one must be patient, disciplined and resilient," said Senior Airman Christopher Almaraz, 819th RED HORSE Squadron structural journeyman and bodybuilding competitor. "(Competitors) must be patient enough for their body to change, disciplined enough to adhere to their diet and exercise regimen, and motivated to push through the tough days," he continued. For his preparation, Almaraz followed a strict and healthy diet, exercised three times per day and practiced posing about ten weeks out from competition time. To put on the event, fitness center staff worked for weeks to provide the best show possible for those in attendance. "I really enjoyed putting together (this competition) because it's not like other events that I've done where people just sign up," said Senior Airman Dyan Murray, 341st Force Support Squadron fitness specialist. "This took a lot more time and effort so I felt accomplished afterward." According to Murray, the event is a big morale booster for not only Airmen, but dependents and civilians as well. Throughout the event, people from different squadrons and backgrounds got together to talk about the competitors on stage and those interested in competing were able to talk to the judges afterward. Due to multiple requests, a physique competition is being planned for some time in November. Both men and women are invited to participate, said Murray. For those looking to get into bodybuilding, men's physique and women's figure competitions, commitment is one of the most crucial elements to becoming successful in the sport, said Almaraz. Commitment to fitness is also important to leading a healthy lifestyle, he believes. While not everyone needs to adhere to the strict diet of a bodybuilder, the hope is to also motivate others to become the best they can be. "I wish more people would participate in this life-changing opportunity," said Almaraz. "I truly appreciate that Malmstrom offers this opportunity and any type of opportunity involving fitness. They are giving Airmen of all ranks a way to grow personally and professionally."