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Bigger Ain’t Necessarily Better 

The human body is a marvel. You get two basic models that look very much the same when first delivered; they come in a variety of colors and with no real upgrades. And yet after a few years pass, every body looks different. Just how different depends on what the owner does with his or her body in the intervening years. You can ignore it, and just let it sag and spread like a house with a bad foundation; you can stick it full of synthetics and pump it up like a circus tent; or you can treat it like a work of art, shaping it and working with it till you achieve an aesthetic balance that incorporates a physical and spiritual harmony.

The latter is the course chosen by the participants in the St. Louis Natural Bodybuilding Classic. These are not the needle-marked gym rats with grotesque physiques that appear more like mockeries of the human figure than actual human beings. Natural bodybuilders eschew all steroids, human growth hormones, horse tranquilizers, whatever -- no drugs or chemicals allowed. Instead, they work only with what they were born with, the same standard equipment we all have. Through nutrition and realistic (but tough) workouts, a natural body-builder endeavors to shape his or her body into the best shape that particular body can achieve. This year’s classic has male and female competitors ranging in age from 17 to 66 years; every body’s different, but they’re all looking good. See for yourself today at the Roberts Orpheum Theater (416 North Ninth Street; 314-588-0388 or Preliminaries start at 10 a.m., and the main event is at 6 p.m., when early winners face off via posedown to determine who advances to the nationals this fall. Tickets are $10 to $20 for the preliminaries, $20 to $30 for the main event, and a two-event pass is available for $25 to $40. And keep this in mind while you’re watching: With a little work and discipline on your part, you could be up there at next year’s competition. It’s never too late to rehab your own temple.
Sat., June 16

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