The pandemic brought about a major paradigm-changing shift towards digital fitness with consumers adopting digital fitness solutions to counter the physical restrictions posed by the pandemic. The extended lockdown drove a massive surge in the demand for virtual classes showing that people are concerned about their health and wellness in today’s world. Be it free Instagram workouts or digital sessions via the Zoom platform, we saw every fitness coach and mentor adapting to keep fitness alive.
Inspired by bodybuilding Jay Cutler, a 4 times Mr. Olympia, Blazio Pereira dreamed of someday becoming a top bodybuilder and achieving fame on an international stage. To keep his as well his client’s fitness journey fuelled, Blazio adopted the current online fitness trends during the pandemic. Blazio’s physique is of good proportions and shape. He looks athletic and healthy, while still carrying a decent amount of muscle and hence most people are able able to relate to his physique as opposed to mass monsters. The journey hasn’t been smooth for Blazio but the bug for bodybuilding caught up with him and he began working out with a different goal in sight. He did have his coach and mentor backing him but it was his sheer dedication and hunger for success that made him achieve his goals in the fitness industry. Today he is a registered REPS Certified Level 3 Personal Trainer at YMCA Dubai and holds many other certifications worth speaking about.
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After hitting the weights, learning everything there is to know about clean eating, and finally making the decision to go natural, he can now give any bodybuilder a run for their money. At Goan Insider we spoke to Blazio to learn about his journey towards fitness. The excerpts of our conversation are below.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Blazio Pereira. I’m born and raised in Goa and an alumnus of St. Xavier’s college Goa. I am a fitness enthusiast currently working in Dubai U.A.E. Every step is a journey and you begin with a mindset to follow your passion for that one aspect of life. I have experienced that journey from nowhere to somewhere by chasing my dreams. I am today a certified Personal Trainer in K11 Fitness Academy of fitness science, Mumbai, and a registered REPS Certified Level 3 Personal Trainer at YMCA Dubai.
What made you get into fitness and bodybuilding?
Weakling is the word I would start with. It all started with that one part in my life wherein I was made to feel that I’m weak which killed my confidence at every step. Fear brought me down to my knees. Finally, I made the right approach to step against this and find justice for myself by walking into the gym for the first time in 2007. Mr. Caitano Dias, a 36 times Mr. Goa winner was my coach and mentor who designed a whole new journey for me back then. His guidance made me fall in love with this whole new concept of working out in a “Gym”. I used to admire Mr. Jay Cutler, a 4 times Mr. Olympia. He would be this guy on stage with a perfectly defined physique and watching him made me eager to experience what it feels like to stand on the stage and the commitment to win in bodybuilding.
How did you get selected for the Super Body Powerlifting Federation of Goa and how was the experience representing Goa?
I used to train in a power gym called Pitbull and one day my coach Mr. Caitano Dias asked me if I would like to participate in a national event in Powerlifting at Himachal Pradesh. I immediately accepted the opportunity. I had to go through the selection trial and when I got through that was my first step to represent Goa. It was definitely an amazing experience for me. I did manage to secure 9th place in the top 10 category followed by another event in Jammu.
Tell me more about your background in bodybuilding. What titles have you won, and what has been your greatest moment in the sport?
I believed that I could never stand a chance of being the champion of champions but I did somehow manage to win in the above 75kg weight category and there was no turning back from there. The greatest moment in sports was in 2013 winning 2 gold medals in Powerlifting and Best Physique and 1 silver in weight lifting organized by Goa University. Another one was in 2014 winning 1st place at the All Goa Powerlifting Championship (Seniors) organized by Goa Powerlifting Association.
How do you deal with losing a competition?
I always believe in one thing that losing is a choice. It is up to you if you accept defeat. It is completely fine to fall but it is truly not fine if you choose to remain there. For me there is no such thing as failure. I learnt through my defeats and worked upon being the best one among the rest for the next competition.
What are the various certifications related to fitness that you hold? Where did you complete them?
My step towards the fitness industry began in Mumbai when I joined the K11 Fitness Academy of Fitness Science. I completed my first course in Personal Training there. Later in UAE, I did my level 3 Diploma in Personal Training YMCA – EMPIRIC holding international recognition. I decided to continue my education in fitness in UAE and today I hold the following international certifications:
- FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine
- Certified Powerlifter Coach
- Certification in Olympic Weightlifting
- Certification in Kettle Bell
- Certification in HBX Boxing
- Certification in VIPR
- Certification in Nutrition
- Certification in Program Designing
- Certification in Exercise and Stress Management
- Certification in CPR, AED and First Aid
You currently work with Gold’s Gym in UAE. How has the experience been?
It has been and still is an amazing journey for me. I got a platform where I could interact with different people, different mindsets, different nationalities having different goals. This industry gave me an opportunity to learn and adapt to various changes, gave me an opportunity to develop myself and grow towards my well being.
