Mr. Universe Offers Total Package

Jan 14, 2009 | Fit in SA, January 2009

Profile: Miles Stovall

By Bonny Osterhage

The term “Mr. Universe,” brings to mind a handsome man with rippling muscles that bulge all over his tanned physique. Former Mr. Universe Miles Stovall doesn’t disappoint. At 44 years of age, this 5-foot 10-inch 200-pound bodybuilder and personal trainer can bench press more than 315 pounds, and he does it without any chemical enhancement.

“For my age and being all-natural, I’m doing pretty well,” says Stovall who adds that the prevalence of drugs in his industry have given the sport of bodybuilding a bad name.

Stovall is so committed to a steroid-free environment that Miles and Co. is the host of the All Natural Alamo Showdown Classic, a body building, fitness and figure competition held this year on Oct. 4 at the Empire Theatre.

“I have to give the people who do it naturally credit,” says this World Natural Bodybuilding Federation professional.

Stovall, who has competed in the industry for several years, now lends his expertise to his devoted following of clients at Personal Training by Miles and Co. located at 8600 Wurzbach Rd. in the Medical Center. Here Stovall and his staff of professionals train everyone from dedicated athletes to senior citizens and anyone in between.

“We have people who weigh more than 300 pounds to people who simply want to take their fitness to the next level,” he describes of the diverse clientele.

The Path to the Universe

There is nothing particularly extraordinary about Stovall’s fitness career. He was not a kid who was picked on for being overweight, he never had a love/hate relationship with food, and he was not someone who struggled with self esteem or confidence issues. On the contrary, Stovall says he has just always been conscious about his physique, even as a young child. He recalls a second grade art contest about fitness when he entered a picture of an overweight man eating lots and lots of apples.

“The point was that, if you eat too much of anything, you will get fat,” he explains.

Always athletic, Stovall excelled as both a gymnast and a track runner throughout high school in West Germany and college at Illinois State. He competed for the United States Gymnastics Federation, but when he failed to make the national scene, he turned to competitive bodybuilding.

Stovall, who is a two-time American Body Building Champion, a two-time World Bodybuilding Champion, a World Fitness Champion and an International Body Building Champion, was an American Gladiator Contender in 1992 before turning pro in 1995. And, in 1999, he flexed his way to the coveted title of Mr. Universe.

Sharing the Knowledge

For Stovall, spending most of his adult life training and competing has put him in a unique position to help others. He is able to incorporate aspects of body building, fitness and gymnastics to offer a training style that is diverse and individually tailored his clients’ needs. Furthermore, his regimented and structured lifestyle is something that carries over into his instruction.

A full package of nutrition, weight training, cardio and even life counseling are the services that Stovall offers to his clients, and he says the relationship often evolves from trainer and client to friend. That relationship is what allows Stovall to push his clients to go the extra mile and he says he achieves wonderful results.
“I will take you from point A to point B,” he assures. “My objective is to get you as lean as possible and help you lose unhealthy body weight.”

The biggest challenge Stovall says he faces in his work is getting people to understand the big picture.”It’s negligence,” he says with frustration. “People are careless. They don’t worry about their health until something happens. I wish people would understand about the quality of life.”

Stovall maintains his quality of life not only through exercise but also by making time for his other passion: art. With a focus in photo realism Stovall also dabbles in oil paints and has had four shows in San Antonio.

Making the Commitment

Some people might see using a personal trainer as an indulgence, but Stovall says that for most people a trainer can make the difference in their levels of success. He explains that a trainer offers accountability, motivation and an added safety assurance.

“A trainer guides you on a program that caters to and motivates you to go to a level you wouldn’t go to on your own,” he describes.

And what motivates a trainer? The determination to see people make healthy lifestyle changes that will last for the long haul.

“I am not a clipboard trainer,” Stovall says. “I’m a trainer that will make a difference in your life.”

South Texas Fitness & Health