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Getting pumped upBydalek and Manuel top the field at Vancouver competition.
"Island residents Roy Manuel and Maureen Bydalek each won Best Overall at Saturday's Vancouver (Wash.) Natural Classic bodybuilding competition, topping a field of 130. They also qualified for two national championships in July.The day began early for Manuel, 29, the Bainbridge Human Performance Center's physiology manager, and Bydalek, 38, a contract personal trainer who normally works with her clients at the HPC.First we have a morning prep time, Manuel said. We pump up, warm up, and oil up. That readies them for pre-judging, a series of quarter turns and mandatory poses which take muscle mass, symmetry, shape, definition and presentation into consideration. Competitors are scored against everyone else in their division. Then they take the afternoon off while awaiting the lengthy evening session.Because contestants don't know the results of the morning judging, there's anxiety and stress while they await the evening routine. But they try to relax because worrying can lead to water retention.You don't want to look puffy, Manuel said. And your veins can flatten out, Bydalek added.Manuel and Bydalek won their respective lightweight divisions that evening, then earned their overall titles in head-to-head competition with the other division winners.Manuel has been in the sport for 15 years and Bydalek for 20, though she's only recently returned to competition following a six-year layoff due to an auto accident.She normally works out three times daily, six days per week. She'll do two cardio sessions - an hour in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon - usually stairmaster, stepmill, stationary bike and rowing. And at some point, an hour of weightlifting. She's also a successful artist, working primarily in oils and sumi ink.Manuel follows a similar regimen, though his twice-daily cardio sessions usually top out at 40 minutes. Not surprisingly, neither carries a lot of body fat.Fat isn't welcome on stage, Manuel says. You want all your veins showing, Bydalek said. Fat cuts down on that.So Manuel's body fat percentage is about four, with Bydalek's around seven.Anything under 10 percent for a woman is remarkable, Manuel said.Both plan on entering next weekend's Emerald Cup in Bellevue, where they expect to encounter even tougher competition than at Vancouver. But Bydalek thinks she's ready.Manuel is looking even further ahead.Someday I'd like to compete in the world championships representing the U.S., he said. I look at bodybuilding as a lifestyle. There's no other feeling like when I'm on stage. The stage is my salvation.I know someone who still competes at the age of 82. I'd like to keep going at least as long as that. It's a lifetime sport and a lifetime love. "