Bodybuilding, faith help lead Breeding to a positive life

Photos by Traci Westcott/The Herald
Devin Breeding works out at B&B fitness in Jasper on Tuesday. Faith and bodybuilding have helped to send Breeding on a positive path in life after he became involved with some negative things early on in his life. Breeding has garnered attention across the state of Indiana as a champion bodybuilder and qualified for the National tournament with a first place finish earlier this May at the Indiana Muscle competition in Evansville.


Growing up, Devin Breeding made several wrong turns that set him on a dangerous path at a young age.

He battled drug addiction and saw himself facing six years in prison at the age of 27 for multiple DUI arrests.

However, faith and bodybuilding helped him turn his life around and carry him on a positive path.

“It’s made me feel better about myself — not just physically but mentally, spiritually and emotionally,” said Breeding, who was known by his middle name Shawn growing up in Dubois. “It’s motivation for me when things get hard and when life isn’t easy. I’ll go to the gym, put some music on and just smash some weights. It definitely rejuvenates me.”

Breeding, 34, recalls begging his mom to go to Wal-Mart when he was young so he could look at some of the “muscle magazines” as he called them. He had idolized pro bodybuilders such as Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, Ronnie Coleman and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

However, some of the troubles he got into as a teen pushed him on a different path. What started to get him back on the right foot? A religious program called Teen Challenge in Jacksonville, Florida — the same program his brother graduated from.

“It changed his life, I knew it could change mine,” Breeding said. “January 14, 2012 is when I accepted God in my life and in my heart.”

Shortly after that is when Breeding began falling in love with working out and bodybuilding. After being misdirected during his first year of competition and placing last in both of his divisions, he told himself he was going to come back strong and get a first place trophy.

This is when he began working with coach Mark Hummel, an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness pro based in Zionsville. Breeding is now part of Team Hammer Fit, a group that Hummel founded.

Breeding, who is a member of the NPC (National Physique Committee), saw an immediate growth in his success at competitions such as Indiana Muscle in Evansville as well as Indy Pro in Indianapolis.

At the Indiana Muscle competition in Evansville on May 4, Breeding placed first overall in novice middleweight and also first overall in middleweight — a new class that he had been bumped up to just a few weeks earlier. But perhaps the best part of that weekend was that he qualified for Nationals with his impressive performance.

He also recently became sponsored by the local GNC store in Jasper as they’ve been a major supporter of his since he’s started.

“Two weeks before the competition, I asked (Hummel) if any lightweight had ever won the overall champion and he told me they hadn’t. I told him I wanted to be a national qualifier so he bumped me up a weight class just two weeks before the show,” Breeding recalled. “I went out and got the overall champion that I wanted and I qualified for Nationals which is a big step for my ultimate goal.”

The ultimate goal? Get his pro card. In order to achieve this goal, he must win in his class at the national tournament — he’s hopeful to compete in the competition at Chicago next year for this possibility.

But the main reason he wants to get his pro card isn’t for himself, it’s to help others.

“There aren’t any coaches in Dubois County, I want to be able to help coach people — that’s my ultimate goal, man,” Breeding said. “A lot of people come into (the gym) and don’t have any direction, if I see somebody that looks like they need help I’ll ask them if they need help. I was misdirected so I had to learn the hard way, I want to help people that are trying to better their body.”

Breeding always wears a bodybuilder necklace while working out. "It resembles the passion of bodybuilding. It means a lot to me, it reminds me of how far I’ve come and what I’m doing it for," Breeding said.

Breeding works out seven days a week at B&B Fitness in Jasper as he sticks to a strict workout regimen and diet set by Hummel.

Away from the bodybuilding, Breeding is a busy man. He works a full-time job as a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and is always finding ways to spend more time with his family.

His wife, Danielle, is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing while his four kids (Micailyn 15, Lathan 12, Jade 12, Emorey 10) are all involved with athletics and competitions all year long. So how does he balance it?

“My family is always first,” Breeding said immediately. “The drive, the passion helps to keep me going. When you want something, you make it happen.”

While Breeding has a plethora of goals for himself, he’s always extremely focused on making those around him better.

With all of the adversity he’s faced in his life, he feels that helping others along life’s journey is the right thing to do.

“Back in the day, I never would’ve asked people if they needed help because I wasn’t happy with myself,” Breeding said. “Now, I realize that helping someone out everyday makes my day better as well. I’ve learned to give back to people and to treat everyone the way you want to be treated.”

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