Obi Obadike is known around the world as a fitness expert, celebrity trainer and fitness personality. He’s featured in ultra-FIT on many occasions over the last few years and is known as being perhaps, ‘the most ripped’ of all fitness models and the fitness model who has had more covers than any other. As well as getting himself into great shape Obi trains others on-line and inperson and most recently has worked with Hollywood star Morris Chestnut.

Congratulations Obi on all your accomplishments over the years! What else is out there that you haven’t accomplished that is on your radar?

That’s too funny …… there is still so much for me to do but my focus at this point in time is more on mainstream fitness projects. I am currently on hold for a couple of fitness TV show projects and I should know by March what will happen with those opportunities. My main goal is to really be a TV host as a health and fitness expert. I have come close to that in the past but hopefully in 2014 it will definitely happen.

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“My main goal is to really be a TV host as a health and fitness expert. I have come close to that in the past but hopefully in 2014 it will definitely happen.”

The HLN network featured you in one of the Turner Upwave Health and Wellness commercials in the US. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Turner Broadcasting launched a brand new health and wellness entertainment brand called Upwave and I was one of the fitness experts and trainers that helped to launch Turner’s first-every digital health and wellness brand. I hosted and produced exercise videos and health and fitness tips for their website.

I was the on-camera host for most of their exercise fitness videos. All those exercise videos and fitness tips are featured on their website and I am also featured in their health and wellness commercials on HLN representing their brand.

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You are also now a spokes model for a brand new national chain of gyms called Ripped Fitness Gym. How has that been?

The chain was founded Brian Ripka. He reached out to me a couple of months ago and told me he wanted to launch a national chain of gyms and wanted to make me the face and spokes model of his brand of gyms.

He also wanted me to design the training method called the ‘Ripped Method’ and this is what the instructors will teach in their daily boot-camp classes. The RIPPED Training Method combines 30 minutes of treadmill running with 30 minutes of a boot camp regimen that includes strengthening, weight lifting, stretching, and core in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) format.

“He also wanted me to design the training method called the ‘Ripped Method’ and this is what the instructors will teach in their daily boot-camp classes.”

The American College of Sports medicine did a survey and said that the two most popular fitness trends in 2014 are HIIT training and body-weight-training so our goal with the Ripped Training Method was to incorporate what people are looking for in terms of staying in shape at the moment.

The Ripped Training method incorporates both bodyweight exercises and HIIT training which is great for fat loss and great for toning, building and maintaining muscle. The Ripped Fitness gym’s first location opened up in Westchester, New York on January 15th.

You’ve had the opportunity to work with so many people in this great industry. Who would you say was your favourite person to work with?

It’s so hard to pick my favourite person as I have had positive experiences with people as well as negative experiences but it is always great to work with hard-working creative people. Lately I’ve been working with more mainstream creative people in the entertainment industry and that has been mentally stimulating more so then getting ready for a photoshoot or something similar. I think I’m a cerebral guy more than a guy who is just focused on how big my biceps are!

How have you seen the fitness industry change over the years?

I think the fitness industry has changed over the years in particular in regard to the growth of social media and the web. This is where many people get their information on health and fitness as opposed to magazines. Also social media has allowed novice fitness professionals to create a brand that they probably would not have the opportunity to do without it.

There are many people in the fitness industry that have never written a fitness article, never landed a cover, never been in a fitness magazine but those same people post stuff on social media on a daily basis and have created their own little brand and following.

On a less positive note I also believe that drug use in the fitness industry has really become prominent among fitness competitors both male and female and cover fitness models. The unfortunate part of this is that many of these same people will claim and shout out loud that they are ‘natural’ and you know they are not.

It’s fairly easy for me to differentiate between someone that is on steroids and someone who is not, as there are detailed physical signs that stand out on a body that is not natural.

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What is the best training method for fat loss based on your experience when training clients?

I am a big advocate for circuit training for fat loss. With circuit training you are constantly moving from one station to the next with very little rest between circuits. This has always worked best for most of my clients whose goal was staying lean.

And in terms of weights a typical weighttraining routine would be ‘Biceps and Triceps’ for a Monday, where you superset between one set of biceps to one set of triceps. A Tuesday workout would be ‘Shoulders and Back and Abs’, where you superset between one set of shoulders to one set of back to one set of abs.

A Wednesday workout would be ‘Legs and Abs’, where you would superset one set of legs to one set of abs. A Thursday workout would be Chest and Calves and Abs, this would be supersetting one set of chest to one set of calves to one set of abs. I would advise doing 3 to 4 exercises per body part on each daily weight-training routine.

“I would advise doing 3 to 4 exercises per body part on each daily weight-training routine.”

Cardio would be 35 minutes of treadmill 3 to 4 days a week where you would jog at a slow to moderate pace for 5 minutes and then for the last 30 minutes, alternately sprint for 30 seconds at an 8.0mph pace and then walk for 30 seconds at a 3.0mph pace.

There are clearly good trainers out there and equally so bad trainers. How can someone know if a trainer is right for them?

I always believe that to differentiate between a good and a bad trainer the best thing to look at are results ….. meaning you need to check their clients’ transformations. To me that shows credibility and it shows the results of your expertise and knowledge and if you really are a great trainer.

