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Joe DeMarco takes it to the topÂ…again.

There aren’t too many sports in which athletes can take off for 10 years, come back, and still be as successful as they were before (if not more so). If you take time away from the golf course, your swing becomes rusty. Runners lose precious seconds (if not minutes) off their best times. Even bodybuilders lose some of their muscle toneÂ….Right?

Not in the case of Ipswich chiropractor Joe DeMarco.

Hailing from Revere, DeMarco was originally active in competitive bodybuilding from 1989 through 1994. After a decade away, during which he married and became a father of three, the 41-year-old DeMarco entered a bodybuilding competition, winning the middleweight title and coming away with a newfound feeling about the sport.

“It felt funny,” he admits, “but I came back with success, and I was hooked again!”

This past April, DeMarco competed for the Natural Mr. New England title, in which all contestants must be free of performance-enhancing drugs. By the end of the event, DeMarco had not only walked away with the Masters Division title for competitors aged 40 and over, but also as the overall winner of the event.

“It is very unusual when the lightweight winner beats everyone,” DeMarco says. “Usually the bigger guys win the overall title.”

Just one week later, DeMarco competed in the Spirit of America contest on Cape Cod. When it was all said and done, he had again won the Master’s title and was one point shy of taking the overall title as well.

“It was a fantastic weekend,” he beams.

DeMarco first began working out at the age of eight, when his father bought him his first weight set. At Revere High, DeMarco also played baseball and football, ran cross-country, and was active in gymnastics.

“Gymnastics helped me in everything,” DeMarco says. “It taught me balance and how to keep my body straight.”

It apparently also taught DeMarco how to keep his grades straight, as he was awarded a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, where he served as captain of the gymnastics team for two years while majoring in exercise and science.

“Having a sports background was a big plus,” DeMarco says.

In 1991, DeMarco began his own chiropractic practice. This past June, he opened DeMarco Health and Fitness ( ) in Ipswich.

“It’s a combination chiropractic and fitness facility,” he explains, “where I can train athletes, help my patients, and do my own personal training.”

As he has done so well in terms of staying in shape, DeMarco often inspires his patients and friends to do the same.

“I walk the walk,” says DeMarco, who regularly works out three hours a day, “so they know I believe in taking care of myself and that it’s my passion.”

And that passion is paying off.

“I look better now then when I did when I was 25,” DeMarco says. “Things are going great and I plan on doing as many shows as I can.”