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Penn affiliates compete in a bodybuilding competition at Zellerbach theater. Credit: Maya Spitzer

Think your two-a-day workouts and occasional weight lifting earn you the title of bodybuilder? Think again.

Last night, the 18th annual Ms. and Mr. Penn competition brought out the school’s true muscle men and women. Although the contestants could have fooled many into thinking they devoted years to their physiques, this was not the case.

“Eight weeks ago, 90 percent of these kids have never done such a thing in their whole lives,” event host and organizer Tony Tenisci said.

The students spanned different academic disciplines and various athletic teams and served as a “tremendous reflection of the diversity at Penn,” Tenisci said.

The show began with high-energy music and an even more energetic crowd. Thirty-seven members of the Penn community participated in the competition, which was divided into gender and height categories.

All four classes began with a comparative round, which pit every participant from each category against the others.

During that portion, Tenisci directed the competitors through a series of poses showcasing the product of weeks of training.

From biceps to triceps and thighs to abs, the contestants then displayed their individual results in 90-second routines set to rhythms ranging from Miley Cyrus to Phantom of the Opera. Cowboy hats, white gloves and masks characterized some of the routines, indicating that no two were the same.

“[The show] was great,” College sophomore DeAnna Supplee said. “It was a testament to how much work they’ve put in and the sacrifices they made.”

Two-time participant and College junior Alan-Michael Hill explained the discipline involved in weight lifting five days a week, training regularly,and most importantly, giving up barbecue ribs.

“It was definitely a big change in lifestyle,” he said. “You have to cut out things with sodium and fat. It forces you to be healthy which is difficult.”

Hill won second runner-up in the short class men’s division.

Competition was stiff, but after various rounds and awards given to the top three of each class, the ten judges gave the titles of Ms. and Mr. Penn to Penn track’s Jesse Carlin. and Penn Recreation’s Mike Castelo.

After a night where grease was abundant and clothes were scarce, dozens left Annenberg theatre with a whole new appreciation for the art of bodybuilding.

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