Former Vanderbilt player focuses on bodybuilding

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Ian Smith, a former Commodores defensive tackle who turned 40 in October, will compete in bodybuilding this year.

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Forty is the new 20, former Vanderbilt defensive tackle Ian Smith says.

“I feel like I can do things a lot of 20-year-olds can’t do, which I think is a good thing” said Smith, who was a senior in 1998.

Not only does Smith believe he’s capable of performing physical feats individuals half his age can’t, but he also has the look to go with it.

Unlike many former college athletes, who let their bodies go after their playing careers end, Smith has maintained the same Adonis-like figure he had 17 years ago when he was a Commodores starter.

He’s just as sculpted and even more muscular today standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 285 pounds, which is about 15 pounds heavier than his playing weight.

Smith also still has the same competitive drive he had as a player and will put that to the test later this year when he competes in his first bodybuilding contest. It will be a drug-free competition because Smith said he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs.

“When I turned 40, subconsciously I felt like I needed to push myself harder,” said Smith, who is a surgical device sales representative. “Since my birthday (Oct. 21) I definitely have been logging more gym time, been more focused and set more goals.”

Instead of building muscle to prepare for a contest next fall, Smith is now trying to get smaller while maintaining his rock-hard physique.

“I have never been out of shape and I probably lift weight excessively,” he said. “I do things you would only do if you really want to maintain large muscles because I get a kick out of it. It’s obsessive, but it’s fun for me. But one of the goals I set when I turned 40 was to do something I’ve always wanted to do and that is to drop my body fat percentage down low.”

Smith realizes, even if those around him don’t, that the focus in bodybuilding is as much on muscle definition as it is size.

“My wife thinks I look great and my friends always tell me, ‘You’re really big and you look really good,’” Smith said. “And I say, ‘Yeah, I’m big, but I’ve always wanted to be totally ripped.’ It’s been a long time since I was totally ripped, probably when I was 29 or 30. I want to be totally ripped, but it’s a commitment.”

More of a commitment even than the routine Smith has kept since he left Vanderbilt, which has been to work out five or six times a week for more than two hours each time.

He will continue doing that while also incorporating more cardiovascular work on the elliptical machine and stationary bike in order to drop about 40 pounds. He can’t run because of a knee injury he suffered in a game against Mississippi State in his junior season, which required arthroscopic surgery.

He plans to get his body fat percentage, which currently is 20 percent, down to 6 percent.

It will be a tall order, but Smith is confident he can reach his goals because of the tenacious work ethic he developed while he was at Vanderbilt training under strength coaches Chris Gaines, who later became linebackers coach, and Todd Suttles.

“There were lessons technique-wise I learned from those guys I still use today, but even more importantly it was the enthusiasm and energy they had that stuck with me,” Smith said. “It was the training table at Vanderbilt with (former chef) Magic (Majid Noori) and the routine that Chris Gaines and then Todd Suttles that really got me into all of this. I was really skinny in high school. Those guys put 20 pounds on me in just a couple of months. It was all muscle and it was just crazy.”

Navy quarterback Reynolds returns to Goodpasture

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds spoke at chapel Thursday morning at his alma mater, Goodpasture.

Reynolds is the FBS career leader in touchdowns scored with 88 and his 4,559 yards are the most ever by a quarterback.

His career record as a starter was 32-13 and he led the Midshipmen to a school record 11 wins this season.

Don’t be surprised if Goodpasture makes a permanent tribute to Reynolds before the school year ends.

Titans not most-watched local sports event

For the second time this season, the Titans game was not the most-watched sports event in the Nashville market for the week.

The college football semifinal playoff game between Alabama and Michigan State was the most-watched with a 21.1 rating, according to WTVF-5 research and programming director Mark Binda.

The Titans-Colts game, which the Titans lost 30-24 in Indianapolis, was second with a 19.7 rating.

The other week the Titans game was not the most-watched was Nov. 2-8. The Broncos-Colts game earned a 23.9 rating that week while the Titans-Saints earned a 22.7.

The Outback Bowl between Tennessee and Northwestern was the sixth-most-watched sports event of the week with a 13.9 rating, and the Music City Bowl between Texas A&M and Louisville was 10th with a 10.2.

Former Cumberland coach Ellis gets 700th DI win

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