Students find their ‘swolemates’ at the first bodybuilding tournament


Brandon Chin


Barbells are not the greatest weights to be lifted. To have the courage to walk on stage, wearing more oil than clothes, is a task that is far more daunting to overcome.

MVHS hosted its first bodybuilding tournament in the auditorium on April 11. The event brought Matadors onstage to be judged for the three titles of Best Upper Body, Best Lower Body and Best Technique. Though the tournament did not see as many ticket sales as expected, being that the auditorium was half full, the sheer amount of enthusiasm and encouragement was enough to echo into the rooms backstage.

In preparation for a demonstration of mental and physical strength, the 15 contestants horsed around confidently. There, In the seclusion of the dressing room, contestants performed barbell reps, cracked jokes, oiled themselves and threw around a prop piece of lettuce.

Nobody in the room was overly nervous. The event represented years of working out and days of preparation. It was a chance to shock their friends, to demonstrate courage and to celebrate the upcoming end of the year.

“This is something that I didn’t see myself doing,” senior Abhishek Hotti said. “As I became more confident in myself, the decision [to participate] shaped itself too.”


The show consisted of five divisions — Sophomore, Light Weight, Medium Weight, Heavy Weight and Women — with a total of 12 male and three female contestants. Each division was introduced to the judges which composed of three staff members, Paraeducator Clay Stiver, Science teacher Kyle Jones and English teacher Jessica Kaufman, and the final judge MVHS alumna Karen Yagi.

The contest began with group poses with instructions from host PE teacher Jeffrey Thomas and the attention of their friends and family. Individual rounds subsequently began with an emphasis on creativity as well as physique. Custom soundtracks and routines were met with the uproarious applause and served as an engaging way to break up the otherwise monotony of the group routines. With performances that ranged from explosive to corny, the first bodybuilding tournament was a dynamic new demonstration of MVHS culture.