North Rockland’s Mr. Universe interviewed by..

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Anthony Effaldana, a lifelong Rockland County resident won big recently at the IPE (International Professional Elite) Pro Natural Bodybuilder competition.

We feature here an interview with Anthony Effaldana conducted by his own mother Kristine Koval (aka: Proud Mom)
How old were you when you started this journey?
When I first started actually body building, meaning not only lifting but really paying attention to my diet I was 19. But I’ve been in the gym since I was 17.
How did you train and become committed?
I trained with high intensity; I’ve never gone about anything without passion and dedication. Even today I train with the mindset that I will never be outworked, so take the hardest working person you can imagine; I’m out working them in every way possible. Period.
Who was your role model?
My role model when I started was easily my brother Steven. Steven introduced me to lifting and bodybuilding in general while inspiring me to make the decision to step onto the stage as well. As for a role model in bodybuilding to look up to, I’ve always been a fan of Lou Ferrigno and how he trained.
How did you put your dreams into action?
My dream was to be a pro natural bodybuilder and after my first show I knew what had to be done in order to become one. So I kept consistent and very diligent with both my training and diet. When I decided I was ready that’s when I started prep.
How many shows have you competed in?
I’ve have only competed in two shows. My first show in 2014 where I took third in novice (first time competitors) and fifth in open(competing for Pro Card)…most recently, in the IPE I took first in novice, first in open, taking overall, winning my Pro Card and became an IPE Pro Natural Bodybuilder.
What was the IPE show all about?
This show was about how lean, symmetrical you are, muscle size, (obviously) conditioning, and posing. How you present yourself is most important. In other words, you can have the best physique ever but if you can’t present it correctly you won’t place as well as you should. I take great pride in myself in that my strict regimen in looking like a pro, posing like a pro, and presenting myself as a pro has gotten me to where I am. I am pleased with what I have accomplished.
How long did you train for this show?
For this show specifically, my prep was 37 weeks long…but that doesn’t include my “prep for prep” I like to call it. I like to be over prepared; my commitment drives me to always get a head start on things.
How did you view the other competitors once you saw them?
I saw the other contenders as my equals, I wasn’t about to see it as, “hey I’m gonna beat you.” We all made the same journey to get here and we all put in hard work. We all made the decision to be here and we looked awesome, however, in the back of my mind my confidence told me I had it.
What was it like to commit to this training for as long as you did?
It’s not really a matter of committing to training; it’s a lifestyle I proudly choose to live. I train and diet year round without fail, the only difference is that during those 37 weeks I began doing cardio and reducing food Intake gradually and safely. This simple goal change from growing and building muscle was to get lean and all I had to do was not to cheat on my diet. This pledge is a mindset in which again, I will gladly vow to because I thoroughly enjoy the process. This all goes back to what I mentioned before, I will not be outworked and that goes for training AND dieting.
I was coached by Doug Miller, CEO of Core Nutritionals and owner of the Nutrition Corners. Working with the best bodybuilder I think helped my prep
tremendously as I took all recommendations he had to offer and followed his instructions to the letter.
Did you encounter any setbacks or conflicts?
I had suffered a torn tendon in my knee yet I still kept consistent with the gym training every body part I could. I had to keep myself motivated despite not being able to fully use my left leg like I was and needed to. For 18 months I was training around this injury being told by doctors that it would heal on its own. It was not until I found the right doctor who suggested surgery. After my surgery and during my recovery, I kept training and continued my dieting. Despite this major setback and fall in my motivation during this time, I remained dedicated to my passion and knew that one way or another I would make it. I only regained the use of my knee and to train like I was with my legs six months before I started my prep. This hindrance made me put myself through a very difficult regimen and had to rely solely on muscle memory to make up for lost time.
How did you feel when you heard your name being announced as Mr. IPE?
When I found I won I was absolutely overwhelmed. The amount of emotion and gratitude for everyone that helped and supported me along the way was/is immeasurable. I will gladly say I cried tears of joy quite a few times, but I’m anxious and looking forward to dominating the stage once again after a few years of growing but this time I will be competing as a Pro.

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