Don Youngblood
January 11, 2002

From out of nowhere in 2001, Don Youngblook came into the Master's Olympia, and nearly pulled out an upset by losing to Vince Taylor by two points, one of the closest in history. In fact, Don was in first place by eight point after the prejuding. In many minds, Don should of won the 2001 Master's Olympia.

The remarkable fact is that Don only started going to the gym and bodybuilding at age 33. And this year, 2002, will be the year on Don Youngblood. So who is he? Here are some answers.

Don Youngblood, interviewed by Ron Avidan.

  • What is your full name, including middle name?

      Don Garfield Youngblood

  • When and where were you born? Your Astrological Sign?

      I was born on April 7, 1954, in Bakersfield, California. My sign is Aries.

  • Your height and weight (Normal / Contest).

      My height is 5'9". My off season weight is around 295 pounds, and my last contest weight was 241 pounds.

  • Where do you live now?

      I currently live in Alma, Arkansas.

  • What is your Martial Status

      I am married to Sue. I currently have 3 children named Shannon, Don Jr, and Julie. I also have 3 grandchildren.

  • Eye Color / Hair Color

      I have blue eyes, and brown hair.

  • Where are you currently working now? In the past?

      I own my own trucking business called SDS Transportation Services, also located in Alma, Arkansas. We haul frozen foods around the continental United States. We have over 100 trucks and trailers.

  • Do you have any brothers / sisters?

      I have four sisters, and four brothers. I am the youngest boy. I am the only one in the family that is a bodybuilder. My family is proud of me on that. I actually did not start bodybuilding until I have 33. I spent my first 13 years building my business before I started bodybuilding.

  • What religion are you?

      I am a Christian.

  • What is your mother and father's name? Where did they meet?

      My dad's name was Carl, and mother's name was Martha. They met in Bakersfield.

  • How was your childhood? Where did you grow up?

      I grew up in Bakersfield, and went to Foothill High School. I went to Arkansas because I had the opportunity to build up my trucking business, and this is where I stayed.

  • Did you play any sports when you were growing up?

      I played football (defensive back), baseball (3rd basemen) in high school. I met my wife in high school, and we got married right after high school.

  • What did you do after high school?

      I started driving a truck for Southern Pacific Railroad, and after a year, I was able to convince the bank to loan me $6,000, and bought an old Peterbilt truck, where I worked on it at night, and drove it all day. I feel it is like one of those Cinderella stories, I guess. Once I paid off the loan, I bought a new truck, then had an opportunity in Arkansas.

  • What started you in bodybuilding?

      Bodybuilding was something I always wanted to do, had been interested in. I was first working out in my garage, and I had taken a picture of Vince Taylor out of a magazine for inspiration. I never would have dreamed that I would compete against the guy. It wasn't long before I wound up a Gold's Gym in Fort Smith in Arkansas, and started seriously training.

  • When did you actually get serious in bodybuilding?

      As soon as I started working in the gym, a friend of mine in Little Rock, Dan English with Corporate Motor Cars, who knows a lot of the top bodybuilders in the world, told me that if I ever started working out seriously, I would be as big as a house. So I started working out, and two years later, I competed in my first show. When I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw people in the magazines, I knew I was as good as other bodybuilders, and then I thought, maybe it is just me, I am looking at it from a biased view. So I went to a couple of bodybuilding shows, and thought, 'Hey, I am just as big as they are in real life', so then I decided to compete to verify that.

  • What contest was that?

      My first contest was the 1994 NPC Arkansas State Master's in Arkansas. I was 40 years old. I won that show. It felt great to win it, it was awesome. There is something about competing that once you get on stage, and people show their appreciation for your physique, there is no feeling like that in the world. I was nervous, but when the music went out, and the crowd starting cheering, it felt good.

  • And after that?