How do you work on improving your physique? Describe your current training program
The most important factor here when you talk about improving your physique is diet. You work with a simple principle “you eat right, you’re on a healthy scale; you eat wrong you push yourself on an unhealthy scale”. It’s important that one should know what he or she consumes if you want to remain fit and have that perfect physique. That’s what I practice in my daily routine.
I work out 5-6 days a week. I have been focusing more on Powerlifting events than bodybuilding. So the workout that I mainly do is practicing my major lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press with 3 – 4 sets followed by 6- 8 reps for maximum hypertrophy. Along with that comes the assisting muscle in other words it’s known as the agonist’s muscle. It is very important to train these muscles which ensures that you‘re doing enough work for both sides of the body for better muscular balance.
What training and nutrition methods gave you the greatest bodybuilding results?
The training I focused on during the days I participated in Bodybuilding was mainly a Pyramid workout, known to be progressive sets. Other modes of exercises I incorporated into my workouts were negative sets and drop sets.
In terms of nutrition, knowing my macros and micros and going by with these intakes as per the calculation helped me a lot.
What’s the biggest misconception you have come across that people have with regards to strength training?
I remember this one time when a lady came up to me saying, “I don’t want to do strength training because I don’t want to get big or look like a man”. This is one major misconception I want to educate people on. If you are at the same capacity of lifting the same amount of weight that a man can lift you will still not look like a man or have the appearance of a man. This is because men carry the hormone called Testosterone while women carry Estrogen which defines men and women.
The fact you trained through all pain and struggles in your early days is inspirational. Do you consider yourself strong-minded? How does this mindset influence your life?
Yes! I consider myself strong-minded because every ladder I planned to climb I had all sorts of obstacles that came my way. My motive was to reach the top line but I was always kicked down to the bottom line. Those who believed that I was weak never realized that it actually made me stronger. It’s very important to face your fears because this is one part of our life that will teach us a lot about ourselves. I was accountable for the decisions I took. This helped me create a pathway to show that being compassionate, tough, empathetic, strong, and kind are ways to show how powerful one is.
Today I walk with these few morals I found that suit me the best and this influences my life in many ways not just personally but also professionally.
What separates a champion from a non-champion in your view, and why?
A champion for me is the one who managed to be one of the strongest candidate by surpassing the rest. A non champion is still a champion to me. I believe this because regardless of him winning or not, he/she made an attempt to prove him/her self by putting a step ahead compared to the person who never did.
Who do you admire in the world of bodybuilding/fitness and why?
I have to say Jay cutler, 4 times Mr. Olympia. The reason why I started admiring him is because of the life history he had back then. I somewhere relate my self to him. The struggles he had to go through and where he is today by having that belief that he can have the change for himself, inspired me a lot.
I imagine training and work take up a lot of your time. What hobbies and interests do you have to balance out your life?
Music has been a part of my life for a long time which made me interested in playing the guitar during my leisure time. Also, I love exploring new places, making new friends, reading upon few articles on fitness to get few concepts clear on Biomechanics of Exercises which helps me learn and develop my self.
How do you think Covid-19 will change the fitness industry?
The pandemic did bring about a lot of changes in everyone’s life, most importantly with relation to health. Today people are aware of the importance of physical activity and having healthy meals. After the lock down, awareness towards workout and joining a health club has increased as compared to before. There are people still yet to make their move but are afraid due to Covid-19. One of the easy ways to increase our immunity is by having healthy foods and keeping our body actively involved in physical activity. This will certainly have a great improvement in the fitness industry as those who work in the fitness industry can now come up with new ways and concepts for people to enjoy their workout and stay healthy.
Do you see fitness and technology go effectively together? Why?
Technology has made a lot of things easier in this century but it’s always the changes that take time for us to adopt. With the growing technology many took advantage by developing useful apps and even started online coaching. A new mode of training today is EMS (Electrical muscle stimulation). This machine sends a small current into our bodies that stimulates muscle contraction. I truly believe that fitness and technology go hand in hand because it helped people make working on themselves and educating themselves easier.
What are 3 things one can do to live a healthy lifestyle?
3 most important elements to live a healthy lifestyle would be:
- Proper Nutrition which holds the ration of 60%
- Physical Activity (Exercises) which is 30%
- 7-8 hours of sleep in a day which is 10%
Remember I said if you eat right you place yourself on a healthy scale; you eat wrong your on an unhealthy scale.
What would you like to achieve in fitness/bodybuilding long term?
Remaining fit and being in shape is the only one factor in my life I will look forward to in a long term.
What advice would you give someone who is looking at getting into bodybuilding and fitness?
My one and only advice to all the young champions would be to become the best version of your self. Fitness or bodybuilding is a journey. Do it for the right reason, do it for yourself, show your true potential and be proud of who you are.
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