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Men's overall champion Tomoya Nakadomari, a Japanese civilian on Okinawa, in Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater.

Men's overall champion Tomoya Nakadomari, a Japanese civilian on Okinawa, in Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Men's overall champion Tomoya Nakadomari, a Japanese civilian on Okinawa, in Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater.

Men's overall champion Tomoya Nakadomari, a Japanese civilian on Okinawa, in Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Final men's posedown during Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater. The event attracted 500 spectators and 42 competitors from as far away as Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, along with special guest poser Navy Chief Petty Officer Kevin Sperling, a 2006 Armed Forces champion.

Final men's posedown during Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater. The event attracted 500 spectators and 42 competitors from as far away as Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, along with special guest poser Navy Chief Petty Officer Kevin Sperling, a 2006 Armed Forces champion. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Women's overall champion Nicole Simien of Camp Foster in Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater.

Women's overall champion Nicole Simien of Camp Foster in Sunday's 13th Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster's Butler Theater. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — By day, Kevin Sperling can be found in his Honolulu recruiting office discussing the benefits of serving as a Naval officer.

But in his other guise, as an Armed Forces champion bodybuilder, he also tries to sell spectators and fellow sailors on the idea that they can represent the Navy and compete for bodybuilding honors.

"Being a bodybuilder, you’re visible. It attracts a lot of positive attention (from) motivated individuals who would be great for the Navy," Sperling said.

From Honolulu to Houston the 37-year-old Navy chief petty officer has competed for 10 years, winning the Armed Forces title in 2006.

He became the second active-duty guest poser in as many years at Sunday’s Far East Bodybuilding Competition at Camp Foster.

"There aren’t too many in the military who compete at this level," said Sperling at Sunday’s event, which attracted some 500 spectators and 42 competitors.

Tomoya Nakadomari, a Japanese civilian on Okinawa, captured the men’s overall title, while Nicole Simien of Camp Foster won the women’s overall award.

Balancing a military career and competitive bodybuilding can sometimes find the latter running into obstacles created by service life. It’s a matter of how one handles it, Sperling said.

"It’s challenging, but not impossible," he said. "If there are obstacles, I ask myself what positives I can take from this. It’s a mind game, turning negatives into positives. Maybe it’s a message that I need to take a few days’ break from training."

That training involves at least 10 hours in the weight room per week, increasing to 16 as he prepares for a competition.

"When you dig deep, there’s always a way," Sperling said. "Maybe your work comes first. Your social life may be on hold. You have to prioritize things in life."

That includes diet, which Sperling says for him includes plenty of lean meat, poultry and seafood and "lots of veggies and complex carbs" such as whole grains.

He noted how "The hard part is eating the same thing over and over."

Training for a bodybuilding competition is not much different, Sperling says, from Naval service.

"Consistency and commitment" are cornerstones, he said. "Keep doing what you do, do it for yourself (and) work harder than anybody else. I apply those same things to military life."

Far East Bodybuilding Competition awards

WomenLightweight: Kaoru Adaniya, OkinawaMiddleweight: Nicole Freres, Camp FosterHeavyweight: Nicole Simien, Camp FosterOverall: Nicole Simien, Camp Foster

MenBantamweight: Leo Yozaki, OkinawaLightweight: Naoto Odonchi, OkinawaLight-middleweight: Tomoya Nakadomari, OkinawaMiddleweight: Junpei Akagi, OkinawaLight-heavyweight: Kenneth Walker, KozaHeavyweight: Roosevelt Moody, Kadena Air BaseOverall: Tomoya Nakadomari, Okinawa

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.
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