      After that first show, I set my sights on the Open Division, because I felt I could of won that at the 1994 NPC Arkansas Championships. In 1995, at the NPC Arkansas State Champions, I won the Heavyweight and the Overall. Al Johnson, who was chairman of NPC Arkansas, encouraged me to enter the NPC Nationals Masters in 1995. I entered the 1995 show, won the heavyweight division, and won the overall, both unanimously from the judges. Then Jim Manion came up to me after the show, and asked if I wanted to do the Master's Olympia. I did, but Jim needed to get it approved by the IFBB board, because at that time, you did not get a pro card if you won the NPC Master's National. Jim then presented it to the IFBB board, and it took about 2-3 years before the board agreed to make the rule change to make the Master's Nationals a pro qualifier, so that I can compete in the Master's Olympia.

      I did not compete in 1996, 1997 or 1998, because I felt that I had nothing to prove, and I concentrated more on my business than to actually compete.

      In 1998, I got a call from Jim Manion that the rules were changed, and I received my pro card because I had won the NPC Master's National. By then, it was too late in 1998 to compete, as I could not be 100%. I needed some time to get back into pro shape, and competed in 2001 at the Master's Olympia. I lost by 2 points to my inspiration, Vince Taylor.

      However I received the first callout at the 2001 Master's Olympia. Center stage, Vince on one side, and John on the other side. I was in the middle! Those were the only two people I was compared to in the entire show. I should of won that show! Vince only beat me in the posing round, but I had him beat in muscularity and symmetry rounds. Vince my inspiration got a 'Get Out of Jail Free Card', but I do not want to sound like sour grapes. I was very proud to be there, and it was an honor to stand besides Vince and John.

      I will be back in 2002 at the Masters Olympia, and will be number one, both in the standings and in my heart!

  • Wow! Impressive! What is your best and worst experiences in bodybuilding?

      My best experience was getting the first callout at the 2001 Masters Olympia. My worst experience is a lot of the bad things, the negativity by different athletes that picked my physique apart in the press afterwards.

  • What is your best and worst bodypart?

      My best bodypart is my delts, my chest, my back; my worst bodypart, I am not sure, but I feel my worst concern is my posing routine, but I am working on that.

  • What is your favorite and least favorite exercise?

      My favorite exercise is the Incline Bench Presses; my least favorite exercise is the Stiff Legged DeadLifts because they hurt my back.

  • Any interesting diets when you train?

      Chad Nichols does my diet, it gets a little interesting, but I do not divulge his diet information.

  • How many weeks before a contest do you start to train? Any secrets?

      Normally, I start 13 weeks out for contest prep training. But this year, since I am in shape, and I got ready in 10 weeks last year for the Masters Olympia, I will start 10 weeks out. I am going to train hard and furious because I am on a mission. I use both free weights and machines, but mostly heavy free weights. I like to lift heavy. I do about 30 minutes of cardio in the morning, and 45 in the evening to start, but towards contest time, I only do 15 minutes a day. But this time may be different depending on how I do.

  • What supplements do you use?

      I use a lot of effervescent creatine, and a whole array of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, calcium, multivitamins, vitamin-C, vitamin-e, iron, potassium, and even mega-mineral tablets.

  • What things need to be changed in the sport of bodybuilding?

      I have recently seen some good changes at the Olympia with the judges having to account for the scoring. I would also like to see more money for the athletes, because other athletes in other sports make money, and bodybuilder are the most dedicated athletes in the world, spend every day training, but sometimes get little else but recognition for it.

  • What makes you happy?

      Two things, my family makes me happy, and the way I feel after a tremendous workout.

  • What do you tell people who want to start bodybuilding?

      It is never too later to start bodybuilding, and people ask me all the time how to start. I started at age 33. It takes a lot of dedication, but it takes getting off the couch, and going to the gym, living the lifestyle, eating health, little cardio everyday. People always come up to me and ask me what to take, and I try to help them. For some reason, the industry is geared towards the younger generation, but it is the middle age athletes who have the money to spend. I think the supplement industry should also target and gear towards to middle age people, the baby boomers, who are interested in bodybuilding.

