Q&A: Kevin Whaley, Bodybuilder and Promoter

Bodybuilder Kevin Whaley is one of the promoters for the Tennessee Natural Classic 2012 at Farragut High School on June 16. The competition will feature teen through masters categories.

Will you compete?

No, not at this show. The people competing will be amateurs; it's not a pro qualifier yet, but we're hoping it will be in the not-too-distant future. This is the first show, and in order for it to become a pro qualifier we have to hold two consecutive shows with 60-plus competitors. You've got to start somewhere.

What does "natural" bodybuilding mean?

That you are competing with and preparing your body without using growth hormones, anabolic steroids, or other performance-enhancing drugs. What you oftentimes find in this sport are men and women who are preparing themselves for competition in a natural way, generally rooted in nutrition and with supplements that are sold across the counter at GNC or a health shop. They favor things that support the natural function of your body versus those that stimulate your body and take it to a level in ways that it can't naturally achieve.

When did you start natural bodybuilding?

I've always been natural, but I've only been a bodybuilder since 2009.

How old were you then?

I am 48 now, so 45? And then I attained my pro card last July in Homewood, Ala. But I didn't start out of nowhere. I've been athletic all my life. I'm from Knoxville, and grew up here, played high-school athletics at Austin-East and played football at Alabama A&M.

Do you support yourself with another job?

Oh, absolutely. I am a software engineer/IT consultant

Anything natural you particularly rely on?

The things I take are vitamin C, garlic, fish oil, multivitamins and multiminerals.

What will the show involve?

The way bodybuilding programs work, there are two segments of the show. In the morning, they bring out each class and take them through the mandatory poses. Anyone in a grouping will pose side by side, and then turn around for the audience, so you can see how they compare to each other.

What about the evening portion?

For that, each competitor comes out one by one and performs a 60-second routine to music. Then we bring everyone back and present the awards.

What kind of music?

It can be anything you want as long as there's no profanity. Whatever your heart desires—and whatever will help you transition into different poses as the music is playing. It runs the gamut: country, rap, R&B, ballads.

How do you know the competitors are natural?

Each one is subject to a polygraph before they can get on stage. The winners are subjected to urinalysis. That's not to say it's 100 percent foolproof, but it's pretty darn close.

For more information about the event and the associated free clinic for all levels at D1 Training Facility on Saturday, June 9, visit tnclassic.net or call Whaley at (865) 805-1644.