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By: Ugo Okeke

First and foremost I would like to thank the INBF Canada team for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit about myself.

I will begin with the most important reason I do what I do and I am how I am and continue from there expanding on how that has developed into my unique life story. I am a proud father to two princesses Valentina and Alexandra. My two kids are everything to me. I will give up my life for them to live and to thrive, but I believe even more powerful than this is my willingness to grow and change for them. This is serious business. In elaborating on business, professionally…I have recently founded Ugbfit Fitness and Wellness last November after my successes in a local natural competition where I placed 1st in Men’s Heavyweight and overall respectively. My big goal right now is to give these two princesses the best in life while having fun doing that and promoting my new fitness venture at Ugbfit (www.ugbfit.ca).

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I have always been a very active kid growing up. Grateful to have been naturally blessed with genetics, I attribute my strong will power, resiliency, and discipline to my incredible Momma. I played competitive football (soccer) all my life, and started boxing in my late teenage years I started lifting weights in 1998 when I came to Canada. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a more recent interest, I began training 5 years ago and earned a Blue belt after two years when I conquered a Black Belt in a tournament. I am currently training for my Purple Belt with the ultimate goal being the Black Belt level of expertise. My drive comes from within. Staying healthy has always been a priority for me over other material things.  I have always been natural, and didn’t use many supplements besides, glutamine, creatine, BCAA and occasionally some pre-workout. I am a big fan of old school bodybuilders, like Sergio Nubret, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who relentlessly test their bodies’ to its limits. That’s what I like. I don’t like the new excessively supplemented bodybuilders like the modern day Olympia competitors. Who wants to look like that?

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My unique story stems from my initial engagement in fitness competitions. I contacted a good friend who had been competing for years, to walk me through the preparation for my first showing. Although perhaps originally hesitant as we had been competitors in the past, he told me that I don’t need to do much that I’m on top of this situation, but I was not so convinced that there would be no special preparation going in to a “competition”. However he was unreachable whenever I attempted to inquire any of the details towards this competition; little did I know he was going to be in the same show.  Hahaha fair enough, “ain’t nobody tryna get beat by a rookie genetics freak” However, it takes more than just genetics to be successful in fitness contests. I even asked him to introduce me to his coach, which he discouraged. As competitors, we are always conscious that iron certainly sharpens iron; unfortunately this just sometimes causes us to create unhealthy boundaries around who competes. My fighting spirit was like, “just show up and handle business”. I sought out more help through my homeboy and he introduced me to a trainer who charged me $80 for a handwritten meal plan. She discouraged me from attempting the competition because it was only ten days left. I simply replied, “I only needed a meal plan from you not to tell me to give up because quitting was never in my family bloodline”. She was like “okay”, but she informed me that she was aware of some stiff competition in an upcoming competition.

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This provoked even more motivation inside of me because I already know that she “don’t know my ‘die-hard’ personality”. She referred me to my apparent stiffest competitor for a single posing session, which cost me $40/hour. I went through with it and did what I had to do. The meal plan was not practical for me because I ate about 8- 10 meals daily and I was reduced to 6 weighed meals. That was challenging, so I scrapped the meal plan and decided to just show up and use the first show as a learning opportunity. I showed up to the event with little or no poses really. Obviously my pal that was supposed to guide me placed 1st and I placed 4th. “No friends in the jungle, better recognize” Lol. I congratulated him, sent a shout out to him in my bio that was read on stage as well. I was motivated, so motivated. Fortunately, I met Paul Anthony at the event; trained with him for a month and competed in WBFF where I placed 3rd. “Shout out to Paul Anthony” I went back to the gym and started researching everything about fitness competitions. Never give up!  When it comes to my current training regime, I usually train twice a day, one in the early morning and one mid afternoon.

My bodybuilding adventure began when I met Duane Dejager 4 weeks before a competition in November 2014. I was inspired by him and started posing with him for the first time. I competed in the NPAA in November 2014, and surprisingly performed well. I placed 1st in Men’s Heavyweight and the Pro-show respectively earning the Pro Elite status. We should always be supportive of each other; there is no reason not to be positive. It was an incredible learning experience. “Do not ever let anyone discourage you from your goals”. We can accomplish our individual goals if we dedicate, discipline and commit ourselves to its pursuit.  I decided to compete in the INBF Canada, but was cautioned that the federation attracts natural mass muscle men, and I was elated to hear that because robust competition stimulates growth. I started training like my life depended on INBF Canada, I got obsessed with my goals as usual…that’s how I’ve always approached my goals. But this time I had to force myself to follow a meal plan, which remain very challenging. My nutrition has always been very clean but had never followed a meal plan strictly. The meal plan elevated my performance and helped with my progression to INBF Canada stage where I placed 1st in Men’s Heavyweight and overall bodybuilding.

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I have a long way to go in becoming a better bodybuilder, got to settle down and learn how to pose for real. I have gained a lot of knowledge about human body in the past year and continue to learn. I am looking forward to featuring in one of the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation events in the near future. I am anticipating competing in England and Edmonton respectively in October, while also waiting for a surgery on my two knees. I’m happy with whatever comes first…got to keep moving amid all life challenges. Thanks to all the support I’ve received across the board, from friends, family, athletes, social media fan. Peace and Love. Stay true, live your dream today, tomorrow may be too late, more positive attitude towards life in general.

Mathew Park

About Mathew Park

Mathew Park, NAIT PFT Diploma, NASM; CPT, CES, PES, is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, author, WNBF Pro Bodybuilder and Lover of Life! mathewpark.com

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