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SHEPPARD SEALS PRO CARD AT NATIONALS

Big Mike wins national championship, earns pro status

By Patrick Lujan

At first glance, Mike Sheppard looks nowhere near a slim All-Island basketball player. It may take several dozen looks and still not recognize the hoopster-turned-bodybuilder.

The former Sanchez Sharks basketball star finally earned his IFBB professional bodybuilding card after over a decade of chasing his dream when he won the masters super heavyweight division of the 2020 Masters National Championships in Orlando two weekends ago.

Former Guam basketball star Mike Sheppard is now a bonafide pro bodybuilder stateside after winning the Masters National Championship’s super heavyweight division. (photo by NPC News Online)

It was his second trophy in two weeks as he captured the Texas State Championships just the week before.

After a stellar high school basketball career with the Sharks in which he was named All-Island 1989-1991, Sheppard turned to bodybuilding on Guam before moving the Texas for good in 1998. With over 20 years in the sport, Big Mike says his desire to be the best burns the same after all these years.

“I would say it burns more now or maybe the same. The only difference maybe is when I was younger it was not as much with form, just God-given ability and now it’s God-given ability with consistency and mental toughness.”

TRANSFORMATION

The transformation from a 176-lb. sleek hoopster to a 280-lb. mound of muscle hasn’t been easy for Sheppard. Standing at six-feet tall, there’s a natural disadvantage with longer limbs compared to the usually-shorter competition.

“Being 6-foot (tall) with long arms and long legs it’s tough putting on
mass,” Big Mike said. “So for the last year to balance out my physique I worked my hamstring separately than my quads to balance out my legs. For arms, I created an extra 100-rep arm day to bring them out more. It’s like basketball – if you can’t go left you practice doing everything with your left hand.”

WISH TO RETURN TO GUAM

It’s no secret that Sheppard would love to come back to Guam to be a part of a future bodybuilding show. For someone who still says he’s from Guam when people ask, Big Mike would like to take it back to where it all started.

“I would love to come home and guest pose at a Guam show. It was the first one I ever did. That is where I started the push for my pro card.”

NOTES: Sheppard played for the Bud Kings for several years and represented Guam in the 1997 East Asian Games in Korea. He also won the Guam Bodybuilding Championship heavyweight division in 1996 before taking his talents stateside.

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