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Eric Abenoja

Eric AbenojaOnce a self-described “scrawny teenager,” Eric Abenoja has become a beefed-up police officer handling some of the toughest and most physically demanding assignments in his department, in partnership with an even more physical canine. When Eric was a kid, he went to the gym with his brother and got his first look at what happens to biceps when you do curls—and he was hooked. As an adult he won the gold medal three years in a row at the Western States Police/Fire Olympics and just recently won the overall at a powerlifting competition.

On-the-job strength and endurance are his two big reasons for lifting in the gym. Being in shape keeps Eric out of jams because the extra edge of self-confidence it gives him—and maybe just looking the part—calm some people down before they decide to try something stupid. Of course, that 100-pound dog helps keep the peace too.

Eric’s 14-to-16-hour workdays make it tough for him to stay in shape. A very high metabolism means he needs to eat a lot of good clean food, but he does get some meals that aren’t the best no matter what he does. So he works that much harder in the gym. Soon Eric will be working to help others in the gym, too, as a personal trainer.

“Helping people out, especially people who can’t help themselves at that moment in time” is why Eric says he likes being a cop. If you think about it, that’s what works in the gym as well. Sometimes we all need extra help at some moment. Good thing we have guys like Eric. You can visit him on, where he’s found a home with people who are interested in health and fitness and where he’s made a lot of friends. Check out his BodySpace at Tell him you saw him working out in IRON MAN.

—Ian Sitren

Editor’s note: For more BodySpace bodies and info, visit

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