CUMBERLAND HEAD — The family that works out together competes together, in the case of one Cumberland Head family.
On May 4, Scott Rivers, 50, will compete along with his sons, Adam and Corey, 27 and 23, respectively, in a bodybuilding competition in Albany.
Adam is Scott’s big boy, but since Corey’s Air Force tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, he has bulked up with pure muscle.
“I’m so proud of them,” Scott said.
Time waits on no man, and Scott knows his time is limited for continued competition.
When he first started working out, Adam was in a baby carrier at the Plattsburgh YMCA. Scott’s wife, Wendy, is a runner, and their daughter, Brittany Locklin, still keeps fit while pregnant.
A 1981 graduate of Beekmantown Central School, Scott played summer-league ball. After high school, he worked at Clinton Correctional Facility for 26 years. Working out was his stress reliever. He’s been employed the past five years with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and he’s still hitting the Y.
A collector of comic books and a super-hero admirer, the Incredible Hulk is his guy. Watching Lou Ferrigno’s green escapades during the 1970s television show inspired Scott to get lean.
He got serious when he was 32 and Arnold Schwarzenegger hit the big screen. Scott started following bodybuilding on television and wanted to compete.
He purchased books on the sport to find out which routines would enhance his endomorphic physique. When he became confident enough, he entered his first natural bodybuilding show.
“Performance-enhancing drugs is not part of my life,” he said.
A family man, Scott had an example to set.
His first show was in 1994 in Brattleboro, Vt. He placed 12th out of 21 contestants, an affirmation not without risks.
“Subsequently, because of my dedication to weight training, I have injured myself,” Scott said.
He has had a neck fusion and back surgery. Now, he works out smarter and shares his hard-won wisdom with fellow weight trainers and bodybuilders.
In 2009, he competed with his firstborn.
“Adam is taller and larger than I am. I can still get him on a few things,” he said.
For his 50th birthday, Scott wanted to train for a specific show, The Uprising, held at Beekmantown Central School March 23.
“I did very well. I took first place in Men’s Open Middle Weight Division,” he said. “That was surprising going against guys a lot younger than I was. I had a second place in a Men’s Masters Division and a second in Men’s Novice.”
On April 6, in Binghamton, he placed first in the 50-plus division. He placed by default, as he was the only competitor. Show promoters asked him to compete with the 40-somethings, and he took second place.
Definition, symmetry and presentation are the triad of bodybuilding.
Genetically, Scott is not blessed with the legs that his sons seem to have inherited from someone else.
Besides weight training, he cycles and walks. Running would draw definition from his torso to his legs, which are harder for him to reveal.
For his last show, he had a personal-dietitian trainer, his neighbor Larry Roberts, the “Diet Doctor.”
“When I started training, my body fat was 8.2. This last show I just finished, my trainer estimated it was between 2 to 2.5,” Scott said.
He went on a 16-week bland diet of chicken and fish. It was out with the bad carbs — doughnuts, sweets and breads — and in with the good carbs — sweet potatoes, rice and grains.
“Your diet is 75 percent of your training,” Scott said. “Twenty-five percent is at the gym working out. Believe you me the gym is the easy part.”
A pro card is the elusive Holy Grail of bodybuilders, and Scott has yet to win an overall division to secure one.
But maybe it’s in the cards next month when he competes in Albany with his sons.
“This is a once in a lifetime (opportunity) to do something with my boys on the same level,” Scott said.
Email Robin Caudell:email@example.com