After retiring from competing, Berry De Mey completely removed himself from the world of bodybuilding… until a big change brought him back.

These days, Berry De Mey is most notable as a coach and bodybuilding commentator/influencer compared to his prime competitive days. But his journey from competitive bodybuilder to coach is more complicated than most may know. In fact, De Mey had a period of his life where he left the bodybuilding world behind completely in favor of photography. What brought him back into the coach we know today? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Berry De Mey details the key change in the bodybuilding industry that brought him back to the sport.

Berry De Mey’s journey through bodybuilding is more complicated than most know. Though today he stands tall as a successful coach, online bodybuilding commentator, and IFBB Pro Hall of Famer – his journey contained many ups and downs. After some time competing in the IFBB Pro league, De Mey left in favor of Vince McMahon’s ill-fated WBF league. That failed after a very short tenure. Luckily, De Mey was allowed back into the IFBB Pro league once WBF ended.

Berry De Mey then competed for a few more years before retiring from the sport. Upon retiring, De Mey did something atypical for most elite competitors – he left the world of bodybuilding completely. He enrolled into a college to focus on photography – and believed that this would be his new life path.

As we know today, he eventually returned to the world of bodybuilding and made a name for himself as a coach. What happened? After studying photography, Berry De Mey went to the FIBO expo in Europe. This was a fitness expo that was quickly growing into one of the largest in the world. De Mey noticed a very encouraging change in the bodybuilding industry at that expo. Based on its size and the kind of folks who were expressing interest, it became clear that bodybuilding had hit mainstream culture.

Berry De Mey realized that bodybuilding mentality entered the more general fitness world. And fitness as a whole became more popular globally. For De Mey, this was a key indication that he could make a true living in bodybuilding – but in a more healthy way than pro competing. He could start his own coaching business that not only caters to competitors but also “average folk” looking to become more fit and healthy.

This all circles back around to Berry De Mey’s more recent comments on pro bodybuilding as a whole. He believes that the competitive side has become too dangerous with increasingly bigger and stronger doses of PEDs being used. But as natural bodybuilding leagues and the wider general fitness community shows us – there is a way to achieve incredible sculpted physiques without endangering your health to that degree.

De Mey has spoken out about the many too-soon deaths that hit our sport over the past year and a half. He’s spoken out about his worry of how the most massive physiques are being rewarded – such as Big Ramy and Nick Walker. These comments all tie into why he got back into bodybuilding and coaching in the first place. He believes a bodybuilding lifestyle can be healthy and enjoyed by all.

You can watch Berry De Mey’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.