By Robert Salas
Since childhood, Nick Roybal has looked up to professional wrestlers like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who inspired him to start body building at a young age.
“My dad had the key to the gym at Truman Middle School,” Roybal told Grey Wolf. “I would sneak into the weight room and started doing bench press and curls, anything I could do with weights to look like the wrestlers.”
Roybal has come a long way from his humble beginnings. He is now a sponsored bodybuilder and has competed in shows across the nation. His most recent triumph is becoming a Musclemania Pro by placing first in three different categories including: Classic Physique, Physique Medium Class and Overall Musclemania Physique World Champion.
The decorated athlete wasn’t always on top of his game. He said one of the biggest challenges he’s had to face, both personally and professionally, is overcoming his alcoholism.
“About six years into my fitness career, I started drinking and hanging out with the wrong people,” Roybal said. “It got to the point where if I didn’t drink I would start shaking,”
It wasn’t easy for Roybal to overcome his addiction. He didn’t go to a rehab facility or go through a program. Instead, he turned to his long-time idols for strength.
“I got a lot of motivation from watching movies with my favorite stars like, Jason Statham and the Rock,” Roybal said. “But a lot more went into it.”
Additionally, Roybal said that his family became a strong support system for him during this trying period in his life.
Roybal’s alcoholism wasn’t just affecting his health but also his goal to become a top bodybuilder. He said one of his lowest performances was at a show in Miami in 2014 where his hubris blinded him from the truth.
“I was backstage taking shots of vodka. I had no business on that stage,” Roybal said. “I got killed but I didn’t care because I knew I was going to go out and party right after that show.”
After a four-year hiatus, Roybal said his body is back in prime shape. He said consistency and perseverance are what drive his passion and what makes him appreciate the hard times.
“You got to be beat down to really see the beauty in things,” he said. “That the way your muscles are too. Beat them up and they grow back even stronger.”
The Land of Fitness
Part of Roybal’s success may be attributed to the strong fitness community in Albuquerque. Roybal told Grey Wolf that the Land of Enchantment has a good amount of fitness competitors that place well in national shows. He said his peers share a mutual respect for one another and look to motivate beginners to do their best.
“They see people who are grinding it out and looking like Superman and they want to do that too,” Roybal said. “It’s all about motivating each other.”
As for his future, Roybal has always aspired to be an actor and he’s steadfast on making that goal a reality.
“After this fitness show, I told myself I was getting right back into acting classes. With Netflix coming to Albuquerque, now’s the time,” Roybal said.
All pictures courtesy of Nick Roybal’s Instagram.