  • Tell me something we do not know about you?

      I am a very humble person. Something I admire in people is humility. I hate to see bodybuilders that are cocky, and have this bodybuilder mentality attitude. I try to always be respectful of other peoples, and not disrespect anyone. I despise bodybuilders who don't want to help others. Humility is something we all need, and also to be dedicated, focus on goals, and not quit.

  • Tatoos? Any symbolic meanings on them? How many?

      Unfortunately, I have two. I got them when I was 18. You really can't see them, as they are faded now. On my right arm, I have a rose with my wife's name on it. On my left arm, I have cloud with a lightning bolt striking through it that says 'Bad News'.

  • Have you done any television / magazine covers / film / commercials?

      I have not done any covers yet, but I have been in magazines (Ironman, Flex, MuscleMag). Last year, I was in a number of issues covering various Master Olympia, etc.

  • Has anyone been your inspiration?

      Vince Taylor was my inspiration when I first started. I was flipping through a magazine, cut the page out, and tacked in on the wall. Last year, going into the 2001 Master's Olympia, my inspiration was Vince, Flavio, Robby, Hans, and Jim, the top five the year before. Every morning, I would look at them, and work hard to try and beat them. This year, I took off everyone's picture except Vince Taylor. He is the man to beat, and I will beat him this year!

  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

      I see myself without a doubt as having won the Master's Olympia, and having competed in the Mr. Olympia!

  • What do you feel about the judging in the contests?

      The judging was right on the money at the Master's Olympia. If there was any doubt between two bodybuilders, on such a close decision, they will give the benefit of the doubt to the reigning champion. I won the muscularity and symmetry rounds, Vince won the posing round, and the final round, although Vince won it, he was cramping in the back. Because it was so close, they gave it to Vince, for he has won over 21 IFBB titles, and this was my first IFBB pro show. But I understand that I accept it, and thus, here comes 2002!

  • What do you think about the drug situation in bodybuilding?

      It's there, just like its there in all professional sports.

  • What are your best and worst qualities as a person?

      My best qualities are that I am very loyal, very genuine, I am humble, and I know I am a very honest person. My worst quality as a person is that I am gullible in a lot of ways.

  • What kind of people turn you off / on?

      People that turn me off are stereotype bodybuilders, the people that give bodybuilders a bad name. The little guys in the gym that thinks they are bodybuilders, and they have a bad attitude, and make other bodybuilders look bad. Most bodybuilders are good guys. People that turn me on are the female bodies that we got to enjoy. The fitness ladies, who sometimes are the perfect example of the fitness physique of what they should be.

  • What's the most important thing in life to you?

      My family. My wife, children, and grandchildren. We do a lot of things together. When we go on vacation, they come with me.

  • What was the lowest point in life to you?

      I had a daughter, Christy, that died at age 11 with an aneurysm. It was quite sudden. She got a severe headache, lost consciousness, and never regained. That was, by far, the lowest point in my life. Working out helped me, gave me a release from that, helped me mentally.

  • Do you go out much?

      Not too much. I have a full time job running the company, and between working out, and eating all the time, not too much time to go out.

  • What are your favorites:

    • Television Show: I like reruns of Seinfield.
    • Movie: I love the Terminator series
    • Actor: Tom Hanks
    • Actress: Sharon Stone, or Nicole Kidman
    • Foods: Pancakes
    • Bar Drink: Rum & Coke, or Bud Light.
    • Regular Drink: Crystal Light
    • Type of Music: Rock n Roll, more of the 60's & 70's era type of rock n roll.
    • Artist: Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, James Taylor

  • What are the last:

    • Movie you saw: Behind Enemy Lines
    • Video/DVD rented: How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
    • Music CD bought: Tom Petty
    • Concert/Musicals you saw: Riverdance
    • Restaurant you ate at: Red Lobster

  • Do you have any pets?

      I have a bobcat, called Maximus. A real bobcat. An actual wild bobcat.