WADS member places 1st at bodybuilding competition

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kimberly D. Burke, Western Air Defense Sector Public Affairs

Age is just a number for a former Western Air Defense Sector Chief Master Sergeant who now works as federal employee with the WADS in military personnel.  Richard Gonzales is showing members of the WADS that at the age of 57, you can still maintain an extremely high level of physical fitness.  Combining a tailored fitness routine with a proper diet allowed Gonzales to achieve his fitness goals by competing in multiple bodybuilding competitions over the last six months.


Gonzales competed in the largest annual premiere bodybuilding two-day event in the Pacific Northwest, the Emerald Cup, in Bellevue in late April.  Over 400 men and women competed in five divisions this year. 


“In the Emerald Cup, my division was the Classic Physique Masters over 50.  I earned the fourth place trophy out of seven competitors in my division,” said Gonzales.


“To come home with a trophy placing at the Emerald Cup is phenomenal.  People from all over North America come to compete with their 'A' game!” said Gonzales.   Since 2014, he had dreams of wanting to compete in the Emerald Cup but he thought that might be too big of a goal he set for himself.  That was until he met Central Pierce County Assistant Fire Chief and former bodybuilder Guy Overby. 


“Guy provided coaching advice, set up my strict meal plan, conducted bi-weekly calipered body composition checks, instructed on posing drills, and my cardio plan leading up to the Emerald Cup,” explained Gonzales.  “The plan had to be followed 100% to be ready by stage time.  He helped me believe that I can make this happen.  And I did!”


The one thing that made Gonzales the most proud and humbled was the fact that one of his competitors in his division felt that Gonzales was going to win first place. 


Competing at this high level of competition took Gonzales 17 weeks to prepare.  “This is probably the most grueling intense thing I have ever put my body through, even with the chronic iliotibial band issue, bad knees, and the fact that I caught a cold three weeks out from the competition.  But I made no excuses and remained careful so I can recover properly,” explained Gonzales.


After his success at the Emerald Cup, Gonzales continued his training and competed in the Washington State Championship for bodybuilding at the Auburn Performing Arts Center Aug. 4.   Over 200 athletes competed in this national qualifier event. 


Gonzales competed in three divisions, the Classic Physique Masters 50 & Older where he placed first, the Classic Physique Open where he placed fourth, and the Men's Physique 50 & Older where he placed first. 


Gonzales future plans include competing in the Emerald Cup in 2019 and possibly venturing into the regular bodybuilding competitions.