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2018 JBLM Bodybuilding Championship

Garrison CSM hopes to inspire others through bodybuilding

Northwest Guardian

Published: 12:04PM May 10th, 2018

Courtesy Photo

CSM Kenny Clayborn of JBLM performs a front pose during the National Physique Committee’s Vancouver USA Natural qualifier in Vancouver, Wash., March 31.

If you go

What: 2018 JBLM Bodybuilding Championship

When: August 11

Where: Nelson Recreation Center, Lewis Main

Register by July 27. Fee is $27. For more information, visit or

Command Sergeant Major Kenny Clayborn, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison command sergeant major, is hoping people will give the sport of bodybuilding a try during the 2018 JBLM Bodybuilding Championship set for Aug. 11.

In addition to a competitive outlet, the sport where individuals are judged based on their body composition and fitness could be a new lifestyle for the JBLM community.

“Hopefully we can inspire someone who has never tried it before, or someone who hesitated and actually liked it, to go for it and inspire them for a lifetime of change,” Clayborn said. “It’s about giving someone an opportunity.”

Clayborn, now age 46, joined the Army in 1990. He said he never did much more than the traditional Army physical training regimen, but after a 2003 deployment to Iraq, he got into weightlifting and strength training.

Over time, Clayborn noticed changes in his body composition. He hired a trainer for his wife when he left for Afghanistan in 2012. When he returned, she was in great shape and was interested in the 2013 JBLM Bodybuilding Championship, an event they entered together.

That was the starting point for Clayborn, who has competed in several regional competitions. Most recently, he finished third in the Physique Masters 35-plus category at the National Physique Committee’s Vancouver USA Natural national qualifier in Vancouver, Wash., March 31.

Since that 2013 introduction, Clayborn has practiced good fitness training and nutrition habits, looking at food as fuel and not fun. He said his doctors have told him routinely how impressed they are at his numbers for his age group.

“(Bodybuilding) has increased my ability to stay healthy and to stay physically fit longer than most of my peers, in my opinion,” Clayborn said. “My longevity in the Army has increased because of this.”

Registrations is open until July 27 for service members, retirees, family members and Department of Defense employees.

The entry fee is $25 — which is a small price compared to civilian competitions. For the NPC event in Vancouver, Clayborn said he spent about $800 total between the entry fee, tanning, hotel and other travel costs.

“There are so many local competitions in the area that are more concerned with winning the competitions, getting pro cards and being able to move onto regional and national competitions,” Clayborn said. “What I’m after here on JBLM is to provide an opportunity for the JBLM community that’s cheap and gives them the opportunity to try bodybuilding where they’re not feeling threatened.”

Clayborn said those interested in giving the competition a shot should be fully committed to get the most benefit. Although most aspiring bodybuilders should give themselves allow at least 16 weeks to prepare, interested parties shouldn’t wait for the perfect moment to start, he said.

“You have to start wherever you are and start working toward your goal,” Clayborn said. “Whether your goal is the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Bodybuilding Championship or just to get healthy, there is no perfect time to start.”

Clayborn said anyone who wants to compete should connect with a local trainer who can provide guidance in training and nutrition, because it is very difficult on your own. He’s willing to provide tips to JBLM community members who want to connect with him on Instagram; look for username “kennyclayborn.”

Dean Siemon: 253-477-0235, @deansiemon