Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook!
Name: Vinicius "Popeye" Wingerter (@viniciuspopeyegfteam)
Occupation: Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor at Neue Fit
Diet: No junk food. Diet would consist mainly of clean and healthy food, and nothing with too much sugar. Favourite cheat meal is Indian or Brazilian BBQ.
Training: Six times a week, twice a day, at least 3 hours a day.
Q: Were you always in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) or did you try other sports too?
A: I've done several other sports throughout my career such as wrestling, boxing, Luta Livre (which is a type of BJJ No-Gi, and where I am a brown belt in) back in Brazil, and of course BJJ where I am currently a black belt.
How did you get into BJJ?
I started participating in BJJ since I was 14 years old. Having lived in the slums back then and being under some bad influences, my mother wanted me to stay away from such influences, so she decided to sign me up for BJJ.
I had a lot of energy as a kid, and so that was definitely an excellent sport for me to focus all of it at.
What are some of your significant achievements in BJJ?
I've competed in all levels of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but I competed the most once I received my black belt. The biggest competition that I took part in was the Paris Open, organised by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, where I finished first in black belt and in the lightweight division.
The biggest achievement to date is undoubtedly receiving my black belt from Master Julio Cesar Pereira of the renowned GFTeam in Brazil after 11 years of constant training.
What were some of your challenges developing yourself in this sport?
Like any sport, it takes utmost discipline to train every single day. I had to have the discipline to say no to parties, alcohol, and other vices to ensure that I can train as hard as I possibly can.
What are some of the challenges teaching this sport?
Everyone can be taught – but not everyone understands that they need to put it the time and effort to achieve all you can in the sport. Majority of the students just want to reach their goal the fastest way possible, but they don't want to go through the entire process to get there.
When did you come to Singapore?
I came to Singapore back in 2016. It's a beautiful city, and my friends Bruno Cunha and Jake Mackenzie were already here as part of the GFTeam in Singapore.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
I did question myself several times throughout my career, but I always stayed true to myself because I knew that God had a purpose and reason for me to remain in the sport and on the BJJ mats.
I saw my friends going through the same issues that I was, and I knew that this was something that I had to go through as well. They were my motivation - because if they can do it, so can I. I just needed the right mentality.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Haha, I'm never satisfied with my body. I always want to improve it, I always want to be faster, stronger, and more flexible.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Comments, not really. But I do get a lot of questions on how I achieved my level of fitness and the body I have achieved. It's all about hard work, discipline, and at the end of the day, their mindset.