2012-06-06 / Sports

McClary masters the competition

Ledger Sports Editor

Clint McClary is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds of solid muscle - and he has some new hardware to prove it.

McClary, 58, won the 2012 South Carolina State Bodybuilding Championship Men’s Masters Over 50 class Saturday in Columbia.

The well-liked McClary said the outcome was unexpected.

“I never did think I would win the competition. I’m tall at 6-2, slender and not genetically blessed. So, it was hard for me to conceive I would win it. Going into the competition, I always wanted to make sure my definition was on point because size isn’t my strong point.”

To finally reach his goal, McClary had to beat a competitor who had beaten him seven straight times and whom McClary calls a friend.

“It was fulfilling to finally place ahead of him and actually win the state championship,” McClary said.

As a former basketball player and coach, McClary always kept his body in shape. He was an avid long-distance runner, competing in six marathons before he began weight training at age 53.

A late bloomer to the sport of bodybuilding, he didn’t consider competing until he met Gaffney’s Eric Jones, a past Mr. South Carolina winner.

“My ultimate goal was to win the (Mr. South Carolina Masters over 50), so I asked Eric to help me,” McClary said. “If it wasn’t for Eric, this won’t have happened.”

Last year, McClary won the Carolina Supernatural over 50 in Spartanburg and placed fourth at the state bodybuilding championship men’s masters over 50 division.

Feeling ever more confident on stage, McClary was looking forward to this year’s event.

“I felt good about my conditioning when I went on stage last year at the state,” he said. “I finished fourth so I knew I was in great condition for the next year.”

McClary’s added some bulk last fall and his bodyweight increased to 226 pounds before he began training for this year’s competition in January.

His bodyweight dropped to 199 pounds, but he said he didn’t look any leaner.

“My body still looked the way it did when I weighed 226 pounds.”

Although it sounds like a paradox, he said he wasn’t eating enough. So, he doubled his daily intake of calories, increased his daily grams of protein from 200 to a whopping 400 and consumed more complex carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes and red-skin potatoes. The added calories sped up his metabolism and chiseled his physique.

He also increased the intensity of his daily workouts, resting less between sets and incorporating more supersets. He continued his daily cardio routing.

McClary, retired for five years, wants to encourage others to pursue the sport of bodybuilding.

“I encourage other people to get into the sport. It is a very healthy lifestyle as far as training and dieting,” he said. “I try to share my knowledge about the sport.”

McClary plans to take a couple of weeks off before resuming his workouts in preparation for his next goal of winning the Masters National 60 and over class.

He also plans to accompany Jones, who will compete in the Masters National event in Pittsburgh in July.

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