Local bodybuilder gains pro status – KESQ

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Local bodybuilder, Michael Kleeves is coming off a victory weekend. News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay met him as he stepped off the airplane at Palm Springs International Airport just hours after receiving his Pro title in Pittsburgh.

“I just did the NPC North American Championships. It’s a bodybuilding competition,” Kleeves told News Channel 3. “This is the medal I got. This was for my weight class, light/heavy. I won first place,” he shared.

Not only did he place first in his weight class, but he also placed first overall among 1,600 other men and women competitors.

Kleeves also received his Pro card. Only the top four overall champions get their pro cards.

We asked Kleeves how it feels coming off this major victory. “It feels great. Obviously, it’s a huge victory but it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he said. 

The local bodybuilder had his eyes set on this title for while. 

“I’ve been working at it for a while,” he said. “I was hoping to achieve this a little sooner,” he added. 

Five weeks prior to this competition, he competed in Las Vegas hoping to get his pro card there, but ended up taking second place, just barely missing his title. But this didn’t stop him. He decided to keep pushing forward, training even harder and this time, heading to the east coast. 

“From losing and taking second place, very arguably, to totally dominating this show is a very huge victory,” he said. 

Originally from Michigan, he moved out to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He started training at “Power of Fitness” in Rancho Mirage. Now that he’s a Pro, Kleeves has his sight set on bigger goals.

“The goal is to take time off now for the off-season, grow some more and then come back bigger next year. I hope to do my first pro show, probably The Tampa Pro and try to qualify for the Olympia from there and get that and then go on to Olympia. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said. 


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