Pro bodybuilder’s warning: getting to sport’s pinnacle is hard work

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By Neto Baptiste

Professional bodybuilder Bernard Percival Jr. has warned his national counterparts that attaining the heights achieved by himself and the country’s six other professionals will not come easily, and not without hard work.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Percival said he wants to see others elevated to the pinnacle of bodybuilding, but cautioned the future generation that this can only be achieved through consistency and dedication.

“This sport is a sport of longevity so it’s not going to happen overnight. Some persons can come out and, let’s say, they maybe put in about two or three days of training because of their genetic abilities or just their response to training, so they could do well really quickly. If you put it into perspective and look at someone like myself, for example, I started working out in December of 2003 and I only touched the stage in 2017,” he said.

Percival, who recently captured the Classic Physique and overall category at the IFBB Elite Pro Miami Grand Prix held in Florida, also highlighted the financial burden associated with sport.

“One aspect is supplementation and let’s just say you’re taking protein supplements [during] your pre-workouts or something along those lines or if you want to try a fat-burner or whatever, everything has a cost. If you are, of course, someone who has to pay a gym membership or you have a trainer working with you as well … then there are additional costs incurred there as well. For example, myself going to compete on a professional circuit and having to seek accommodation, travel and all that kind of stuff, it’s a very costly venture,” he said. 

The athlete, who has found success at every show he has entered thus far, is hoping his accomplishments will open doors for the sport.

“One thing especially too that I am hoping … my recent victory can really achieve is to get some limelight to the sport of bodybuilding. We’ve done good on the local stage but when we go overseas as well, we can do some damage and with that being said, I am hoping that the government would at least take a look and say, ‘hey, this sport is doing really well so let’s try and put some funding towards this to send teams to do more of the competitions’,” Percival said.

“We’ve had six pros over the past two years because Rosian turned pro in 2015. If it’s a case where we can send more teams to more regional competitions, especially now they are coming closer to Antigua, and having more opportunities for people to turn professional. If we send more teams out there they will have more opportunities to turn pro,” he added.

Percival received the grand prize of US$2000 for his success at the Miami Grand Prix. He is hoping for an invitation to the Arnold Classic slated for 20-22 September in Australia.

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