Can You Become A Champion Bodybuilder On OneMeal A Day? Meet Fred Sanya- Kenyan Bodybuilding Champion!
I got an email from my good friend and photographer, Dennis Lee about a guy that he had met in Kenya named Fred Sanya. Fred was a Kenyan bodybuilder that was coming to America to compete in the November MuscleMania contest and Dennis asked if I could meet Fred and give him some guidance with regards to his training and diet, as where he lives in Kenya, the gym is made up of homemade weights, made from cement. More astonishingly Dennis told me that Fred was truly a sight to see in terms of his impressive muscle mass, but that he was even more impressive since he only ate onemeal a day. On hearing that I knew that I had to do whatever I could to help out Fred. I had just received a letter from a bodybuilder in Benin who was in a similar situation and wanted to know if I could help him out in some way as well and I always do my best whenever I hear these stories as I know all too well what it is like to try to build a champion level physique on just onemeal a day myself.
Bodybuilding On OneMeal A Day
As a teenager in Trinidad, I never had enough money to afford the ideal number of meals and would struggle to eat four times a day. (Which seldom ever happened.) I actually started my career as a personal trainer at the advice of my coach as a way to get more money to buy my food. At the time I only got paid once a month so I only had enough food for about 3 weeks. For the last week (or sometimes two depending on the length of the month) I would only have enough for one main meal and as hard as it was it never stopped me from the pursuit of my goal. Hearing about Fred, I thus felt an immediate kinship and arranged to have him meet me at the 19th Street Gym, where I train and my personal training business operates.
To say that I was impressed by Fred would be a true understatement. He came in, all full of smiles with a friend of his who was helping him get around for the day and I shook the hand of this giant of a man. He stood just about six feet tall and at about 220lbs with a barrel chest and impressively wide shoulders. His physique spoke of the years of training that he had put himself through (Fred at this point has been training for over 8 years now) and that he was able to accumulate such amazing proportions eating onemeal a day spoke legion to what he would accomplish in the months to come. Fred was so happy just to be here, and we sat down in the gym lobby for a while and spoke about bodybuilding, training and the difference between what it is like here in the United States and his native land in terms of the food and training equipment.
Not Much Gym Equipment Not Many Meals A Day But Plenty Of Spirit
Fred said that in his country there is so little food and the gyms are so run down that you just have to train hard and do the best that you can. Some of the competitors in Kenya also take steroids, which Fred is dead set against using and welcomed the idea of coming to the United States to compete in drug tested contests. I sympathized with him, as when I started competing in Trinidad, there was no such thing as a drug free contest. Steroids were very much a part of the competitive landscape and my decision to not go that route was very difficult one, but I stood fast and was able to be competitive nonetheless.
I told Fred about another bodybuilder that also had very little access to good food at the beginning of his career, but was able to compete and build a championship level physique, my good friend, Kai Greene– who in my opinion was one of the greatest natural bodybuilders of all time, during the period that I was with him competing in the NPC. Kai and I would spend hours talking about the importance of passion, and that most people simply didn’t understand the concept of making your dreams a reality no matter what the obstacles are. Fred is a great example of just that as he never complained about what he didn’t have he just trained hard and was able to accomplish great things in the process.
Fred Shows The Champion Level Form That He Was Able To Build Drug Free!
Victor Munoz, Victor Martinez’s coach and a friend of mine walked by and I introduced him to Fred. Fred was very excited to meet the man behind one of the top IFBB pros on the circuit today and Victor shared some of his words of wisdom as well. Hailing from Cuba, he too knew what it was like to not have everything at your fingertips as it is here in the United States. He said that Fred had a lot of potential and that he would do really well over here, but that he needed to eat clean at all times, since the food over here is plentiful, but it is really easy to start eating the wrong things. Fred was very excited to learn that Victor Martinez actually trained at the 19th Street Gym and could hardly wait to see the place.
