We caught up with Armz Korleone, the bodybuilder, fighter, self-confessed sports fanatic and creative about his passions in and out of the ring, his new music and tips for people wanting to improve their physique…
Armz Korleone interview by Student Pocket Guide
Hey Armz! Before we get into this, would you mind starting off by introducing yourself to our readers (who you are and what you do)?
What’s going on my Gz! first and foremost big up to Student Pocket Guide each and every time, it’s a pleasure to be doing this interview. The world knows me as Armz Korleone, last name pronounced kor-lee-or-nee. I’m a natural bodybuilder, sports fanatic, content creator and then some. I have fortunately gained worldwide support through my weight lifting and prank videos across the social media world. My mission has and always will be to change the perspective on how bodybuilders, bodybuilding and training as a whole is viewed. I aim to shift the focus away from using drugs in training in order to reach one’s targets, back to focusing on using training as a way to discipline one’s mind, finding balance within the spirit and also to change one’s life. Through training I’ve discovered a lot about myself and I want to show people that if you take away the side of bodybuilding/lifting that is egotistical, and focus on just using it as a tool for self discipline and self preservation, it’ll be much more fun and less of a chore….
What’s your background (routes and growing up)?
I was born and bred on the original land of Gold. GHANA! I spent all my childhood there. I moved to Northwest London when I was 9 years old, attending Kingsbury Green primary school and then Kingsbury high school. As I was going on to year 8, My family moved to Milton Keynes and that’s where I finished my high school years, soon after I enrolled into Bletchley college to study Art and Design for 3 years, gaining some diplomas. I don’t remember exactly what level those qualifications were, but just know I passed with flying colours! Distinctions and them tings there you get me!? I didn’t fancy the idea of going to university to pursue Art so I started working full-time whilst training full-time. I’d do twelve hour shifts and then put in another 2 hours in the gym, my days off were spent in the gym. To be doing anything else made no sense to me. I entered my first local bodybuilding competition which was put on by the gym I was training at in 2014. It was a great experience, later that year I went on to compete in a bigger competition which was an even better experience and it was after this competition that a friend of mine created my Instagram account for me. I didn’t like the idea of social media so I would send my friend content and he would post them on the page because I refused to use it, but as time went on and the brand was growing I got more involved in the content creating and posting…
You’ve amassed a highly respectable Instagram following of over half a million followers and you post a variety of content showcasing your excellent physique and multi-talented skills, from lifting to music. It’s fairly obvious why you’re called Armz Korleone! Can you give us an insight into your training regime?
There isn’t much to my training regime but to just go in the gym and f*ck sh*t up! One person who I have to thank for my training style is Simeon Panda. He’s my favourite fitness personality and I’ve looked up to him as a source of inspiration since 2014. I remember reading some of his interviews and he outlined his training routine which I wrote down and customised to my liking. It involved a lot reps, sets and heavy ass lifts. I’ve been doing this ever since and it’s served me well…
Have you always been a big guy?
I was skinny as sh*t! I haven’t always been a big guy but I was exposed to training from an early age. My uncle used to have weights at home and I would see him lifting them. We used to get people beeping at us when we were out because his biceps were the size of a rugby ball, no joke. And it was impressive because he gained all that size from just lifting weights at home so of course that inspired me, I’ve been into bodybuilding from an early age, I would stick up posters of bodybuilders from way back when, in awe at their physiques and wanting to look like them one day.
When did you start taking training seriously?
I started seriously training when I was turning seventeen, my mum signed me up to a gym and I never looked back. It was good for me because I had so much energy and I needed to channel all that energy into something. It kept me out of trouble and it shaped me into the man I am today. Soooo yeah training, 10/10 would highly recommend.
From a diet perspective, what do you eat and what tips might you offer to people wanting to get ripped?
My diet consists mainly of Ghanaian foods like kenkey, yams, plantain etc. I love rice so I eat a lot of that too. In recent years I’ve stopped eating red meat because my digestive system wasn’t responding well to it so now I’ve opted for fish and white meat, but I cook more fish based meals now. The diet tips I’d give to people would be to not listen to people who don’t know the first thing about your body, it’s on you as an individual to figure out what foods work for you. Someone’s diet that has worked for them might not work for you because our bodies are different. Some are able to lose and gain weight easily, some people can eat whatever they want and still have abs, whilst some don’t posses these advantages, so my advice to people who come to me for advice is, keep it simple, don’t complicate the set, take your time to learn your body – by doing this you will be able to work out what works best for you…
You’re the first person in history to appear on Charlie Sloth’s Fire in the Booth right before a professional MMA fight! You got a seriously good flow! How did that come about, and musically what are your goals?
