Gotta work for it! Nothing is free!

The May 14 event is an aesthetic physique competition, which will produce seven new champions, one per class division: bodybuilding, women’s physique, bikini, fitness, figure, classic physique and men’s physique.
Judges evaluate competitors with two different rounds to the competition. During the first round the judges are looking for competitors with the best aesthetic body, which then get passed to the second and final round. During the final round, judges announce the winner. The competitor with the best proportioned body and the most muscle definition in every muscle group of the body is crowned the Contra Costa Champion.
Ramzy Eldabbagh, 27, says getting an early morning start puts him closer to becoming the 2016 Contra Costa Bodybuilding Champion. Eldabbagh begins every day before the sun comes up — 4 a.m. As he rolls out of bed, his body is aching from the previous night’s training session, but he’s focused on just one thing: his first meal of the day, which will include a spectrum of vitamins from fish oils to amino acids.
After his morning cardio — 40 minutes of interval training on the treadmill — Eldabbagh gets ready for work and jumps on BART. At 7 a.m. it’s time to eat again. Throughout the day Eldabbagh will consume six meals in order to to keep his metabolism running as quick as possible.
“Food becomes energy and fuel, it’s not about the pleasure of the taste when prepping,” said Eldabbagh. Fighting food temptation, consuming specific meals at the assigned times, early mornings at the gym, a gallon of water every day and a lot of dedication is the key to his goal to be crowned champion.
Eldabbagh has been physically active since he was nine years old. He played football during high school and college. He became a professional boxer at 21 and by 24 he was training his body to have a bodybuilder aesthetic. At 25, he placed in the top five in 2014 bodybuilding in Contra Costa and Sacramento competitions.
If he wins this year’s competition, it will help his fitness consulting business get name recognition and will boost his career as a personal trainer.
Eldabbagh trains twice a day with training partner Josiah Quintana, who runs him through 40 minutes of cardio every morning and two hours of weight training every evening after work. His evening workouts consist of training different muscle groups followed by 40 minutes of cardio. To finish it up, he sits in the sauna for 10 minutes.
During the competition there are a high number of sponsors and agents on site ready to sign competitors. The competition requires a $90 registration fee per competitor or a $100 National Physique Committee card that allows a competitor to compete throughout out the year at multiple shows.

My heart started pounding like crazy! ”

Guests need to pay a $30 entry fee for the pre-judging morning show which starts at 10 a.m. and last approximately until 3 p.m. If a competitor makes it to the finals they need to return for the final competition which starts at 6 p.m. and can last until 11 p.m. Another $35 entry fee is charged for the final competition, which is more lively and is when the winners are announced.
“My career as a personal trainer has definitely gotten better,” said Juliano Quimson, former 2015 Contra Costa men’s physique champion. He gained both sponsors and clients after the 2015 event that now help him with competition expenses, registration fees, flights and even food.
“When they announced my name as the winner, I was shocked and I couldn’t believe it,” said Quimson. “My heart started pounding like crazy! It was one of the happiest moments of my life.”
Opportunities like the ones given to Quimson drive Eldabbagh to be named the new Contra Costa Champion. Quimson trains to compete in the men’s physique division while Eldabbagh will compete in the bodybuilding division. Both bodybuilders will compete and are determined to take the 2016 Contra Costa title at the championships in Hayward on May 14.