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Interview with IFBB Pro Deonte Higdon

Interview with IFBB Pro Deonte Higdon

Tell us who you are and a bit about where you come from.

I’m Deontae Higdon, a 29-year-old Georgia native. I’m the 2nd oldest of four kids. I come from a rough upbringing living in Albany Ga. Didn’t have much but I persevered and was able to graduate, then a year in college, eventually joining the Air Force. I’m an Avionics Tech in the USAF and have been active duty for around nine years, and am currently a staff sergeant, stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro NC.

How did you get started in fitness and competing?

It’s very bizarre how I got started in fitness. It was 2012; I went to visit my father who lives in D.C. When I walked in my brother grabbed me, put me in a headlock, and told me I was too small and needed to lift weights as he pushed me back out the door. It was all in fun, but it ignited a fire that is still burning. I had been lifting for about a year when a friend told me he was going to compete and wanted me to do it with him. I had no mind to compete and was terrified by the thought. After talking more with my friend, however, I decided to do it.

Explain to us what your process is when you are getting ready for competition.

When getting ready for a competition, it’s like I transform mentally. Every thought is around my prep and what I need to do to get better. My social life comes to a halt because I feel it takes away from my focus. Everything is 100%, and I stop doing what I WANT to do and start doing what I NEED to do to win. I’m ultra-competitive, and I just want to win…bottom line.

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Can you talk a little bit about winning your first overall title? What was that like and how did it affect you heading to compete at the national level?

My first overall when came in my first show. I didn’t have a coach and had no clue how to prep, so I did what I needed to do. I got my certification as a personal trainer for more knowledge; then I drew up my prep plan. Twenty weeks of prep and research while prepping. Many mistakes took place but at 2014 Muscle Heat it all paid off with the overall title.
Then going into a national level show, I didn’t know what to think. I felt like the ‘new guy’ because a lot of people there had competed in multiple national shows. That contest was my first national and third show in total of my career so far. I knew, however, that my Coach Omar V had complete confidence in me that I would do well, which gave me a boost of confidence. I remember talking about being on stage a week before the show, and my hands were shaking as I spoke about it, haha, that’s how nervous I was!

After placing where you did at the national level and earning your IFBB Pro status, can you explain a little bit about the sacrifices an athlete of your caliber has to make to get to this level.

Well, I sacrificed a lot! Time with my friends and family, sleep as well. I sleep so little because of my schedule, and if I sleep over 6 hours, I’m tired all day. So I’m still learning how to make prep life and daily life coexist. I put everything into my prep. I don’t want to be outworked.

What are your upcoming plans for this contest season and do you plan on making your pro debut soon?

Well like every competitor I want to strengthen my weaknesses. I’ll be bulking for size then making my debut late into the 2016 season if I feel I’m ready.

What has it been like working with your coach Omar Ventura?

It’s been awesome. I’ve learned so much from him. He enjoys what he does, and I think it shows in how he brings his guys into shows.

Is there anything you can tell us that he has taught you that has made you a better athlete and competitor?

I think the most valuable thing he taught me is to believe in myself. It’s me vs. me and my goal should be to beat yesterday. If I keep beating my yesterdays, I have no choice but to head towards success.

Obviously, the road to IFBB Pro status is a journey is there anyone that you would like to thank or shout out that has helped you along the way?

I would like to thank my friends and family for the support and letting me quit. There are some invaluable people in my life that picked me up whenever I was down, and I thank them. I would also like to thank my coworkers, for picking up my slack when I had to leave to do shows. Of course my coach for the guidance, and the whole #teamventura.

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My name is Merton Woolard. Follow me on my journey to obtain my IFBB Pro Card through all my social media outlets.

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