Blessing Awodibu will once again return to the stage next week as he aims to earn his qualification for 2023 Mr. Olympia. In a recent The Menace Podcast, Awodibu, joined by Dennis James and Milos Sarcev, discussed his prep, weight, and training for the upcoming Flex Weekend Pro in Italy, taking place September 10.
Possessing a rare combination of aesthetics, mass, and fullness, Blessing Awodibu quickly emerged as a top threat within the Men’s Open division. But it was his last season that caught the attention of fans around the world as he proved he could make the changes necessary when his career depended on it.
In May 2022, Awodibu kicked off his year with a victory at the Indy Pro, having improved from third place in his IFBB Pro debut a year prior. With momentum, “The Boogieman” made a clean sweep of the 2022 New York Pro.
Given his brash nature and entertaining personality, Blessing Awodibu was a fan favorite heading into his first Mr. Olympia contest. Before the event took place, he rekindled his rivalry with Mr. Olympia contender Nick Walker. However, when it was time to let his physique do the work on stage, Awodibu was overpowered by a top-notch lineup. He ended the biggest show of the year outside the top 15.
With redemption on his mind, Awodibu mapped out a plan to make it back to the Olympia stage. In July, he attempted to qualify at the 2023 Chicago Pro but fell to fourth place as Justin Shier went on to claim gold. Despite the setback, Awodibu has been open about what went wrong and has focused on improvements judging by some of his recent physique updates.
Blessing Awodibu Talks Working w/ Team Matt Jansen & Training for the 2023 Flex Weekend Pro
After taking on the Chicago Pro without a trainer, Awodibu decided to fill that void for his upcoming show in Italy with Cameron Chick, who works in tandem with Jansen’s team. He added that his weight has been lower than ever leading into his next contest.
“I’ve been working with Cameron Chick right now, he’s part of camp Jansen and other basically the alternate out here. It’s only about a forty-minute drive from Boca Raton, so. Yeah, forty minutes to an hour.”
“We are actually pretty low, actually the lowest I’ve been in two years,” said Awodibu about his weight.
Even though he’s been training with Cameron for a short period of time, Awodibu is confident in the progress and improvements he’s made.
“That’s the thing with underdogs, we don’t ever give up, we always come back. We always come back you know. I’m feeling pretty good man. This is probably going to be one of my best shapes ever. Cameron has done a really really great job.
We’ve only been together for maybe eight weeks, six weeks now, and the change that we’ve been able to achieve in just a short period of time – it’s actually incredible, you know. It just shows you what you can do when you surround yourself with the right folks.”
Specifically, Awodibu revealed that he’s worked diligently to bring up his presentation, legs, and upper body.
“I’ve been really working and trying to improve in all areas: posing, even presentation, bringing my legs up, the upper body, the next week, should be a very good show for the Boogieman,” explained Awodibu. “We needed time together. We needed time. The original plan was to do Tampa and Texas as well. But like, it was not enough time for me and Cameron to just jump in and put that pressure on myself again.”
Awodibu also mentioned that his body reacted favorably to changing his diet around.
“After the Olympia, I decided to do it myself. I had a great off-season myself and my training partner. We did the whole off-season together. Then, we started a prep. Obviously, it didn’t go the way it was planned, going into Chicago bro.”
“Changed my diet around, changed a few things, and honestly, my body just started moving,” added Awodibu. “
Looking ahead, Awodibu acknowledges that anybody could be a threat in Italy, but seems most concerned with Nathan De Asha and Regan Grimes.
“Italy is going to be such a great show. On paper, I think Nathan is one of the best going out there. He’s probably going to be the guy to beat. I’m looking at Regan man, he took a year off. Just looking at videos and pictures of Regan, I think that year off really paid well for him. He looks absolutely crazy.”
“Everybody is a threat. That’s why I think this has become very competitive because anybody can take it.”
Considering the quality of opposition in Italy, Awodibu believes his conditioning will determine his success against De Asha and Grimes. Awodibu added that his ‘clean’ and ‘quality aesthetic’ physique is hard to ignore on stage.
“Honestly, with my physique, I just got to be peeled. I got to be in condition. I won’t have the biggest legs on stage. I will not the be the biggest guy, but what I do bring is that clean good quality aesthetic physique that you cannot overlook. When that physique is peeled and conditioned, honestly, I can stand with anybody.”
Milos Sarcev’s Constructive Criticism for Awodibu’s Posing: “You Don’t Show the Mistakes”
According to Sarcev, there is a difference between presenting a pose on stage and having fun to entertain a crowd. He believes athletes who have weak body parts should do everything in their power to hide them while posing.
“You have that God-given structure. Jesus Christ. The width of the shoulders, the waist ratio, the peaking biceps, crazy back, all that stuff, right? You were a little bit lighter on the legs that could cost you sometimes. A few times, you improvise it and you can pass and make it not noticeable right? When you’re in really good condition and when you’re presenting, but when you are just slightly off, you slip down and then you are not as competitive.”
“That back double biceps of your’s is a state of beauty. That front double biceps… I’ve seen it this morning on Instagram, peaking biceps like this is one of the very few you could ever see with a tight waist. I would maybe give you constructive criticism in posing.
There is a difference of presenting the movement and having fun and entertaining the crowd which I salute you for but you’re there to compete. You don’t show the mistakes. You don’t explore the possibility, oh now they’re going to catch it,” shared Milos Sarcev. “You release the waistline often and you don’t have that commodity. When your waist is in, the v-taper goes like this [expands].”
Aside from podcast appearances, Awodibu has taken fans through many of his training sessions. Awodibu recently demolished a heavy back workout in preparation for the 2023 Flex Weekend Pro, which has quickly turned into one of the most stacked events of the year.
Awodibu will face Regan Grimes who took most of 2023 to build his physique with Milos Sarcev. Nathan De Asha will also aim to solidify himself as a Mr. Olympia contender should he find success next week. The stakes are high as athletes only have until October 9 to guarantee their spot on the Olympia stage.