NEWS PAPER ARTICLE
New Haven Register December 4, 2007
Jeff MacConnie, owner of Fitness Zone World-Class Perfomance Gym in Seymour, has just won the "Mr. Connecticut" title in the heavyweight division during the 17th annual National Physique Committee's Connecticut Bodybuilding and Figure Championships.
Local bodybuilder flexes his way to top
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich Register Correspondent;
SEYMOUR - A steady diet of chicken, wholewheat pasta and a rigid regime at the gym helped a local man muscle his way to a state bodybuilding championship.
Jeff MacConnie, owner of Fitness Zone World Class Performance Gym at 39 New Haven Road in the Seybridge Plaza, recently clinched the "Mr. Connecticut" title in the heavyweight division during the 17th annual National Physique Committee's Connecticut Bodybuilding and Figure Championships.
The event, which drew 65 contestants from across the state, was held Nov. 18 at Harnden High School and presented by Mike Katz Sr., a former "Mr. Olympia" who was featured in Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1977 bodybuilding flick, "Pumping Iron'."
The win qualifies MacConnie, a certified fitness trainer and specialist in performance nutrition, for the 2008 nationals.
If he succeeds, MacConnie will have a shot at the International Federation of Bodybuilders competition, the granddaddy of them all, whose past champions include Schwarzenegger.
MacConnie, 41, has been involved in bodybuilding for 25 years. He competed during his early 20s but never landed a title.
It wasn't until after he realized his dream of owning his own gym that MacConnie decided to get back into the competitive show circuit.
"I knew if I trained hard enough it would bring some notoriety to the gym," MacConnie said.
MacConnie began beefing up his diet and exercise routine 11 months before the event, eating a 4,000-calorie-a-day diet packed with proteins, carbohydrates and low fat.
He trained hard four days a week in his own 4,000-square foot gym.
As the competition neared, MacConnie reduced his caloric intake, increased his cardio and weightlifting workouts and got his 6-foot-3-inch, 235 pound frame into the best shape of his life. Heading into competition, MacConnie had just 3 percent body fat.
Always interested in physical fitness, MacConnie honed his craft in the late 1980s at the Joe Weider Professional Bodybuilding Camp in California, where he trained with some of the industry's top pro bodybuilders and was schooled in nutrition and strength training by the country's leading experts.
MacConnie, a graduate of Seymour High School and Southern Connecticut State University, where he played football, ran his own financial services business for several years and most recently worked as a personal trainer before buying the gym.
One of Fitness Zone's regulars, John Danielecki of Derby, was pumped when he learned of MacConnie's recent accomplishment.
"I'm very impressed with what he did, and it gives a lot of us encouragement, especially in our 40s," Danielecki said. "He's a professional, and he lives what he teaches. "MacConnie can be reached at www.worldclassperformance.net or 203-881-0685.