IPL MEN’S ATHLETIC PRO, ZACK SMITH, IS HUNGRY FOR A TITLE!
INTERVIEW BY BEN YOSEF / MICHAEL BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY
The October 2017 IPL Southwest Grand Prix in Phoenix, Arizona would be Zack Smith’s third IPL show in 17 months. The proverbial runner-up in his previous two outings, Smith could not seem to find his way to the winner’s spot. Until now. So, what’s next? It seems that ZS is just getting started.
BEN YOSEF: Bro! Congrats on killing it at the Grand Prix! You looked awesome, man. Much improved over your past two IPL outings, and since you first hit the IPL stage at the 2016 Arizona Championship. What was your mindset and training like over the past year and a half?
ZACK SMITH: Hey, Ben! Thanks, man! I really appreciate it! It’s been a long time coming for me! Back in May 2016 when I first jumped on, it was honestly just to help get me through a rough spot in my life. So, I picked a date and went at it simply as an outlet.
More recently, May of 2017 was a challenge to a friend, Danielle Wieferich. She wanted to compete, but wouldn’t pull the trigger. So, I told her I would do it with her. Within that convo I told her, “If I am going to compete, I am competing to go Pro. No fluff.”
“…I TRAINED HARD, AND TRIED TO MAKE MYSELF AS UNCOMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE. BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE CHANGE HAPPENS.”
With that said, I hit the stage and ended up in 2nd. Walking off in May I KNEW I could do better, and the fire buuuuurned. Over the course of the next 5 months, I trained hard, and tried to make myself as uncomfortable as possible. Because that’s where change happens.
Fast forward to October, and I am 147lbs at 4% body fat. Down from 191lbs and 26% body fat 10 months prior, in January. I pushed and trained hard, and walked away with my Pro Card. Which was my goal just 10 months ago.
BY: Nice! Well, you definitely nailed it in October. When you came out, I was like, “yep, he did it.” I know that the fire had been lit after placing 2nd to Alex Sigala back in May. In his NATURALMAG cover story interview we chatted about his win, and your name came up. He has a lot of respect for you. I would love to see the package you brought to the Grand Prix go up against Sigala. What is your take on Alex?
ZS: Hopefully that will happen come May 2018! I have nothing but respect for him, as well. Clearly he has a good work ethic, and he has a very strong stage presence. I think that is what I was most impressed with when he beat me. It was his ability to captivate the audience and put on a show. Stand up guy. I look forward to standing next to him again some day.
“WHAT’S NEXT FOR ME? A PRO ATHLETIC TITLE! I AM HUNGRY FOR MORE VICTORIES.”
BY: There is also another super solid Arizona-based IPL Pro, Zyrian Apurillo. Zyrian is one of only three men who have won a Pro Men’s Athletic title. I am pretty sure he is returning to the AZ Pro in May, where he earned that Pro win. What’s your take on Zyrian?
ZS: I believe he is as well! Zyrian is a solid competitor! I was in the show in which he won that title. I was in the Amateur class, obviously. He will be a tough one to beat! Z is one of those fortunate guys that has a naturally low body fat percentage, and stays pretty shredded year-round. Very positive athlete, and is very into the community around him. I look forward to sharing the stage with him, as well!
BY: What’s next for you?
ZS: What’s next for me? A Pro Athletic title! I am hungry for more victories. I can suffer with the best of them, so I look forward to bringing not only my personal best, but THE best package to the stage in May. Past that, probably the APEX in November. I wont be outworked, Ben!
BY: I like it, brotha! Any final words?
ZS: No matter the outcome, I hope everyone that gets on stage brings their A-game. The more great physiques on stage, the more fun the show! And, that’s what it’s all about! GAINZ
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