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Champion Bodybuilder Returns - by Diane Carliner -

Chris Toland
After more than a decade of non-participation, Chris Toland of Dundalk came out of retirement to compete in several contests. The 2006 Dundalk Sports Hall of Fame inductee won the Masters 35-40 division, the men's open light heavyweight division and the overall title at the 2009 Baltimore Natural Bodybuilding Championships on Nov. 21 at Parkville High. With this string of successes behind him, Toland is now eligible to compete professionally.
“Bodybuilding is not weight lifting,” he explained. “Contests are based on muscle development, leanness, symmetry and posing. It's strictly on your physique, how your body looks, not on strength.” His body weight, 175-190 pounds, is what places him in the light heavyweight class. Although the years' leave of absence from his favorite sport was due to a full time job elsewhere and helping to raise two children, now 13 and 6, Toland said, “I got bit by the bug again and wanted to achieve my professional status.”
As with any sport, self-discipline is mandatory with bodybuilding. Toland puts diet at the top of the list; no dairy products, no sugar, fat avoidance, healthy vegetables, lean meats such as chicken and turkey breast. He eats six meals a day. When he travels, he brings a cooler containing his own healthy food.
Cigarettes and booze are to be avoided. Toland is proud of the fact that all the contests in which he participated are drug-free. Working out means 50 minutes of weight training first thing in the morning and 45 at night. Aerobic exercise includes use of a step mill and an elliptical trainer. Perhaps what differentiates bodybuilding from other sports is the need to spend 35-40 minutes at a time posing in the mirror.
Toland became interested in bodybuilding through magazines he read when he was growing up. Early on he realized he was a competitive person. He won the Teenage Mr. Maryland (bodybuilding) Contest in 1993. His father helped by opening a gym with two other partners, Maximum Fitness.  There, Toland became certified as a personal trainer. While completing his AA degree at CCBC-Dundalk, he played soccer and baseball and went out for wrestling. “I was always an athlete,” he observed.
Recently he took his kids to the gym so they could watch him work out. “They could see what it took to achieve this goal,” he noted. Future plans are to continue helping other people with nutritional and training goals, which he has been doing since 1992. He has no plans at the moment to compete again.