BY KIMBERLY BABIN
Fullyalive101 is a conversation about health and wellness in mind, body and spirit. We believe that joy, success, and happiness all come from curating a life that explores fun, unique and creative ways to live FULLY ALIVE, to live the life you were born to. In this series, we are celebrating visionaries who embody this spirit and help others to live an awesome, empowered life. LIVE VIBRANT.
Joshua Zakery recently took First Place in the Classic Physique category at The NPC Figure & Body Building Championships. Zakery is known for lifting more than weights; he lifts others up. In this interview, Zakery gives us insight to the mindset and habits that create a win. “Your mind has to stay focused on your goal and the tasks you have to get done to get there. You build or sculpt your body through your training and your spirit carries you the distance.”
fullyalive101: What has your relationship with health & fitness been?
Zakery: I played soccer and basketball in High School and was a pretty decent athlete in my younger days. However, as I got older and more focused on my job, I started eating poorly like fast food and I really wasn’t concerned with a healthy life style. I drank and smoked cigarettes on the weekends. One day I decided I didn’t feel good. I had little energy and I was skinny with a gut lol. I decided to get back into the gym and that was almost 5 years ago. I quit smoking and rarely drink any alcohol. I realized that if I want to improve myself and get stronger and have better workouts I needed to cut those things out of my life. After a lot of reading and really enjoying getting stronger and growing mentally I realized the importance of nutrition. Nutrition is a large part of the equation. I always liked the idea of competing, but when I started out I would have never thought I actually would have.
fullyalive101: Tell us a little about your recent win.
This was my first bodybuilding competition in the all new Classic Physique category. People get it confused with Men’s physique however it is much different. I won my class which was Division B. Division B is categorized as men from 5’7” up to 5’10”. You also have to meet weight requirements. For me I had to be less than 177lbs. When I started my training for this competition in mid January I weighed around 198lbs and when I weighed in April 2nd I was 151lbs.
I never really changed my training regimen except for adding more cardio as the completion got closer. I continued to lift heavy, but my diet and added cardio made it all happen. For the month of my competition I was in the gym 2 or 3 times a day.
I ate very clean foods like ground turkey, egg whites with beans low sodium, tuna, grilled chicken and a sirloin steak here or there. I cooked everything with coconut oil and my other healthy fats I consumed were peanut butter, Almond butter and Avocado’s. As I got with in a month of the competition I didn’t eat many carbs just mainly vegetables and an occasional sweet potato, but the key to helping me loose weight was eating the same things and not mixing it up too much. Fasted cardio a couple times a week helped as well. Oh and I drank 2 gallons of water a day.
fullyalive101: How do you recover after a hard work out?
Eat a good meal and relax (maybe even a nap!).
fullyalive101: What is your favorite act of self-care?
Lifting in the gym or gong to the barber. I enjoy both.
fullyalive101: How would you define how you personal strive to live #fullyalive?
Well I work very hard at work as a professional and in the gym, but the main thing is I do what I truly enjoy and that is being fully alive. I also strive to maintain a positive attitude because it is contagious and when you are positive your life becomes positive.
fullyalive101: What advice would you give to someone that doesn’t feel like their body can gain muscle?
I was 135lbs in high school. You can do it, but you have to eat if you want to bulk up and gain muscle. You see people in the gym for years and nothing has changed. Gaining muscle is scientific and don’t be afraid to try different things. Read, read and then read some more about it. Everyone hits brick walls. Trust me I have been there. That is when it is time to change you routine or even diet and keep going. The last advice I can give you is don’t expect immediate results and stay consistent. Consistency is the key.
fullyalive101: Favorite healthy snack?
I love s’mores or cookie dough Quest bars. I also like celery or bananas with coconut peanut butter on them. Yum.
fullyalive101: How do mind, body & spirit tie together to create a win?
Your mind has to stay focused on your goal and the tasks you have to get done to get there. You build or sculpt your body through your training and your spirit carries you the distance.
fullyalive101: Most challenging lift?
I don’t consider my self a weight lifter or powerlifter. Most body builders would maybe say they have a weaker body part or more challenging area to get to grow. We are more concerned with sculpting our bodies. Michael Jordan always said I find my weakness and make it my strength. That is what I strive to do. Right now my calves are my weakness, but that will change.
*Please remember fullyalive101.org does not provide any medical advice, and all articles should be considered opinion. Consult with your doctor for medical information. This interview has been edited and condensed.