We recently caught up with a British Powerlifting Champion and father-of-one, Richard Gozdecki.
Richard Gozdecki, wielder of giant muscles, knows what it feels like to win powerlifting titles and bodybuilding competitions. But we wanted to know what life feels like for him now he’s a dad.
So how did you get into bodybuilding and powerlifting?
I’ve been into weightlifting since I was 16 and always really enjoyed pushing myself in the gym. But it wasn’t until I turned 26 that I decided to enter my first contest, which I won. I’ve been hooked ever since.
And how’s fatherhood treating you?
I absolutely love being a dad. Don’t get me wrong, it has its off days and challenges. But having Henry is the best thing that’s happened to me. He’s now three, and I’ve competed a few times at powerlifting and Bodybuilding since he’s been around. But it makes it so much harder to be focused and dedicated enough to be the best, because Henry is always the priority. Fortunately I have an amazing wife who is a fabulous mother, which makes mine and Henry’s lives a lot easier.
How do you manage to balance your career against being a dad?
It’s very difficult fitting everything into one day. I also own a gym which takes up my time as well. The older Henry gets the more I want to do with him, especially this summer when the weather was good. My training has condensed, sometimes to 20-minute sessions, just so we can go to the park or swimming.
Has fatherhood taught you anything lifting weights can’t?
That you can get a decent night’s sleep if you lift weights. But you can’t get a decent night sleep when you have kids!
Will you be encouraging your son to lift weights?
He’s already going to the gym, going on the treadmills and cross trainers. I think it’s only a matter of time before he wants to lift. Whatever he wants to do in life, I’ll support him.
Any proud dad moments so far?
Henry is a mischievous little boy, a real personality and a show off. Every day he has countless people rolling around in laughter. I’m so proud of him for that!
How about any funny or disastrous parenting mishaps?
Too many to list. But one that springs to mind is a ‘code brown’ in a swimming pool this January in Cape Verde! It wasn’t pleasant.
What does your son think about having a muscly dad?
I think he likes it. He’s always doing muscle poses and asking me to feel his biceps. He loves dressing up as super heroes, too, and pretending to fly and lift up heavy objects. Plus he always shouts, “STRONGMAN!”
Has becoming a father given your more strength?
It’s given me strength in different ways, for sure. My drive and determination came from selfish hunger inside to succeed. I still have the same feelings today, but towards my son and providing for him. I think we’re stronger as a family these days as well. And I show support and dedication to my wife, leading to missed sessions and meals for my own personal gain. When Henry is a bit older perhaps we can train and be dedicated together.
Do you have any tips for any dads who want to lift weights but feel they can’t fit it in?
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. This is always a statement I live by. If you have 5,15 or 25 minutes per day to fit in some training, use it and do whatever you can.
Finally, any career hopes for next year?
That the wife gives me the nod to go on stage and compete. Once the decision is made, we’ll all work around my busy schedule to make sure I win. Perhaps there needs to be a new competition called Dadbod! The rules could be the same as Bodybuilding but you must be a father and provide excuses why you are not in perfect shape due to child related problems!
Richard Gozdecki is an ambassador for leading sports nutrition brand USN. USN have launched a nationwide search to find the next male and female “Face of USN”. For further details about the campaign or to enter visit faceof.usn.co.uk