LEWISTOWN - At the age of 44, Steve Boyer of Reedsville reached the pinnacle of bodybuilding in the U.S. when he won the 2013 National Gym Association Pro Universe competition.
"It's the most prestigious natural show you can win in the world," Boyer said. "I finally did it."
Now, he's looking to reach another pinnacle.
Photo submitted by STEVE BOYER
Steve Boyer, of Reedsville, poses with his first-place medal for the 2013 National Gym Association Pro Universe competition in Coral Springs, Fla.
Boyer originally planned to retire from the sport after he finally captured the NGA Universe championship, but those plans changed.
"This was going to be it," Boyer said. "Now we're thinking different.
"My next goal - because I've accomplished as high as I can go in natural bodybuilding - now is to take a year off and come back in 2015 and compete in Team Universe." Boyer said. "If I win Team Universe it qualifies me for the Olympia, which means a lot more training than I've ever had."
Boyer started lifting weights at the age of 12, wrestled at Kish High School and did powerlifting at Penn State University.
Wrestling also played a major role in the diet and dedication it took for Boyer to get into bodybuilding.
"Wrestling was really demanding as far as dieting and weight training," he said. "I took that perspective as far as the dieting and stuff. I started having some major results in the gym. I just carried that lifestyle forward."
He began his professional bodybuilding career in 2001 when a friend got him into it.
"I got picked up by the USA World team and traveled oversees for seven years competing against top athletes in the world for the Mr. Universe title," Boyer said. "I tried many times to win the show, coming up short, finishing third and fourth in the world."
What changed for Boyer after his fourth place finish in 2011?
He got married to Micki Michael, also a professional figure girl who competes.
"I want to mention my wife," Boyer said. "She's the one that kept me focused. She's been pushing me. She stayed there with me and pushed me the whole time."
Micki became a critical component in Steve's rigorous diet and workout regimen, starting with preparing and packing his meals.
"I took a year and a half off and got married this past June," Boyer said. "That's one of the unique things about this show. My wife, who I met four and a half years ago, saw the dieting and the different things I was doing. She said, 'I think you need to change your dieting and training'. She said she had been doing some checking and she said to look into this Fakhri (Mubarak) guy."
Micki's educational background and experience played a huge role in her support of Steve just as her insight on Mubarak.
She graduated from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science.
"She got me in touch with this Fakhri Mubarak guy," Boyer said. "He trains 235 guys just like me per year. He is used to working with guys on the Olympia side. To work with a natural athlete was a challenge, because you're limited to what you can take."
Mubarak doesn't compete much, but won the 2005 NPC USA Bodybuilding and Figure competition and is one of the top consultants in the country.
"Through his diet and things incorporated, I was able to step on stage at 205 pounds," Boyer said. "I was in the best shape of my career and finally won universe."
The results were astounding.
"They told me the next day, never before has an athlete stepped on a universe stage and got first place votes from every judge." Boyer said. "Usually it's pretty tough to decide. With everything we did. It was just my day."
So what exactly was done?
One hour on the treadmill per day.
Sounds pretty easy right?
That was just the beginning for Boyer.
"Every morning, 8 a.m. I'm on the treadmill for an hour everyday," Boyer said. "Then tanning everyday. I go back in the evening and do six different workouts. I trained six days a week. Then posing for a half hour each night. It's about four and a half hours a day, six days a week.
"Five months to get ready for that show," Boyer said. "Living on a diet of three pounds of fish a day, a pound of chicken a day and oatmeal and yams.
"No variance for five months. The same thing every day, 6-7 meals a day everyday. Six days of cardio a week. Four and a half hours in the gym every day for five months. It's a grueling task to get in that kind of shape."
The difference was clear for Micki and Steve Boyer, Mubarak and even clearer for the judges, resulting in the biggest win of his career.
Other than his business, Fiscal Fit Financial Services, Boyer and his wife are looking to develop a supplement line and cardio equipment down the line.
They also promote and sponsor a natural bodybuilding competition.
"We have one of the biggest natural shows in the country in State College," Boyer said. "It's always around October 19th."
Now for Boyer though, it's to the next step - Mr. Olympia.