Two of Kevin Nguyen’s biggest passions are science and fitness.
After moving to California to further pursue both, the 2013 Port Huron Northern graduate has also found a way to mix them through body building.
“I’m into fitness kind of to the point of being an extremist,” Nguyen said. “I was really big into health and fitness even when I was in Michigan, but I felt (California) was a perfect place to discover myself and try different things. I got into body building when I met a couple guys who competed at the gym. From that, I really got to learn the science behind it. I’m really a science guy, and I enjoy more of the science part than the physical part.”
Nguyen, who was a standout wrestler for the Huskies, attended Central Michigan University after graduation but is attending community college in California with plans to transfer to UCLA for the 2016-17 school year. He also hopes to attend medical school at UCLA.
He said he’s been inspired by his former wrestling coach Ken Meinhardt to help people.
“It’s a lot of schooling, but I think it’s going to be really rewarding as far as being able to discover something and apply it clinically,” he said. “Coach Meinhardt definitely contributed to that mindset as far as being self-disciplined on what you eat, but also treating a sickness or an illness with a holistic approach rather than a pill or a quick fix. That’s how, as a doctor, I want to help people. To treat the problems, not the sickness.
“The best way to fight an illness is to prevent it.”
When not in school, Nguyen has dedicated himself to body building, and dedication is definitely the right word.
“Wrestling really helped me, because mentally it was really tough,” Nguyen said. “I had to eat super, super clean. I ate asparagus and tilapia six meals a day every day. I went from 194 (pounds) to 140 in a matter of three months. I was mentally prepared for it because of wrestling.”
Nguyen has competed in two body building competitions — one a team competition and the other an individual. He finished in the top five of the individual competition.
“The men’s show it was me against a bunch of 30-year-olds, and I played top five out of like 20 men,” he said. “It was crazy. They just out-did me by mass. I can’t compete with their muscle maturity. Basically, they judge you by appearance, muscle symmetry, stage presence, how smooth you transition from pose to pose.
“It’s basically like a modeling thing. I did it because I like to work out, but it’s more fun to have a goal at the gym.”
Nguyen said that body building required a lifestyle change, especially in terms of his diet. But when it comes to days of competitions, he’s able to gorge on junk food like a kid the day after Halloween. In fact, it’s encouraged.
“The best part is carb loading right before you go on the stage,” he said. “In my last show, I ate a huge carrot cake and was doing curls. Right before you step on the stage, what I did was grabbed a handful of Sour Patch Kids, you eat that then when you pump up, you look all veiny.”