PLATTSBURGH - Jim Tyler wants people to know virtually anyone can get into bodybuilding.
It was more than 20 years ago when Tyler was playing football for the Plattsburgh North Stars that he himself found that out.
"I only weighed about 135 pounds and I was taking a beating," Tyler said with a laugh. "I told myself I needed to gain some weight but I had never lifted weights a day in my life."
He soon began bodybuilding, learning the ropes of sculpting his muscles as he went. He did so well, in fact, his peers suggested he participate in a bodybuilding competition.
"There was such camaraderie backstage and the show itself was so overwhelming, that I just knew I wanted to begin promoting shows myself," said Tyler.
And, he did. In 2002, Tyler began promoting "Battle in the Burgh," a United States Bodybuilding Federation-sanctioned competition that returns this year for its seventh time.
The competition, which has classes for men and women, is something that draws not only participants of both sexes, but of all ages.
"This year, I believe we have a 16-year-old competing and my oldest competitor signed up so far is 63," said Tyler. "And, the 63-year-old isn't doing a show just to see how it feels. This guy is competitive."
The show doesn't just draw people showing off their physique, said Tyler. It also draws a crowd of people fascinated by the sport.
"The turnouts have been rising every year," he said. "I'm expecting that to happen again this year."
This year's show will be held this Saturday, May 29, at Seton Academy on St. Charles Street. Doors will open to spectators and competitors at 8:30 a.m., with the competition to begin at 11 a.m. Judging will last until approximately 2 p.m., with a break in the action until about 4 p.m. The competition will resume around 4:30 p.m. with competitors posing and award winners being named.
General admission is $20 for the entire day or $15 to view either the judging or finals portions of the event. Children younger than 13 will be admitted for $7 for the day.
"And, if a kid's small enough they can sit on your lap, they're admitted for free," said Tyler.
For more information, including how to compete in Saturday's competition, call Tyler at 593-4637 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.