Hard Work And Hard Training Is More Important Than Loads Of Food
Fred’s typical workout regime in Kenya revolved around the very basics, squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, rows curls and bench presses with not very much else. Fred trained 6 days a week twice a day (that’s not a typo) and has made tremendous gains from this remarkable regime. Some might say that his unconventional approach is not an effective one, but the proof as they say is in the pudding and Fred’s physique does indeed speak volumes for the validity of what he was doing. As someone that gained over 100 lbs over the years with three fifteen to twenty minute workouts, I know for a fact that very often the unconventional can produce some unconventional results! I told Fred about my own high intensity training routine of 10 minute workouts and he was incredulous.
“How can you work the muscles in such a short time?” he asked with a puzzled expression on his face, so I did what I always do when asked that question, I took him for a workout! Fred had also never trained in a real gym, so when we descended into the sprawling sea of iron that is the 19th Street Gym, he was dumbfounded. I reminded him that though the many machines offer a great degree of variety for many body parts, the basics of what got him to where he was in the first place should never be forgotten. He wanted to train legs and so I took him through a paces of a Naturally Intense High Intensity leg workout!
Fred loved every minute of it, and after the first round of hamstring curls (which, by the way he had never done before ), clearly feeling the effects, he boomed,
“Please! We are not finished yet?”
We were not, after launching into a set of squats, verticals and calves he was barely able to walk. Total training time, 8.5 minutes and Fred looked at me with a great smile, shook my hand and said,
“Maybe I need to think about training a bit like this, I have never felt like this before!”
At this point my other clients at the gym had arrived and Fred warned them,
“Be careful with this guy, this training is no joke!”
In Fred I could really see the passion that I and so many others have over the years and I look forward to helping him and seeing him go straight to the top of the sport. I hope that his example helps inspire you and many others that you can indeed make your dreams a reality without drugs, and even without the many protein powders and supplements that are so much a part of training today. All you need is a burning desire to succeed and a real commitment to never give up, no matter what!
What I Eat To Stay Lean and Keep Building Muscle All Year Round.
If there every was a "secret" to how I consistently stay in shape (and almost 20 years since my last competition) the answer would be my diet.
Diet is the deciding factor in what your body looks like and your overall performance and I want to stress that while this is a layout of the foods I eat on a daily basis, it's not a blueprint for your YOU should be eating.
What it can be is an example of what it takes to maintain a certain degree of size and muscularity at all times as a natural athlete, and also the underlying principle to how I select my foods.
Which is that I don't eat junk foods or highly processed foods and I only drink water.
(No protein shakes, ever!)
If you can start with that, there's no doubt that you will be on the right track in terms of your nutrition.
So stay away from processed foods, know that I believe in you and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense
Do You Have Good Genetics for Natural Bodybuilding?
I don't believe it's the question that needs to be asked.
Far too many, myself included, who went on to be successful natural bodybuilders would never have been the men and women you would expect to have the genetics for bodybuilding.
But we put in the work, the years, the dedication and the consistency, and so what matters isn't the question of genetics, but rather do you have the passion, the drive and the discipline to train hard and focus on your diet nonstop for years on end to realize your potential?
That's the real question, and yes, there are men and women who have great genetics for natural bodybuilding, but there are even more who would be amazing onstage but don't know it because they didn't believe enough in themselves to put in the time to see how far they could go.
So I am here to say that I believe you have it in you to do amazing things, so if it's your goal, or even if you just want to improve the way you look, stick with it and don't quit!
Know that I believe in you and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, celebrity Personal Trainer NYC and with over 2.6 million readers of his blog, Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, one of the top lifetime drug free bodybuilders of his time, the first International Fitness & Nutrition Consultant for UNICEF, 2020 and 8 Time Winner of the Best of Manhattan Awards for Personal Training and a world recognized authority on high intensity training. Kevin has helped thousands, from celebrities to CEO's over the past 30 years achieve their fitness goals with his 10 minute high-intensity workouts done just three times a week in conjunction with his holistic nutrition approach. You can learn more about about his diet and training services at www.naturallyintense.net
For the past thirty years, Celebrity Trainer and Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Kevin Richardson has helped hundreds realize their fitness goals in less time with Naturally Intense High Intensity 10 Minute Workouts.