Aaron Clark is not your typical 23-year-old college student. In addition to attending school, which he say’s he is “taking the long road” on, he is also the heavyweight winner of the 2012 USA Championships making him on of the youngest professionals in the IFBB today.
A former youth baseball player, growing up Clark had no interest in working out. He said baseball was “his life and when I woke up I played baseball. When I went to sleep I played baseball,” Baseball quickly came to an end when he sustained a broken eye socket while playing. After Clark recovered, he found a new love in skate boarding.
“When I was 12, I went into it pretty hardcore. When I choose a hobby, I try to excel at it,” he said.
But his father, Steve Clark had other plans. He signed Aaron up for an exercise class and the younger Clark wasn’t happy about it.
“I was pretty bummed about it. I thought it was pretty lame,” he said. He stayed in the class and confessed he enjoyed and was able to get stronger from the instruction.
When he saw himself at 110 pounds at 17 years of age, Clark knew it was time for a change. He said he wasn’t healthy and wanted to put on size. It worked.
“I put on 50 pounds by the end of the school year,” he said.
After competing in 2008 at the NPC Southern States and the NPC Teen Nationals where he placed second in each show in the teen light-heavyweight class. After the Teen Nationals, Clark sustained a pec tear and left bodybuilding for a bit. He did not compete again until 2011 at the NPC East Coast Classic in Maryland where he won the heavyweight and overall titles. Originally Clark was going to do the NPC Junior Nationals, but people close to him thought otherwise.
“They thought I should go straight to the USA’s, so here I am,” he said.
Clark said that he looked at the physiques that were winning national shows and how his physique stacked up to them. He went to work on crafting a pro card worthy physique.
“I trained six days a week and worked hard to bring up my weak points,” he said.
Clark prepared for the USA’s without a coach, but consulted with Brandon Gerdes who helped him focus throughout the prep.
“I have some very good friends I trust but I’m a stubborn guy and I prefer to do things on my own,” he said.
With a pro card in hand at such a young age, some may think that Clark is chomping at the bit to get onto an IFBB pro stage. He said he wont do anything as education is important.
“I’m still a college student so right now I’ll have to take some time off,” he said.
Clark describes his support system of his parents, Steve and Jill, his girlfriend Cristina ,as well as his training partners Nick and Ace as “extremely important”
Aaron Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org