Bigger, Faster, Stronger: The 2014 Strength and Fitness expo was held at the UCCU Center June 21

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Garrett Coleman, Sports Reporter, @legendgary62

First published in print June 30, 2014

Utah Valley is notorious for many things, with dietary supplements and plastic surgery high on that list. Holding a fitness expo crowned with a bodybuilding competition would only make sense at the UCCU Center.

The National Physique Committee, or NPC Utah, held the first-of-its-kind fitness expo here on June 21. The fitness expo, which lasted all day, was for all ages and all body sizes that showcased athletes from bodybuilding, crossfit, strongman and powerlifting competitions.

“My friend Van and I have wanted to do something like this for a couple years now,” explained Steve Schmall owner and operator of NPC Utah. “It was the first time we have had all four events together and it went really well. It should be a great event for years to come. Across the country they have events like this and you have to wait for people to leave before you can get in, that’s what we want down the line.”

Not only was this expo great for competitors to showcase themselves, but each aspiring bodybuilder, powerlifter, crossfitter or strongman that didn’t compete could receive some knowledge. Many fitness and supplement companies were on hand to teach the masses of each supplement’s benefit and giveaway samples to the next generation of athletes.

With competition and giveaways throughout the day, the climax of the expo began in the evening with the men’s and women’s bodybuilding championships, but really something special happened when guest poser Johnnie Jackson electrified the stage to showcase his sculpted body.

Nothing can be taken away from the hard work and dedication that the participants in the competition have shown, but Jackson was magnificent. His larger-than-life presence added weight to his encouraging words, that anyone who has a desire to be in better shape or someone who wants to be a bodybuilder can learn.

“I love the accomplishment factor,” Jackson explained. “It’s not a vehicle you’re working on, it’s not an object—it’s yourself. To change your body from looking one way to another. To be dedicated and succeed in this is amazing.”

That kind of anecdote can be applied in any aspect of one’s life as people try to better themselves in a physical—or any other—aspect in their life.

“The best advice I can give to someone is be you,” he said. “Dare to be yourself and dare to be different. Don’t try and mimic someone else, don’t try to be an athlete or a movie star. Find what makes you tick and go after it.”

The NPC Utah Fitness expo was a great event and should really be something that is put together fairly often. It was a meshing of all types of fitness and lifting groups and could really have an impact on the future generation of the sports.