Five years ago, Paul Toney went to the Natural Bodybuilding Show in Bowling Green, Ky., as an observer. Fast forward five years and he competed in the event and won in all three of his divisions. He made such an impression that he is now on their promotional poster for an event in Lexington.
Paul Toney summed up his commitment to competing as a bodybuilder. “I am self-centered. It was one and done for me. My main reason for doing it was to show my kids you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Toney is the classic overachiever who rapidly accomplished one goal and went to the next. He first went to school to be an EMT, and then he went to the Police Academy -- the real thing, not the movie.
Next, he trained to be a firefighter and could not get hired. In 1991, he went to school to become a registered nurse. After that, Toney went to school to become a chiropractor, and the rest is history.
After practicing as a chiropractor in McMinnville for many years, the goal-setting bug hit him again. At 51, Paul Toney decided to become a natural bodybuilder. He prepped for 40 days, and trained from July 5 to Sept. 6. He competed in the Natural Body Building Show in September and won first place in the Novice, Masters, and Open Bodybuilding Lightweight divisions.
Toney’s interest in lifting weights and getting stronger started when he was in sixth or seventh grade. He gave up snacks for Lent, and he started lifting weights on a bench his father had built. His parents had divorced, and Paul wanted to get his dad’s respect.
One thing Paul discovered as he started lifting as a teen was that his peers started respecting him for his physical strength. The respect of others led to self-respect that Toney said he was lacking as a kid growing up in a divorced family in Pittsburgh.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“I completely understand that most people won’t get this! They will think I’m crazy, I’m nutz, I’m too thin, I need to eat, why am I doing this?, etc, etc. Entering a bodybuilding contest was always a bucket list of mine … although it took me until I was 51 … bucket list check. I was able to do this because I have an awesome wife that loves and supports me no matter what I do. I have awesome kids and they are the reason I do what I do … trying to be a good example!”
PAUL TONEY’S TRAINING
The Regimen = 84 Days
1,418 sets of exercise
12,000 steps up and down with fire gear on
2.5-mile run with fire gear on
6 miles running
9 days off (or posing only)
7 cheat meals
164 pounds to 148 pounds
3.6% body fat