Gerry Gomez measures 5-foot-6, 160 pounds.
You can spot him five times a week at the Vaughan Athletic Center thundering along the treadmill at 4:30 in the morning or prepping for a set inside the squat rack around the same time later that afternoon.
With a bulky sweatshirt, baggy shorts and a gym bag slung over his shoulder, Gerry resembles plenty of other 33-year-old workout warriors – a guy in enviably good shape, yet otherwise unassuming.
But plenty more lurks beneath the surface, under that sweatshirt.
Two times a year, Gerry Gomez looks like this:
A Fox Fitness member since 2016, Gerry became hooked on the sport of bodybuilding around the same time. All it took was a buddy to say: “You should compete,” Gerry recalls, “because you look pretty shredded.
“That’s when I started my journey.”
A former soccer player at Oakton Community College, Gerry tore the ACL in the same knee in consecutive seasons (2006, 2007). He opted to retire from competitive soccer following the second reconstructive surgery and focused on fitness in a non-contact form.
Gerry moved from Chicago to Aurora with his parents and brother in 2007. His dad gave him the ol’ “It’s either go to school or go to work” talk, and helped Gerry secure a job with Painters Union Local 194, of which he remains a proud member today.
At first, Gerry’s fitness agenda included Crossfit and calisthenics until his friend’s “shredded” comment nudged him toward bodybuilding.
He entered his first competition in the Men’s Physique category – and promptly finished in last place.
“I’m a big competitive guy,” Gerry says. “I can’t stand losing, so I got hooked on it. I kept on training, training and training until I got better and started winning.”
Most recently, Gerry competed in the prestigious NPC Illinois State Bodybuilding Championships in Chicago and the Chris Cormier Classic in Wisconsin. He finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the Men’s Classic Physique category on consecutive weekends in May.
Gerry’s days are greeted with a 3:30 a.m. alarm – “I can’t wait to get up in the morning!” he says – so he can arrive at the Vaughan Center when the doors open at 4:30. A brisk cardio session is followed by an afternoon of weight training, a day’s worth of painting sandwiched between workouts.
Speaking of sandwiches, nutrition plays a key role in Gerry’s bodybuilding journey. He works through a comprehensive plan custom-built by his personal coach, Jason Theobald, of Kentucky-based Scooby Prep.
“It completely changes your life,” Gerry says, “because you go from not knowing what to eat, not knowing your calories or macros, and not weighing your food to having a detailed plan that keeps you on track for reaching your goals.”
Gerry’s meal plan fluctuates a bit throughout the year, primarily during ramp-up to spring competitions when portions increase and workouts intensify. Generally speaking, however, he eats seven meals per day – egg whites and oatmeal; rice, chicken and veggies; ground beef, sweet potatoes and veggies; protein shake with cream of rice; protein shake with cream of rice and blueberries; chicken and veggies; and carbs and a shake before bed.
Each and every meal – a total of 2,555 throughout the year – is prepared by Gerry’s mom, Maria Gomez.
“Nutrition is the most important thing you have to have on point,” Gerry says. “My mom is my #1 supporter and she’s the reason I look the way I do, because I wouldn’t be able to prep all that food by myself. She’s always been there helping me through my journey.”
Bodybuilding just happens to be Gerry Gomez’s jam – a whim-turned-passion, soccer to spray tan. He understands the intense, year-round preparation and discipline required to succeed in his sport don’t appeal to everybody, maybe not even more than a few.
“Doesn’t matter,” Gerry says. “If you put effort and heart into anything you’re doing and you start seeing results? You can’t stop. You have to have that mind-body connection.
“And once you have that – oh, man – you’re going to enjoy the workouts.”
For more information on Fox Fitness, visit foxfitness.info or call 630-897-0516. We’re happy to provide tours at any of our four Fox Fitness locations – Vaughan Athletic Center, Prisco and Eola community centers, and Copley Boxing and Training Center.