Welcome to episode 17 of the Saved By The Barbell Podcast! This week’s show features Zeke O’Connell, the winner of the inaugural Ohio Power Bodybuilding Association competition! We’re also joined by the OPBA founders for a recap of the event followed by an interview with Zeke.


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2:00 – 12:00: Catching Up with OPBA Co-Founders Tyler Tredway and Zach Matheny

  • Recap of the inaugural OPBA Competition.
  • How the lifters exceeded expectations in both powerlifting and bodybuilding.
  • Plans for future competitions including a Spring show and California event.

12:00 – 23:00: Zeke O’Connell Bio & Background

  • Zeke’s history as a 3x nationally qualified NPC men’s physique competitor.
  • Starting a family and entering gym ownership right after college.
  • Training with Zach Homol and Zeke’s first experience in a hardcore gym.

23:00 – 41:00: Strategies for Training, Business, and Life

  • Being crazy enough to believe you can do it all.
  • Prepping for the OPBA Competition in only 12 days.
  • Why competition is essential.
  • Getting kicked out of gyms all over the city.
  • Why people are afraid of effort.

41:00 – 56:00: The Real Gym & Influencing the Youth

  • Whether or not the first year met/exceeded expectations.
  • Creating a better future for the Ohio Valley.
  • Being in a position of influence for the younger generation.
  • Showing kids a more attainable level of success.
  • Thinking “Why not me?” instead of “Why him?”

56:00 – 1:07:00: Zeke’s Personal Training and Nutrition

  • Training every day, powerbuilding, and using the Westside conjugate method.
  • Staying on point because Zeke has a target on his back.

1:07:00 – 1:10:00: The Fire Round

  • Zeke answers a series of random questions including the one thing he would eat if it had no effect on his health and one book recommendations.