Local bodybuilding fans will be delighted to hear that Gary “Crankenstein” Colangelo has entered the fray at the upcoming NANBF Capital City Natural Bodybuilding & Figure Championships on Saturday, August 3, at Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA.
At an age when most people his age are pondering retirement – or maybe already kicking back and smelling the roses – Gary, 61, is just warming up to his new-found pastime and has become a popular contestant in recent bodybuilding shows in the Sacramento area. It’s not just his age that is impressive, but the continuing level of physical improvement that he brings to every contest.
The “Crankenstein” label is a pet name that his wife Melinda Brovelli affectionately ascribed to him during the final days before one of his contests when, he laughs, “the dieting made me a tad cranky.”
Old “Crank” trains at Gold’s Gym in Roseville and typically performs high sets and repetitions with less weight which usually adds up to a lot of cumulative weight during the course of a workout. “It seems to work best for my body,” he says.
Gary and Melinda live in Roseville, CA, and Gary works as the lead custodian/maintenance at a middle school in nearby Antelope. His hobbies include travel (mostly to Europe), snow skiing, drawing, hiking, cooking (he makes pasta by hand and other dishes from scratch), landscaping/gardening, and watching James Bond movies (“He’s the man!” says Gary).
An Illinois native (but he grew up in Santa Cruz, CA), Gary played a little volleyball and baseball at Santa Cruz High School but, otherwise, he preferred to “listen to a lot of music,” he recalls.
“I first became interested in weight training in the mid-70’s,” explains Gary, “but I just dabbled in it. I have always gone to the gym to stay fit, but as my 60th birthday approached, I got the bug to compete. My wife Melinda and I went to a bodybuilding show a couple of years ago, and I realized, ‘Hey! I can do this! ‘I may be coming up on 60, but I can do this, too!”’ He was right.
Gary usually competes in his own peer group – the Masters or Ultra-Masters Class for athletes 60 years of age or older – and it has been his personal choice to compete only in natural bodybuilding. “To take performance enhancing drugs feels like cheating to me,” he says. “You can’t say your own hard work and determination created your body (if you cheat).”
For a guy who had never won a trophy in his life, Gary is quickly making up for lost time with six trophies in his first six outings including first place in the Ultra-Masters of the 2012 NGA Natural Mr. California and first place in the Ultra-Masters in both the 2012 and 2013 NANBF California Natural Muscle Mayhem. He is also the defending Ultra-Masters champion from last year’s inaugural Capital City event, so he is putting his title on the line this weekend and taking on all comers.
“What I like about bodybuilding most,” says Gary, “is the amazing changes you can make to your physique – and your health – just by exercising. My family’s reaction to my involvement with bodybuilding has been important too – my wife, kids, mom, and friends, are all EXTREMELY supportive.”
Tickets for this weekend’s big event will be available at the door with the prejudging beginning at 10:00 A.M. and the Final Show starting at 5:00 PM. For further information, call Brian Bousman at 916-203-4399.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the age-defying “Crankenstein” in person along with a host of other top bodybuilders and figure contestants in the 2nd Annual Capital City Championships this Saturday in Loomis.