Thank you, I’m glad you guys are feeling the flows. It’s all thanks to my management, Dice recordings. I told them about the idea of doing a ‘diss’ track for Bouncer as PR for the fight. I was only thinking basic but management came through and saw the bigger picture. I plan on enjoying making music, using it as a creative outlet for myself. I’m not trying to be a big artist or anything like that, I just really love music and enjoy the creativity that goes into it. I really have no plans, I’m gonna enjoy the music journey and see where it takes me. Same as the fighting. I’m not trying to be a professional fighter, I just enjoy the training and discipline, I got bored of competitive bodybuilding, even though I still love lifting weights but it’s good to be doing something else that is physically challenging in many different ways. It’s the fact I’m learning new skills and using my body in so many ways that excites me
You unfortunately lost the MMA fight against Bouncer and you both looked tired, but of course these fights are 15 minutes of pure energy. Can you try to describe what it’s like to be ready to enter into the UFC Octagon to fight professionally, and looking back would you have done anything different in preparation for this fight?
The loss isn’t a big deal to me. Everything happened as it was supposed to happen. It’s not a loss but a lesson, I’ve gained the experience and lessons needed to make sure next time I don’t make the same mistakes again. Nothing would’ve prepared me for that experience, it didn’t sink in until I was in the Octagon and the referee was signalling us to fight. At that moment I went into autopilot. I don’t remember much of what happened but I remember the referee telling us “okay guys this is the fifth and final round make it count”, and in my head I was like what the f*ck? How did I get here? Lmao but honestly considering I had five good months of training in a sport I’ve never done before and spending the last few months in hospital due to injuries, I’m proud of myself for doing what I did. There will be a rematch and a lot of things will be done differently from the business aspect to the training. Looking back there isn’t a lot I can say I would’ve done different. It’s happened now and I’ve learnt what I need to learn so it’s onwards and upwards. I’m grateful for everything I went through during the training camp, there are no excuses, I just grow through what I go through and come back stronger and better.
Talking about professional fighting, what’s your opinion on the recent Fury VS. Wilder bout and what’s next for each of them in your opinion?
I think it was a great fight and both men are warriors in my eyes. Having been in a similar situation my respect goes out to them. It’s easy for people to criticise when they haven’t had that experience in the cage or ring. But I think Wilder was a warrior in there and Fury was the better man that night. I think it’s nothing but success to both of them. It’ll probably be frustrating for Wilder as its his third loss against Fury so I can’t image how vexed he would be but you know, we move on.
What is your priority when it comes to fighting, fitness and music?
My main priority is to be in the right mental, spiritual, emotional and physical state to do what I have to do to the best of my ability. I have days where all those things aren’t balanced but it’s those days where my discipline comes into play and I still push to get the job done.
You’ve got a new E.P. coming out, is that right? Can you give us an insight into the sound and any featured collaborations?
Yes! So with this E.P. I want to make sure I’m happy with the work so I’m taking my time with it. I want it to portray the many layers I have. I want it to be a vibe. I want to put my essence in it so people can feel me when they hear the music. I haven’t decided how many tracks Imma put on the E.P. but I want it to be a mixture of grime, drill and afroswing.
What’s been your career highlight to date?
I have so many career highlights but overall it’s been the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, those people have become my family and my team. Together we help each grow and succeed in whatever we do. I think that’s the most important thing when it comes to anything. Having a solid family/team behind you.
On your YouTube page the “about” section says “Power without purpose is meaningless and worthless. A purpose that is firm can change the impossible to the possible.” What impossibility are you focused on making possible?
Nothing is impossible, from the moment you say something is impossible you’re defeated. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of things beyond this realm that we can’t fathom or even reach but to bring our goals to fruition isn’t impossible. To me there’s nothing I can’t achieve. I am limitless. If I really want something all I have to do is focus and apply myself. Everything I’ve ever wanted in life I have received and more. I’m a simple guy, I don’t want a lot in life but to be in a position to look after my loved ones. Nothing brings me more joy than being able to give to my loved ones and I’m getting there. There’s a lot more I want to do but in due time those things will manifest.
Outside of the ring/cage, gym and studio what do you do to wind down?
I really love staying inside, detaching from the world, listening to music, drawing or simply just sleeping. I spend a lot of time in my own world, meditating on self re-evaluation, my life, who I am as a person, toxic or bad habits I need to let go, people I need to cut off. My favourite past time is finding music or artists I may have slept on.
Let’s finish the interview if you don’t mind, by you letting us know about what other exciting projects you have lined up in the future?
There are tons of things yet to come. Too many things. All I’m gonna say is don’t sleep on me because I’m coming, I have only just begun. TWFD! Till We F*ckin Die!
Armz Korleone interview by Student Pocket Guide