Getting fit becomes lifestyle to bodybuilders

For 69-year-old Walt Radke, staying in shape is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. The bodybuilder is sculpted proof that age is only a number.

For 69-year-old Walt Radke, staying in shape is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. The bodybuilder is sculpted proof that age is only a number.

This coming August he will hit his sixth-year mark for training. Radke has competed in more than 25 shows, most recently competing in the 2008 Emerald Cup in Bellevue, placing third in the Masters Men over 60 class. Quite a feat for a man who was a Metro bus driver for 23 years and overweight.

“I couldn’t see my feet and I knew I had to do something to get rid of all the extra weight I was carrying around,” Radke said, who went from having 27 percent body fat to a cut 4 percent.

Radke credits his trainer Nate DeTracy for his success. DeTracy is a personal trainer and one of the owners of Evolution Fitness in Bellevue. Radke referred to DeTracy as a super-trainer who goes above and beyond by taking interest in results not just in training. The sentiment was echoed by the other eight team members from Evolution who recently competed in the 2008 Emerald Cup, one of the largest amateur bodybuilding, fitness and figure contest in the country. Last year, Evolution Fitness took home the first place team trophy.

Of course, bodybuilding’s not just for the boys. Despite only training for the Emerald Cup for 16 weeks, team member and personal trainer Jennifer Blundell-LaBrie quickly transformed her body into peak condition. On March 29, Blundell-LaBrie took part in her first figure competition at the NPC Vancouver USA National Bodybuilding Championship and placed first in her class. Evolution Fitness took the first place team trophy back home to Bellevue.

It wasn’t the grueling 5 a.m. cardio sessions or intense weight lifting that was difficult for Blundell-LaBrie, it was the strict diet. To build muscle and lean down, she ate primarily healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein seven times a day for four months straight. Absolutely no sugar allowed.

“At Vancouver, there were more than 50 girls competing and they asked me to be drug tested,” Blundell-LaBrie explained. “For me that was so flattering.”

Evolution Fitness offers a customized weight loss and muscle strengthening regimen for all fitness levels that incorporates Evolution Foods and Entrees. The pre-made meals and supplementation by Advocare help clients meet their nutrition and fitness goals.

“As a product expansion specialist for Advocare I decided to start competing because I wanted to show how well the product line works,” Blundell-LaBrie said.

Training alongside her was Paul Kalilimoku, who took first in the Lightweight class at the Vancouver USA National Bodybuilding Competition and won second place for Open Men Lightweight at the 2008 Emerald Cup. Prompted by his training partner Jonathan Wood, another Evolution team member, Kalilimoku worked the graveyard shift at Safeway at night and then hit the gym four times a day leading up to the competition.

“Sometimes it’s exhausting, but it’s worth it,” he said. “I’ve set my mind to it and I don’t want to fail.”

Another Emerald Cup winner, Shawn Casey decided to rededicate himself to bodybuilding at the age of 43. An athlete practically his entire life, Casey decided to set his mind into competition mode and it paid off. He took first place for the Middle Weight Open class at the Emerald Cup this year.

Other team members who trained at Evolution used the Emerald Cup as a marker to get fit. Fourteen months prior, at age 42, Ted Parker found himself overweight at 240 pounds and at 30 percent body weight. To stay motivated over the course of his training, Parker set himself a goal. Compete at the 2008 Emerald Cup.

Now at a lean 200 pounds and 6 percent body fat he accomplished what he first set out to do.

At age 58, Peggy Goldman also understands the importance of health. Growing up in a generation where exercise wasn’t promoted for women, Golman decided she wanted to get healthy and live a long life.

“The only proven medicine that works for anti-aging is regular exercise,” she said. “I want to show older women that you can continue to be active and have energy.”

Of course, she added, all the training in the world can’t prepare you for that moment you walk up on stage in a tiny bikini in front of 1,000 people.

“That part makes me a little nervous,” Goldman said.

She brushed her nervousness aside and placed fifth in her class at the 2008 Emerald Cup for Masters Figure over 50.

Rounding off the team were Lynn Fitzhum, placing second in the Masters Figure over 35, Michelle Scott, placing ninth in the Figure Over 5-04 to 5-05, and Twayne Rawls who placed third in Open Men Heavy class.

The 2008 Emerald Cup Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championship and Expo was held at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Lindsay Larin can be reached at or 425-453-4602.