He is tagged the world’s most ripped fitness model, American born Nigerian, Obi Obadike is the current WBFF(World Body Building & Fitness Federation) World Champion. In 2008, Obi stormed the American fitness industry when he emerged first runner up at the FAME American Challenge USA and World Championships. Within a short period of exploring an industry that he fell in love with as a field and track athlete, Obi landed himself exclusive magazine cover deals across regions of the world - in North America, Europe, Oceanian and Africa. He became the face of many advertisement campaigns, secured prime endorsement from major nutritional and supplements companies and quite important, the status of a role model to many within and outside the fitness industry.
In this interview, the first to be granted to a Nigerian focused media organization, the 6.2 ft tall versatile athlete speaks about his life as a fitness model, his transition from a corporate world into the fitness industry, what it requires to be successful in the industry and his Nigerian experience.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Obi: I was born in Nashville Tennessee but grew up in Southern California. I played basketball, track and field at division I level in college and university. I work-out as a young kid to allow me build up my body because I was really thin. I had lots of hamstring injuries running track, and that prevented me from competing at the world class level. I also worked in Telecommunication for about 7-8 years. Then, I got into fitness modelling about 3 years ago and became very successful very quickly. I got a lot of exposure, contracts and was on lots of magazine covers. I was the first black-African male fitness model to obtain huge international success within the fitness industry. It was very difficult for Africans to be on a cover of a fitness magazine as a male fitness model. I was the first black fitness model to talk about it publicly and I feel very good that my success has helped many blacks that are trying to attain success within the fitness industry.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: You mentioned you worked in the telecommunication industry. Is that correct?
Obi: Yes I did. I was in satellite communication.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: So, at what point did you decide to pursue getting in the fitness industry?
Obi: Well, I did not think I was going to quit my job. I just saw an opportunity. My goal was just to be on a magazine cover. Every time I visited a magazine store, I always said to myself, I could do that, but then i get so frustrated because I would rarely see a black guy on a fitness magazine cover. It used to bother me a lot and it made hesitant to enter the fitness industry. I was very fortunate to work hard and be blessed to land a lot of magazine covers within a short period of time, and endorsement contracts.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: What does being a fitness model requires?
Obi: Fitness model means being in shape all year round. Also, Fitness models are role models. So many young kids look up to you for inspiration so I have to conduct myself in a positive way. It’s about doing the right things and behaving appropriately. Again, as a fitness model you have to be in shape all the time because you could be call upon at any time for a shoot.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Does body building equals good health?
Obi: Well, I think is good when you do it the natural way. And I am a natural guy. I consider myself as fitness model as oppose to a builder. So if you are building your body in a natural way, you shouldn’t have any serious injury or problem. But if you are taking drugs (steroids), then that can harm your body. I have never touch steroid in my life and never will. I’m someone who has always built my body the right way and naturally. You don’t need to take drugs to have a nice healthy physique.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: What is your daily routine as a fitness model looks like?
Obi: My routine consists of circuit training and super-setting which basically in a nutshell is going back and forth in regards to different weight-training stations. I do a lot of high interval cardio training, sprints and plyometric. An example of a Monday routine would be super-setting chest and biceps.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: With your amazing ripped body, you probably get into trouble with girls.
Obi: (Laugh)… you know what, I always try to be professional with everyone I work with. Obviously, there are lots of beautiful women but I keep it professional even when I am doing photo-shoots, I try to always be professional. You don’t want to have people talk about you not being professional so it just pays to be a consummate professional on the set even if you are working with attractive females.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Does being a natural body builder or fitness model mean that you don’t take supplements?
Obi: Natural means not taking steroids or performance enhancing drugs but taking over the counter supplements is different. Taking supplements does not mean you are not natural. I take Muscle-Pharm Combat Whey protein sponsored by Muscle Pharm. They have great products and you can find them at www.musclepharm.com
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Tell us about your upcoming product?
Obi: It is a weight (fat) loss system called Accelerate Your Fat Loss that is designed to help people…The system is unique because it allows you to cut your gym time by over 70 percent with faster fat loss. It comes with training manuals, supplement guide, DVD of over 80 minutes exercises. It’s a complete fat loss system to help males and females of all ages lose unwanted fat rapidly. The price is very affordable for anyone in the third world countries, in Nigeria, India, etc…anywhere in the world. I have used this system to train people all over the world and on myself too. The website is http://www.accelerateyourfatloss.com
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: What is your Nigerian experience like?
Obi: My Nigerian experience is very limited because I was born in United States but I have been to Nigeria couple of times as a young kid. I would like to see more of Nigerian as an adult very soon.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Considering your very little Nigerian experience, how easy is it for you to associate yourself with do you see yourself with Nigerian community?
Obi: The way I think and my culture has always been American. I don’t speak Igbo even though I am an Igbo person. I definitely consider myself as a Nigerian… that is for sure. what am trying to do now is to bridge the gap and connect with the people more. One way I do that is by writing for Ultimate Fitness magazine (a major fitness magazine in West Africa). I am also endorsed by the magazine. If I was someone who had no interest in Nigerian culture, I wouldn’t be doing this interview. Therefore, my goal is to use my name and fitness knowledge to help educate people in Nigeria, West Africa and other countries globally to live a healthy lifestyle.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: What advice do you have for people going to fitness modeling?
Obi: I advise that you always be in shape. Find a good photographer and promote yourself on various social media, and pitch your photos with magazine companies.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Besides your product launching, what else do you have coming soon?
Obi: I am competing at the WBFF world fitness championship on August 27, 2011 in Toronto Canada. I will be defending my title… lot of guys want to take my head off (laugh). I am excited to step on stage as the defending WBFF World Champion. So stay tuned and let everyone out there see me defend my title successfully.
NigeriansAbroadLive.com: Thank you for granting this interview.
Obi: Thank you for having me.
*Interview conducted by Yemi Ifegbuyi, exclusive for Nigerians Abroad Live [nigeriansabroadlive.com] Copyright © 2011