We wanted to extend our congratulations to Michael Figueroa (Instagram) for winning at the Mr. Natural Philadelphia Body Building Competition. Mike took home 1st in Debut Men’s Physique, Men’s Physique, Novice Men’s Physique, Open Men’s Physique lightweight, open lightweight, Bodybuilding, and 2nd in Men’s debut classic physique.
We sat down to talk to Mike about his journey:
So what got you into fitness???
Since I was a kid, I’ve always been a huge fan of Superheroes. I collected Comics and Men’s fitness magazines and was so amazed and intrigued by the Aesthetics. Growing up, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Laundren, and Jean Claude Van Damme were my absolute Idols and role models. I studied the Fitness magazines better than I did my school work! lol Hence the blueprint of my true self was made, I then just had to make it happen.
Once I began to build my body and I started to finally feel my outside matched my inside, I decided to become a Personal Trainer, not only to coach people to achieve their goals and show them what is REALLY deeply seeded inside them but to pass on the same amazing feeling of truly loving what you see in the mirror and unlocking the Champion within.
What made you decide to compete??
Why not be rewarded and nationally recognized for the unspeakable hard work you put into your self, lifestyle, and passion to be the best you possible while competing with yourself and competing with like-minded people?? Win-win if you ask me!
Where did you train?
Optimal Sport 1315, and Midcity Gym in Manhattan New York (Fun fact: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first gym when he first moved to America in October 1968).
What was training for the competition like? Anything you didn’t expect??
Challenging, self-reflecting, learning one’s self on a COMPLETELY different level that you would never know existed, Grueling, sacrificing, emotional, I was fortunate enough to have an amazing abundance of love and support from those close to me, in my community, and in my Gym/work setting.
What was the competition like??
An EXHILARATING indescribable experience!! It was totally unexpected to feel as naturally comfortable and confident as I did on stage. It was actually amazingly fun since I was doing the show alongside my longtime friend and work colleague, Dan Parvu, and having some of our friends/colleagues that have been there during the whole Show prep journey with us supporting and cheering us made it all feel all the better and comfortable.
It was also amazing having some of my 12th St. gym family, whom I haven’t seen much since the shutdown, come to cheer and support me. It was like a family reunion.
What awards did you win?
1st in Debut Men’s Physique, Men’s Physique, Novice Men’s Physique, Open Men’s Physique, Men’s Open, Open Bodybuilding, and 2nd in Men’s Debut Classic Physique.
PLUS I was a Pro Qualifier and went toe to toe with a well-seasoned pro of 10+ years of competing and neither of us left the Center of the stage (which means the judges needed to decide which of the two of us got the Pro status).
Can you train me?
I can train anyone that has the fire, passion, desire, commitment to themselves, and determination to become the best version of themselves possible, I provide the knowledge and training, what you do with it is all you.
Anything else you want to say about your journey?
I can and WILL go the distance, and then some! Stay tuned!