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When Robert “Super-Mann” Blount left his hometown of Shreveport, he never dreamed he would return to live, or that he would host one of the largest fitness expos in the country.

“I was born and raised in Shreveport, graduated from Booker T. [Washington],” Blount said. “I left to go to school in Atlanta for 22 or 23 years. Then God brought me back home. I came kicking and screaming.”

Years later, Blount gave his life to Christ. “The Lord told me, ‘I sent you to Atlanta to set you among the pharaohs of fitness so you would have a knowledge way beyond many people, and I could bring you back to Louisiana to set my people free,’” he said.

When he came back to Louisiana, Blount had no clue of the living conditions or the health of the people in his home state.

“When I started realizing we were fifth in the nation in overall health, we lead the nation in cancer deaths, high blood pressure and heart disease, poverty, lacking in education, then I understood why it was important for me to be here,” he said.

Fitness was part of Blount’s life even before he left Shreveport.

“I always wanted to look like Hercules and be like Samson. Even as a child and going through school, I ran track and played football,” he said. “I was always active. I would walk 2 miles a day to get to football practice. I would motivate to get my classmates active to go out for football.”

It was a gift, he said, and as an ordained minister, Blount fits faith into fitness.

“Fit for Life Ministries Inc.” is a nonproft organization, and everything they do is faith-based.

“I don’t preach it everywhere we go,” Blount admits. “I speak to tens of thousands of kids every year, just trying to change the culture and the mindset of the next generation.”

So, where did Blount get his nickname? “In 1980, my training partner was Tony Atlas, one of the top wrestlers in the world,” he said. “He was a body-builder/ powerlifter with this mindset that he could lift the world like Atlas. One day, I decided to change my mindset to work with Atlas.”

It was a form of self-preservation. “I like the Superman character, so I took on the Superman mentality that nothing can beat me,” Blount said. “Then, it all started tying together. Superman was the ‘Man of Steel,’ and my whole life was lifting steel as a body builder, so I was a man of steel who was lifting weights for my livelihood.”

To avoid copyright issues, he decided to spell it Super-Mann.

When Blount accepted Christ, he asked the Lord if he should drop the nickname.

“He told me, ‘No, because you will teach who the real Super Man is: The Holy Spirit. The real Super Man walked on water. He fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes,’” Blount said. “The Lord said, ‘That’s the real Super Man, and that’s inside of you.’” In 1981, Super-Mann trained with Mr. Universe Tony Pearson learning professional training mechanics, health and nutritional concepts for all body types and bodybuilding presentation techniques. Since that time, he has continued to have a profound influence on the bodybuilding industry training eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney. He is the first African-American to own a health club in the United States and also to promote a sanctioned National Physique Committee bodybuilding show.

He has served as co-chairman of the N.P.C. for the state of Georgia and as an N.P.C. judge. He was appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal to the Commission on Men’s Health and Wellness. He continues to tour the United States giving motivational seminars on health, fitness, nutrition and bodybuilding.

– Bonnie Culverhouse

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