In January of 2021, Chris Vera's six year old daughter Aniya asked her father what happened to his muscles? After chasing his dreams to launch his own business NXT LVL Visionary, filming and photographing in the fitness industry Chris lost himself in the process weighing 223 lbs. Following the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Vera started worrying about his business and his clients more than his own health.
Chris said, "I felt like I was achieving success capturing others living the fitness lifestyle through my lens, but in doing so I allowed myself to get in the worst shape of my life. After my daughter made the comment, I knew it was time to take control of my life. I called my friend Vlad, a bodybuilding coach and immediately began a cleanse program."
By chance, a friend shared Vera's transformation with Apollon Nutrition founder Robik "Robert" Samborsky. "Initially, we were looking for a photographer for a shoot with IFBB Pro Branch Warren at Apollon Gym, but as soon as I seen Chris's progress photos, I was blown away from the results he had achieved in the last 9 months. I invited him down to the Apollon Gym All-Star Seminar and after meeting him I knew I wanted to give him an opportunity to represent the team. I really like the kid and I'm happy to have him on board. I wish him the best of luck in his return to the stage this weekend at the 2021 NPC Eastern USA Championships!"
Chris knows a little something about overcoming adversity. In May 2018, he packed up his truck with all of his equipment the night before a shoot. When he woke up in the morning someone had broken into his vehicle and stole $10,000 worth of his equipment. With no way to replace everything, he quickly slipped into depression. Enter Vera's then girlfriend Erica who withdrew $10,000 from her personal savings account to replace everything he lost. Chris said, "I wouldn't be able to do any of this without my fiancé Erica. She has been with me from day one and I love her so much for that." In fact in January 2021, it was her that pushed Chris to take control of his life suggesting "You're ok with buying a $2000 lens for your camera, but you complain about investing money in your health?"
Chris competed in a bodybuilding show seven years ago, but he never took the sport seriously. After igniting his passion for training, under the watchful eye of his coach, he started to transform his body and more importantly his mind. "I knew when I started my transformation that I never wanted to feel the way I felt the day my daughter called me out. I've worked hard every day to make her feel proud and my relationship with her has never been better. I owe that to the discipline the bodybuilding lifestyle has taught me throughout the last 10 months." said Vera.
Now at 174 lbs, with the support of the full line of Apollon Nutrition products, the sky is the limit for this up and coming bodybuilder. We wish him the best of luck in his show this weekend. However, we're more proud of him for the discipline he followed day in and day out to live his dreams by turning his life around.
Go behind the scenes at Apollon Gym with IFBB Pro Branch Warren to see how Chris was welcomed to the team. When The Texas Titan asks you to pose a few weeks out from your show, you do it!