My Road to Winning the South Florida Bodybuilding Championships over 60. I did it my way!
I'm Julio Anta I’m a 60 year old competitive bodybuilder, a martial arts and fitness school owner and instructor. I’m the author of “Anta’s Ageless Warrior Fitness.” After 32 years since my last bodybuilding competition I won the 2017 NPC South Florida Bodybuilding Championships Over 60, Light Weight and Overall. I also placed second in the Physique over 50 category.
Bodybuilding changed my life. As a kid I was small, short and weak. I was the last one picked. At around 7 or 8 years old in the 60’s I found on the street some sheets with bodybuilding photos, it might have been an ad for a bodybuilding course. I told my dad that I wanted to be like that. I also had told my bad that I wanted to be like Hercules, Steve Reeves and be a bodybuilder and be a black belt. In the mid sixties it was odd for a kid to want to do martial arts and have muscles.
Later in the 70’s I would read and admire the bodybuilders that were featured in the bodybuilding magazines. I would dream of being like them. In 1976 I finally started my journey in bodybuilding. I became an NPC athlete yet never won 1st place. 1983 I competed and was the 2nd runnerup in the Jr Florida and Miami Championships. In 1985 I took 4th place Orange Classic.
In 1985 in a martial arts tournament I dislocated both shoulders. Doctors told me that I had to stop bodybuilding or there would be a point where I could not move my arms. I was depressed yet tried working out and kept on hurting myself. With time I started to figure out how to workout without hurting myself. I lost a lot of strength and could not do many moves. With time I learn how train around my injuries and strengthen my shoulders.
When I wrote my book “Anta’s Ageless Warrior Fitness” at 57 I said that my goal was to be in better shape at 60. Yet in those 3 years I had numerous adversities that set me back yet, I was able to keep my promise. I encounter trigger finger, vertigo attack and in 2016 in a bench press competition for repetition I tore my chest. I did not operate the chest. After tearing my chest it took me 3 months to do 3 half pushups and 9 months to get to my goal of 100 pushups. For the South Florida I focused on Bodybuilding training, HIIT (High Intensity, Interval Training) Cardio and yoga. I still taught martial arts at my studio.
Before I tore my chest I had already decided to compete. I even went to California the year before to learn and train with bodybuilding Pro and champion Robby Robinson in Gold’s Gym Venice. Training with Robby was another dream come true. He is 11 years older then me and in incredible shape. Robinson motivated me and told me that I would do great in competition.
I usually workout at my garage gym, yet in May I decided to compete and started training at a friends bodybuilding gym to prepare for the South Florida Bodybuilding Championships in November. I wasn’t expecting the affliction. In August I end up in an emergency room dehydrated due to forcing myself to throw up to clear food from my esophagus from GERT that I was suffering from. Also contributing to the dehydration was sun exposure working in the yard the day before. I had to go to a specialist and ended up in surgery having to get my esophagus dilated due to stricture.
I started dieting 12 weeks before the show. The adversity continued. 2 days after I started dieting we hear that Hurricane Irma is going to hit Miami. We decided to leave and go to Tennessee. I send a week and a half eating healthy yet wasn’t able to stick to diet eating at restaurants.
10 days before the South Florida I’m eating chicken as I took a bite I got this incredible pain on my right side molars. The next day I got an emergency appoint at the dentist and I find out I cracked almost a quarter of a molar. They have to extract the molar and give me antibiotics. The antibiotics retain water which isn’t good for bodybuilding competition. The doctors said that I should take at least 4 days off from training. I told him that I could not take 4 days off. We comprise and he told me “you are an athlete take one day off.” When I went to take off the stitches he tells be that I tore 2 off them yet thank God is wasn’t a problem.
What else could go wrong? On Thanksgiving two days before the show I again end up in the emergency room with external, painful, bleeding hemorrhoids. The doctors tried to push them back in yet to no avail. I spend all day Friday in bed resting to be able to compete on Saturday. On Saturday I was weak and bleeding yet competed and won. On December 4, I had surgery to remove the hemorrhoids.
I believe in functional bodybuilding. This concept was used by Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee had an amazing ripped muscular body and was an amazing martial artist. He crossed trained in martial arts and fitness. This is how I train at 60 to improve my martial arts and build my body. This was the concept that I used to win the 2017 NPC South Florida Bodybuilding Championships Masters 60 and Over, Light Weight and Overall.
To keep my body healthy to train for bodybuilding I cross train in martial arts, yoga, Thai Chi and have been working on animal primitive type movements. I am a certified personal trainer, kettlebells, Battling Ropes, Indian clubs and fitness kickboxing instructor. The first kettlebell instructor training in Florida was done at my center.
In martial arts I hold the rank of Master in Hung Gar Kung Fu, Full instructor in Krav Maga, Krav Maga Counter Terrorism and Police Defensive Tactics, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Judokickboxing, Kru in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Instructor in Jeet Kune Do.
I believe that martial arts and fitness are one. When we think of martial art the first image we pictured are Bruce Lee, Van Damme, Chuck Norris and the rest of the well built martial arts movie super stars. I believe that just like in Marine Corps Bootcamp my Drill Instructors lead by example I must lead my martial arts and fitness students by example.
Bodybuilding changed my life as a teenager. Today, it keeps be young and in shape. Bodybuilding is the fountain of youth. Bodybuilding has made my childhood dream come true by winning the South Florida Bodybuilding Championships. Your dreams can come true at any age. Age is just a number.
I believe in being a student for life and will continue to set goals, improve, train and compete in bodybuilding again.
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