For Staff Sgt. William Long, a 452nd Security Forces Squadron installation patrolman, his passion for working out started in college as a way to get into better shape and look good for the girls.
“I worked out in high school, but I really started weight training at West Virginia University,” said Long. “I had no clue what I was doing. Some guys from the football and wrestling team saw me working out and pointed out some exercises I was doing incorrectly, and I became addicted to it.”
After noticing improvements in his physique, he decided to become a personal trainer. He has always enjoyed helping people reach their goals and it just made sense.
“I like seeing people achieve their results,” said Long. “It gives me satisfaction watching my clients reach their fitness goals.”
After working as a personal trainer, many of his clients started suggesting that he enter into bodybuilding competitions.
“I have always liked bodybuilding; I’m a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Arnold Festival,” Long said. “But I never considered entering competitions until people suggested that I do it.”
After training for more than 16 weeks in 2010, he entered his first competition and won 1st place. He then turned professional in 2012.
“When I stepped on stage, it was natural,” said Long. “It was the most comfortable feeling I’ve ever had.”
Now more than seven years later, he has entered over 20 competitions and won at least 10 of them. But it hasn’t always been easy for him. He began to notice that some competitors were cheating and using performance-enhancing drugs. Now he only competes in events sponsored by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association.
“I am a natural competitor and now I only compete in World Anti-Doping Agency tested events,” said Long. “It’s the same people that drug test Olympians. At every competition there is a urinalysis and some even do a same-day polygraph test and/or a blood draw.”
In 2016, he won the American Bodybuilding Association Team USA Professional Men’s Physique Open competition. He then went on to place second in the Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association Mr. Natural Olympia XIX competition competing against bodybuilders from all over the world.
“I’m looking forward to 2017, it should be a big year for me,” said Long. “I began judging competitions recently and I hope to be a head judge soon. I also am in the early stages of planning, hosting, and judging my own show.”