Israeli natural bodybuilder pumped up to receive world championship silver

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All of Israeli bodybuilder Lavie Kafra’s years of hard work in the gym and his strict dietary discipline paid off when he won the silver medal at the 2021 World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) World Championships in Las Vegas. .

Kafra, 25, came second in the mid-height competition in the male physique category, forcing bodybuilders to feature an extremely tapered V-shape with broad shoulders and a tight petite waist. Contestants, dressed only in swim shorts and greased from head to toe, are also judged on how they successfully present a charming, sexy, and beach boy-like appearance, shown in four mandatory poses.

Kafra qualified for the WNBF World Championships, which this year drew 257 male and female competitors from 32 countries, after being crowned Israel’s Men’s Physics Champion in 2020. This earned him a pro card allowing him to participate in WNBF competitions all over the world. His hopes of making it to the 2020 world championships were sadly thwarted when the event was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Israeli champion set his sights on 2021 and continued to train with his trainer and good friend Saar Sukar, who also represented Israel in Las Vegas on November 20, finishing fifth in the short competition in the men’s physical category. .

“I have been practicing bodybuilding since I was 16 years old. I first did it on my own, and only three years ago I took it to the next level in terms of working with a trainer and really serious awareness of training and coaching. nutrition, ”Kafra told The Times of Israel the day after returning from Las Vegas.

Kafra spoke fluent English with no accent – the result of having a US-born mother and living two years of her childhood in Kingston, Jamaica, on a temporary family move.

To maintain his ultra-ripped body, Kafra, who is 1.78 meters (5’8 ″) and weighs 80 kilograms (176 lbs), trains seven days a week. His workouts include 1 to 2 hours of cardio and 1.5 to 2 hours of strength training.

“When it comes to nutrition, everyone reacts differently to different foods, so you need to work closely with your trainer and trust their advice,” Kafra explained.

Its overall goal is to maintain muscle mass while burning fat. The result is that he is in a calorie deficit most of the time.

“I want to be really flat and lean, especially as I’m approaching a competition,” he said.

Lavie Kafra with his silver medal after winning second place at the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation world championships in Las Vegas, November 20, 2021. (Courtesy)

Kafra should eat every two to three hours, and mainly consumes protein. On a given day, he eats two cans of sodium-free tuna packed in water; 400 grams (14 ounces) of cooked chicken breast; six eggs; two high protein yogurts; and small amounts of vegetables (for example, three or four cucumbers). He takes vitamin supplements to make up for the lack of fruits and vegetables in his diet.

Some days, Kafra carb loads up and reduces its protein intake.

“I admit I’m very hungry, but you have to trust the process and overcome it with strong mental will,” he said.

Kafra is a strong supporter of natural bodybuilding, which does not involve the use of performance enhancing drugs like steroids. There are many bodybuilding federations around the world, some requiring drug testing and some not. The WNBF requires competitors to take polygraph tests (in which they are asked about drug use in the past, present, and future), and the top three in each category must pass a urine test.

For Kafra, there was no doubt that if he was going to engage in bodybuilding, he was going to push himself to be the best. Growing up, he was an avid player in many sports.

“I am very extreme in my nature. I always push things to the absolute limit, ”Kafra said.

Champion Israeli bodybuilder Lavie Kafra (Orel Sabran)

Kafra served in Sayeret Golani (the most elite battalion of the Golani Brigade) as a counterterrorism instructor. After his release from the Israeli military, he worked as a model in the arms industry before becoming an online nutrition and training consultant. Her current clients are all Israelis – some are bodybuilders, others are just trying to get fitter and healthy.

“I would also like to start working with people outside of Israel,” Kafra said.

Kafra said he only enjoyed the understanding and support of his family and friends.

“If someone doesn’t support what I’m doing, I let them down with my life. I don’t need people around me who put me down, ”he said.

According to Kafra, it was difficult at first for her mother to come to terms with her strict diet, but now she is supporting him.

“I love to cook, but my mom also helps me cook and prepare meals,” he said.

Kafra’s father and two younger sisters are athletic and are among his biggest fans. His 90-year-old grandmother was there to give him a big hug as soon as he got out of the car outside his home in Hod Hasharon on his return from Las Vegas.

Lavie Kafra training at the gym. (Orel Sabran)

“I met my girlfriend just as I was about to start intensive preparation for the world championships, and I warned her about what my life would be like. She was understanding and so far everything has been fine, ”Kafra said.

He enjoys socializing with friends, but never drinks alcohol and avoids ordering restaurant menus.

“I spend time with friends, it’s to be with them, not to eat and drink,” he said.

Kafra said he hopes to raise awareness about natural bodybuilding in Israel, where the sport is little known.

“Drugs have given bodybuilding a bad reputation, and that’s really unfortunate. I’m here to show that you can do it drug-free. If you are consistent you get results, ”he said.

Knowing that some bodybuilders compete until their 60s, 70s and even 80s, Kafra has no intention of resting on his silver medal laurels. He plans to resume training and return to the WNBF World Championships.

“I’m aiming for the gold medal and first place,” he said.

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