News: The Potential to Be a Professional Bodybuilder
WASHINGTON - Yeoman 2nd Class Shareef Alikhan of Detroit, Michigan, placed 1st in his division and overall Men's Physique category at the 2014 International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) National Physique Committee (NPC) Championship held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 3.
The IFBB/NPC is the premier amateur physique organization in the world. NPC athletes are regularly featured in and on the covers of international publications such as FLEX, Muscular Development, Muscle & Fitness, FITNESS Rx, Iron man and Musclemag International.
“My goal for my next competition is to place 1st and get my pro card. Not only will this allow me to compete professionally, it opens up doors I could use as stepping stones to pursue my other passions: earning my Health and Exercise Science Degree, Personal Trainer certificate, and Corrective Exercise Trainer certificate,” said Alikhan.
At the Pittsburgh competition, he was judged at the event on muscularity and body conditioning.
Judges look for fit contestants who display proper shape and symmetry combined with muscularity, overall condition, stage presence and personality.
In June, Alikhan will compete in the NPC Junior National Championship held in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency.
Placing 1st in that championship would automatically earn him his IFBB pro card, which would give him the right to compete against other bodybuilding professionals and possibly earn sponsorship.
Earning his pro card would mean accomplishing a goal he set three years ago.
Alikhan joined the Navy in 2006 completing a tour of duty on board the USS Benfold (DDG 65), but it was not until November 2011 that he decided to compete.
“I wanted to be in the best shape of my life so I signed up for the NPC Southern California Bodybuilding Championship and registered under the Men’s Physique category eight months before the contest to force myself to get in shape,” said Alikhan.
For Alikhan, training for these types of competitions starts at least six months in advance, but he believes it is well worth the time it takes to train, tune your nutrition, and stay mentally focused.
The early start in his conditioning truly came in handy for his first competition which consisted of two competitions in one day; NPC Southern California Bodybuilding Competition and the Armed Forces Bodybuilding Competition in 2012. All his hard work culminated in placing 2nd and 1st respectively.
Keeping a steady and nutritional diet was difficult on a ship because he had to eat what the Culinary Specialists cooked, which was of course not in line with the nutrition needed to sustain a bodybuilding lifestyle. However, he currently works in the Administrative department at the Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group providing security assistance to military, civilians, and contractors within the Department of Defense. Working in a busy office he still has a flexible eating schedule eating three times during his working hours.
“[On shore duty], it’s easier to eat the right food, go to the gym, and there’s less work to do. I don’t have to worry about waking up at [9:30 PM] to stand watch from [10:00 PM until 2:00 AM]. Underway it’s very hard to follow a diet plan, you’re not sure what’s on the menu, the gym is small, and the ship is rocking,” said Alikhan.
He plans to bulk up again, compete in a pro show, and qualify for the Mr. Olympia contest. The 2014 Mr. Olympia contest is an IFBB professional bodybuilding competition and part of Joe Weider's Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend 2014 to be held on September 18-21, 2014, at the South Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Winchester, Nevada and in the Orleans Arena at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada. It will be the 50th Mr. Olympia competition held. Other events at the exhibition include the 212 Olympia Showdown, Ms. Olympia, Fitness Olympia, Figure Olympia, Bikini Olympia, Women's Physique Showdown, and Men's Physique Showdown contests.
Alikhan hopes to one day own his own gym, help others make it to their goal, and share his story to motivate.
Bodybuilding helps him as a service member by keeping him physically fit, helps him motivate others, and gives him a better appearance in uniform.
One tip he would give other bodybuilders in the military is to be patient.
“The results aren’t going to happen in one or two weeks, it takes time. If you go in with that mindset you will be disappointed very quickly.”