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Cape High to host bodybuilding and figure competition; Local man participating

By Staff | Sep 2, 2008

Cape Coral High School will host the Calvin Choy’s 2008 NPC Royal Palm Classic Bodybuilding & Figure Championships on Saturday.

One of the contestants, Chris Picarelli, said he has had a gym membership for most of his life.

He will join other bodybuilders, including four local trainers, in the competition starting with pre-judging at 10 a.m. and concluding with finals at 7 p.m.

“I’ve been doing it all my life. I’ve always had a gym membership,” he said.

Picarelli was in the automotive industry but decided to move to Florida and begin working full-time as a physical trainer. Currently he works at Ada’s Natural & Organic Food Supermarket in Cape Coral, which unlike the Fort Myers location features a gym connected to the health food supermarket.

“That store is slightly bigger with a gym and aerobics,” said Picarelli.

Within the gym he has the reputation of being the personal trainer who is willing to take the more difficult clients such as the physically handicapped or morbidly obese.

“It’s not what I specialize in but I have a soft spot for that, that’s how I got into training,” he said.

When Picarelli’s son turned 11 he was diagnosed with a disease named Charcot-Marie-Tooth or CMT, a progressive nerve disorder similar to multiple sclerosis.

“The only treatment is to keep as physically fit as possible so I started to train him when he was 11,” said Picarelli.

His son, now 33, became a trainer himself and is now a chiropractor in Arizona.

On Saturday the bodybuilding championships will showcase muscularity and flexibility in a series of poses, he explained. It has divisions for men, women and teenagers.

Also, a number of professional bodybuilders will make an appearance including IFBB professional Darrem Charles and his son, Renel, as well as local national level competitor Lloyd Dollar.

In preparation for competitions Picarelli said he trains in the gym for two hours a day, six days a week, and he adheres to a strict diet with no fats and very little carbohydrates. His training includes weight lifting, cardiovascular exercises and posing practice.

Tickets for the event are $35 for VIP seating and $25 for general seating. Sponsors include Nutrishop Superstores, World Gym Fitness Centers and Max Muscle.

For more information, tickets or entry forms, contact Calvin Choy at 699-4416.