Two weeks after muscling his way to the top of Sacramento’s 16th Annual NANBF California Natural Muscle Mayhem, Kevin Riley is still basking in the glow of victory and the thrill of earning his IFPA pro card.
“Three contests so far, and I can’t wait to improve, work harder, and grow from here! I love this sport!” says Riley, who has won each of his first three outings for an auspicious beginning.
Kevin, 33, was a late comer to bodybuilding, not competing until April 2012 when he entered – and won – his first contest, the novice B class at the Spring NGA Northwest Natural Pro Atlas in Boise. Just five months later – on October 2 – he earned his NGA pro card by capturing the overall open class at the Fall NGA Northwest Natural Pro Atlas. And, on July 13, he swept the field at Muscle Mayhem in Sacramento in dramatic fashion to earn his IFPA pro card under the tutelage of the extraordinary team at 3DMuscle Journey and coaches Alberto (The Ivory Latino) Nunes, Jeff Alberts, Brad Loomis, and Eric Helms.
A Montana native, Kevin has been a switchman for the BNSF Railway Company in Havre since 2005. He was born in nearby Whitefish (pop 6357 and only 254 miles from Havre as the crow flies) and has always been physically active, generally preferring outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, hunting, river rafting, and fly fishing to hunkering down in the gym. He participated in football, baseball, wrestling, and golf while at Columbia Falls High School and took an early interest in lifting weights when he was introduced to a powerlifting class at CFHS
“We had a power lifting class my junior and senior year and I really enjoyed it! Although to be honest, I think I only trained arms and chest!” he laughs.
His interest in bodybuilding would come much later, after a 4-year stint in the Marine Corps.
“I would have to thank my good friend and former training partner Casey Becker for that,” recalls Kevin. “We had trained together for a few years before I moved away for my current job, and when I came back to visit, Casey had done a contest prep and showed me all of his pictures from beginning to end, and I was hooked. I decided right then and there that I was going to do the same thing. I did a 12-week transformation and had some pretty good results on my own. Each year I tried to improve on the past, and the rest is history.” Indeed.
Now a resident of Havre, MT, Kevin trains between The Zoo Health Club in Havre and the nearby gym at Northern Montana University. “It’s all pretty basic here in Havre – weights and cardio! It’s all a guy really needs isn’t it?” he chuckles.
Well, not quite. Kevin also has great support from his wife, top bikini competitor Tiffany Riley, and their four children. “Complete support really,” says Kevin. “From my wife and children to my Mom and Dad and In-laws as well! It was kind of funny because after I did the Muscle Mayhem my 7 year old son thought I was a Super Pro! Ha ha!! He really likes all the bodybuilding trophies I have been lucky enough to receive, and he wants to be a teen bodybuilder when he gets old enough! Makes me a proud father!!!”
What does he enjoy most about bodybuilding?
“During the prep and off-season, it’s really about pushing my body and seeing how far I can take it. Making gains and breaking through barriers – that really motivates me! The actual competition? I think I love the camaraderie among the competitors the most.”
What’s next for this rising new bodybuilding star? The Yorton Cup World Championships? Moji, Rico, Kiyoshi, Cleveland, and a host of other greats might lick their chops at the thought of another rookie to chew up and spit out, but a second look at the new champ might also give them cause for concern. Riley is good. Very, very good, and he’s likely to be around for a long time.