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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student bodybuilder juggles work, school

Cory+Hageman
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Cory Hageman

The Battalion news reporter Nikita Redkar sits down with human resources senior and competitive bodybuilder Cory Hageman, who recently won second place overall in a statewide bodybuilding competition.

THE BATTALION: What made you want to begin bodybuilding and pursue it competitively?

HAGEMAN: I have been interested in bodybuilding competitions for a couple years now. I followed girls on Instagram who posted their fitness routines and results and it piqued my motivation to train. The more research I did, I found the idea of these girls training months at a time to get their bodies exactly where they want very appealing. It was their perseverance and healthy approach that motivated me.

THE BATTALION: What are some fitness philosophies you have trained by during your preparations?

HAGEMAN: Success in these competitions is a symbol of commitment, a technique that takes steady dedication and not extremity. I chose to do this competition because I’ve heard of so many girls that start these competitions and they develop eating disorders or starve. It’s a huge oxymoron, because we are supposed to be representing health and fitness and I’ve seen the complete opposite. I started exploring different dieting methods and ultimately went with flexible dieting, a nonrestrictive meal plan. I don’t work out more than two hours at a stretch, whereas some girls are known to be at the gym for six hours straight. By eating healthy and training efficiently, I wanted to prove there’s a way to get fit without going to extremes, without developing an eating disorder, and more importantly, without losing yourself and closing off everyone in your life to diet so hard, for really only a minute or two on stage.

 THE BATTALION: How did you balance being a full-time student while training for such a tough competition?

HAGEMAN: I keep a really tight schedule and stick to it. I usually wake up around 6 a.m., go to the gym, come home and shower quickly before going to class and work. It’s definitely important for me to find the balance between training, school and my job. When I’m in competition mode, I have to add time to practice posing and preparing necessary meals. Sometimes I’ll go back to the gym to refine and polish my routine. It’s definitely hard, but I try to put sufficient energy into everything I do.

 THE BATTALION: What was the actual competition like?

HAGEMAN: It was a smaller, newer show and organized for natural athletes. We had to go through pre-judging and were broken up into divisions. I participated in the bikini division, which focused on poise and presentation. You’re trying to showcase you and your hard work. Stage time involved various poses and assessment of your training and body fat content. More so, it focused on body tone and composition. After judging, they have finals, which is basically an award ceremony.

THE BATTALION: What’s next for you in terms of bodybuilding?

HAGEMAN: The next show I’m doing is the qualifier round, which I will need to get first or second place to make it to nationals. Nationals will put me up against almost 400 girls. Right now, I’m trying to go about one show at a time. After my most recent show, multiple coaches contacted me and offered to sponsor me. They would pay for everything, provide the proper means and basically give me everything I need to step on stage and qualify for nationals.

THE BATTALION: What are some challenges you are facing in preparing for your next competition?

HAGEMAN: A lot of people think there’s no way I can compete off a flexible diet. Competition requires one to be super restrictive and hard working, they say. With that being said, it’s also really taboo for someone my age to be self-coached, which is how I prepared for the first show. But that is my personal style. A lot of prep required me looking at research, scientific case studies and other professional bodybuilders. I was determined to know my body and know it better than any coach could.

 THE BATTALION: Do you have any piece of advice for anyone who is focusing on fitness and achieving his or her best body?

HAGEMAN: I would say to anyone looking to transform their body, be it girls or guys, wanting to gain weight, lose weight or just change composition, just find something that works for you and is sustainable. My philosophy is if you can’t see yourself doing what you’re doing a year from now, you might need to rethink your approach. It’s really common for people everywhere to go on crazy extreme diets and workout regimens when attempting to transform their body. My statement in doing these competitions is to go about dieting and training without really ever rebounding. Find a plan that works for you and that you can be consistent with it. And you will see results.    

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