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By: Vince Pe
My good friend IFBB pro Amit Sapir had quite a year in 2012 by qualifying for his very first Mr. Olympia. Watching him achieve his dream was amazing as we were in regular contact while he was preparing for all of his shows. Amit is one of the rare bodybuilders who also moonlights as a powerlifter, and he actually qualified for the 2004 Olympics before an injury sidelined him. I can tell you Amit has some pretty amazing lifts, and you can see his strength resonate in his physique.
Living in Vancouver, Amit is hard at work preparing for his next show and is already promising more size and a focus on becoming a top-six finisher for the Olympia. Continue to watch him as he is definitely one of the fastest rising stars in the IFBB.
Q. Amit, you had a great run competing last year. You also qualified and competed at the Olympia. What were some of your favorite moments onstage last year?
A. My two most exciting moments were on the stage in Toronto when I qualified for the Olympia and fulfilled a life dream and also when I stepped onstage at the Olympia. It was an amazing experience—a very motivating and humbling experience to be onstage and backstage with the guys that I look up to and aspire to be.
Q. Many of our fans don’t know you were also a powerlifter. Would you say powerlifting gives you an advantage in bodybuilding over your colleagues? And if so, how?
A. I was an Olympic weightlifter back in Israel, and I qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics. During my preparation I tore my shoulder, and my choice was either to do surgery and be out of the gym for two years or to try something else. This is when I decided to move to bodybuilding. And yes, I was also a national champion in powerlifting. The two biggest advantages that my background has given me are, training-wise, all of my big compound movements are done with perfect technique and full range of motion, which keeps me flexible and helps avoid injury. And look-wise, I believe that lifting heavy weights contributes to overall thickness and roundness of the muscle.
Q. Can you tell us some of your most powerful lifts?
A. Bench: 260 kg (1-ply lifting shirt); 220 kg unequipped (5 reps)
Squat: 400 kg equipped; 340 kg raw
Deadlift: 340 kg raw
Q. Amit, who are some of the great bodybuilders that inspired you to pursue your dream and compete?
A. Lee Priest and Branch Warren—I like the big freaky look. These two are living proof that short bodybuilders (like me) can be successful.
Q. With the 202 weight class going up to 212, do you consider that an advantage for you and, if so, why?
A. I really liked the 202 class, but in the end, it doesn’t really have a huge effect on me because from what I have seen so far, it’s all the same guys competing. The good thing is that it allows all of us room for improvements.
Q. What IFBB show will we see you competing in next, and what kind of improvements will we be seeing this year?
A. My next show will be the Sheru Classic in India. (Editor's Note: MUSCLE INSIDER magazine will be in India to cover this event). After last year’s Olympia, I decided that next time I’m on the Olympia stage, I want to be a top-six contender, and I want to make improvements before I believe that I am there. This year, you will see a bigger version of me, as my goal is to add general overall mass and come in five to 10 pounds heavier, which I believe I will.
Q. What supplements are a mainstay in your contest training?
A. Protein, BCAAs, occasionally a pre-workout.
Q. Who are you looking to compete against this year?
A. The Sheru classic is a huge show, so I am looking forward to standing next to guys like Jose Raymond, Flex Lewis, and David Henry. I always want to compete against the best and to get as close as I can to that level. All in all, my biggest competition is myself. My goal is to bring a bigger and better version of my previous competions, as this is the only thing I can control.