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Dahm Building His Way To A Better Life
Taking the stage in Riverside, California with his fellow classic physique competitors, J.R. Dahm, second from right, stands proudly with his arms raised and his first place medal around his neck. Dahm will next be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania competing at Nationals. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

J.R. Dahm is the owner and a professional trainer at Revitalize Fitness at 1214 W. F St., Oakdale, and he is also a body builder.

Recently, Dahm went to Los Angeles to compete in a fitness/body building contest where he came away with the West Coast Championship. Dahm will be traveling to Pennsylvania to compete in the National Finals this weekend. To his credit, Dahm has competed in several competitions over the years and has claimed many trophies in the process. He at one time took second in the Colorado State Championship, falling two points shy of first place.

“In my division, the classic physique, the judges look for more of the physique of a person and not so much the overpowering of muscles. So they want the small waist with the big chest and toned legs. So really a balance of tone and condition of the body,” explained Dahm.

Growing up in the Oakdale area, Dahm has been well traveled since graduating high school in 1995.

“I was working at 24 Hour Fitness in the Bay Area and that’s where I met my wife, Carla. We became friends and began to work out together, and became training partners. One day she said, “Hey my family and I are moving out to Colorado”, and I had just gotten out of a long relationship and really did not have anything holding me down in the Bay Area anymore,” Dahm said of the move to the Rocky Mountain State in 208. “So I asked her “Can I come with you?” I was able to put in a transfer and move out there.”

The passion to compete has always driven Dahm, starting at a young age.

“I’ve been playing sports ever since the age of four. I played recreational soccer when I was four, baseball and flag football. I was truly blessed that my parents allowed me to do that as a kid. All my life I wanted to grow up and play pro ball, I was too small to play pro football, pro baseball was missed due to bad decision making on my part, but everything happens for a reason,” Dahm said.

“Soccer, I just got burned out on soccer. I played for nearly 15 years but they changed soccer season to football season so I had to make a choice. For me, football was the better choice because it was the “it” sport growing up. You get the pads, the helmets, the rallies and the girls,” Dahm said, laughing. “It was also the most competitive sport.”

Family is a large part of Dahm’s success but he went through some tough times there as well. Dahm’s parents divorced got his senior year.

“I had that backbone, that support of my family growing up. But then all of a sudden, it felt like the rug was ripped from underneath me,” he admitted. “I turned my back to see if anyone was there and it felt like I was alone at times, I lost that support. My mom and grandmother were there for me but I still felt alone. I had to grow up fast.”

He was working multiple jobs but found one that caught his attention.

“I was working out and realized that this is what I wanted to do for a living. I got that rush like when I was a kid playing sports. I liked to lift weights, exercise and push myself. I wanted to help out the young kids who played football or the guys and girls who I grew up with or anyone who wanted help pushing themselves and seeing results,” he said. “So I went to Golds Gym in Modesto and applied. I wanted to be a personal trainer. So when I started I wanted to jump right into it, but I worked at the front desk, and did maintenance work, just to get in there. I even did sales.”

Golds Gym is well known for its body builders, and this caught the attention of Dahm as well.

“I am the type of guy who asks a lot of questions. So while I was working there, I would approach these guys and ask them questions like “What does that lift do?” or “How do you get your arms like that?” I would go home and research those exercises and I was hooked on it. I quit school and turned my full attention on becoming a personal trainer.”

Although Dahm is an accomplished body builder today, he does not refer to himself as one.

“I am hesitant to call myself a body builder. I do believe that anyone who lifts weights and tries to better their bodies is a body builder. Growing up, we had Flex Magazine and those freakish guys on the cover. When someone thinks of body building, Arnold Schwarzenegger comes to mind,” said Dahm. “And now you have the guys who cheat their way through it by using drugs and it is almost unhealthy. As a personal trainer, I admire the smaller body builders like Danny Hester and Stan McQuay. Those guys are in the Classic Physique level, which is what I do.”

To get the body that Dahm displays, it takes more than pumping iron. Dahm credits his strict diet, cardio, and ethics.

“My motto and one of my favorite quotes of all time is “Exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years.”