Samoa’s Mr. South Pacific levels up

Mr. Samoa/Mr. South Pacific John Lemoa is excited for the level-up in competition the upcoming International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (I.F.B.B.) World Men’s Bodybuilding Championship will provide.

Lemoa won the Open Men’s Bodybuilding Over 90 kgs category and the title of “Overall Winner” at the South Pacific Oceania Championship in Tahiti at the start of October, but said he will be entering the World Championships with different expectations.

“Since this will be our first time at the Worlds, I know the competition is going to be very tough,” the 28-year-old from Samusu Aleipata, Vailoa Palauli and Fasito’o-uta said.

“We’re there to check it out, to see where the level is at.

“As long as we can present the best package that we can offer in terms of how we look on stage, that puts us in a good position to do well in the competition.”

And Lemoa said he and fellow Samoan competitor Arona Mataia know they belong at the tournament after their results in Tahiti:

“We’re confident in what we can offer now that we’ve done so well in the Pacific region.”

That performance also secured an I.F.B.B. Elite Pro-card for Lemoa, giving him the right to compete on the professional circuit.

“In the next 11-12 months I’ll have to sit down with coach and make a decision on when are we going to turn pro,” he said.

“How we’re going at the moment, I see a big future in bodybuilding for me.”

Lemoa said his preparation for the Worlds, to be held in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, is going well:

“We’re almost at our target weight that we want to be at.”

He said the conditioning is getting there too.

“Dropping a lot of water and body fat at the same time which is good.

“Training has been tough as always, especially around this time where basically you’re depleting your body.”

At this point in the process, Lemoa is cutting all carbohydrates out of his diet, a hard ask.

“You think about carbs as like the source of your energy, to pretty much fuel your workouts,” he said.

Lemoa said pushing through that is down to mental toughness:

“Although the body is giving up, the mind has to be strong.”

He said the rest of the Samoan bodybuilding team help him through the rough times.

“It gives that extra motivation and fuel to fire, to keep you going,” Lemoa said.

“It would be a whole different story if it was just me in this room working out, just going solo not representing anything.

“To stand for something, especially to have the whole nation behind you, that’s a huge thing to carry and it gives you that push and that motivation to keep going.

“For a small island country in the Pacific that you can hardly see on the map, to be able to produce these good athletes is a huge statement for Samoa.”

And Lemoa has a message for the people of Samoa too: that bodybuilding is good for developing a better outlook on life.

“It’s not always about building muscle and weights,” he said.

“You learn about discipline, you learn about hard work and dedication, how important those things are.

“Everyone can curl a dumbbell…, but if you can pick up hard work, discipline and dedication, those are the same principles you can apply to life in general.”

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