Tampa, Florida- Brian Silk, Sr. knows his way around a gym.
"I started training when I was about 17 years old," says Brian.
Almost three decades later, you still find him there.
"It's all on your shoulders,” explains Brian. “You get out of it what you put into it."
He would know, as an international competitor, the former Mr. Florida made it to Mr. Universe chasing championships in the late 1980's.
"Fifth place in Mr. America, sixth in Mr. Universe,” recounts Brian, “then had my layoff."
That layoff came in raising a family the next fourteen years, and also adding a few pounds. But when Brian came back, he came back strong, with his then 16-year-old son, Brian Jr. beside him.
"We've competed on the same stage now 3 or 4 times." Says the proud father.
“I just saw him in the old pictures, and I thought if I came from him, I could maybe look like that one day,” says his son.
In three short years, they're both facing their first national competition together. Brian, Jr. is a teen middle weight, while dad is a light heavy class.
“That's unchartered waters for both of us,” says Brian, Sr. “The last time I competed nationally was 20 years ago, so it's going to be interesting.”
Right now, father and son are coming off titles at a level four contest last month.
Brian, Sr. "He won the teenage Gulf Coast and I won the overall Open Gulf Coast, so that was pretty satisfying. We dominated the show."
So despite the strict high protein, low fat diet, and intense workout schedule, all the hard work is all worth it. But winning isn't the only reason.
“We're the only father son team that actually get in the same show, I think I've ever seen, so we get a lot of not attention, but credit for that backstage and it's kind of cool,” says Brian, Jr.
It's also a family affair with younger brother Brandon, and Mom, Ann, joining in. Dad isn't just his biggest motivation, Brian Jr says, he's now a best friend.
"And I hope I get to do this one day with my son, if I have one,” says Junior. “It'd be awesome to pass it down."
While other fathers and sons have competed at different times in the sport, the Silks could be the only father and son bodybuilders to do it on the same stage at the same time.
The Silks next head to the NPC Southern States competition July 12 in Fort Lauderdale. One week later, they'll both compete at NPC Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA.
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