An Interview With New Zealand's Top Professional Bodybuilder & Promoter Moe Moussawi.

With a full listing of top line professional bodybuilders' competing at the first ever New Zealand Elite and Professional Bodybuilding Championship's, held March 15, no one is more excited than event organizer and promoter, Moe Moussawi.

With a full listing of top line professional bodybuilders' competing at the first ever New Zealand Elite and Professional Bodybuilding Championship's, held March 15, no one is more excited than event organizer and promoter, Moe Moussawi.

"I am very proud of putting this show on," said a tired Moe 48 hours before the big day. "I can guarantee success; I can see it happening already in the ticket sales we have had and the quality competitors'."

With bodybuilding becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand and an increased demand for more major champions' appearances on these shores, the New Zealand Elite and Professional bodybuilding Championship's could not have come at a better time.

As a nation of fitness enthusiasts' it is only natural that New Zealanders' seek bodybuilding as a means to keep in shape and improve their health and wellbeing.


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Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Australian Pro.

While most of us know that professional bodybuilders' take pumping iron to the extreme, for the average person bodybuilding remains the best way to improve health and longevity.

Part of Moe's master plan is to improve bodybuilding's image to where it is accepted as a viable way to offset disease and improve health in general, and the New Zealand Pro/Elite is a key step to this end.

Moe says the New Zealand Pro/Elite will be a major way in which to promote bodybuilding as a sport in its own right. Currently bodybuilding registers as a minority sport in New Zealand with only three professional athletes' and comparatively few amateurs in contrast to the more mainstream codes.

The New Zealand Pro/Elite with its high visibility and, in the years to come, increasingly higher profile, more New Zealanders' are likely to take up the sport either to emulate the top professionals' (many of whom can be seen onstage this weekend) or to build their physiques to a lesser extent and improve their health generally.

I caught up with Big Moe recently and he gave me a rundown on what to expect at the upcoming New Zealand Pro/Elite show.

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[ Q ] Is everything on target for this weekend Moe?
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    It is all falling into place; we have already pre-sold close to 900 tickets. Honestly it is bigger than the Ironman and close to the Arnold (as far as those expected to attend in concerned), so for New Zealand that is very good. You look at the numbers we have and look at the numbers they have and we are right up there.

Moe
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Moe El Moussawi 2 Days
Before The Australian Pro.

View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] Are all the athletes geared up for the show?
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    The athletes are all geared and are happy; they love New Zealand. We have been taking them around and supporting them in every which way. They are all looking incredible for the show.

    I kind of gave them a little speech and told them to make sure that they do not lack on their performance because this is their first time in New Zealand and if the crowd does not like the way they look they will definitely destroy any opportunity of coming back.

    That was enough for every one of them to get their @ss back on track (after the Australian pro). So they are all looking very good.

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[ Q ] In saying this do you feel the New Zealand bodybuilding audiences are more critical then the Americans'?
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    They are, by far. For example, although I came third at the Ironman, and you yourself, one of the biggest bodybuilding experts around, said I should have come second, some New Zealand critics had me as low as sixth (laughs).

Moe El Moussawi's 2008 Iron Man Routine.

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[ Q ] What were they looking at?
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    It doesn't matter, I will do my very best and will continue to do my very best in every single show I enter.

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[ Q ] The New Zealand Elite and Pro Bodybuilding Championships will position New Zealand as a legitimate player in the professional bodybuilding world.
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    Exactly. With this show we will have more power to say what we would like to say.

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[ Q ] How important is this show for New Zealand bodybuilding?
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    I believe it is going to give a lot of the younger athletes' more of a clear picture of where they can end up landing in the future and a clear picture of the opportunities they can have if they continue pushing themselves into the sport; they can aim for the very top and know the possibility of reaching it is there for them.

    So it is the best thing we can do for these guys: to bring men like Dexter, Melvin and Toney Freeman over. On the day they are going to see the money coming to these guys and they are going to see the opportunities they have, so I think it is going to be totally positive in every way to be honest.

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[ Q ] And how have the major athletes been received by the New Zealand public?
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    They have been received very kindly; we have been on TV several times. The public are looking at these guys as superstars'. My aim is to give every professional bodybuilder his place in the public eye and make sure he gets treated like a pro.

Moe
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Moe El Moussawi 2 Days
Before The Australian Pro.

View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] In New Zealand we are not accustomed to seeing men of that size other than yourself and few others. In that sense does the New Zealand public perceive these gentleman as freaks?
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    Well it depends on what gyms we went to. The Club Physical gyms' were very receptive to these guys and showed much respect.

    Of course I won't deny the fact that people are freaking out over the size of these men and this is a natural reaction for a person who has never seen such a thing before.

    But in saying that I can see people changing their minds about professional bodybuilding because the guys I chose to compete in my show have incredible personalities and warm to the public.

    Melvin, for example, is one guy who just loves interacting with the public, and joking around. Like today we walked into the gym and there was a class of females' doing aerobics and Melvin actually joined them. It was the funniest thing you would ever see. So they liked this; a guy the size of Melvin getting involved in the class.

