We interview the WBFF Pro Justen Pelser on his body building journey and how the beginners can start their own career.
1. Little about yourself..
Tell us about a little background about who Justen Pelser is.
My Passion for sport and fitness has always been a huge part of my life. I played multiple sports throughout my schooling career and had the privilege of playing professional rugby for 5 years after high school.
I went on to further my career in fitness and stepped out on stage for the first time in 2013 in my first fitness show in South Africa. It motivated me to want to achieve more and win my Pro Card and become a Pro Fitness Model.
I have been blessed to achieve this goal when I won my PRO Card in the 2016 WBFF Australia male fitness model category. This has given me a great platform to help others achieve their goals and become a better version of themselves.
I studied Sports Science (Exercise Specialist) and currently been working in the fitness industry for the last 7 years. I am a Senior Personal Trainer/Business Development Manager.
What/Who inspired you to the fitness industry and profession?
My passion for sport and fitness inspired me enough to know what I always wanted to become and do one day but I always had role models in sports and bodybuilding such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
2. Beginning of your career..
How it all started?
During my third and final year in 2013 of studying, I decided to take a year off rugby and wanted to challenge myself.
So I looked through a fitness magazine and saw an upcoming fitness competition and told myself that I can do this. Therefore, I approached a coach who could help me prepare for this fitness competition and began a 6 week diet, which was very short time.
However, I was in good enough condition to take on the challenge, and so I did.
What and when was your first competition and how was your experience?
2013 was my first ever fitness competition called Body Beautiful SA.
I entered the muscle model category and came 12th out of 38 athletes. My goal was not to win but to challenge myself and go out there and feel what it feels like to prepare your body for a competition and gain experience and that’s exactly what I did.
The Fitness Competing bug bit me and I was hooked, I enjoyed the show so much.
3. World Beauty Fashion and Fitness (WBFF) Gold..
How was your experience winning the Gold?
After taking 3 years off as I moved to Dubai in 2014 and having gotten 2 ACL Knee surgeries after a rugby injury, I could’nt run or walk properly for 1 year.
I had to rebuild both my legs to full strength. I wanted to challenge myself once again but this time to enter a fitness show and come 1st place and win my PRO Card 🙂
So I prepped for 8 months and went over to Australia and gave everything I had. I came home with the GOLD and My PRO CARD. It was the most rewarding and humbling feeling I have ever felt.
What was the key to winning it?
The key to winning was Dedication/Discipline/Determination.
It all came down to willpower and mindset. Physically I was changing but mentally was the most important part of becoming a winner.
You need to trust the process and believe you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
4. How one can start..
How early one should start before the competition?
It depends on your current condition but usually first timer at least 20 weeks
Can someone do it with a day job?
Yes indeed, if you want it you will do whatever it takes and make the commitment needed.
How many weekly training hours a beginner should put in?
In season competition, I train 6-7 days a week. Three times a day.
1st being fasted cardio 60-90 mins in the morning.
2nd session weights, I will do one muscle group a day.
3rd, 20-30 mins cardio in the evening before my last meal.
Are there any specific workout routines you would suggest?
You need to train each muscle group and make sure you work on your weaker areas and focus on overall condition not just the easier muscle groups like arms.
Rather look to balance out and work on giving time to work on each muscle group of your body.
List the things one should follow religiously..
Diet/Training/Sleep Management/Stress Management/Mental well-being
5. On trainer’s Diet..
What kind of diet one should focus on?
It depends on what foods work for you best and what phase you are going through in your prep.
I suggest seeing a sports dietitian or a professional nutritionist who can individualize a diet according to your goals and needs and progress.
Are there any diet plans and food services one can get for such competitions?
Yes, there are multiple food services and it helps a lot, takes the stress and pressure off. You don’t have to make time to cooking, etc.
I use Fuel UP, they provide me with all my meals. I just give them my diet and they prep and deliver all my food to me making my prep much easier to stay consistent.
6. Views on Supplements..
What’s your view on supplements? Does the body builder need them to compete?
Supplements are a personal choice an individual can make to use them or not. Some athletes don’t believe in using supplements and rely on natural sources such as various food/vegetables and herbal remedies, which is their personal choice.
They have several benefits and can be used in conjunction with healthy diet but should never replace real food.
Supplements can be used for different reasons to supplement nutrients and minerals your body may need to recover and perform at the ultimate level that is needed to compete.
If one goes out to buy some, what would you suggest them? What kind? Pre and Post?
Multivitamin, Omega 3,Digestive Enzymes, Vitamin D, CLA, Pre Workout, Fat Burner, Amino Acids, Glutamine, L-Carnitine ,Whey Isolate Protein, Pure Carbohydrate Powder, Milk Thistle.
7. Performance Tips..
What should a beginner know about posing and flexing on the stage?
Posing counts mostly 40% on judges’ criteria. It is crucial that you get a professional posing coach.
Just coach you on the correct posing and how to flex and pose in correct way for your category.
Any tips and tricks to enhance their look?
My tips and trick would be whiten your teeth, make sure you shave your face, cut and style your hair and make sure your tan is on point, and lastly enjoy the journey 🙂
8. Career in Dubai..
How are the opportunities for trainers/body builders in Dubai? And why, Dubai?
Dubai’s Fitness Industry is booming and only growing day by day. There are more than +180 gyms around Dubai offering loads of opportunities for fitness professionals to further their careers and build a solid business.
Most important thing would be to be qualified, continue education, looking to deliver quality results and sessions to all your clients and do it out of passion, not just for the money 🙂
What competitions one should get into around Dubai to get started?
Dubai is starting to bring in more Bodybuilding/Fitness Competitions such IFBB/WBFF shows during the muscle and fitness expos that are becoming a big deal in Dubai.
I would suggest to look overseas at different competitions and take a chance and go do a show you never know you could WIN and become a PRO like I did.
Bonus Question: If you were not a trainer/body builder/model, what would you like to be?
I would have liked to be a TV Presenter and travel the world.