Bodybuilding is an ever-changing landscape at the very pinnacle of the sport, and Spot Me Girl sat down with Obi Vincent, one of the industry’s emerging superstars, for a recent catch-up.
Boasting more than 160,000 Instagram followers and a Facebook following in the tens of thousands, this sponsored juggernaut is already causing waves and is only set to enhance his renown further in the years to come.
We spoke to Obi about his journey from humble beginnings to the very top of his field, as well as how he’s charting a course to future success in the years to come.
SMG: Obi, it’s a pleasure to interview you on SpotMeGirl. To kick off, it would be nice to learn a little about your background growing up. Where did you live and was fitness always a part of your life from an early age?
OV: I am originally from Nigeria, then lived in the States for a while before moving to the UK in my teen years. Fitness was actually never part of my life growing up! I actually used to write fake sick notes to get out of physical education. I was more a video games/food addict; I would play games for hours on end and eat so much junk food.
SMG: After you left school, what part of being a fitness model interested you? When did you start to build toward that career on a full-time basis?
OV: I didn’t intend on being a model, and in some ways, I still don’t see myself as a fitness model, per se. It all started after I set up my Instagram account, and then it just started gaining traction and my following increased and companies started to notice me. If you had asked me if this is what I would be doing, I honestly would have said “not in a million years.” I studied business and finance at college and university, and my aim was to work in finance, but a few years ago things changed.
SMG: It certainly sounds like you made the more fun choice! Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind your first competition? How did you prepare?
OV: My first competition was totally out of the blue. My colleague who I worked with as a personal trainer suggested I tried the stage. It wasn’t something I would have actually done myself if it wasn’t mentioned, and with his help I was able to step on stage. It was a tough experience and most of it was a learning curve. I made a lot of mistakes and due to being an introvert I wasn’t too comfortable at first. My prep was tough as it was my first time dieting; however, working as a PT, it was helpful in terms of eating whenever I wanted in between clients and also working in the gym was helpful as made training twice per day possible.
SMG: Did you feel confident in the build-up? Has your approach/mentality changed since then?
OV: I didn’t feel confident at all my first show, my nerves got the best of me on show day also. I am a lot more confident in myself and what I can bring to the stage now. The introvert side of me will always be lurking, but I have learnt to accept this is who I am and roll with it and turn it into my strength.
SMG: Has your training changed much down the years? Have you tried different methods, and if so, what has been your favorite?
OV: My training has most definitely changed along the years; I have tried a lot of different training methods. However, I now go with how I feel and rarely plan my sessions. I usually know what body part I am training on the day, however I try not to have a set agenda (it makes training more interesting for me). I do go through a periodised stage in my training from strength training (low volume) to hypertrophy (high volume training).
A typical day’s diet for Obi looks something like this:
Meal 1: Powdered Greens, apple cider vinegar and essential amino acids before cardio
Meal 2: Eight egg whites, two whole eggs with lots of mix veg and 200g fish with a cup of mint tea
Meal 3: 500g skinless chicken legs with rice and mixed veg
Meal 4: 500g chicken breast with sweet potatoes
Meal 5: 300g oily fish with mixed veg
Meal 6 (Before Bed): 30g oat biscuits with a protein snack and peppermint & lemon tea
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SMG: What has been your favorite part of training and the bodybuilding journey?
OV: Meeting like-minded people who love training as much as I do. My favorite part is seeing the result of my hard work when I look in the mirror and just being a lot more confident in general. The buzz I get from training is just indescribable! I absolutely love every minute when I’m training.
SMG: If only everyone could enjoy it as much! What pushed you to continue competing and winning? Anyone in particular who inspires you, either close to you or an idol, perhaps?
OV: I did compete twice after my first show and I just wanted to prove to myself that its something I could do and overcome my stage anxiety! One of my favorite bodybuilders has to be Serge Nubret, his physique is something I want to emulate.
SMG: Bodybuilding is notoriously difficult on the body and mind, how have you pushed through it all year after year? What keeps you motivated?
OV: Honestly, I’m motivated 24/7. Simply because I LOVE bodybuilding. It’s second nature to me, and I feel it always will be.
SMG: How has bodybuilding changed over the years in your eyes?
OV: I think the bodybuilders nowadays are a lot bigger in size than back in the 80s, 90s etc. It’s all about the freaky size and also being very, very lean. Compared to the classic physiques of Arnold, Frank Zane etc.
SMG: To name but a few legends of the sport. Do you think bodybuilders these days train as hard as they did back in the day? Do you think it’s a positive change?
OV: Of course they do train as hard but as we learn more about training methods I think nowadays bodybuilders are training a lot smarter also with new techniques etc
SMG: Which bodybuilders do you think are the up and coming stars of tomorrow?
OV: I follow the classic physique division and Arash Rahbar who came second last year at Mr. Olympia has an awesome physique and I want to watch out for him next year.
SMG: We’ll keep our eyes peeled, too! What developing trends do you see happening now within the bodybuilding industry?
OV: I think the introduction of classic physique was great for athletes like myself who aren’t the freakishly big bodybuilders but still want a chance to compete.
SMG: Can you talk us through what has happened over the last couple of years in your career, both highlights and lowlights, and which have been the most important moments?
OV: The main highlight would be getting sponsored by two brands. Which honestly I never thought would have been a possibility back when I started training.
SMG: It’s certainly a stellar achievement. Have there been any secrets to your success?
OV: Hard work and staying positive!! Not really a secret but something I live by.
SMG: Lastly, is there anything you want to achieve over the next decade in this industry and why?
OV: My dream would be to step on stage at the Olympia in Vegas and compete with the best classic physiques.
SMG: We wish you all the luck. What’s next for you?
OV: Working hard to improve my physique, stepping back on stage to compete and growing my social media.
Obi is a MYProtein-sponsored athlete and also has his own YouTube channel, where he posts workout tips and motivational videos.