Earning your IFBB Pro Card is not an easy feat that requires consistency, discipline and confidence – in the words of Thakga Boloko. A personal trainer hailing from East London, with roots in Pretoria, shares his remarkable journey from aspiring Pro Rugby Player to an IFBB Pro Card holder. In this article, we delve into Thakga’s motivations, daily routines, and the essential elements that have contributed to his success in the fitness industry. From his last rugby match to competing in his first bodybuilding competition and earning his IFBB Pro Card.
Athletic Background and Strength Training Foundation
He has been training for 13 years having started strength training while playing rugby growing up. He started playing rugby at the age of 7. Thakga’s decision to transition from his dream of playing rugby at a professional level to becoming a personal trainer was fueled by his desire to positively impact lives. Now residing in Johannesburg, he envisions a bright future for himself in the fitness industry.
Mindset and Motivation
Thakga draws inspiration from his brother, serving as a father figure in his life. Witnessing his brother’s discipline, patience and hard work has shaped Thakga’s own mindset. Three key traits he believes are crucial for both achieving fitness goals and defining oneself as an athlete are consistency, discipline and confidence.
Consistency means being able to do the same thing over time knowing that it will help you achieve your goals. Discipline is knowing what you have to do to achieve your goals and doing it no matter how you feel because you know that it will help you achieve the desired outcome. The confidence is the belief that you will achieve what you desire because of all the work that you’ve put in. These traits all play their part in achieving success and they bounce off each other making them important for fitness enthusiasts and aspiring bodybuilders.
Future Goals, Dreams and Plans
In the next 3-12 months, Thakga aims to secure victories in more bodybuilding competitions and establish his fitness brand. He sees his name and personal training being the foundation of his fitness brand so that when people hear his name, they know that they will be speaking of a results-driven personal trainer.
Looking ahead 3-5 years, he sees himself as a well-established fitness ambassador as the face of a bodybuilding competition and becoming a fitness model. He wants to own a thriving fitness company that will include personal training products and services and branded clothing for his community.
The Decision to Pursue IFBB Pro Card
Thakga’s journey into bodybuilding was influenced by his brother’s (Ofentse Boloko) participation in competitions and the encouragement of Ma Rebeeca Mlhaba who took him to his first bodybuilding competition. Believing in himself, Thakga decided to aim for the IFBB Pro Card, a goal that gained momentum after placing 2nd in his first show.
The turning point came when he invested in a bodybuilding coach who prepared him for the stage and helped him secure his victories. He chose the IFBB competition based on growth potential and connections within the fitness community.
What Does It Mean to Have an IFBB Pro Card
Thakga says that achieving his IFBB Pro Card signified the recognition and reward for the relentless dedication he’d invested in his fitness journey. This accomplishment served as a stepping stone to elevate his performance and become the ultimate professional in his division.
This achievement is not the end but rather a commitment to intensify his efforts. His goal is to continually strive for excellence and push his boundaries as a Pro athlete.
From a career perspective, earning his Pro Card presents a substantial opportunity. It highlights his expertise in the fitness industry. It will open doors for collaborations with esteemed brands and like-minded individuals. This recognition was not just a personal triumph but a platform for professional growth and meaningful partnerships.
Navigating Challenges on the Path to Securing the Coveted IFBB Pro Card
The consistency and disciplined adherence to his fitness plan was his biggest challenge. Staying on track with his diet amidst the demands of a busy work schedule also posed a challenge. This challenge not only tested his physical endurance but also emphasizes the mental fortitude required to overcome obstacles. The journey to achieve his fitness goals involves mastering the art of balance and prioritizing health amidst the daily hustle.
Routine to Success
Thakga’s daily routine is centered around intentional actions. As a personal trainer, his day-to-day routine looks like this:
- Training clients, ensuring their fitness journeys are holistic by incorporating both physical and mental well-being. Thakga maintains a high standard for himself.
- Thakga adheres to his six-day training split, targeting each body part at least twice a week.
- Day 1 – Legs and Abs
- Day 2 – Chest and Shoulders
- Day 3 – Back and Biceps
- Day 4 – Legs
- Day 5 – Full Upper Body
- Day 6 – Strength
- Day 7 – Rest
- His routine incorporates morning cardio for fat burning and afternoon/evening strength training. He recommends cardio before strength training to maximize energy and mental focus, and preferably fasted.
- He focuses on a balanced diet, healthy eating habits.
Nutrition Plan for the IFBB Competition
Thakga’s preparation for the competition leading to his IFBB Pro Card involved three months of meticulous meal planning. His nutrition plan included varying caloric intake, macros, and cheat meals. He emphasizes the importance of water consumption, reaching up to 6 liters daily. Water, other than ensuring hydration, it helps with delivering nutrients such as protein and carbs to your muscles to maintain and fuel them, making it crucial for your fitness journey.
His favorite cheat meal being a Steers burger and chips that he’d eat once a week. Cheat meals ensure that you don’t fall off the wagon on your fitness journey. It allows for consistency and sustainability in your diet because you’re not over restricting yourself which leads to bad cravings and overindulging.
In preparation for his competition, he organized his meals into distinct blocks. His calories started at 1616 calories and gradually tapering down to 1368 calories as the competition drew near. The protein component witnessed a progressive shift from an initial 139g to a peak of 181g in the final stages. Carbohydrates, starting at 206g and then reduced to 103g. His fat content experienced a nuanced adjustment, initiating at 22g and culminating at 25g. This meticulous nutritional approach aimed to optimize my performance and physique for the demands of the competition.
This approach helped him lose fat, become leaner and defined to be stage-ready for his first bodybuilding competition. He admits that he was relatively in good shape already, so it wasn’t too difficult preparing for his first show.
Connecting with Thakga Boloko
As a personal trainer, Thakga offers services aimed at optimizing physical and mental well-being. For more information and to connect with him, visit his website or follow him on Instagram (@mr_t_fit_ibffpro).
He extends offers to his audience, providing valuable insights and tips for building muscle. By following him on social media platforms, fitness enthusiasts can stay updated on his journey, avail exclusive offers and access valuable content.
Thakga Boloko’s journey from rugby aspirations to an IFBB Pro Card holder is a testament to his dedication, discipline and passion for fitness. Through his daily routines, mindset, and strategic approach to nutrition and training, he has carved a path to success in the competitive world of bodybuilding. As he continues to impact lives positively, his story serves as an inspiration for aspiring fitness enthusiasts.