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[ Q ] So the show will be by all accounts successful?
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    Yes I personally believe it will be a huge success and hopefully will be an ongoing thing judging by the way things are going so far.

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Moe El Moussawi Interview! Moe has steadily risen to the top since making his professional debut at the 2006 Iron Man Pro. Coming out of nowhere this amazing bodybuilder has stunned everyone.
Author:
David Robson

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[ Q ] I do hope it continues.
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    Yes but it will only continue with the help of people like yourself. If people like you and me stick behind it this is the only way it will grow.

    Honesty, and I say this humbly, the amount of money I have spent on this event has been too much, but to me it is worth every dollar: but only if the support continues from people like yourself and from the general public. But so far it is looking good.

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[ Q ] Well I am sure it will continue as bodybuilding becomes increasingly popular in this country.
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    Yes. And to be honest I went to Melbourne (for the Australian Pro) and saw the amount of work the guy there did. I have been to the Ironman three times.

    To be honest I would say that they did 50 percent of what I have done here. I mean the amount of advertising I have been doing on TV and on radio and in papers has gone far and beyond and all of that is helping to build up a good following for the sport of bodybuilding in New Zealand.

Moe
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Moe El Moussawi 2 Days
Before The Australian Pro.

View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] What is the bodybuilding talent pool like in New Zealand?
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    I like to say whenever I can that New Zealand Bodybuilders' have the most potential of any bodybuilding population in the world right now. We have here the most beautiful bodies' in the world.

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[ Q ] Yes but we only have three New Zealand professionals'.
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    Yes that is sad but I have been fighting for many years to make a change. Finally with this show we are getting somewhere. And I am very proud of putting this show on. I can guarantee success; I can see it happening already in the ticket sales we have had and the quality competitors'.

    But the word is catching on. When I arrived in New Zealand after competing at the Arnold a couple of weeks' ago I was walking through customs and one of the officer's came across to check my passport and he said, "you are Moe, you are putting the pro show on, I can't believe you are bringing Dexter." I was so happy. I had some jetlag but he woke me up; I got charged there and then.


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Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi.

    That was what I wanted to see; the average guy on the street knowing what bodybuilding was all about over here. And I have always said that we should have more bodybuilding seminars here in New Zealand, not just to inspire people to get big and strong but to help them to become healthy people.

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[ Q ] Very good point Moe. You will be guest posing at the New Zealand Pro, right?
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    Well it looks like it; everyone wants this. I don't think I am 100 percent ready for it and I haven't been watching the diet at all. Since Melbourne (the Australian Pro one week ago) I have been working day and night making sure everything is working the way it is supposed to for the New Zealand contest. So there has been no time for training or anything like that.

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[ Q ] So after Australia you have had no gym time at all?
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    That is correct. The last time was last Thursday.

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[ Q ] And speaking of the Australian Pro, you came third but many feel it was between you and Dexter. What are your thoughts?
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    I was two points behind Melvin Anthony and I take nothing away from Melvin. I did beat him in the prejudging as I saw the scores (at this time) so after prejudging I was second place, right behind Dexter.

    Melvin is a superb poser and I take noting away from that guy. He did beat me in the posing round at the night show and that is where he gained his two points to place ahead of me. Looking at just pure bodybuilding without the posing I did beat him on the day.

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    Melvin Anthony's Posing Routine.

    Watch Melvin Anthony's posing routine from the 2008 Arnold Classic.

    WMV (217 MB)

    But I'm not going to cry about it; this is my second qualification for the Olympia and it is his first so let it be. The Olympia will decide who is going to ultimately place where.

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[ Q ] As far as I could tell you looked ever better in Australia than you did for the Ironman. Would you agree with this observation?
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    Yes I would agree if you talk about conditioning. I probably was not as full as in the Ironman, but I was a lot better conditioned, especially in the back, glutes, hamstrings and thighs.

Moe El Moussawi Moe El Moussawi
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Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Iron Man.

View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Iron Man.

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[ Q ] As promoter of the New Zealand Elite and Professional Bodybuilding Championship's, is there anything in particular you would like to mention on the eve of this show?
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    My whole goal for doing this show was to help ensure that people get behind the sport in this country and to give the young athletes in New Zealand the opportunity to see for themselves where they can go.

    Number two is to present a show that will treat the professional bodybuilders and all who compete there with respect. If you talked with any of the guys (the pros') they will tell you that Moe is the best promoter and the love New Zealand and they want to come back.

    They love the way we welcome them and the way we treat them. For me it is very important for us. These guys will all go back to the States and give the best memories they have of their time here to their friends and family.

    I want to make sure they deliver the message that the New Zealand public, treatment and show was the best experience they have had. And it looks like this is exactly the perception they have.

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[ Q ] Will you be hosting a seminar with the pros'?
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    Yes on Sunday (the day after the show) we will be having a seminar with the pros'. It will be open to the public and they will get to ask questions and will hear from the pros' themselves, how they do things. People can have their pictures taken with the pros' also.

    Moe
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    Moe El Moussawi 2 Days
    Before The Australian Pro.

    View More Pics Of Moe El Moussawi At The 2008 Australian Pro.

    Included will be a small party to feed the guys. Most of them will not be competing for a while so we are going to give them some love.