Blake Elsberry was the stereotypical skinny kid. The oldest of five children, three girls in the middle and a little brother, he knew the difference in a padded bra and a sports bra and all the rules of T-Ball. He knew how rough girls could play seeing one sister dragging another one down the stairs by the hair of her head. He was familiar with the gamut of emotions that his sisters could experience within a matter of minutes, seconds even. Like most families, they loved hard, played hard, and hated hard. He knew how to take care of them all having been a Boy Scout and ultimately an Eagle Scout. He was every mother’s dream; responsible, dependable, a good student, well mannered, and good looking but he just wasn’t satisfied. There was something missing, something he aspired to, a longing, if you will. He just wasn’t sure what it was.
Blake graduated Chattooga High School in 1998, weighing about 125 lbs, he was still a skinny kid. On a whim one day in 1999 he walked into a gym and started poking around, taking everything in, he began to learn the basics of working out his body. He found he enjoyed the hard work of stretching his body beyond what he thought was its limitations. He liked the feeling of accomplishment after following through on some especially difficult routines. He realized that when he extended himself beyond what he thought he was capable of, he was filled with an exhilaration he had never experienced.
His endurance and stamina improved greatly. He ate better. He slept better. His mood and general outlook on life improved. His muscles began to develop and his strength had increased tremendously in a matter of weeks. He began to notice the changes in his body. It wasn’t long before others began to notice it too.
It was about this time Blake found his way into Maximum Nutrition, a nutrition/supplement store in Rome, Georgia. The owner, Steve Bailey, took an interest in him and mentored him regarding diet and supplements to assist his body as he was working out to increase muscle mass.
As their friendship developed, they began to have serious conversations about the possibility of Blake competing in a body building show. In 2005, weighing in at 155 pounds in the lightweight class, Blake placed second in the Super Natural Bodybuilding Federation show in Atlanta and that was his defining moment. He knew what he wanted and where he wanted to go with it.
From then on, Blake worked tirelessly toward his goal. Anybody who knows him recognizes he is devoted to his sport. He is very dedicated, purposeful, and professional when it comes to his training. Those who don’t understand call him obsessive. He will tell you quickly it is not an obsession but a way of life.
In 2010, a close friend Scott Pauley, one of his biggest supporters, was killed in a tragic car accident. It was a devastating blow to Blake and it negatively affected his training. He competed in the Muscle Mania Dixie and barely placed fourth. Blake realized that Scott would not want him to give up his dreams and would be right beside him encouraging him to move forward and so he did.
He continued to train and graduated from Georgia Northwestern Technical College with an Associate degree of Applied Science for Cardiovascular Technology that same year.
In 2014, one of Blake’s best friends, Matt Hill, began working with Dell White; former Mr. Georgia, and Mr. Atlanta, and Mr. Universe competitor. Matt introduced Blake to Dell and because of his phenomenal training expertise, Blake has made massive strides in his performance in the gym and on the stage. Later that same year, Dell would introduce Blake to John White, a professional bodybuilding trainer and because of working with them both, he has shown striking improvements in his musculature, his technique, his abilities as a body builder, his nutritional status, and even his demeanor.
Both men are dedicated professionals and Blake gives them credit for the incalculable difference they have made in his training and development. With their guidance and direction Blake competed in his first National Qualifying shows this year and placed strongly in each class at each show. The last show, Music City Muscle in Nashville, he earned his way into the national show. Blake feels strongly that without Dell’s and John’s expertise, his advancement in the sport would not have been possible and he will always appreciate them for taking him on as a client and under their very knowledgeable wings.
Blake has also received an outpouring of community support beyond what he could have imagined. Old friends, new friends, and even strangers often come up and encourage him, wish him well, and tell him to bring his win back to Chattooga and he is more than willing to do just exactly that.
Blake works out at Fit Pit Gym in Summerville and having the support of VistaLife has been a major asset to his growth as a body builder and competitor. He gives kudos to the friends and professionals who are a part of what he refers to as an “outstanding and awesome facility”.
Blake still buys his protein at Maximum Nutrition in Rome and one of his favorite T-shirts states, “Yes, I work out. No, I will not help you move.”
Blake’s ultimate goal is to move from the light heavy weight class into the heavy weight class and compete in Nationals in 2017 and win. In doing so, he will receive his pro card and enjoy the personal satisfaction of making it to the top of his game. Blake has found his passion and has a plan of action to achieve his goals, the skinny kid has became country strong.
Blake’s Bodybuilding Career
Super Natural Bodybuilding Federation 2005 Lightweight Class–Second Place
First Annual Roman Classic 2007–Middleweight Class Second Place
Muscle Mania Dixie 2010–Middleweight Class Fourth Place
Roman Classic 2012–Light Heavyweight Class Second Place
First National Qualifying Bodybuilding Show NPC Georgia 2015–Novice Light Heavyweight Class First Place; Junior Heavyweight Class Second Place; Open Light Heavyweight Class Fifth Place
Qualified to go to National Competition in November 2015 at Music City Muscle in Nashville, TN. Junior Light Heavyweight Class First Place; Open Light Heavyweight Class Second Place that qualified him for Nationals.