Muscle and Athletic Sport Society (MASS) presents the Student Physique Championship Grand Finale at the University of London this Saturday 25th April.
The event is being held between 11:30-4pm in the Student Central of the University. The Student Physique Championship is an annual event that seeks to find the UK’s best-built students. In the build up to the finale, 100 competitors took part in two competitive regional qualifiers to win their place in the grand finale; among these 100 competitors, 50 students from various universities qualified in an x factor style event.
Whilst many students are slogging over their coursework and planning their revision timetables for the slowly approaching exam period; 100 dedicated students are breaking a sweat in the gym to perfect their abs, legs, and arms ready for the weekends competition. The contest aims to dispel common misperceptions that young people at University are lazy and unhealthy. Contestants will be judged on their overall physique, stage presence, personality and aspirations. The categories for the competition are men’s fresher, men’s physique, men’s athletic, and women’s bikini. The winners will be judged by a celebrity fitness panel including Men’s Health cover man Matt Wallis, who won the competition last year.
Loughborough University’s Shaun Omogbai aged 20 studying Mechanical Engineering is one of the athletes that has made it to the Grand Finale this Saturday; Imogen Harry from Label Sport spoke with Shaun the day before the big event.
I | What first inspired you to begin body sculpting?
S | What started it all for me was when I began working at Hollister last summer. When I was working there I was pretty intimidated by the boys that I worked with, so I started going to the gym, got into good shape and it was something that I wanted to continue.
I | Can you tell me a bit about your journey to MASS Finals?
S | One of the boys that I went to the gym with was competing in the MASS and he convinced me to come along to the event. I did, and it gave me the incentive to train and work hard seeing what I could be if I worked hard. So I came back from the event and planned how I would be training to work hard of which I have been doing ever since. I entered into the MASS for the first time this year and it proved that my hard work had paid of as I was put into the Finale.
I | What category will you be competing in?
S | I will be competing in the Men’s Fresher’s category this Saturday. Technically I’m in my second year at Loughborough but I did a foundation degree before starting my Mechanical Engineering degree this year.
I | Talk me through a typical day for you…
S | I wake up at 6, freshen up and head to the gym where I start with cardio and high intensity training for 10-15mins on the treadmill or bike. After that I do low intensity exercise for 20minutes and head home. I shower, eat, study for a bit, play Fifa, read, just like any normal University student. I make another meal that would be spinach, egg, chicken; any high protein based meal with an avocado for a treat. I eat anything healthy really! Then I go to the gym afterwards and do a weight session, this is the session I like! After the weights I will do cardio again but at low intensity; then home, eat, sleep. May sound boring to many but it’s a routine I’ve had to stick to to get to where I am today.
I | How have you been preparing today a day ahead of the event?
S | I think one of the hardest things for me before the event has been the dehydration phase. You can’t have water from 8pm onwards until after the event has finished, not having water is a big challenge and all I want right now is a large glass of iced water. Along with this I’ve had to lower my calorie intake from 4000-2000 with no carbs, it’s ben tough but I can see the results that will hopefully make it worth it.
I | Are you looking forward to the Finale? Who do you think will be your biggest competition?
S | I am looking forward to the event, especially because my family will be there to watch and support me. It’s an incredible atmosphere to compete in and I may not be scared but I am wary of the guy that beat me in my last heat previously. I should place I reckon but where I place we will have to wait and see.
I | After MASS do you look to continue your training? If so where do you see yourself a couple of years from now?
S | Ultimately I do want to compete and become a pro, but I’m a student and that’s the main thing that I have to focus on from now on. I look to work on my weaknesses that will be addressed when I compete on Saturday and continue training regularly. I have a couple of companies that are interested in sponsoring me, which is pretty cool. I don’t think I’ll compete again during my undergraduate years at Loughborough as I want to focus on my degree but who knows what the future holds.
Following his interview Shaun wanted to thank everyone for all his or her incredible amounts of support. “ I would advise anyone who wants to compete to go for it, you meet some incredible people and I am grateful for the experiences that I have had.”
Another one of Loughborough University’s students, Josh Bridgman, will be competing in the Finale within the Tall Men Physique Class after winning his class at regionals.
Good luck to both Shaun and Josh!
Tickets for the event range from £6.50-£12.50 with student tickets being £8.50.
To find out more about the event check out their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/364010527140429/