Lo­cal body­builder is Mr. New­found­land

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Brad Jones doesn’t look like most peo­ple when he’s pre­par­ing for a body­build­ing com­pe­ti­tion. It would ap­pear the gru­el­ing work that went into mak­ing his body bulge paid off. The South River na­tive re­cently claimed the Mr. New­found­land ti­tle at a cham­pi­onship event in St. John’s.

Brad Jones is known for be­ing able to hit a soft­ball a long ways. Now, he’s known for some­thing else. On Nov, 26, the 26-year-old from South River was given the ti­tle of Mr. New­found­land af­ter he beat out the rest of the field at the New­found­land and Labrador Am­a­teur Body­build­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Cham­pi­onship held in St. John’s.

Jones beat out a field of three in the heavy­weight divi­sion and was named the over­all cham­pion of the event af­ter beat­ing out a group of top fin­ish­ers from other di­vi­sions.

“I hadn’t planned on do­ing it this year. I was go­ing to wait till I was a lit­tle bit older,” he told The Com­pass last week. “Work­ing out is a hobby. Do­ing the show is a way to get more in­volved in the in­dus­try. “It’s a good way to add some com­pe­ti­tion to it.” Brad now be­comes a mem­ber of a se­lect group with his win. In the 25 years the com­pe­ti­tion has been held, there has been only three other peo­ple who won on their first try.

Jones is now the fourth to win as a first-time com­peti­tor.

“I thought I’d win my class … but you never know if you’re go­ing to win the over­all,” he said. “The feel­ing of win­ning is over­whelm­ing. It’s not ex­plain­able re­ally.

Body­build­ing is as much a men­tal grind as it is a phys­i­cal one. Jones started pre­par­ing his sys­tem for the com­pe­ti­tion three months out.

Aside from work­ing out, there’s a diet com­po­nent. Grad­u­ally, sug­ars and sweet­en­ers get elim­i­nated as ath­letes push for that last bit of def­i­ni­tion.

Even wa­ter be­comes a no-no as the com­pe­ti­tion draws closer.

“It gets re­ally hard the closer you get to the com­pe­ti­tion,” said Brad, who is a per­sonal trainer. “You have to avoid temp­ta­tions and just stay fo­cused.

“A lot of it is men­tal. You don’t even want to be in­volved with the pub­lic. You just kind of do your own thing be­cause you get frus­trated. You don’t re­al­ize it but you’re re­ally ag­i­tated.” His first meal af­ter com­petit­ing was Bos­ton Pizza. The Brad that stepped on the stage a cou­ple of weeks ago was vastly dif­fer­ent from the one who at­tended school at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts. Back then; he had zero in­ter­est in work­ing out or head­ing to the gym.

His older brother Stephen was con­stantly push­ing Brad to get in­volved.

“He’d al­ways tell me, ‘ Go to the gym, go to the gym,’ but I wouldn’t do it,” said the younger sib­ling.

Even­tu­ally, the bug bit Brad hard. He started work­ing out and years later it’s start­ing to pay off.

The Mr. New­found­land win is as much his at it is Stephen’s.

“He’s mo­ti­vated me this whole time,” said Brad. “Ba­si­cally, he’s my big­gest in­flu­ence. He never did com­pete him­self and it’s al­ways some­thing he wanted to do. He came up on stage with me once I won.

“It’s over­whelm­ing for him and my­self. It ful­filled his dreams as well as mine. It’s crazy how good it felt.”

With the win, Brad has the op­tion to com­pete at the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion for life. Al­though he plans on tak­ing a year off, he’ll rep­re­sent the prov­ince in 2018.

It ful­filled his dreams as well as mine. It’s crazy how good it felt. Brad Jones

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

South River’s Brad Jones was named Mr. New­found­land on Nov. 26.

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