Anthony Scalza is a brand new Pro that just received his Pro Card at 2017 Team U. Just a week after he took the stage for his pro debut at the Vancouver Po Show. Anthony came into the Vancouver pro and won the show automatically qualifying him for the Olympia and this just one week after winning his pro card. Now he is on the road to the most prestigious stage there is. After the show, we were able to catch up with Anthony and ask him a few questions for this exclusive interview.
For our readers and fans of the sport that are just now getting to know you, what made you want to become a Men’s Physique competitor and how long have you been competing?
I always played competitive sports growing up. In high school, I focused on soccer and track year-round.
After graduating high school and not pursuing sports in college, I decided to join a gym to stay fit. Shortly after starting up at the gym, I fell in love with it, which lead me into the bodybuilding lifestyle. After a few years of proper diet & training, I heard about this new division that had just started, Mens Physique. I thought to myself, this is actually an achievable and a desirable look. So my competitive side kicked in and I decided I would give it a shot. My first show was in October of 2014 where I placed 2nd, followed by three more shows where I went on two take 1st place in all of them. From there, the rest is history! In 2015, I did two national shows taking 5th place in both. I decided to take all of 2016 off and come back in 2017 with an undeniable physique and get that pro card!!
Congratulations on your overall win at the NPC Universe Championships and now your first Pro win practically immediately after. What was the deciding factor for you in winning your IFBB Pro Card and then competing in your first pro show right after?
Thank you! Honestly, I had zero intentions to compete on a pro level this year after earning my Pro Card at (Place proper name for Universe) Universe. My plan was to take a nice, long, offseason to pack on some muscle and bring up weak points in order to make myself more competitive on the pro circuit. It was basically my coach, Omar Ventura, that pushed me to do the Vancouver Pro and I thought he was crazy! I had photo shoots a couple days after NPC Universe so I didn’t go crazy with food. I stayed tight and within a few pounds of stage weight. After checking out the list of competitors, we felt like I had a legitimate shot and doing very well so I decided to go for it! I made the decision on Tuesday, booked my flight & hotel, and headed to Vancouver Thursday morning!
What was going through your mind after winning your Pro Card and then qualifying for the Olympia all in the same week?
I wish I could give you an answer for that, but i didn’t even know what was going through my head! It’s still hard to wrap my head around the whole situation! Everything happened so fast! One weekend I’m amateur, competing in the NPC, and the next weekend I’m an IFBB Pro qualified for the Olympia. It’s definitely starting to sink in more and more by the day, and I couldn’t be more excited to share the stage with the best in the world!
You are one of the most recent cases of an NPC competitor turned Olympia qualifier within a short period of time. What do you think is giving newly turned pros the edge in their pro debuts?
There seems to have been a trend going on this year with that. I’m not sure what the reasoning could be. Maybe they want to start seeing some new faces on the Olympia stage this year? Maybe they have established what they are looking for in Classic Physique now that it’s in its second year. It could possibly have influenced the look they are going for in Mens Physique now and it’s something newer pros have? Or it could just be a coincidence that we showed up to our pro debut hungrier than ever and showed up undeniable. With that being said, strategizing and picking out the right show to make your pro debut at is definitely an important factor to consider.
Now that you are qualified, what are your plans heading into the Olympia?
The plan right now is to try and let my body rest, recover, and fill back out before turning things up again at 8 weeks out. So basically, as of right now, cardio has dropped down a little and food has gone up slightly. Then it’s up to Omar Ventura and where we take it from there. He called it, “8 week hell prep,” haha. My only feedback from the judges at Vancouver was to make sure I bring my tight midsection to the Olympia stage and just to grow overall. Realistically, I’m not gonna be able to grow in nine weeks, but I’m hoping to make even the slightest improvements in my chest & traps. I’ll be one of the smallest guys on stage, so I really have to bring my conditioning to a new level to set myself apart. My goal is to make a name for myself in this sport and show people that I do deserve to be on that Olympia stage. It’s an honor to even make it this far. I’m just riding this wave and enjoying every minute of it!
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