Most 18-year-olds are figuring out plans for life after graduation.
Kenneth Jones, San Marcos resident, is one of them. His plans differ from others his age, as he is training to become a professional
Jones is training for the Teen Collegiate Masters National Championship, July 23 to July 24 in Pittsburgh, Penn. The championship will be his second competition. He placed third in the 2008 West Texas Classic in Lubbock when he was 16.
Jones began cardio exercises and lifting weights seven days a week in seventh grade. He decided to get into bodybuilding a year later based on the suggestion from a friend. He found bodybuilding to be the perfect fit after years of searching for a suitable sport in which to participate.
“I used to do football, but that didn’t work out for me,” Jones said. “I tried basketball, but I was too short (and) baseball was too boring. I competed in track, and placed first in events, but after I started working out, I realized bodybuilding is what I wanted to do.”
His mother, Angela Jones, a Southwest Texas State alumna, was relieved when Kenneth found his niche in bodybuilding.
“It was irritating to me when he was young because I didn’t know what (sport) to put him in,” she said. “Finally, we found home (with bodybuilding).”
A typical day of training for the 5-foot-7, 185-lb. Jones consists of walking up to two miles in the morning before a breakfast rich in proteins and carbohydrates. He has a two- to three-hour workout session at the Student Recreation Center and walks once or twice more eating similar meals every few hours before bedtime.
Jones said he has learned much about discipline through the strenuous training.
“(The training) has taught me that I can stick to something if I want to,” Jones said. “I have to stay disciplined with no drinking, no smoking and eating (well). Because I do that, I feel like I can dedicate myself to anything.”
Angela Jones said she is impressed with her son’s ability to stay focused.
“I’m in awe of his determination,” she said. “He goes to the gym at least six times a week, and never cheats on his diet. I think he has what it takes to be a professional because he’s natural at it. It’s the one thing he really enjoys.”
Bodybuilding comes with challenges. Jones said not everyone is as supportive about the venture as his mother.
“Some (of my friends) are excited and happy for me, but some don’t believe in me,” he said. “That only pushes me to do better, and I love proving people wrong.”
Jones said he expects to win the national title later this month en route to his ultimate goal.
“I’m trying to work toward the Mr. Olympia title,” he said. “(Winning) that would show people how hard I’ve worked.”