mean muscle machine
loses weight, finds success at bodybuilding event.
|Lukas Duncan weighed more
than 280 pounds when he played football for Hickman, but he recently dropped
to less than 200 to compete in his first bodybuilding competition. Duncan
finished third in his weight class in the Mr. Missouri event.
Duncan can’t quite put his muscular finger on what it is about bodybuilding
that interests him.
"I don’t know … ," he said, pondering the question
for a few more seconds. "Just being big, it’s cool."
that’s true, consider Duncan one of the coolest cats in Columbia.
|Although a self-proclaimed
workout freak, Duncan hits the gym for just an hour a day before letting
his “muscles recover.”
The 2008 Hickman graduate competed in his first
bodybuilding competition on July 19 and placed third among 12 entrants
at the National Physique Committee Missouri State Bodybuilding Championships
held at the Oasis Convention Center in Springfield. Duncan, who is just
shy of his 19th birthday, was the youngest competitor in the light-heavyweight
field and won the teenage division.
"I was pretty happy with the way I looked," Duncan
said. "My goal was to get top two, because then you get nationally qualified
for other shows, but I think I looked all right."
Competing at 198 pounds, Duncan looked amazing
for a guy that just eight months ago was tipping the scales at 282.
In December, Duncan was bigger than big.
A self-proclaimed workout freak who has been lifting
weights six days a week since he was 14, Duncan entered his senior year
at around 240 pounds. Expected to start on the offensive line and at linebacker
for the football team, he was preparing for a successful season.
In the first game of the year, however, he severely
sprained his ankle.
"Once I got hurt," Duncan said, "I was like, ‘Screw
it.’ I’ll just go crazy with food."
The feeding frenzy added to his wild weight-lifting
routine, which involved lifting with the football team in the mornings
and then doing a body-building workout after practice, Duncan added 40
pounds to his already thick 5-foot-9 frame.
Once the football season was over, though, Duncan
directed his efforts into preparing for his first bodybuilding competition.
Eying the Mr. Missouri championship as his first foray into bodybuilding,
he started to watch and weigh what he ate.
"I started to diet because I was planning on doing
this show," Duncan said, referring to the July 19 event. "I started eating
clean and basically split my diet into eight meals throughout the day.
Chicken, broccoli, rice and oatmeal. That’s it. Every day."
It was a surprisingly easy adjustment, considering
he initially only liked half of the food he was putting in his mouth.
"I like chicken and I learned to like broccoli
and oatmeal," he said. "Now I like the taste."
Duncan dropped about 15 pounds the first week
of his diet and another two to four pounds every week after that. But while
he continued to drop weight, he didn’t lose much of his impressive mass.
Duncan said most of his excess weight came from his gut and legs. Now there’s
hardly a speck of fat on his muscle-bound body.
"I was big when I was 280, but I had no cuts and
no definition or lines," Duncan said. "I’m pretty much the same size, but
it’s just muscle and a lot less body fat. That’s what you want."
Much like his muscles, Duncan’s knowledge of bodybuilding
is self-made. He has no personal trainer - his 21-year-old sister, Melanie,
is currently training with him - and he picked up most of knowledge about
the sport from the Internet or magazines.
One thing he picked up early on was that less
is more in bodybuilding.
"People think you have to be in the gym for like
4-5 hours a day," Duncan said. "No. You just hit it hard for an hour and
let your muscles recover."
Duncan focuses on a different body part every
day of his weekly regimen that runs from Monday through Saturday, breaking
it down into chest, quadriceps, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and back. On
Sunday he rests, and occasionally breaks away from his diet during one
of his eight meals.
"I had ice cream Sunday" after the competition
"and a steak and a lot of candy bars," he said, with a grin. "It was just
Besides, Duncan has plenty of time to work off
that tasty meal as he prepares for his next event. He said he plans to
bulk up to around 215 pounds and compete as a heavyweight the next time
he hits the stage.
Remember, in Duncan’s muscular mind, it’s all
about being big.
"The thing about it is you keep progressing,"
Duncan said. "You can never be big enough or look good enough. Like with
football or basketball or baseball, once you’re really good, you’re really
good, you know? With bodybuilding you can always keep getting bigger."
Reach Rus Baer at (573) 815-1787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.