Matthew Otero, 2019 Drug Free NGA Mr. Universe Winner
I live here in Loxahatchee Groves. My wife and I are both Professional Fitness Trainers, as well as parents of two young children. We also run an Equestrian Farm here in Loxahatchee Groves & Results Personal Training, where we train many equestrian athletes as well as many other fitness and strength related modalities. Many of our clients are local residents, but we also train many Equestrian Athletes that compete at WEF (Winter Equestrian Festival).
Journey and Drug Free Competition
One of the most important things my wife and I hold dear to our business and our clients is that we lead by example. That we practice what we preach. One way we like to show our clients what fitness and diet can do in a person’s life is that we compete in many sports, strength sports and fitness sports. A little more than 18 weeks ago (actually almost my entire life) I started preparing for my debut as a Pro National Gym Association DRUG FREE Bodybuilder in the 2019 Mr. Universe Bodybuilding Competition. As an NGA Pro Bodybuilder we submit ourselves to not only a drug test but also to a polygraph test about not using any performance enhancing drugs. Our company, Results Personal Training, as well as my wife and I throughout our lifetimes, has been and always will be advocates for drug free fitness. This means no gimmicks, no steroids or hormones (sounds like a chicken commercial). We do not allow immediate results to be a substitute for what fitness and health are truly intended for, which is a better quality of life, overall fitness, and a stronger mind.
Side Note: I think many people, especially parents of young children and young adults, have really lost their way about why sports/fitness were created and what young, as well as older, athletes should get out of them. It’s always good to dream but I know that sometimes those dreams of parents and athletes lead them to do things that may not be the best for their bodies, their children’s bodies or for the sport. With so many drugs in sports nowadays, it’s very easy to lose sight of all the true character developments sports give us. Discipline, hard work, integrity, patience, consistency, teamwork, leadership etc.
So, after winning the USAPL Central States powerlifting (performing the heaviest Squat, Bench, and Deadlift you are capable of doing) competition on July 6th 2019 it was time to get ready for my pro debut as a bodybuilder. In order to get ready for a Bodybuilding show, especially Drug Free, it is much different than preparing for a powerlifting meet. The biggest difference between Strength Sports and Bodybuilding, besides the obvious, is that in Stength Sports your mind has to be ready to overcome fear, to do things you have never done before and to risk injury if your mind and body are not prepared correctly. The other, Bodybuilding, is setting your mind to stay focused, be patient for the end result, to enjoy or at least do the daily grind of conditioning, weightlifting, and being perfect with diet. Bodybuilding requires a person to dedicate their mind and body every second of every day to a goal that they are truly hungry for. Both require extreme knowledge of the body, weightlifting, and food, and both require overcoming obstacles and complete dedication.
The only thing we can control in this life is what goes into our mouths!!! So why is it so hard? Because the true discipline of bodybuilding is Overcoming Obstacles!! This is by far the hardest part of being a successful bodybuilder. If it was just about eating correctly, training hard, and taking supplements then everyone would have a stage ready body all the time but this isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, this is the hardest part of starting any training program or being successful changing your body image…ok I’ll say it…Dieting!!!! Let’s clear this up right now, a Diet is the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. So, everyone is on a diet right now. It could be really good or really, really bad. Besides diet, overcoming the mind is why I love this sport. To prove to myself that my mind is greater than most things people may find as necessities in their lives… that certain habits, activities, people, lifestyles, or behaviors don’t have to control me. The goal is to show that we can all Be in Control, Be Different, and Be Exceptional!!! There is always a party to go to or something to celebrate. We can be overcome by crisis in our life, emotions of sadness or even happiness that can lead us down the wrong path. Our closest friends, family, loved ones, spouses, or even role models can influence us to stray from our goals. Other thoughts such as being impatient, tired, or irritable are just some of the internal emotions that we can allow to affect the external.
In the same way I can speak with knowledge and experience about training, playing sports, and weightlifting, I can also speak from direct experience throughout this bodybuilding show to having to overcome all of these obstacles…probably even more than I can mention. Such as when my wife blessed our family with a beautiful baby girl. A time to celebrate, or a time to be stressed! There were countless celebrations, concerts, holidays, birthday parties and even travel. As a husband and father, there has to always be family time, husband time. There were lots of people that wanted to go out, there was a habit of going out to dinner as a couple, kids eating somewhat differently, recreational activities where I had to bring food, dealing with injury, and oh yeah, that little thing we call work! The stress of running a farm and a business and providing for a family of 4. I had to deal with them all, the same as all of my clients, the same as all of you.
How did I overcome these Obstacles? Although it seems like it is about putting time in the gym and eating correctly it’s even more about adjusting or changing habits and behaviors, and controlling emotions. It’s an inner test of will power, sacrifice, and changing the typical mindset. It’s about knowing the difference between wants and needs. Giving things up that won’t lead us to the outcome we desire. Being more “hungry” to win than to give into typical ways of life and emotional or gimmick foods. It’s about taking pride in living a healthy lifestyle, choosing to live an active fitness lifestyle, and choosing to not waste the body and mind God has given us. You have to take control and believe in yourself.
In Conclusion, we (my family, my training partner, my diet coach, and all the support I had from friends, clients, and family) won my pro debut. We won the 2019 NGA Mr. Universe title bringing it home to the USA. It was a day that started at 4:30am and ended at 9pm with a drug test. Of course, our goal was to win, but this win will only last to the next competition. My personal goal was to stomp the mat from last year into the ground, which we did. It was the journey that I will hold dear in my heart and will keep with me for the rest of my life. My hope is that others will see that this journey wasn’t just for me. That they can do it also. They don’t have to get on stage or on the powerlifting platform (but it would be cool if they did). It’s really not about that. It’s really about believing that they can better themselves every time God gives us another day on this earth. That the things we can control we need to control and that the internal doesn’t have to control our external! At Results Personal Training we have a passion for sharing.
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