Lawyer to be Mexico's first body builder at Pan Am Games

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez practices his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the nei

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez practices his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the nei

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games with Martha Elizabeth Sanchez, a former champion bo

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games with Martha Elizabeth Sanchez, a former champion bo

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez's parents, Rafael Suarez Reyes, left, and Alejandra Benhumea Gutierrez, right, along with his cousin Ana Pao

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez's parents, Rafael Suarez Reyes, left, and Alejandra Benhumea Gutierrez, right, along with his cousin Ana Pao

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the Mexican Olympic Committee facilities in Mexi

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the Mexican Olympic Committee facilities in Mexi

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez is coated with spray tanner as he prepares to perform an exhibition routine as training

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez is coated with spray tanner as he prepares to perform an exhibition routine as training

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez performs an exhibition routine as training to handle the pressure of competition at the

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez performs an exhibition routine as training to handle the pressure of competition at the

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez eats lunch before performing an exhibition routine as training to handle the pressure o

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez eats lunch before performing an exhibition routine as training to handle the pressure o

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez practices his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the nei

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez practices his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the nei

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez, right, works out with a resistance band before performing an exhibition routine as tra

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez, right, works out with a resistance band before performing an exhibition routine as tra

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games with Martha Elizabeth Sanchez, a former champion bo

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games with Martha Elizabeth Sanchez, a former champion bo

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez does forearm curls as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at t

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez does forearm curls as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at t

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez is coated with spray tanner before performing an exhibition routine as training to hand

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez is coated with spray tanner before performing an exhibition routine as training to hand

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez is seen past his bodybuilding medals and trophies as he stands inside the glass-encased office at the neighb

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez is seen past his bodybuilding medals and trophies as he stands inside the glass-encased office at the neighb

In this June 6, 2019 photo, pictures of bodybuilders decorate the walls at the neighborhood gym, owned by his parents, where Carlos Suarez trains for

In this June 6, 2019 photo, pictures of bodybuilders decorate the walls at the neighborhood gym, owned by his parents, where Carlos Suarez trains for

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez practices his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the nei

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez practices his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the nei

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexico's bodybuilding delegation to the upcoming Pan Am Games in Peru is presented during national bodybuilding champions

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexico's bodybuilding delegation to the upcoming Pan Am Games in Peru is presented during national bodybuilding champions

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez gets dressed after practicing his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez gets dressed after practicing his bodybuilding poses as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan

In this June 8, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez practices poses for coaches as he trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the Mexican Ol

In this June 8, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez practices poses for coaches as he trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the Mexican Ol

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez takes a selfie in front of a sign showing a picture of him and Xyomara Valdivia, Mexico

In this July 14, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez takes a selfie in front of a sign showing a picture of him and Xyomara Valdivia, Mexico

In this June 8, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez gets dressed after practicing poses as he trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the Me

In this June 8, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez gets dressed after practicing poses as he trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the Me

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez lifts weights as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the neighborhood gym owned

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Carlos Suarez lifts weights as part of his daily training regimen ahead of the Pan Am Games, at the neighborhood gym owned

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez practices his poses for coaching staff as he trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the

In this June 9, 2019 photo, Mexican bodybuilder Carlos Suarez practices his poses for coaching staff as he trains for the upcoming Pan Am Games at the

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The sun hasn't even risen and the clang of metal is reverberating through a gym near Mexico City. On a frantic mission to sculpt his body, Carlos Suárez powers through another day of his heavy weight routine.

There is not much time left before Suárez will be the first Mexican to participate in the body-building competition at the Pan American Games, which begin July 26 in Peru.

Suárez starts his workout before dawn and spends six hours every day getting his body in peak shape for the games. Combined with his other work and family responsibilities, the workers' rights lawyer and law professor doesn't take many breaks.

"It's tough but I think it's worth it for this dream," Suárez said during an interview at his home in Toluca, about 40 miles (63 kilometers) from Mexico's capital. "I have a big responsibility in being able to represent the country and I'm working hard to be able to finish with a good result."

This year's games mark the first time that bodybuilding is included as an official competition, after being a demonstration sport at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. For now, it's not included as part of the official competitions for the 2023 games in Chile, and it has yet to be included in the Olympics.

"It's going to be a historic moment for my sport ... It's something very beautiful, it will be a party for my sport," Suárez said.

Another Mexican, Xiomara Valdivia, will take part in this year's Pan American Games in the women's fitness category. Both she and Suárez receive basic support from the Mexican Federation of Bodybuilding, but they haven't gotten any government grants.

Without the financial backing that Mexican athletes in more popular sports receive, Suárez has had to juggle between long hours in the gym, the classroom and the courtroom.

"I appreciate how this sport has been a big part of my formation," he said. "I've learned to take advantage of life, which is a short, fleeting moment."

With bodybuilding excluded from the Olympics, it has been looked at as more of an aesthetic discipline than an organized sport, and many people have doubts about it.

When he was 13, he began to get into bodybuilding despite protest from his mother. "She didn't want me to do it because even then and still today the sport has been linked to steroid consumption and other myths," Suárez said.