Photos by Per Bernal
In a perfect world, a professional bodybuilder would keep his lifestyle utterly simple. Prepare food. Eat food. Go to the gym. Train hard. Come home to relax and recover. Get a great night’s sleep. Rinse and repeat.
Jon Delarosa was doing just that when we caught up with him this past July. But he had to leave his hometown of White Plains, NY, to achieve such simplicity. Of all places, he chose Kuwait to focus on the job at hand.
To most, Kuwait would seem like a curious choice, especially for a professional athlete, but it’s quickly becoming a destination spot for elite bodybuilders. Why? Because of Oxygen Gym, owned and operated by businessman, competition promotor, and fitness mogul Bader Boodai. Delarosa, along with other well-known IFBB pros like Victor Martinez, is taking part in Oxygen’s recurring “training camp,” where bodybuilders go to be, well, bodybuilders.
“It’s like a bodybuilder’s dream here,” says Delarosa, direct from Kuwait via Skype. “All they allow you to do is eat, sleep, and train. They don’t want you doing anything else, no extracurricular activities. There’s nothing to do in Kuwait. There are no bars, no clubs, there are barely any movie theaters, there’s one mall. There’s nothing. So all you can do is eat, sleep, and train. That’s it.”
This is quite a departure for Delarosa, who back home in New York works full-time as a business owner. Eating, sleeping, and training don’t always occur in ample amounts when one is running a business. At Oxygen, not only does he have all the time he needs to prep meals, sleep in, and hit the weights, but his energy level is always topped off when he does the latter.
“With all the rest, you’re going into the gym and you’re training like an animal,” says Delarosa. “Whereas at home, I was working 60, 70 hours a week and going to the gym beat to shit already. Owning a business, I’ve never been able to just train. This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to be a bodybuilder for real.”
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