Sophomore Michael Bailey won in his division at the Arkansas State Bodybuilding Championships on Aug. 5.
Bailey said he is the first to admit that his win was not a one-day process.
Bailey, who is majoring in nutrition because of his goal to help veterans through nutrition counseling, said that his growing interest in bodybuilding helped him develop a better understanding of how he should view others and how he can help those around him.
Bailey was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and moved to Hot Springs when he was 5 years old, where he
lived with his mother.
He joined the Marine Corps and was on active duty for eight years.
During his service, he was stationed at Quantico, Virginia; Washington D.C.; Twentynine Palms, California; and Norfolk, Virginia.
Bailey spent a year and a half in South Korea and finished his contract in Norfolk on Aug. 10, 2015.
While in the military, Bailey became interested in bodybuilding.
He strived to reach a perfect score on the Marines Corps Physical Fitness Test, which consisted of
completing 20 consecutive pull-ups, 100 crunches in under two minutes and a 3-mile run in under 18 minutes.
He reached his goal but later lost the motivation to stay physically active.
After some time, Bailey refocused his efforts on bodybuilding, training without the help of a coach.
He focused on heavy lifting to build muscle and tied in last at his first bodybuilding competition — the
National Physique Committee’s Max Muscle competition in Virginia.
After this loss, he focused more on dieting instead of heavy lifting, which interested him in nutrition.
He has now competed in four shows and recently won the Arkansas State Bodybuilding Championship in his division .
“It was very gratifying to know that all of my nutritional knowledge and weightlifting experience came together to give me the win,” Bailey said.
Bailey trains for bodybuilding for about two hours four to five times a week. He eats 2750 calories a day to
fuel his progress.
Bailey, who has an 11-year-old son, said he’s learned from helping his child overcome obstacles.
“Being a father is interesting, especially when you see [your kids] struggle with some of the same things you struggled with in the past,” Bailey said. “It’s comical, honestly. No matter who you are, we all have developmental hurdles to overcome.”
In his spare time, Bailey enjoys riding bikes with his son, hiking and singing karaoke at the Revolution Music Room in Little Rock.