Mateo Vaihu is an IFBB Professional Bodybuilder from New Zealand. He began strength and weight training as part of rugby training. Since he wasn’t massive to begin with, weight training helped him pack on some size and muscle. After he rained for a few years, a friend of Mateo, who was a bodybuilder, asked him if he would like to compete. Thus, his journey of bodybuilding and competing began. His background in sports has considerably helped him develop the mind set to compete on stage.
Mateo says training isn’t the tricky part, but eating well is. Tongans love to eat food and eating nutrient dense food all the time to fuel himself is something he finds difficult to do. Astonishingly, he spends close to $800 every month on supplements and food. Mateo has a full-time job as a personal trainer and coach. He trains casual gym goers and also has a few clients who are competitors themselves
Facts about Mateo
- He is the first bodybuilder from Tonga to qualify for the renowned Mr. Olympia competition
- He is the only competitor from the Pacific to be competing at the 2017 Mr. Olympia competition
- He weighs around 210 lbs during the off-season
- He runs a fitness consulting business called Tranzformation4u
- He was Mr. New Zealand for three years in a row
- He has a daughter named Abigail
- He is sponsored by Xtreme Nutrition
- He trains at the Fitness Plus Gym in Manukau
- He has appeared in FLEX magazine
- His favourite exercises are the deadlift and the lat-pulldown
Mateo won a gold medal at the Australia Amateur Olympia in 2015. With this victory, he earned his IFBB Pro Card and could participate in IFBB sanctioned professional bodybuilding competitions. He had finally achieved his long-time dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder. He could now compete in competitions with prize money for the winners. His next goal was to become the first person from the Australian continent to qualify for the Mr. Olympia competition.
At the 2016 New Zealand IFBB International Pro/Am, Mateo could not win 1st place. The judges said he looked too flat. He put in a lot of effort and planning over to off-season to improve his physique with the goal of competing the following year.
At the 2017 New Zealand IFBB Pro/Am, Mateo won 1st place in the Classic Physique division. With this result, he qualified for the famed Mr. Olympia. His efforts over the past few months had paid off.
At the age of 41, Mateo was finally able to compete at the most prestigious bodybuilding competition in the world, the Mr. Olympia. The best competitors across the world vie for a top spot in this contest, to be crowned the Classic Physique Olympia.
At the 2017 Mr. Olympia, Mateo finished in 10th place. It was a good result considering that it was his first Olympia. He learned a lot from his prep for the show. With a little more work on his physique, a top 5 finish at next year’s Olympia looks promising.
- IFBB Mr Olympia Classic Phisique, 10th