Muscle & Strength Talks To Diced Up "Mad Titan" Kelechi Opara

Kelechi Opara
Quick Stats
  • Kelechi Opara
  • San Diego
  • Click Here
  • 5’9”
  • 15
  • 172-176 lbs
  • 180-185 lbs
  • Optimum Nutrition, American Bodybuilding
Top fitness model and Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete Kelechi Opara shares his muscle building, nutrition and supplementation secrets.

What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?

I have reached many significant milestones. However the one that stands out was being sponsored by Optimum Nutrition. A company I have always admired for the quality of their products. It is one of the few companies who's products actually does what it says it does so I was honored when they said they wanted to sponsor me.

Back and Shoulders Day

What keeps you motivated?

My motivation has evolved over the years which I believe is natural for anyone. It started off with me trying gain muscle - bigger and stronger.  I'm no longer too concerned with gaining muscle. My interest now is showing people what they can achieve NATURALLY and to that end this is what motivates me. I want to help people maximize their genetic potential whatever theirs may be naturally.

What are your future goals, dreams and plans?

My immediate goal is to complete the iPhone application that my partners and I are working on called the Nutritionist. It's a nutrition application that will help everybody reach their goal health wise whether it is to lose weight or gain muscle etc. The application is revolutionary in what it does there is no other app out there like it and it is going to help a lot of people.

Kelechi OparaWhat are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?

My 5 favorite muscle building exercises are pull ups and its multiple variations, front squats, deadlifts and it variations, standing overhead barbell presses, walking lunges and incline dumbbell presses. These exercises not only build overall muscularity fast but they let you get away from doing cardio because of how taxing these movements are, especially when done in conjunction with minimal rest in between. In addition, because of the nature of the movements you don't need to perform ab work to the degree you see all over gyms across the country.

What are the most underrated and overrated muscle building exercises?

I believe the most overrated muscle building exercise is the barbell bench press. I rarely perform this movement. Hell, I haven't performed this movement on a consistent basis in nearly 5 years and never did when I first started training. The most underrated exercise in my opinion are front squats, deadlifts and pullups. As you can see from videos these are staples in my workout regimen!

How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?

I like cooking my meals in bulk.  It will last 4 to 5 days typically. One of my favorite meals to make is the following...

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, drained

Directions: Heat oil, lemon juice and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. When onion is tender, add chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes each side, stirring occasionally, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.

Kelechi Opara - "knockout abs."

Do you believe recomping is possible (gaining muscle while losing fat), and if so, is it as difficult as most people think it is?

It is possible on the following conditions. People who are new to resistance training and people who are returning after a long layoff from the gym. For a trainee who is advanced it is very difficult, however, I believe if they structured their workout and nutrition a certain way it may be possible.

What are thoughts cycles of bulking and cutting for non-competitors who just want to look good? 

I think people go over board when the bulk. They end up creating new fat cells (lipogenesis) which they have to get rid off when it come time to cut. I believe bulking up slowly is better. This way you mitigate fat gain so when it comes time to cut down it won't really take that long and you don't feel miserable during a diet.

Kelechi OparaWhat are some of your best diet, nutrition and supplementation tips for someone who just wants to look good and get ripped?

I read a research study that said most people tend to either underestimate their caloric intake if they are overweight or overestimate their caloric intake if they are underweight. So the tip I always give people who ask me for nutritional advice to get ripped is to track their nutritional habits for 7 days. This way they know how much they are consuming on average then either adjust up if they want to gain or adjust down if they want to lose. It comes down again to calories in and calories out in other words. Once you get to single digit body fat that's when details may start playing a role depending on your body type.

How important is carb cycling when trying to cut fat and retain muscle?

If it's just retaining muscle it's somewhat important your carb intake can be linear so you don't have to cycle carbs. It's more important when people are trying to build muscle while cutting fat or mitigate fat gain. And the mistake some people make when they cycle carbs is they cut it too low for too long. Add to it inadequate levels of protein to compensate for the reduce carbs. The end result is muscle loss. In addition, it's very well established that leptins - the hormones that signals the brain on your energy levels responds best to carbs. So if your carbs are too low, especially for a long period of time, this is a major reason you end up losing muscle.

What are some of the biggest training mistakes you’ve made?

