CALIFORNIA - A team of large muscled Filipinos took on the Mecca of body building this week.
The Makisig Muscle Warriors made up of four Philippine-born buff guys won five trophies at the 2014 Muscle Beach International.
The Muscle Beach competition was the first time they entered a contest together.
"Where we are right now is because of each other. We are supporting and backing each other 110 percent," said Bantamweight Novice Champion, Christian Calimquim.
Competitors are judged on the size of their muscles, as they flex and pose in front of a panel of judges and thousands of onlookers.
"Symmetry, and body fat, the lower body fat the more muscles shows and how proportioned the muscles are. My routine from start to end got to be perfect," explained 2nd place Lightweight winner Boots Apelacio.
Age is not a factor either. Apelacio is 40 years old, while team captain Al Garbes is 46.
"I started working out and I liked the way my body was changing after working out and eating right," said Garbes, a 4th Place Physique Division winner.
Behind the hard bodies is a scientific approach.
"We want our muscles to absorb as much sugar as quick as possible," said Garbes.
Competitions are divided by experience and weight. Calimquim won gold in the Novice Bantamweight, and another 3rd place trophy in the Bantamweight Open.
Garbes got fourth in the Masters Physique Competition while Andaya and Apelacio--who both competed as Novice Lightweights--took first and second.
"I was happy either way. I look up to my brother right here. He's an inspiration, helps me out starting and everything," said Andaya.
Apelacio added, "Even before the training, I told G, you or me that's it."
Another Filipino, Kristian Floresca, who is not part of the team, also took home a first place trophy in the Open Novice Bantamweight Division.