From left, Kevin Harmon, Eve Harmon, Ciara Harmon and Jennifer Wiygul competed in the NPC Total Body Championships in Tupelo on Aug. 17. All four left the event carrying trophies. Kevin Harmon's performance even earned the top prize of the night -- Bodybuilding Overall. 

Kevin Harmon’s days begin at 3 a.m. with an hour-long workout. It’s the first of three for the Fulton resident.

The effort’s proved worthwhile. The bodybuilder clinched the Bodybuilding Overall title at the NPC Total Body Championships in Tupelo in mid August, earning a trip to the North American Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Aug. 28-31.

Harmon finished second in Masters over 40, fourth in Masters over 25 and 10th overall in the welterweight class at the national competition.

“I get a little closer to winning every time I go, so it’s just a matter of time, and it will happen,” Harmon said of the competition. “I always expect it to be an experience that will make me come home and make the corrections I need to make and train even harder for the next time.”

Working out is only a small portion of Harmon’s – or anyone who competes in these kinds of competitions – regime. He follows a strict diet to keep carbs and fats within a narrow range.

In addition to the overall title, Harmon also won the middle-weight division title, as well as Masters Over 40 class

The contest represented a day of firsts and lasts for the Harmon family, who own and operate Powerzone Gym in Fulton. After 15 years, it was the last time for Harmon’s wife, Eve Harmon, to compete in the Figure category. For Eve Harmon’s student, Jennifer Wiygul, it was her first competition.

It was a solid final showing for Harmon, who picked up multiple trophies for her swan song performance. She finished third in the Masters class, fourth in Novice and sixth in Class A. In Bikini, where she will concentrate her focus in the future, she finished second in Masters 35, plus and second in Masters 40-plus.

The competition also capped off a phenomenal transformation for Wiygul, who trains under Eve Harmon. When she began training with Harmon, Wiygul weighed 225 pounds. On the 17th, she brought home three trophies with third place finishes in Bikini Class C and Bikini Novice Class B. She added a fourth place finish in Bikini True Novice.

Competing in her second show was Ciara Harmon. She won the Bikini Class A division and won second in the Bikini Collegiate division while finishing fourth in Bikini Novice Class A.

The competition capped off a month of preparation that can best be described as intense. The strict diets and workouts competitors follow gets even tougher as they finish preparing for the event.

Kevin Harmon tried to explain what drives someone to endure the rigors required to train as a professional body builder. To Harmon, it’s about testing the limits of his own body.

“It’s like art using your body,” he said. “We try to get the best sculpture we possible can show and when we do it is an incredible feeling and it keeps our body in good shape.”

Harmon has taken what he learned in Pennsylvania and is already working to get back to the North Americans next year for another chance at earning his Pro card.


Twitter: @abbyloden

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