MEET DONALD KIM
I am very excited that I’ll be competing in my very first Men’s Physique Competition the Popeye’s Fall Classic on November 7th. This date is quite significant because it marks the time around when I first started my journey into fitness/bodybuilding, 8 years ago. When I look back at the day when I first got my gym membership at the local community recreation center to how far I’ve come, I am both humbled and amazed.
NOVEMBER 7TH… THIS DATE IS QUITE SIGNIFICANT, BECAUSE IT MARKS THE TIME AROUND WHEN I FIRST STARTED MY JOURNEY INTO FITNESS/BODYBUILDING, 8 YEARS AGO.
Early in my lifting career, I was hungry for information on how to build muscle. Bodybuilding & fitness magazines were my go-to sources! The pictures of the Status Fitness Magazines, are from my personal collection that dates back to 2008 – around the first time that I got into lifting!
(Donald’s Status Fitness Magazine collection when he first began weight training)
Armed with the knowledge in the science of putting on mass and cutting, I was able to quickly experience newbie gains, and I started to see my body transform as I worked harder, and the rest is history, I was bitten by the iron bug. From numerous bulking/cutting phases, staying consistent, and always training with intensity, stepping on stage signifies my love of the sport, the fitness/bodybuilding lifestyle, and my hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to truly become the best version of myself.
Why did you start weight training?
Having watched many of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies growing up, I always wanted to put on muscle and size. I was considered what the fitness industry called a “hard-gainer”, a skinny “ectomorph” with a super-fast metabolism, where no matter how much food I consumed, I just couldn’t gain weight. As I got older (and metabolism slowed down), I gained the bad weight (a beer gut and a nice double chin). So my fitness journey began about 8 years ago for the sole purpose of getting back into shape and putting on muscle!
What did your fitness journey look like?
In 2008: Tired of my hard gainer skinny days, and then to a beer gut, I was determined to go from skinny to huge, and so began my “dirty bulking” phase, where I went from 125 lbs to 215 lbs.
In 2010: I did my first cutting phase. Although I lost most of the fat, I, unfortunately, lost a lot of muscle in the process. On the plus side I knew that I had the potential to put on some serious muscle, by training smart. (See photos below)
In 2011: Experienced and armed with more knowledge of how to diet more intelligently, I went on my second cutting phase, after a few months of bulking. This time around, I was lean with more muscle mass. (See photos below)
Fast forward a few years and after doing several more bulking/cutting phases, I have entered into my first contest prep cutting phase. I started my contest prep at 192 lbs (See photo directly below). Now, just a few weeks away, I’m sitting at around 145 lbs (See photos below). What can I say, those that compete are the best dieters in the world!
(Donald Kim – Sitting around 145 lbs a few weeks out from his show)
What made you decide to compete at the Popeye’s Fall Classic?
I’m a super driven and ambitious individual who loves continual self-improvement, challenging myself, and growing. Humans are an adapting machine, and just like lifting weights, sooner or later you will become super efficient at lifting that weight, and your body will plateau. In parallel, if you want to grow as a person, as a leader, or become successful in business, you need to put yourself in stressful and uncomfortable situations… you just need to do it! Getting on stage to compete will put me in that happy medium of stress and challenge.
I want to help inspire others to follow their passions and their goals. Competing and preparing for a show requires dedication, sacrifice, goal-setting, and being results-driven. All of which can be translated to all parts of our lives, with school, business, and or in our professional lives. And no matter how busy you get, everyone can afford to invest their time into their health, as we all have a hand at looking, and feeling our very best.
I’M A SUPER DRIVEN AND AMBITIOUS INDIVIDUAL WHO LOVES CONTINUAL SELF-IMPROVEMENT, CHALLENGING MYSELF, AND GROWING. GETTING ON STAGE TO COMPETE WILL PUT ME IN THAT HAPPY MEDIUM OF STRESS AND CHALLENGE.
What drives/motivates you to train so hard?
Inner drive, dedication, diligence, and grit. I set both long-term and short-term goals, and I stay motivated by pushing myself to try and attain those goals. If it’s either bulking up to put on size or to drop body fat and get shredded, it’s hitting those milestone results that get me excited.
Tell us a little about your involvement in fitness.
In addition to being a Men’s Physique Competitor, I am the CEO/Founder of My Total Fitness Academy. From the skinnier person who’s given up all hope in trying to build muscle to the overweight person that wants to get back into shape, I’m dedicated to helping others transform their lives to become fitter, healthier, and more confident in their bodies.
I am a strong believer that knowledge is power. I have a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and MBA, as well as 7 Certifications as a Personal Training Specialist (x2), Nutrition & Weight Loss Specialist, Bodybuilding, and Contest Prep Coach, Strength & Conditioning, Sports Nutrition, and a Master Trainer.
Also, over the years, I’ve worked with a number of well-respected fitness gurus, from Lee Hayward (a natural bodybuilder competitor), Eric Helms from 3DMJ (a group of pro status natural bodybuilders), John Hollywood Coach (aka “The Pro Maker”), and Yaletown Fitness (contest prep coaches). As a learner of the fine art of smart bulking/cutting, one must stay humble and continually learn. Fitness and bodybuilding are my passions! I also love to educate myself with the latest and most effective fitness techniques.
FROM THE SKINNIER PERSON WHO’S GIVEN UP ALL HOPE IN TRYING TO BUILD MUSCLE TO THE OVERWEIGHT PERSON THAT WANTS TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE, I’M DEDICATED TO HELPING OTHERS TRANSFORM THEIR LIVES TO BECOME FITTER, HEALTHIER, AND MORE CONFIDENCE IN THEIR BODIES.
Favourite Quote (at the moment).
“I challenge myself to be inspired by something every day. It’s the one reason I continue to improve.” – Steve Nash