It’s not as easy as lifting weights.
Bodybuilding is a rigorous sport with a strict diet and determination needed to excel.
For Thaaron Kalt, the 2011 Fallon grad, though, has taken the next step in his adult life. He won the novice lightweight division title at the Tahoe Show at Montbleu Resort in South Lake Tahoe about three weeks ago.
“Part of winning … I qualified for the Legacy bodybuilding competition in Santa Barbara over Thanksgiving weekend,” Kalt said. “It is put on by Lou Ferrigno. His son was an announcer at the (Tahoe) show.”
The show is split between a morning and evening session, although spectators are not allowed in the morning show. It is in the morning, Kalt said, where the actual judging is determined.
The evening, meanwhile, is a show where the men and women strike poses to fans, friends and family who have made the journey.
“All the night show is a show for everyone to come and watch,” Kalt said. “You go through all the poses the judges call out.”
Kalt’s odyssey to the world of bodybuilding started several months ago when a friend suggested he take a shot. Already dedicated to working out, Kalt started a more rigorous program designed to bulk up.
His sessions lasted two hours, but he also incorporated a heavy cardio routine plus a strict diet. The cardio aids the posing, which lasts several minutes during judging and again during the primetime show.
“I did cardio for the most part,” Kalt said. “Your posing turned into your cardio the last week.”
His diet started with eggs and oats for breakfast, two chicken breasts, brown rice, potatoes and vegetables for lunch. Dinner culminated with chicken or fish and broccoli or asparagus.
Water, meanwhile, becomes an issue with bodybuilders. Kalt said during the week of the show drastically and finished with about 8-10 ounces two days prior. The goal, he said, is to become as lean as possible.
Not coincidentally, it was the worst part of the experience, Kalt added.
“The nutrition was the toughest part,” he said. “I had a 12-week diet plan. It definetly sucks and you can’t cheat. The last two weeks you are getting about 30 grams of carbs (carbohydrates), which is nothing.”
His water weight, though, was only for two days and after the show, Kalt said, he gained 20 pounds in one day from chugging water and eating full meals.
“The only thing you can criticize about the diet is the dehydration,” he said. “If someone wants to lose weight that’s a great diet for sure.”
Despite the rigorous routines, Kalt said bodybuilding is a hobby, for now. He is currently a junior at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is working toward his degree in accounting with plans to attend law school.
Despite the dietary challenges, Kalt said the experience was worth it.
“It’s a crazy high when you’re up on stage,” he added. “I have my goals on a date, but I am keeping that close. It was about setting goals and reaching those goals. If I could do this, I can do anything.”