October 9, 2010

Fitness event muscles way into Dalton

Whether you want to test your own strength and fitness levels or just watch others do so, the opportunities will be ample this weekend at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center.

The first edition of Northwest Georgia Muscle, a personal challenge event, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Sunday at the trade center. The combination competition and exposition is the brainchild of Al Gross, who began planning and organizing in April and was finishing preparations on Friday afternoon.

“It’s been an experience,” Gross said.

While some events originally slated for the weekend won’t happen, Gross is pleased overall and was excited to learn on Friday that he will likely have a high-profile guest in world champion arm wrestler John Brzenk. He also has more than 40 entrants pre-registered for a strong man competition, one of several happenings that will include awards and cash prizes.

“We don’t have a lot of vendors this year because a lot of people didn’t know about this yet,” Gross said. “But we’ve got the events, we’ve got the cash and we’ve got the trophies rolling in tonight.”

In addition to arm wrestling and strong man competition, there will be contests for power lifting, push-ups, pull-ups and tug-of-war. Rush Fitness will oversee an all-around most fit competition, and throughout the weekend, a photo shoot will be held for the Northwest Georgia Country Muscle Girls calendar, with the 12 top contestants earning a place in the organization’s calendar.

Disc golf will also be promoted throughout the weekend in Northwest Georgia as part of the event, with chances to win free discs.

Spots are still open for the competitions, with details on fees and how to register available under the “Agenda” section at

In addition to competition, local bands will play and stage events will be held, including Cathy “C.C.” Carter doing her Shania Twain tribute show, which she performed in Las Vegas. The owner of North Georgia Yoga, she will also speak on the benefits of yoga for strength training.

Gross said he expects Northwest Georgia Muscle to become a biannual event and is already considering the next date for competition.

“Everybody seems to want to jump in,” he said.

Admission prices vary based on where spectators buy tickets — purchased online, the cost is $12 per day or $20 for a weekend pass, with those prices $14 and $24 at the door. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free, as will all competitors.

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