From August 15th, 2012 up until December 19th at midnight, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness and, Vibram fivefingers had been on the hunt for The Fit Man on Campus. Candidates were tasked with several fitness challenges to be completed and were being judged on body composition, symmetry and social involvement within the fitness community. This year, Connor McJury of SUNY Brockport took the title.
Men's Fitness chatted with McJury to reflect on the competition and what kind of experience it's been for him.
MF: What did you enjoy most about the Fit Man on Campus Competition?
CM: My favorite part of the whole thing was definitely the competitiveness of it all. All of the other competitors were great, and each guy brought something unique to the competition. It was also awesome to be able to compete while doing something I really love to do, work out. Every fitness challenge posed its own difficulties, so it was difficult and exciting to prepare and perform all of them in a relatively short amount of time, which really taught me some things about my own training, which was great.
Other than that, obviously the recognition that I earned throughout was great, and I know that the competition motivated many people in my life, and the support was more than I could ask for.
MF: How did you stay so motivated and determined to win this thing? Did you ever question yourself or did your confidence ever waiver?
I think what helped me the most was just my natural competitiveness and perseverance. Once I made it into the top 16, I saw the quality of the other finalists, which motivated me to go at every challenge 100%, and rally as much support as possible. There were definitely times when the challenge list seemed intimidating, but I knew the other finalists were giving their all, so I did too.
Also, right around the time the competition started, a new gym opened in my town, Push Fitness Center. It’s a great facility with pretty much anything I could ever want, so staying on top of training was easy. By coincidence, SUNY Brockport just opened a state-of-the-art facility as well, called the Special Events and Recreation Center (SERC). I think I’m really lucky that those two things coincided with the competition, and definitely kept me working hard.
MF: What kind of things were classmates and professors saying about you doing this whole competition?
At first I wasn’t sure what people would think, but once I got the word out about the competition and needing votes, I realized what an awesome support group I had. My family and friends were great about keeping me motivated, helping me complete a lot of the challenges, and spreading the word about the social media voting.
Brockport’s atmosphere was also perfect for the competition. It’s a fairly small, close-knit place, so I think a lot of people heard about the competition, and the faculty and students were amazing in terms of helping me out with anything I needed.
MF: Those Vibram Five Fingers are pretty awesome to train in, what's your favorite thing about those shoes?
The Vibram’s were great, we were really lucky to get those to use throughout the competition. I’d seen them before, but never thought I’d get to try them, so it was really cool to do that. They’re really light, really flexible, and perfect for pretty much any kind of lifting. I squat and deadlift in them all the time now, and I usually run in them too. It’s a unique feel at first, but after a few workouts, I was definitely happy with them.
MF: Now that you're The Fit Man on Campus, what's next for you? Disney World? Just kidding. Ever thought about shooting for the title of Men's Fitness Ultimate Athlete? Could be a heck of a 2013 for you...
Haha, yeah I wish. And I’ll give the Ultimate Athlete challenge a look for sure, just as long as Rich Froning’s on vacation that week… Although if you saw my ‘free throws’ video, you’d know I’m not much of a threat on the basketball court.
As far as training goes, just going to stick with it and keep doing what I’m doing. Other than that, just keeping my grades up and working towards some sort of fitness-related career. Ideally I’d be strength and conditioning coach for a collegiate or professional athletic team. That, or maybe own a gym.