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Muscle Sport Magazine

Jocelyn Jean – Perseverance Pays Off For IFBB Pro

Getting up on stage for the first time in a bodybuilding competition is certainly not an easy task, to say the least. Sometimes a possible contestant needs that little extra nudging to go through with it and that was the case with Jocelyn Jean.

“A co-worker at Bally’s Total Fitness, Jimmy Amalino, encouraged me to enter my first contest when I was just 17,” Jean recalled from that day when he stood in the winner’s circle at the Bally’s “Best of the Best” competition. After tasting victory, Jean was inspired to forge ahead with this new endeavor.

“I next competed in a show run by the All Natural Physique and Power Conference (ANPPC) and won,” said Jean, 38. “Then I joined the NPC in order to test myself against some of the best competitors in the nation.”

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Jean had a homecoming of sorts when he competed at the 1991 Bev Francis Atlantic States, which was held at his alma mater, Hofstra University on Long Island, a place he resided in for the majority of his young life. “I took second place in the teenage category, which qualified me for the Nationals that year.”

A series of personal issues, including the death of his mother and father’s wife, sidetracked Jean’s bodybuilding career. Over the next 14 years, he continued to maintain his physique with a personal training business and as a member of the United States Army, which he joined after working as a corrections officer for three years in Nassau County.

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Then in 2005, Jean got the itch to don the posing trunks again after meeting IFBB pro bodybuilder Darrem Charles at the gym. “With his support and guidance, I turned my focus to bodybuilding with full determination to become an IFBB professional,” Jean said.

After preparing with Charles, Jean entered the NPC Southern USA in Panama City, Florida and won the lightweight class. He then took a full year to add some mass and move up a class to the middleweight division. Another victory awaited Jean at the 2007 NPC Shawn Ray Pro/Am Classic and he then set his sights on the newly-formed welterweight division.

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“I then consulted some friends, including Charles, WWE wrestler Kenny Theissen, IFBB pro Petra Mertl and former NPC competitors Brian Lederman and Adam Honowitz,” said Jean. He went for his pro card at the 2007 NPC Nationals in Dallas, Texas and finished fourth. “Shawn Ray offered me some comforting words, ‘you did the best that you could; the rest was up to the judges.’ “

Jean was in full preparation mode for the 2008 North Americans when he learned that one of his uncles was tragically killed in New York. “He was like a father figure to me,” Jean admitted. Even with the tragedy, Jean placed third but was still on the outside looking in.

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A few months later, Jean’s hard work would finally pay off. “With the help of my very close friends, I was able to refocus and prepare myself for this show, which I won,” he said. “Kristen Cabibi became my training partner and best friend I needed at the time. She became my right hand and kept me focusing during such a difficult period of my life.” After turning professional, Jean was signed by MuscleTech, which afforded him the opportunity to advance his career.

In 2009, Jean competed in his first two shows as a professional and finished ninth at both the Jacksonville and Tampa Pro shows. After getting his feet wet, he has a goal for the new calendar year coming up. “My plan for the 2010 season is to qualify for the 202 Olympia,” Jean said. “The route to this goal starts in my home state of Florida in Jacksonville at the Dexter Jackson 202 on August 7. The following week, I’m off to Dallas to compete in the Europa Super Show 202.”

Hoping to qualify for the Olympia at one of these two shows, Jean has a back-up plan in the event that things do not go well for him. “I can always depend on the John Simmons 202 premiere show a week before the Olympia as a birthday gift on September 16,” Jean said with a laugh.

Photo by Dan Ray

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