Big muscles on campus

Does Markus Okafor even lift? We bought a ticket to the biggest gunshow in town

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How we expect to look after carrying shopping home from Sainbury’s…

Let’s face it, we’ve all noticed him around campus, at the library or at in meat aisle of Sainsbury’s. The Tab catches up with Markus Okafor to find out his secret, his views on body building, ‘Zyzz’ and the importance of a good diet.

Markus’ transition began nearly five years ago when he was playing rugby for Peckenham and Kent rugby club with the intention of turning semi-professional. At a fraction of his current size he was encouraged into high intensity strength programmes by his club.

A tense atmosphere…

I’m ‘too sophisticated’ for body building.


Name: Markus Okafor
Age: 22
Degree course: Electronic Engineering
Home town: London
Best thing about Manchester: It’s a change of scenery
Signature white t-shirt: GAP
Current weight: 18 stone
Weight he:
a) Benches: 210 kgs
b) Squats: 300 kgs
c) Dead lifts: 356 kgs
Cheat day treats: A warm chocolate chip muffin with custard.

‘Look natural’

The regime

In order to maintain his size, Markus goes to Armitage gym in Fallowfield four times a week for one hour sessions. Rather than use a routine that isolates different body parts throughout the week, Markus trains his entire body during each session. He also runs around three times a week for approximately 35 minutes each time.

Markus says diet is the key element. Apparently many forget “food is a science”. His favourite meal is a roast chicken wrap with hummus, pesto, rocket, jalapeños and olives – a quick and easy, protein packed meal.

Making everyone else feel useless…

The mind behind the muscles

During our interview, Markus told me of a strong dislike for competitive body building. He said it’s become “freakish” and he’s “too sophisticated for that” (although he did cite Arnold Schwarzenegger as a personal role model).

Instead he “goes from the mirror” preferring to “focus on aesthetics not size” – a view shared by bodybuilder and internet sensation, ‘Zyzz’. Apparently the intriguing thing about Zyzz is he has more than a “good” physique. He “draws people towards him” as an extremely charismatic individual and “deserves credit for motivating people”.

(Sadly Zyzz died of a heart attack in a Bangkok sauna when on holiday in 2011…)

Big man, big plans

In the future Markus hopes to become involved in fitness modelling for supplement brands. As a self-confessed ‘YOLO person’ he also enjoys travelling and wishes to pursue a career that facilitates this.

Markus’ final words of wisdom

• ‘Do not underestimate the importance of what you eat. Once you’ve got your eating right everything else falls into place’
• ‘The important thing about working out is making it a habit. It’s like a sport; a lot of it is off the field’

Time for that muffin