Doug Schneider

Everyone knows the old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words. But how many words is a four-minute video worth?

I began to think about this as I sat down to write this article about Al Kabia, the amateur champion at the 2011 IDFA International Championships held on July 23 in Toronto. Al won the middleweight class and then went on to win the overall title, thus becoming the IDFA’s newest male pro.

The reason I was thinking about video and words was because I’d talked to Al and gathered a lot of information about him in order to write an article, but I’d also shot some great video footage of him at that show. So I asked myself: Should I write an article about him or make a video?

I quickly realized that the best thing would be to do both, since they can each provide a different perspective and give a more encompassing look at Al, this new star on the IDFA competitive scene – a guy with amazing potential who has what it takes to compete at a high level on their pro stage. The words in this article give some background on how Al came to compete at the International Championships, while the video gives insight into exactly what happened that day. So here you go, a little of both:

Al is 28 years old, 5’9” tall, and weighs between 185-190 pounds in the off-season. On the competition stage he’s around 170 pounds. Al is originally from the United States but now lives in Canada, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Ryerson University. His full-time work is as a mental health and addictions counsellor, but he is also a certified personal trainer and one of his goals is “to do personal training full-time and incorporate his educational background in his training because he believes that making a lifestyle change starts with training the mind.” Al says that he hopes to help awaken the internal motivation in people, which he believes is the first step in starting and maintaining change.

Growing up, Al was always involved in sports, particularly track and field, and football, but also basketball and squash recreationally. Bodybuilding came in the first year of university after he became tired of always being the “smallest brother.” He never left the gym and his favorite exercises soon became the preacher curls, chest presses, lunges, leg presses, wide-grip seated rows, and lat pulldowns. He started training with friends who were following a similar lifestyle, with three of them eventually competing and doing quite well. It was their success in competitions that prompted Al to try the stage as well.

Many athletes enlist a personal trainer to help prepare for a competition, but Al couldn’t afford to do so. So he educated himself and through trial and error learned precisely how his body would react to exercise and food in order to attain the physique he wanted. He nicknamed his new regime the “Triple-D Lifestyle,” which stands for discipline, dedication and determination.

Al Kabia wins on November 6, 2010
Al Kabia wins the overall novice title at the 2010 IDFA World Championships.
(Heavyweight winner Marc Marcoccia is on the right.)

On November 6, 2010, Al stepped onto the IDFA stage for the very first time, winning the lightweight and overall titles which qualified him for the July 23 show (photo above). What transpired on July 23 is best shown in the video that can be found below:

Al’s future goals are to continue to promote natural bodybuilding and to compete professionally in the IDFA. He also wants to educate, inspire, encourage, and challenge others who are interested in living the “Triple D Lifestyle,” believing that we are all capable of attaining our optimum physical condition if made aware of our potential and given the tools to achieve it. According to Al, “There is no better reward to oneself than accomplishing a self-determined goal.” Obviously, that’s something Al has plenty of firsthand experience with, and if past performance is any indication of future success, we’ll be hearing plenty more from the IDFA’s newest star.

. . . Doug Schneider, Publisher

Doug Schneider is the publisher and chief photographer for