BJ McKenzie — aiming to be next bodybuilding.com spokesmodel
BJ Mckenzie of American Samoa & Samoa has been named a Top 20 semi-finalist to become a Bodybuilding.com spokesmodel. This is the same competition Raynor Whitcombe of American Samoa entered and won in 2015.
BJ is a Samoan who was born in Hawai’i but raised all over the US because his father was in the military.
His dad Bert is from the Taloolema'aagao clan of Falealili, Samoa and the McKenzie family of Leone, AS. His mother Linda is from the Mauga bloodline of Iva, Savaii and the Su'a family of Salelavalu, Savaii.
BJ currently resides in Orem, UT with his wife and two sons, Brayviun, 8 and Braunx, 4.
When he's not in the gym toning his muscles, BJ works in the oil and gas industry, making polycrystalline diamond cutters for oil-rigs around the world.
"There aren't not too many Samoans where I work; I would say around a total of 5 Samoans including myself," BJ told Samoa News.
According to him, bodybuilding has been his passion since he was young, around the first grade. "That's when my Dad did his first bodybuilding competition," he said. "Through my dad, my brothers and I grew to love the sport and grew up looking at Flex Magazines in hopes that someday we could look just like my dad and the guys we saw in the magazine."
BJ entered his first bodybuilding show in 2014 with a group of Polynesians under the name Team Flex, led by his Tongan friend Felipe Filimoeatu.
"I grew up playing sports but once I knew sports wouldn't work in my favor, I wanted to find something else - competitive in nature - to get in to," BJ shared. "Bodybuilding was that outlet for me - to be able to compete, not just against other people, but against myself, to see how I can improve my physique each and every year."
BJ says bodybuilding is a lifestyle that he enjoys, but not necessarily competitive bodybuilding.
"It's more so a hobby and a passion of mine. I also enjoy helping others reach their fitness goals. One of my main reasons for entering the bodybuilding.com spokesmodel search, is to help spread fitness and health awareness to our Samoan and Polynesian people."
His other reason: "To hopefully be an inspiration to someone and let them know that regardless of your situation and circumstances, you can achieve your dreams and reach your goals if you're able to put in the work and be consistent and diligent throughout the process."
BJ said when he was growing up he looked up to a lot of different Samoans and Polynesians, "in hopes that one day I can be a positive influence in my Polynesian community."
"Fitness is my outlet, it's what I love, it's a part of me. I hope that through my passion for this lifestyle I'm able to influence others for the better, to take action and be motivated to get a hold of their health," BJ said.
In order for BJ to move on to the next round, he needs votes. He is asking the community to cast votes for him at <bodybuilding.com/spokesmodel>
"I don't have a big following, compared to the other competitors; so any help to spread the word is very much appreciated," he said. Voting ends Nov. 12th.
"Please vote for me and thank you American Samoa," BJ concluded.