Leo Padua came down from way far Alaska to sunny Los Angeles to compete in the Los Angeles Bodybuilding Championships, won Overall which is no small feat, and quickly followed by the NPC USAs where he also got top placings. Since sweeping the West NPC bodybuilding world, Leo returned back to Alaska with TV coverage, interviews, and various sponsorship interests from supplement and fitness companies. This is all in a day of hard work for Leo, father of 5(!), husband, and athlete.
How does he find the drive to pursue such a high level of fitness while managing a busy life? Check out the interview below.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Bridgeport Connecticut April 25,1974. I’m a proud father of five (5) amazing children, and husband to my lovely wife Ruthy. We currently reside in Wasilla, Alaska. I’ve been working full time for FedEx for over (14) years. On my spare time, I personal train at several gyms around town and help my wife with the family business (daycare center).
I graduated with an associate’s degree in business and another in exercise and nutrition.
2. What got you started in Bodybuilding?
I started bodybuilding in the 90’s basically to keep me out of trouble. My 1st show was in 1994 when I won three shows in three days. The first show was the MR West on a Friday in which I won first place in the open class and took the over all. Then on Saturday I won the All High School were all the high schools kids in Alaska got together and competed. Their I won the open class and overall. That Sunday I entered the Elmendorf Spring classic and got first in my weight class. I was very proud! That experience motivated me to continue on in the bodybuilding world.
3. For the Photo shoot you came in top shape and hitting the bodybuilder circuit. Can you tell us a little more about the shows, how you felt going into it, anything that you would change for the next show?
I recently competed in the NPC Los Angeles where I placed 1st in the middleweight class and proceeded by taking the Overall. The following Saturday, I did the NPC USA, as a welterweight. I placed 4th in this National Level competition. I felt really prepared for these shows. My body-fat levels were at approximately 3-3 1/2%. . My conditioning was exceptional.
When it comes to Physical improvements I would like to be 10 to 15 pounds heavier for my next competition in conjunction with the leanness I brought this time around. Also, it was a bit difficult to do back to back shows which affected my “tightness” for the second show, so I will most likely refrain from doing shows back-to-back.
4. Why did you choose your current bodybuilding federation?
I feel that The NPC is a good choice for me. I’ve been with them for over 16 years and judged for them for the past 5 years! The NPC is widely recognized. They hold many competitions in the US. The likelihood that there’s an NPC competition within a reasonable distance from you is high. The NPC also offers the opportunity to obtain professional status in the IFBB, which is arguably the most prestigious and publicly recognized bodybuilding, fitness, and figure federation in the world.
5. Tell us about your on-season training and off-season training. What’s your diet like and what supplements do you use to prepare for your show?
During the off-season, I try to add size to my frame so I do lower reps (6 to 8 reps x 3 sets) and I increase my calorie intake. I try not to be more than 12% body fat. During my on-season training I normally go with 8 to 10 reps x 3 sets With a I lower calorie diet. I split my meals into smaller portions, leaving me with 6 meals a day. Some of the supplements I take when preparing for a show are Alkaline Creatine, Glutamine and a multi mineral pack.
6. What does it take to be a Bodybuilder? What type of commitment is involved and what are the things you have to give up so you can compete in the sport?
To be a bodybuilder it takes, determination, motivation, discipline, and the desire to succeed. Sacrifices come with every sport. I had to give up parting so that I can get my proper rest and “junk food”.
7. Looking at the beginner bodybuilder version of your self, what would you tell him?
I would tell him, “Be patient, never give up, and don’t procrastinate in life”.
8. What tips would you give someone who wants to embark in the endeavor of competing in bodybuilding? What qualities must they possess?
I would tell them that they MUST have the DRIVE. You’ve really got to want it. When you want something bad enough don’t be afraid and go get it! Don’t loose sight of your goals. With God everything is possible.
9. What’s next on your plate? When and where can we expect to see you compete?
As of right now, it’s back to the drawing board. I want to add lean muscle mass to my physique, and then I’ll decide what’s next. I’m excited to see what’s in store for me.
10. Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
I have many! But this one is my favorite:
“Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become action, watch your actions for they become habits, watch your habits for they become character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny”.
11. Last words, where can we find you on the Internet?
I would like to thank God first for giving me the endurance, strength and power to be a bodybuilder. Secondly, thanks to everyone – family, friends, – for all of the positive encouragement that I’ve received throughout this journey. Also, a special shout out to my professional nutritional coach Sean Calder, who helped me achieve my current physique year to date.
For those who would like to get in touch with me, you can reach me at Lpadua@live.com or follow me on Facebook under Leo Padua. Wish you all the best, today, tomorrow and ever! God Bless.
Alaska TV News: Body Building Champ Leo Padua Interview
To review more of my photography work, visit my website Natalie Minh Photography.