The following article appeared in the Observer & Eccentric Newspaper in September 1988


When Don Frazier was born, there were no indications that he would grow up to be a champion body builder. 

On the contrary, he was put immediately into an incubator.  Throughout his childhood, he suffered from bouts of  bronchitis and asthma. His athletic pursuits were severely limited and was frequently absent from school while being hospitalized and treated for his illnesses. 

Frazier has lived in Southfield since the age of 5. He graduated from Southfield High School in 1980.  He was introduced to body building when he began visiting the Powerhouse Gym on Woodward and Six Mile. He was 14 at the time. 

"I didn't even work out - I just watched," Frazier said. 

When he turned 15, he began playing high school football and track, and, for the first time, got involved in training. His illnesses seemed to disappear, and for three years he was healthy. 

After high school, Frazier worked in construction all over Michigan. After a few years, he took a job at the Powerhouse Gym in Farmington Hills. His responsibilities included taking new members through beginning training programs and signing people up for membership. 

In 1984, Frazier returned to school and studied nutrition. He began to read volumes on the subject. 

"It made me clean up the way I lived. I changed my eating habits and how I took care of myself," he said. 

Frazier continued at the gym over the next few years, working as a trainer and a manager. 

"The equipment at gyms such as Powerhouse are all free weights," Frazier said. "This means no machine does the work for you. All movement is a result of your own strength."

When a person begins a training program, the first step is to define the areas of the body needing work.  The person is put on a well-rounded cardiovascular program, including stretching, aerobics and calisthenics.  


A trainer will design an individual workout, targeting problem areas, and with the use of free weights, will help the person sculpt these parts of the body.  Along with the workout and training routine, Frazier emphasizes nutrition. 

"Nutrition is the key to getting the desired results," he said. 

Once Frazier changed his eating habits and began training regularly, his health showed remarkable and sustained improvement.  He didn't have an asthma attack for seven years. Then, due to a back injury, he had to interrupt his training. The ensuing attack was serious enough to require hospital treatment. 

"Lungs are muscles, too, and once I started exercising them, my breathing capacity improved," he said. "I have to keep exercising my lungs and keep my heart rate up with my aerobics and calisthenics." 


He began entering body building contests in 1986. That year he took second place in the Michigan Gold Cup and won both the Mr. Highlands and Governors Cup Body Building Championships.  

In 1988, Frazier won the Grand Prix Championship and the Rose City Open, and claimed third place in the Mr. Michigan competition. 

When not training for competition, Frazier trains four days a week. When preparing for competition, he trains six days a week. 

Presently, Frazier is psyching himself up, mentally and physically, for the Great Lakes Championships, where he will compete in September of 1989. 

Two years ago, Frazier began working as a private trainer, still using the facilities at Powerhouse. 

In addition to numerous local professional men and women, his clients have included such luminaries as Isiah Thomas, local deejay Sherry Donovan, Earl Curten of the Los Angeles Clippers and fitness maven Andrea Bernstein. 

Frazier can see some eight clients a day. He also devotes time to giving seminars on nutrition and body building at high schools, often working with their football teams.  Last September, Frazier launched a cable television show, Body By You, which airs on channel 35 on Monday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The show focuses on training and nutrition.