By Dave Wagner
Clovis Police Detective David Yoakum has always enjoyed weightlifting and working out to stay in shape.
But he wondered about the possibility of competing as a bodybuilder. It’s something he thought he’d enjoy.
Encouraged by friends and aided by Michael Gonzales of Portales, Yoakum recently participated in two bodybuilding events sponsored by National Physique Committee and brought home some significant hardware for his efforts.
On May 10, he placed third in the lightweight division in the West Texas Bobybuilders Championships in Lubbock. On July 12, he took first place in state and Mid-USA lightweight divisions of the Mid-USA/New Mexico State Bodybuilding Championships at Highland Theatre in Albuquerque.
He was also second in the Mid-USA novice division.
“He’s got the elements of a bodybuilder,” said Gonzales, a personal trainer based in Portales who helped prepare Yoakum for competition. “His genetics are tops, and his body symmetry is also excellent.”
Staying in shape is important to Yoakum, and it doesn’t hurt to be well-conditioned in his line of work.
“Weightlifting was always a hobby,” the 34-year-old California native said. “It was a way to release aggression, and I wanted to stay fit.
“Bodybuilding is something I’ve always wanted to experience.”
The Clovis Police Department has an agreement for its personnel to work out at Gym-X. Yoakum, who came to Clovis in 1999, normally goes there five days a week.
He began training for competition in March, and went on a diet to get his weight down.
“Some of the members of the gym told me about a competition in Lubbock and said I should try to compete,” he said. “Dieting is hard to do. I eat nothing but fish, tuna, sweet potatoes, fresh fruit and fresh steamed vegetables — no dairy products, no pastas, no breads. And I drink nothing but water, over a gallon a day.”
Yoakum went to Gonzales on a recommendation from Jim Watson of Gym-X.
“Jim referred him to me to learn the poses and make a routine for him,” Gonzales said. “We hit it off very well.
“He has tremendous self-discipline. He doesn’t do it for the recognition — that would be the wrong reason to get into it.”
His success in the Lubbock competition was encouraging for Yoakum. “He realized he was so close to winning, so we decided to try it again in July,” Gonzales said.
Yoakum said it takes six to eight weeks to train for a competition. He said it was hard to get down to the lightweight division’s weight requirement at Albuquerque (a maximum of 154 pounds, about 15 pounds below his normal weight).
But the results were worth it, he said, adding that he was proud to be able to represent the local police department.
“Being able to train and get these awards is a big thing for the police department,” he said. “I think it represents the police department well.”
Yoakum stressed that he has no intention of turning pro in the sport. He plans to take some time now before getting back into competition.
“I’ll probably compete again in another year,” he said. “But I’m going to continue to always stay fit, just because of the line of work I’m in and for good health.”