Juggling work, weights
By Derrick Engoy
Constancio Arnaldo Jr. will have two kinds
of exams in May -- the mental and the physical.
"This is, by far, the hardest thing I've
ever had to do," the Cal State Long Beach student said about preparing
for an amateur body building competition next month. "God has really blessed
While juggling 18 units and 15 hours of
work this semester, Arnaldo has been preparing to do battle in the lightweight
division of the Contra Costa Body Building and Fitness Championship in
Hayward, about 25 miles from San Francisco.
Arnaldo, a senior interdisciplinary studies
major, plans on becoming a history professor but manages to fit physical
training into his schedule.
"I wanted to test myself," he said. "I
just feel that the time is right to pursue this one goal."
Arnaldo's typical day consists of a 30-minute
treadmill run that burns 300 calories, lifting weights, studying Asian-American
history and working.
The most important thing is strict dieting,
eating every two hours and drinking 2.5 to 3 gallons of water every day,
"I've lost a lot of weight and strength,"
he said. "But I'm more lean and I'm more defined. That's what the judges
are looking for."
The prize for winning the contest is a
first-place trophy, but Arnaldo says the ultimate prize is going through
something that tested him physically and mentally and knowing he did not
"Body builders don't get full credit and
respect," he said. "Society has so many negative things to say about body
builders, but it's a lot of discipline and hard work."
Arnaldo gives credit to friend and personal
trainer Bryant "Curl" Pangelinan. "My role is to watch over Junior's training
and nutrition," Pangelinan said. "Even though he lives in Long Beach and
I'm up north, I try to motivate him as much as possible."
Arnaldo also credits his fraternity brothers,
Eric Calima and Robert Rogan.
"Body building is a hobby I picked up,"
Arnaldo said. "But I've always wanted to teach."
Arnaldo's ultimate goal is to be a history
professor. He wants to introduce a more respectable way of teaching because
of bad experiences he has had with teachers.
"I like to teach with metaphors," he said.
Placing a plant on the table, Arnaldo exposes its roots. "What happens
when you cut the roots?" he asks, cutting the plant. "Without its roots,
a plant won't be able to grow. That's why I want to teach history. When
a person doesn't know their roots, they won't be able to grow as a person."
After graduating this semester, Arnaldo
plans to attend UCLA for graduate school.
Though preparing for the contest has changed
Arnaldo's routine, family and friends strongly support him. Arnaldo's girlfriend,
Catherine Ramirez, said it has been hard to adapt to his new lifestyle
but supports him fully.
"At first, I was skeptical if he was really
going to get through it or not," she said. "But seeing him accomplish what
he has, I'm very proud."
"I think it's great," said Clinton Cabero,
Arnaldo's roommate. "Because a lot of people don't realize how hard it
is to compete in a tournament like this."