Just two days after his 60th birthday, Ronald Nurse, Sr. earned the second place spot in the Masters Lightweight division of the 2016 IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championships. This husband, father, and grandfather shows us that we can be a competitive athlete at any age.
Ronald was always active since his days of playing football and running track through middle school and high school. From there he moved on to collegiate wrestling at Mississippi State. By this point, Ronald had already earned a black belt. In his mid-twenties, he discovered weightlifting to complement his studies in taekwondo.
In his earliest days of bodybuilding, Ronald worked out with radio personality, Mike Evans of K97-FM, who encouraged him to start competing. At age 36 he entered his first competition, followed by many others. He won first place in all of the local bodybuilding shows, which motivated him to compete in the Tennessee State Bodybuilding Show, where he came in second place. Ronald’s success was fuel for him to work harder and challenge himself even more. Several years later, he placed fifth in his first national competition. Since age 40, he’s competed in more than 30 shows, taking home first and second place titles in many of those competitions. After his big win at the IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championships this year, he hopes to be inducted into the International Federation of Bodybuilder’s Professional League.
“Anything that’s important to you or that you’re passionate about, you’ll make time for it. Whether that’s your kids, your family, sports, working out—you’ll find a way to fit in what you truly care about.”
During his bodybuilding career, Ronald has raised two children and two grandkids. Balancing his family life, work, and fitness goals have been a challenge. “Anything that’s important to you or that you’re passionate about, you’ll make time for it. Whether that’s your kids, your family, sports, working out—you’ll find a way to fit in what you truly care about,” he says. Training became a mental escape from the stresses of everyday life. “I always look forward to working out because it’s the part of my day that makes everything else bearable.”
Ronald trains between 60 and 90 minutes six evenings a week at LA Fitness, with additional cardio in the morning three times per week. Through his training, he strives to better his body structure and density. He must continue to develop and condition his muscles as well as develop symmetry and separation. Ronald also focuses on other aspects such as cardio, nutrition, and supplements. In the beginning, his nutrition was lacking. “We had small kids at home, so if there was a cupcake in the cupboard, I was going to eat it.” Over the years, he’s learned to eat more protein and complex carbohydrates.
“As a competitor, I know I will never reach perfect, but I strive to do better every single day.”
By Christin Yates. Photo by Tindall Stephens.