If the person doesn’t even have a website that is a sign that maybe you shouldn’t work with them. Every credible fitness trainer or fitness professional should have a website, as we are not in the stone-age! There’s a saying that if you don’t have a website you really don’t exist. Also if you have a trainer that trains every single client that comes to him the same then that is definitely not a trainer you want to have.

Speaking of trainers and training, you had the opportunity to train Morris Chestnut to get ready for his role in ‘The Best Man Holiday’ film. His new physique caused many women to pick their jaw up off the floor and also landed him on a magazine cover. What was it like working with Morris?

It was great working with Morris Chestnut as he is the most humble person I’ve ever met in my life. The discipline that he put into me training him and being his nutritionist was phenomenal His dedication and consistency on the programme I put him on was phenomenal.

And the end result saw him drop 33lbs/15kg and 10% of body fat in a matter of 10 to 12 weeks. His physique was the talk of the Best Man Holiday movie. The movie incidentally has made over 71 million dollars at the box office, which is incredible for an AfricanAmerican movie. Ultimately Morris dropped down to a body fat percentage of 6 and a weight of 86Kg.

I had Morris on a 10 to 12 calorie per pound diet for the first 4 weeks and then after 4 weeks I dropped his calories each week by a 100 calories until we got down to about 1600 calories – which that was our limit. The incredible thing about his transformation was he got in the best shape of his life at 44 years old and although he got leaner he also got bigger too especially in his arms, chest, back and legs.

Sometimes the leaner you look the bigger you look! The foods I had him eating on a regular basis in terms of his diet were chicken, turkey, egg whites, brown rice, sweet potatoes, lean steak. His supplements were a whey protein shake and fish oil.

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“The movie incidentally has made over 71 million dollars at the box office, which is incredible for an African-American movie. Ultimately Morris dropped down to a body fat percentage of 6 and a weight of 86Kg”

Here’s a sample abs routine I had Morris on for about 4 weeks before we changed the programme:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Kneeling Cable Crunches

Grab the rope with both hands and get on your knees and hold the rope near your forehead. Use your abs and pull your shoulders towards your knees slowly. Raise up slowly about 6 inches and repeat the same motion for each rep. Always keep your core tight and make sure you are doing the exercise with the right proper form. Your focus in this exercise should always be form and technique over heavier weight and horrible technique.

Duration: 30 reps for 4 sets

Planks

Get in a push-up up position while putting your forearms on the ground. Your whole body should be parallel to the ground while keeping a straight strong line from head to toes and your back should be flat. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your core tight and hold the position for the duration of that repetition.

Duration: 1 minute for 4 sets

Legs Off The Ground – AKA Leg Lifts

Lie flat on your back on the ground and lift your legs up about 6 inches and hold for the duration of the repetition. Place your hands and palms on the floor throughout.

Duration: 45 seconds for 4 sets

Leg Raises

Use a dip machine/Roman Chair. Put your forearms on the armrests while holding the handles lift your legs with your knees bent towards your chest. Inhale and exhale while executing each repetition.

Duration: 1 minute for 4 sets

I chose these exercises as I felt they targeted the abdominals and obliques really well compared to other abdominal exercises. Also Morris, when he first started training with me said he wanted thicker abs similar to mine, so I felt these exercises did a great job of adding that thickness to the abs, especially if you use a good amount of weight when implementing these exercises – where relevant.

I’ve known you for years and I can say that you are not a cookiecutter workout/diet type of trainer.……

I’ve worked with a lot of people, celebrities and non-celebrities alike, so honestly my objective it to create a tailored programme formatted towards that individual’s fitness goals. There is no such thing as ‘one programme fits all’ and the reason is because of different individual’s body type, age, weight, health issues, fitness mobility, injuries and so on. All these will dictate the type of specified structured programme you create for that person.

What is the most widely used excuse you hear from people who don’t exercise and how do you combat the excuse?

People always like to use age as an excuse for not being in better shape and it is silly because anybody at an age can still be fit providing they do the right things.

Of course the older you get the slower your metabolism will be which means you have to work-out harder and really watch what you eat to maintain your shape but if you do the right thing diet and training wise on a consistent basis and you don’t have any serious medical issue you shouldn’t have any problems.

Unfortunately we live in a very lazy society where people seem to be very complacent when they get to a certain age and certain things in their life like their health seem not to be a priority like it was when they were younger.

“Unfortunately we live in a very lazy society where people seem to be very complacent when they get to a certain age and certain things in their life like their health seem not to be a priority like it was when they were younger.”

If you had to provide one piece of advice for the readers what would it be (it doesn’t even need to be fitness related)?

You can be anything you want to be in this life providing you work as hard as you can and provide a structured plan for your goals. Don’t let anybody say you can’t accomplish your dreams. Dream big and work hard is my motto!!!!! 

Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout-out to?

I would like to thank John Shepherd for giving me the opportunity to grace this cover (US edition) and I would like to thank Matt Weik for writing this cover story on me. I also want to thank my family, friends and my fans that have supported me as well as KO and LP for their support.

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