The biggest mistake I made is taking training and nutritional advice from people who were on steroids when I first started training. I am and have always been 100 percent natural so the same training protocols that work for people who use steroids will NOT work for natural people. It's well established that people on steroids will still grow muscle even if they do NOT work out so it was foolish of me when I first started training to listen/follow people who used.

Their physiology is different when they are on it (even off of it) so the same training and nutritional protocols that work for them isn't optimal for natural athletes. Even when these same people are off it they still retain an advantage for life. Now I'm not demonizing people who use roids. It's the path they chose and this doesn't make them bad guys in any sense of the word. However, I choose to stay natural. I will probably never be an IFBB pro because of this, but like Optimum Nutrition, I am looking at the bigger picture.

Kelechi Opara

What does your current supplementation plan look like?

They following supplements are staples in regimen: Optimum Nutrition Nitrocore 24, an excellent mixture of various protein both fast and slow.  It has been proven through research and my personal experience that a mixture like this is optimal for protein synthesis and mitigating protein breakdown. Optimum Nutrition Enteric Coated Fish Oil – there are so many benefits to fish oils that it baffles me why people still don't take if their diet doesn't already have fish. Optimum Nutrition Threshold. This is a beta alanine/histidine mixture and I love it you feel the effects in 15 minutes. Opti-men, a perfect blend of amino acids, vitamins/mineral a must! Every now and again I will take creatine monohydrate when I want to pick my weight back up fast.

How important is nutrient timing for performance and/or building muscle?

I have done a lot of research on this subject via the research review of my friend AARR alanaragon.com. From what I have experienced and read, as long you are at maintenance or above in terms of calories it doesn't matter. However it does matter if you are an endurance athlete (this means plus 2 hours of high intense activity). As matter of fact there's research showing that if you eat too frequently, i.e. every 2 hours, you will NOT build muscle optimally.

Kelechi OparaAlso know that you won't lose muscle if you miss a meal or don't eat every 3 hours because most meals take longer than that to completely vacate your system - for instance if you look at whey which digest very very fast at 10 gram an hour. You take in say 40 grams it's going to take at least 4 hours now if you take something else along with whey it will take longer than 4 hours. So again, in terms of nutrient timing, I just make sure I get to my allotted protein and carbs at the end of the day. I don't worry about eating every 3 hours nor do I worry too much about eating immediately after I finish working out.

Workout music – Don’t care, or MP3 player?

I listen to nearly everything except country. If someone was to get a hold of my iPod they will find everything from Tool to Jay-Z to Incubus to Kanye West to Foo Fighters to Busta Rhymes to Rob Zombie to Linkin Park to 50 cent ...this is my workout stuff, though I listen to more artists when I'm relaxing.

What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

If you could be one athlete or person for a day, who would it be and why?

Perhaps this may be cliché, I would like to be Arnold for a day just so I could pick his brain. I am far more interested in what he accomplished outside of bodybuilding, and it would be very interesting to see the mentality it takes; the unique point of view he has to do what he has done.

If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kelechiopara1.

Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?

I'm a bookworm, plus I love riding my motorcycles. Chances are if you don't see me in the gym I am either traveling, reading or riding one of my bikes.

Which college or professional sports teams do you root for?

The college team I root for is University of Michigan. We did horrible this year but hopefully with the new coach 2011 will be better!

Kelechi Opara

7 Comments
Lewis
Posted on: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 07:46

I love your choice of favorite exercises (deadlifts, front squats, pullups) - they are all my favorite as well, especially deadlifts. I feel that many people would make progress a lot faster if they did deadlifts rather than curls and bench presses. Keep up the good work you are an inspiration!

Loble
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 15:00

"Mad Titan" is quite striking!

Kelechi Opara
Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2011 - 12:55

Thanks Guys, much appreciated . It is always good hearing from people who enjoys the sport as much as I do!

Frank
Posted on: Fri, 04/15/2011 - 10:28

Great report Steve,extremely inspirational. Kelechi Opara reading about you makes me want to train harder and diet better thank you guys so much.
Whats wrong with tatts though dude?

Robert Grandy
Posted on: Thu, 04/14/2011 - 18:57

Good stuff and GO BLUE !

redmann
Posted on: Thu, 04/14/2011 - 11:32

Great read bro! Congrats on your accomplishment! I have to add The Oak is my idol as well.

Garth Templeman
Posted on: Thu, 04/14/2011 - 04:14

WOW !!!!!!! Showtime !!!!