By RIVES KUHAR
Two years after placing first in a natural bodybuilding competition, Matt North continues to squat 605 pounds but remains humble about his strength.
In addition to running three-to-four times a week, the senior business administration major lifts five times a week for two hours, focusing on one body part each day, favoring his biceps and triceps.
“I always try to make myself better,” North said. “As far as bodybuilding goes, there’s a complete difference from bodybuilding then just a regular gym-goer.”
North focuses on his diet, eating small, high-protein and clean-carbohydrate meals every two hours throughout the day to maintain his size and muscle definition.
“Everything in bodybuilding takes time. It is not a sprint to the finish line, it is a marathon,” North said. “There are no shortcuts.”
During the summer following his freshman year at the University of Mary Washington, North competed in the Potomac Cup Bodybuilding Show in a Novice Division, assigned to competitors who are participating in their first show or those who have not previously placed.
Along with years of preparation, North’s crucial training occurred just 10 weeks prior to the show. He remained on a strict diet, eventually completely cutting sodium and carbohydrates from his meals in order to flush out the fat and obtain the least amount of water retention.
“I loved it. [The show] was one of the best experiences I’ve had,” North said. “When you get on stage, it [is] a feeling like no other because you work so hard, and you’re not up there to show off; you’re up there to show [your] hard work.”
Despite his achievements, North is modest about his appearance, covering up his muscles when he is not at the gym. To him, bodybuilding is a hobby, not a reason to boast.
“No matter what, I’ve always remained humble,” North said. “I’m not one to wear tank tops or sleeveless shirts to class.”
Whether it is in the gym or through his spread in the World Physique Magazine, North inspires and teaches other natural bodybuilders and regulars at the gym by sharing his diet and workout tips.
“I’ve always lived by the rule of paying it forward, helping other people out,” North said.
Despite his love for bodybuilding, North realizes a steady income and raising a strong family are his goals for the future.
“I will always remain true to myself and will not let success change who I am,” North said.
North can now compete in an Open Division and is eligible to turn pro. Next summer, he hopes to continue competing.