Bright future!

SEGUIN TWP. – It’s the quintessential, you can do anything you put your mind to.

As a self-proclaimed “tubby little kid” Brayden Emerson was determined to transform his body and that earned the teen two top five finishes in two bodybuilding competitions this summer.

The 17-year-old placed fourth in Men’s Physique Teenage in the 2016 GNC ALLMAX Barrie Natural Championships on July 23 and in the GNC ALLMAX Natural Ontario Championships in London, Ontario, this past weekend.

Brayden now qualifies for the nationals, held in British Columbia next summer, but says he’s not sure if he’ll attend.

“That’s a possibility, but first I want to hit more regionals and get more stage experience,” he said.

However, Brayden said he definitely plans to stick with the regime he started for himself two years ago.

“I’d work out every once in a while when I first started high school and then I ended up really liking it and seeing results,” Brayden said Monday afternoon. “So I started experimenting with different bulks and different cuts and manipulating my body from time to time. I ended up finishing up my bulk this year and starting my cut and got about four weeks in and I thought, hey, ‘I’m just trying and doing a show this year.’ ”

A bulk, Brayden explained, is putting on as much size as possible, while a cut is reducing as much fat as possible while retaining muscle.

“For a lot of athletes and competitors they usually have an eight to 12 or a 16-week contest preparation period. For my first show I was going to do a 12-week, but I shortened it down to eight (weeks) and then I just hit it as hard as possible,” he said.

At his home gym inside his family’s garage, Brayden worked out six days a week and ate a restricted calorie diet that he perfected to his own body’s needs through research and trial and error.

“A lot of it was just a shot in the dark, trial by fire, that’s how it worked out for me somehow. I’ve been following bodybuilders on social media and YouTube and seeing how they would do things, but everybody had their own different ways. So I would pick and choose and figured out what worked best for me,” he said. “I could physically see fat shred off by the week. I was just feeling leaner and better and better. So I decided I would just do it. I worked on my posing for a few weeks…my goal was to lose as much fat as possible before the show, but keep as much muscle as possible.”

Right now, Brayden said he’s working on his bulking, and hasn’t decided if he’ll enter the next set of regionals in September and October.

“I definitely see this as something I’ll want to continue to do, for sure. I loved every second of it. Stepping on stage and everything you’ve worked for for the last eight to 10 weeks just finally be there and be accomplished is such a fulfilling feeling,” he said.

“I was a tubby little kid and looking back on it I just turned myself around and it’s a really good feeling – a lot of hard work, dedication and sweat.”