NUTLEY, NJ- The results from months of strict dieting and intense iron pumping in the weight room will be on display as bodybuilding’s best physiques and local beach bodies take center stage this weekend in Nutley.
Extreme Gym and International Natural Bodybuilding Association host the annual East Coast Classic drug-free event this Saturday, July 7, at John H. Walker Middle School, 325 Franklin Avenue, Nutley. Prejudging begins at 11 am, with the finals to follow at 4 pm.
The event is promoted by Marc Tauriello, a lifelong Nutley resident and NHS graduate. He is owner of Extreme Gym on Franklin Avenue and is a master personal trainer and licensed sports nutritionist with several clients participating in Saturday’s event.
“This show has been an all-natural event since 2013 when I took over promoting,” said Tauriello. “I've been lucky enough to work with dozens of professional and amateur athletes, and this is a great way to showcase the hard work of natural competitors and a way to give back to the sport of bodybuilding.”
Tauriello’s business partner, Jenna Bidoglio, is a Bloomfield resident and athletic trainer at Belleville High School. She holds numerous titles as a professional figure competitor, including a top place finish at the world’s largest natural bodybuilding event, the Natural Olympia.
Bidoglio is coordinating this event with Tauriello but will not be competing, as she is currently prepping for the upcoming 2018 Natural Olympia.
The INBA was established over 30 years ago and provides an even playing field for natural athletes by testing according to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standards.
“We hold all our athletes to the highest drug-testing standards -- the exact same standards as the Olympics,” Tauriello added. “Athletes participating in this year’s East Coast Classic are competing to earn their pro cards with the International and Professional Natural Bodybuilding Associations.
Individuals from across the East Coast, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, and as far away as London, England, will be competing this Saturday. Bloomfield resident Vincent Grut returns to the stage in several divisions in his quest to turn professional.
Professional qualification will be awarded to first-place individuals in the overall open and masters divisions. Every age group and division are represented, including physique, figure, fitness, bikini, bodybuilding, sports model, bathing suit, and junior masters.
One of Tauriello’s newest clients and competitors, Omar Sultan, is a recent graduate of Union High School and aspires to become a model, actor or spokesperson.
“After seeking advice from Marc on how to get a better physique, I was impressed with his recommendations and he invited me to participate in the East Coast Classic to sculpt my physique and to get better exposure in the media limelight,” said Sultan.
Tauriello then became Sultan’s personal trainer. After seven weeks of rigorous training and a strict nutrition plan, they feel the results are astounding as the body transformation will be revealed to everyone in attendance on Saturday.
“I’ll be competing in my first competition, the novice division, and I am excited,” added Sultan. “I’ve devoted all my time to train and have been doing photo shoots to build my portfolio. I have a passion for the fitness world and am seriously considering continuing at future bodybuilding events.”
It’s difficult to comprehend the type of dedication needed leading up to appearing on stage. According to industry expert Michael Carrubba, CEO and Founder of Clinical Sports Labs based in New York City, bodybuilding is the most unique sport.
“In order to compete professionally, you need to become 100% dedicated to training and diet for at least 12 weeks,” proclaimed Carrubba. “There is no room for a cheat meal and no room for a missed workout. It’s three to four months of all about you.”
It’s mind over matter in this unique sport. Total focus is required. Carrubba would know, as his company sponsors athletes nationwide.
“You don’t hit a baseball or throw a football -- it’s you and your body,” Carrubba said. “That’s why every training session, every meal, your mindset, your sleep, your tan and your haircut all matters. It’s your body being judged against someone else and you had better have done the preparation.”
Personal trainers in attendance will be recognized and are eligible to win prizes if they have five or more athletes participating in the competition. All athletes competing in the East Coast Classic can qualify to compete on the national stage at a Team USA Event on September 28 and 29 in Las Vegas, NV.
In bodybuilding, there is a huge difference between a pretender and a contender in order to qualify for professional qualification and national competitions.
“It’s those extra two repetitions during a workout, it’s that extra set of sit-ups and it’s saying no to sugar in your coffee,” Carrubba stressed. “It’s what you do when no one is looking that determines a champion.”
For information regarding participation or purchasing tickets, call 973-320-2558, or visit NaturalBodyBuilding.com. Tickets will also be available at the door, with children ages 12 and under admitted free.
In the fall, Extreme Gym and USNBB host the Natural Bodybuilding Eastern USA Pro/Am on Saturday, September 8, at Caldwell University in Caldwell.