I thought it might be helpful to give you a little more background on my journey to fitness, how I grew passionate about the fitness industry and how my journey to becoming an IFBB Pro began. Just when you feel your life is heading in one direction, there are always twists, turns and even obstacles along the way. It is how you acknowledge these in order to move forward and get to where you want to be.
BACKGROUND // I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to New Zealand when I was 12. My family relocated here because of the on-going war, it was no longer safe for us to stay in Afghanistan. I attended Mount Albert Grammar School which encouraged competitive sports and I played and became pretty good at cricket. However, during my school days I was an overweight teenager and being competitive in all aspects of my life, I was determined to achieve a strong, fit physique to allow me to improve my skills as a promising young cricketer.
INTEREST IN SPORT & COMMITMENT // Whilst others used lunch time as fun time, I spent my time in the gym working hard for the physique I was aiming for, my persistence started to pay off and I was beginning to see improvements. I was tired of always being ridiculed for being the ‘fat’ guy of the group and this alone gave me the motivation to prove others wrong and make the changes I wanted to see, after all there is no such thing as criticism; only feedback.
FRUSTRATION ALTERED MY FOCUS // I succeeded to a high standard in cricket but due to a long term lower back injury whichI was no longer able to continue to compete in the team and at the level I had risen to. The frustration of not being able to play the game that I loved built up to the point that I had to find something, another sport that would compensate for the loss of satisfaction I'd experienced by not being able to play cricket anymore.This is where my focus redirected into more time weight lifting to maintain my body. At this point, I had no intentions of competing in any body building competitions. This was partly because I was warned not to do anything in case of further injury.
DECIDING TO COMPETE // I went to support a friend at a regional show in 2012 and the feeling of pride and respect for what he’d achieved encouraged me to put my own hard work in the gym to use. This is when the decision and motivation began for me to compete myself and so the journey began. After suffering with such a bad injury, I knew that this decision was going to be a challenge because of the restrictions I faced. However, my own mental fortitude overcame any physical barriers and the hard work began.
OBSTACLES TO OPPORTUNITIES // My lower back injury enabled me to realise that with every difficulty there comes an opportunity. I had to adjust my training techniques and the way I targeted muscle groups to work around the injury I had. It encouraged me to perform exercises with better form, more core stability, more focus on movement and motion - basically I had to train smarter.
HARD WORK LEADS TO SUCCESS // In 2012, i entered my first competition in a Men’s Physique show at the NZIFBB Wellington. I won this competition, qualifying me to compete at the New Zealand IFBB Nationals where I went on to win the overall physique title again at the National level, and I gained my IFBB Pro status.
WHAT NEXT // On May 05/2013 I made my debut pro at the Pittsurgh Pro. in the U.S.A. Out of a very tough line up of 21 professional IFBB physique athletes, I placed 6th. This was a great experience as I stood shoulder to shoulder and held my own with the best in the world and this still remains my motivation to improve and stay at the top. Other than my own personal goals I want to continue to help and train people and offer advice in order for them to reach their own goals. I am always motivated and insipired by what my clients achieve, witnessing the limits they push themselves to and past to achieve their goals is always motivating which helps me stay focused, stay humble and stay motivated to improve myself each and every day.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF & YOU CAN ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS
Competitions To Date
NZIFBB PRO/AM 12TH MARCH 2016 - 1ST PLACE WINNER and OLYMPIA 2016 QUALIFICATION
Joe Weider Mr. Olympia 2015 (Top 15 from 35 competitors)
See my profile and show pictures on BodyBuilding.com here: http://contest.bodybuilding.com/bio/491872/
NZIFBB PRO/AM March 2015 - Overall Physique Winner and Olympia Qualification
2014 IFBB Europa Dallas Pro 8th placing from 33 competitors
2014 IFBB Pro Pittsburgh Pro 6th placing from 34 competitors
2013 IFBB Pro Pittsburgh Pro 6th placing from 21 competitors
2012 Mr. New Zealand Nationals - Overall Men's Physique Winner
2012 Wellington Championships - Overall Winner
Education / Achievements
IFBB Professional Athlete and 2015 Olympia Qualifier
Bachelors Degree in Aviation Management
EFX Advanced Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer
Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing
Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management
First Aid certified