Father and son both have the same intense look in their eyes, the same drive toward excellence. Both Glenn and Cameron Vogel hold Teenage Mr. America titles.
A few years have gone by between the Vogel men’s titles.
Nineteen-year-old Cameron placed first in his category two weeks ago during the Mr. America competition of the International Natural Bodybuilding Association in Secaucus, N.J. His father, Glenn, now 54, achieved the same title in 1977 while competing in Boston.
“The title Cameron has is my old title,” said Glenn. “It was really tough, but the kid did it.”
“I didn’t think about what I was doing. I just wanted to win,” said Cameron. “I definitely do body building because I enjoy it, and to keep in shape to compete in the shows.”
At 210 pounds, Cameron, an Evergreen High School graduate, competes in the heavyweight division. In the national event, he was judged in three categories: symmetry, muscularity and size. In the open men’s heavyweight category, Cameron placed third.
The competition has nothing to do with strength but rather proportional muscle development, explained Glenn. However, contrary to what many people think, body builders are strong, he said.
Glenn also competed in his size and age group last month, placing second in the Master Men’s Over 50 category and fifth in the light heavyweight category.
“We decided to go together,” said Glenn.
To prepare for the event, Glenn and Cameron began training daily at a gym near their Evergreen home. Thirty years had passed since Glenn had trained for competition.
“It’s about commitment,” said Glenn. “If you’re committed to competing, you’re going to be a product of your own training.”
Glenn and Cameron trained twice daily, working different muscle groups at each session. “I was used to the intensity and pain in the training,” said Glenn, who has endured injuries that have permanently damage his shoulder. While talking about the risk involved in body building, Glenn said he will keep working through pain as long as he can.
However, Cameron is pain-free so far. “I’ve never had any serious injuries in my life,” he said.
“Cameron is genetically at the top of the food chain,” said Glenn. “It’s genetic potential that he really has. Genetics eliminates 96 to 98 percent of the general population for body building.”
Part of the body-building regimen is eating a high-protein diet, Glenn added. Cameron eats up to 10 small protein-packed meals a day to help build muscle tissue.
His workout routine includes using a combination of fitness machines and free weights to build muscle. The leg press and cable machines are his favorites, Cameron said.
While many body builders have been known to use growth-enhancing drugs to increase muscle mass, Cameron said he never has. Glenn said he tried using drugs in the past, but decided not to continue.
There are serious side effects to drug use for body building, including abnormal jaw development and fluid retention, Glenn said.
Cameron, who is now a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines, has to fit his workouts in between his studies and his race-car restoration and building business. Glenn is balancing training with his work life in Denver.
Both father and son are planning to continue competing.
“I’m going to take it on a step-by-step basis,” said Cameron. “Now’s my time to get a lot bigger.”
Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-1042.