Weight training and nutrition have been a passion for Wadena resident Shane Motschenbacher.

“I have been training and weight lifting at the age of 13 with my dad,” Motschenbacher said. “Post high school I started taking training more seriously.”

That is why he recently decided to take his passion for working on his physique to the next level beyond just being in the gym.

“Getting into talks with those people and they are complimenting you on your physique and I thought I take my training so seriously and my diet so seriously,” Motschenbacher. said. “I thought it was just time to give it a shot.”

He took part in the OCB Natural Viking bodybuilding competition in Bloomington, but not before he was faced with COVID-19 related challenges. The competition's original date was pushed back about eight weeks. Along with training through gym closures Motschenbacher said that his biggest challenge was the pushing back of his diet as deviating from the original plan took a mental and physical toll on him.

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“I think the No. 1 challenge was being pushed back into a diet for eight more weeks longer than you imagined,” Motschenbacher said. “When you start you have a goal in mind and you are in that mental state of “this is how long I have until I can go back to normal” and that takes a toll mentally and physically.”

Throughout that time he continued to diet for 52 weeks even though it was so difficult to push back that time. He kept a seven-days-a-week work schedule as a property appraiser, a DJ and as a youth hockey referee. He even worked on his capstone classes at Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated all while keeping up a rigorous training schedule.

The 2013 Wadena Deer Creek graduate did most of his training for the competition out of the Wadena Maslowski Wellness and Research Center. He said it was interesting to see the wide variety of competitors that also come from the Wadena area.

Motschenbacher said that he was hesitant to participate in all three classes of competition at the event but that he received good advice from mentors and fellow bodybuilding competitors. He participated in the competition on Oct. 17. He took home a first place finish in the Men’s Novice class and the men’s debut class. He also picked up a third place finish in men’s open class.

He said that he is still buzzing off of the excitement of his wins over the weekend. He added that he learned a lot and embraced an attitude of consistency to work toward his successes.

“If you have a goal in mind stick to it and stay consistent,” Motschenbacher said. “ Stay motivated and you can do it and that has kind of been my attitude all the way through.”