This Guy Used Bodybuilding To Lose 35Kgs And Turn His Life Around

When Xola gave up his dreams of being a soccer player, he became a couch potato.


Megan Flemmit |

After Xola Magwaza was diagnosed with asthma, he gave up his dream of becoming a pro soccer player. Over time, he took to binging on the couch for comfort. “I was eating far more than the average person should. I ate my way to 110kg.” The word ‘exercise’ no longer existed in his vocabulary and the inactivity saw him pack on 33% body fat.

Related: The Brutally Honest Story Of What Happened After This Man’s Transformation

Turn It Around

Xola soon reached breaking point. The 30-year-old realised he needed to make a serious change to his lifestyle. His first step: to take ‘before’ pictures of himself and take his measurements. His next step: set attainable goals. Looking at pictures of himself as a teenager reinforced his desire to get back in shape.

Dietician, Jenny Meyer, created an eating plan tailored to his needs and lifestyle. All forms of junk food were banished from his diet. Instead, his eating plan centred around his workouts. “I had to make sure what I was eating complemented what I was doing in the gym.

Related: The Key to Weight Loss Might Be Eating at Home Alone

His gym routine resembled that of a bodybuilder. Xola went to the gym six times a week and used HIIT for 45 minutes each. 26 months later he lost 35kgs and dropped 18% body fat. He was the fittest he had ever been. But he wasn’t one to rest on his laurels.

Level Up

After being featured on our Belly Off page, Xola was motivated to stay in shape. He entered an IFBB show in 2015 and placed tenth. “I was really thrilled with that placing considering I’m natural.”

RelatedThis Guy Channelled His Inner Iron Man To Better His Body In 8 Weeks, Here’s How

Disaster struck a week into his second bodybuilding show. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, forcing him to take a step back. Xola refused to let the injury put an end to the all the work he’d been doing. He was determined to stay in shape so he found a way to train around the injury. “After surgery, I was pretty much training everything except my legs and was limited with back exercises as well.”

Having recovered from the injury, Xola hopes to compete in the South African Natural Bodybuilding competition. A feat that wouldn’t be possible if he hadn’t made the decision to turn his life around.

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