Keep fit like a bodybuilder

Joseph Oyatta
Joseph Oyatta, a weight-lifter and gym trainer. PHOTO | COURTESY 

An injury at the basketball pitch is what diverted Joseph Oyatta’s focus to the gym.

The two-time winner of the Mr Kenya Physique category title has been training for the past seven years consistently.

It is almost impossible not to notice him walk into the room, thanks to his physique that attracts envy and detestation in equal measure.

“Some people especially ladies get excited about my muscles but I take all these as complements,” says the 25-year-old fitness trainer.

Mr Oyatta is quick to add that the body-builder physique was not delivered on a silver platter, but is a result of handwork, sacrifice and consistency at the gym.


On average, he trains three to five times a week, strictly watches his diet by eating healthy and get enough sleep.

He has made use of MyFitnessPal, a mobile application that has helped him take control of his fitness goals, track calories, breakdown ingredients and log activities.

Though he admits that it gets monotonous sometimes, the passion for fitness and muscle building has kept him going.

“There are days you just don’t feel like it, even get bored because it is the same thing over and over again. But my eyes are fixed on bigger things,” he says.

The active body builder is now eyeing the Dubai Muscle Show, an international fitness and body-building exhibition slated for December.

His first attempt at a body building challenge was in 2015 where he emerged seventh overall at the Mr Kenya Body building contest

“I almost gave up, lost a bit of psych but I regained my composure in good time to push myself harder,” he says.

At the 2016 contest, he emerged second then went ahead to clinch the top slot in the physique category at the 2017 and 2018 editions.

This year, he has opted not to take part in the Mr Kenya contest to allow him focus on the Dubai contest that will launch him on the global podium.

“Additionally, I want to make way for younger upcoming body builders to take part in the local event,” the body builder who draws inspiration from Gabriel Mukundi, the overall winner at the 2018 Mr Kenya Body building contest.

Internationally, he is inspired by Ronnie Coleman the winner of the Mr Olympia title for eight years in a row. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

Mr Oyatta’s fitness passion was ignited when he cleared high school and was waiting to join college. Often, he would lift his brother’s weights made of stones and steel at the backyard of their home to keep busy.

Today, he works out at the Ultra Fitness gym in Nairobi’s Kilimani and runs a blog ‘Train with a Giant’ that talks about fitness and nutrition. He advises beginner body builders to get their mindset right and avoid short cuts as they end up in disaster.

The trick to this is to visualise success by seeing yourself there before even beginning working out. It is this winning mindset that will take you to new levels in your training and will set yourself up for success.

“Do not get into it with the idea that using steroids will get you there fast as this won’t work,” he says.

Set realistic goals as doing otherwise is setting yourself up for failure and heartbreak.

Ensure that you take it one step at a time, enjoying and celebrating your success all the way to the top of the stairs. As such, he advises against overdoing the workout as this will highly likely result to injuries.

“Just do a maximum of one hour fifteen minutes at the gym in the number of days a week you have settled on,” Mr Oyatta says.