Local bodybuilder Junior Masilela hopes to one day turn professional.
The 21-year-old says he has been participating in the sport since he was 16.
He believes he has the potential and the skills to go pro.
Recently Junior placed fifth in the Gold Millennium Plate competition held over the weekend of April 8 and 9.
In 2016, Junior came third in both the Boksburg Classic and a Provincial International Federation of Body Building show.
By placing third in the 2016 Boksburg Classic, Junior qualified for the 2017 Arnold Classic.
“The two people who inspired me to get involved in the sport were my older brother and my dad,” said Junior.
Junior said when he was younger he saw the changes in his brother and his achievements after taking up the sport.
“I wanted to see those changes in myself and accomplish similar achievements,” said Junior.
Junior said when he first approached his father about getting involved in the sport, his dad supported him and the two trained together at the gym.
Junior said his training started with boxing, to help him develop his muscles. His father believed Junior was too young to start lifting weights.
“My dad actually thought I would take boxing up as a sport because I did well at it. But I stuck to bodybuilding,” said Junior.
Junior mentioned that he gave up playing rugby to focus on bodybuilding.
He said playing rugby as well as bodybuilding put too much strain on his body and muscles.
His family supported him. However, he was still nervous during his first few competitions.
“I remember competing in my first competition and how nervous I was. I was backstage and I was watching the senior participants and couldn’t believe the level of competition,” said Junior.
Despite his nerves, Junior said when it was his time to compete he was calm.
“You forget about the other participants and the judges and just do your thing on the stage. When you hear the crowd cheer your name it feels great,” said Junior.
As time went by Junior became less stressed during competitions.
“I don’t prepare a set for a competition. I know how to pose, so I just choose some good music and freestyle,” said Junior.
Junior said one of the most challenging aspects about the sport is the amount of time it takes up and all the prepping involved.
He said when prepping for an event he can train up to three times a day and has little time for anything else.
Junior added that the amount and type of food he has to eat is also costly.
He estimates that on average he eats seven meals a day.
“Bodybuilders need to be mentally prepared for the sport. If they do not have the passion or the commitment, they will not succeed,” said Junior.
Junior said if he does not participate in the Arnold Classic he will compete in the SA Nationals.
He hopes to someday have his own supplement line.