ShareThis Page
Bodybuilders head to Murrysville for OCB pro qualifier competition |

Bodybuilders head to Murrysville for OCB pro qualifier competition

Patrick Varine
| Friday, March 15, 2019 1:40 p.m
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes his muscles Wednesday, June 15, 2005, in front of supporters and protesters in Bakersfield, Calif.

Joe Sharrow of Lower Burrell wasn’t about to let a shattered wrist keep him from pursuing his passion for bodybuilding.

“I have a plate and nine screws holding it together,” said Sharrow, 55. “I’ve lost some mobility and it still hurts, but I decided I’m not going to let it stop me from doing what I love to do.”

That pursuit will see Sharrow and others entering the OCB Natural Pittsburgh pro qualifier tournament, April 6 at Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville.

The competition is marking its 30th year in 2019, and is presented by Dean’s Health and Fitness Center in Murrysville.

Sharrow, who has been a bodybuilder since the early 1980s, competes specifically in the bodybuilding category.

“It’s the most hardcore,” he said. “You need to get lean, have good muscle symmetry and definition.”

He trains five or six days a week, and as he gets closer to a competition, “you change things up. For one, you want to speed your workout up, and take fewer breaks between sets.”

Sharrow’s overall goal is to get as much muscle mass as he can achieve.

Matthew Heavner, 20, of New Kensington, is at the opposite end of the bodybuilding spectrum: he started lifting weights in high school and the OCB competition will be his second overall.

“I remember going to the Arnold Classic when I was about 12 years old,” Heavner said. “They had a big banner up of Arnold (Schwarzenegger) that said, “I’m Back,” and I remember thinking it would be pretty cool to look like that.”

Heavner competes in the men’s classic physique category.

“It’s referred to as sort of the ‘Golden Era’ of bodybuilding: the small waist, nice lines and symmetry and all that,” he said.

Heavner usually trains five days a week and does cardio exercise daily.

“As I get closer, I’ll back off the weights a little bit to let my muscles recover, and then it’s more about dieting than lifting,” he said.

Sharrow, who was the OCB’s 50-plus champion in the “Masters” category in 2015, agreed.

“Your diet is what provides the definition,” he said. “That’s why us bodybuilders are kind of a dying breed — nobody wants to compete in a bodybuliding show that’s 80 percent diet and 20 percent working out.”

Heavner said the support he’s gotten from fellow bodybuilding enthusiasts has really helped him along.

“Being part of a group of people who take this seriously is great,” he said. “When you get done training after a year or two and see this thing that you achieved yourself, it can really boost your confidence.”

The OCB Natural Pittsburgh pro qualifier will kick off at 11 a.m., April 6 at the high school, 3200 School Road in Murrysville.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at

For more, call 724-327-3326 or email

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Murrysville
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.