(L-R) Mike Pearson and Leon Erickson training at the Houston Leisure Facility gym on Mar. 2

(L-R) Mike Pearson and Leon Erickson training at the Houston Leisure Facility gym on Mar. 2

Houston body builders

Mike Pearson and Leon Erickson, residents of Houston, have been training since October 2016 to compete in the Kelowna Classic

Mike Pearson and Leon Erickson, residents of Houston, have been training since October 2016 to compete in the Kelowna Classic body building competition occurring on May 6.

Pearson competed last year in Kelowna and having enjoyed the experience, was excited to contend again this year.

“I love the location and it’s a drug tested competition so I know everyone I’m competing against is natural as well,”commented Pearson.

Inspired by Pearson, Erickson dedicated himself to the gym to prepare for his first year competing.

“Mid February 2016 is when I became fully committed to the gym. I got into it because I was over weight almost all my life,and I’ve always wanted to have a body that kind of freaks people out. Massive, bulging muscles, and extremely vascular, like cartoon looking,” laughed Erickson.

Three years ago, Pearson started training at home with dumbbells and a bow flex. Since then he’s be a regular at the gym for two and a half years.

“I was tired of being small and picked on for it so I started working out to build up my confidence and reduce dependence in others,” said Pearson.

Pearson said what he took away most from his first time participating was having the courage to stand on stage and pose in front of a thousand strangers and be judged.

“I learned at lot more about nutrition and how they body works on a biological level to manipulate some foods or water to achieve specific results,” stated Pearson.

For Erickson, the most challenging aspect about training has been focusing each individual muscle as he exercises and condition his mind to push through the pain.

Pearson adds that dieting is the most difficult.

However, both men are excited to gain more experience from this competition and have fond memories to look back on of what they accomplished.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win, but the thing I’m looking forward to most is being on stage with my best friends and enjoying the experience together,” said Pearson.