NOCCO CLOSE UP WITH OBI VINCENT

Going from not participating in any sports and eating pretty much every junk food there is, to a well-rounded athlete, committed to both functional training and bodybuilding – Obi Vincent is a popular fitness influencer throughout the UK. Obi’s bad habits during his youth made him realize he had to change. Years later, his strong drive lies in the pure love he has for what he does. Get to know Obi and his passions in this issue of NOCCO Close Up UK.

Hi, Obi Vincent! How did it all start, and what got you started to become one of the most talked about people in the industry in 2018? 
– “As a child, I was overweight and inactive. I spent a lot of time watching television and I had a terrible diet. When I was eighteen, someone made a comment about my weight and that was it, I decided I had to change. A year before I started bodybuilding in the gym, I did a lot of outdoor running and changed my diet which helped me lose a lot of weight.”

You made quite a transition from shall we say religious body building to functional training and more functional fitness, how did this come about?
– “I had built a strong physique through bodybuilding, but in June 2017 youtuber ‘Jamie in the Jam’ put me through a functional training workout which really opened my eyes up to different training methods. I struggled throughout the workout and realized that although I am strong, I am not fast enough. I also watched ‘The Fittest Man on Earth’ documentary which made me feel like I needed to improve and push myself to the next step. I love bodybuilding and functional training, so I took the best of both worlds and merged them together.”

“I like to call
myself a “CrossLifter”

What do you like the most about this change? Big benefits? 
– “Honestly, I just feel all round fitter and more comfortable in different contexts – almost like a well-rounded athlete. This is much thanks to my training crossing all spectrums of fitness. I can challenge myself in multiple disciplines and compete in both functional training and Bodybuilding, which I feel is a huge benefit”.

What does a normal schedule look like for you? Do you do more of bodybuilding or functional training?
– “Before, my schedule was focused around bodybuilding and Olympic lifting. Now, I have 3 bodybuilding focused sessions as well as 4 endurance sessions a week. I have learnt a lot about my body and how it works, from changing my training to a more even split. Working on gymnastics is the biggest challenge for myself due to my weight and size. Having a more even split between Bodybuilding and functional training has allowed me to train for how I feel, rather than how I look”.

“I don’t eat or train
to look a certain way,
I just focus on how
I am feeling.”

What’s the biggest challenge going forward with this change? Do you feel like you’re lacking in areas of bodybuilding you might have not been previous to this?
– “I don’t really see any challenges as I don’t feel like I am at a disadvantage by changing my training methods. The good thing with bodybuilding is that I can always go back to it. It’s a bit like riding a bike – you don’t forget the mentality or way of training. Functional training doesn’t require me to train every body part individually, I can still gain strength and grow”.

You competed in the WBFF and did extremely well – congratulations! Is competing on the cards again in bodybuilding? Or even in functional training this year?
– “Thank you very much! Yes, I have competed twice, with the first one being in London. I am an introvert, so I found competing a challenge. The training for me was easy in comparison to the dieting. In my competition preparation I was eating very little for the amount of training I was doing which effected my mood and temper. As for a competition within functional training – you should never say never! I have only been doing functional training since summer 2017 so I am not sure that a competition will be in the near future. I have never had a coach, so I’m doing this form of training purely because I love it!”

What keeps you motivated?
– “My biggest motivation is the supportive people around me. I love that my followers and sponsors support what I do and enjoy my training style and content. Also – I love that I can motivate and help others. Another thing that motivates me is that functional training is a community; the athletes are open and friendly. Someone that you don’t know can just say “Do you want to train together?” Functional training has made me more open minded and increased my confidence”.

What’s your favourite motivational quote?
– ““Break The Mould”. I have this on my Instagram, clothing and content. It means doing something unexpected; being just that and not following the crowd. Find what differentiates you from someone else. You should never be worried about trying something new, regardless of what others may think. When I first changed my training style, I was worried what others would think, however I have realized that I need to do what makes me happy”.

Train like an athlete!

Overhead Barbell Squat
A great skilled move that helps and promotes a good range of motion and flexibility. Good for overhead strength and stability.

Weighted Pistol Squat
Another great, skilled move that is good for stability, balance, flexibility and coordination. The exercise is strength based and helps promote equal balance throughout the body.

Ring Pull Ups
An upper strength based movement that helps develop the back and biceps. The rings allow rotation which allows more fibres to be worked throughout the movement.