Regina bodybuilder says his professional career dream is made possible by community support
When Abimbola Aina came to Regina from a small town in Ogun State in Nigeria, he had little more than a body and a dream.
“My goal was to become a great bodybuilder, but that wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t in a great country like Canada,” Aina said.
“Coming to Canada has changed my life.”
He was already a fitness enthusiast in Nigeria, but full-fledged bodybuilding was out of reach.
“I just trained in the back of the home gym in Nigeria,” he said. “I couldn’t afford to fulfill my dream in Nigeria because it is expensive.”
Aina has found a supportive environment in the Regina bodybuilding community.
With their help, the Nigerian-Canadian won his IFBB Pro card last year, officially making him a professional bodybuilder.
Aina’s first major win in the sport came in 2016 when he was named Mr. Saskatchewan.
“It was more than happy for me,” he recalls. “I know how lucky I am to live in Canada and do great things.”
In 2021, he traveled to Vancouver for a pro qualifying show. His undeniable physique earned him the Open Heavyweight class. He went on to win the overall title, earning him his pro card.
“To win it takes everything you have, total acceptance of being uncomfortable at times knowing that great things can happen. Being in an uncomfortable position can be difficult, but that’s the price to be paid. pay,” he said.
Aina said he finds his motivation in a healthy lifestyle.
“I believe that taking care of your body is a duty, and my parents always told me that health is wealth. Bodybuilding makes me realize how important the body is to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said he declared.
“When you do what you love, you do it with passion and your dedication will be unquestionable.”
Jaime Otitoju, Certified Personal Trainer and WNBF Professional Bodybuilding Coach. said success in this area requires two things: consistent dedication to training and proper nutrition.
“It requires a lot of rest, less stress and also perseverance even when things are tough,” Otitoju said.
Food plays a key role in mass gain.
“You eat at least six times a day. A combination of different food classes. The food you eat in the season is different from the food you eat in the offseason,” Otitoju said.
Abimbola is no exception.
“I make sure I train five to six times a week and eat clean food. I try not to miss meals,” he said.
Abimbola says earning his professional card is just the start of the journey for him as he now plans to take his career to the world stage.
“My next step as a new IFBB pro is to keep working hard. I’m planning my professional debut in 2023 and by then I’ll be ready to fight with the best in the world.”
He said his story is proof to other immigrants that a better future is possible.
“Some people were allowed to come to this wonderful country and never understood what their dreams were,” he said.
“I found my way and I succeed.”
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.