INTERVIEW with Sandro and Sauro Ciccarelli

Yes, you are guessing right. Sandro and Sauro are relatives. Father and son… And not only that; they are founders of NBFI – Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation Italy, a recent affiliate of INBA GLOBAL. They have been building the natural bodybuilding in Italy for a long time and in this interview you will find out that they are experienced leaders who have already come to fantastic achievements.

Personal Profile:

Name:Sandro Ciccarelli

Place of living: Toscana, Italia

Organization: N.B.F.I. Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness of Italy

Occupation: Founder and Presidnet of NBFI

Motto: Natural è Uno Stile di Vita!


Personal Profile:

Name: Sauro Ciccarelli

Place of living: Florence, Italy

Organization: NBFI – Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation Italy

Occupation: Founder and Vice President NBFI, Publisher of a fitness magazine, seller of gym and home equipment, personal trainer, judge of natural bodybuilding competition

How did you get to bodybuilding?


I started Bodybuilding as 17 years old to lose some weight



Practically I was born in the gym, my father had opened his gym in 1981, I was from 1989, I grew up. I became a weight and bodybuilding coach in 2008 (around 18). I’ve always been passionate about this sport, it’s my lifestyle. Every day I dedicate myself to this sport, not only at the working level but also for my personal pleasure.

Why did you choose natural bodybuilding?


I started competing when I was 20 years old, in the year 1978, that time no Natural BB in Italy existed, so I started with IFBB Italy, after 3 competitions where I placed 6th or 7th I asked myself why the other athletes before me were so big, so I started to interview some athletes and I discovered that they tookke hormones and steroids. So I stopped to compete, because I read a lot about Anabolic Drugs and  they are very very dangerous for the human body. My passion was big, so I started to learn morning order to get big without steroids. In Italy every information was not good so I started to buy American magazines and books, I found the Arthur Jones books and the Ellington Darden Books of the Nautilus, it was very logical ind interesting, I haven’t the Nautilus so I tried to emulate Nautilus Training with pre fatigue workout using dumbbells and barbells, results came and I got bigger naturally.

In the year 1981 I opened my first gym the Olympian’s Gym near Florence.

Business started to go well and in the year 1987 I started the commercial company Olympian’s Store, I sell the Olympians gym wear, accessories, food supplements.

The year 1988, still in search of the info for the Natural bodybuilders reading Iron Man magazine and I found one article of Stuart McRobert. It was very interesting for me and I contacted Stuart and I started to read new info about the Natural Bodybuilding,

Lacking any info about the Natural Bodybuilding, I and my wife Isabella decided to start a magazine and send it to all the Italian Gyms for free.

So Olympian’s News magazine was born!

First 6 issues, 5000 copies each, was sent free to all the Gym.

It was a success and one distribution company asked to put the magazine in the newsstands!

That time, 1995, I started to cooperate with Iron man Magazine and Muscle Media, Olympian’s News with Iron Man and Muscle Media go to the newsstands !

I continue collaboration until 2016 when suddenly the market of the print magazine crashed down and I stopped to publish Olympian’s News.

Until 2016 I published 161 issues of Olympian’s News with Iron Man.

Parallel story: The Federation to develop the Natural bodybuilding In Italy

In 2007 I, my son and one natural bodybuilder of my gym, went to New York for a Natural World Competition of the WNBF. Our athlete won the Europe Championship in Germany at a WNBF Berend Breitenstein Competition,. We met the vice president Steve Down and we agreed to bring again WNBF in Italy, this time with a federation decided by me, the NBFI. From 2008 until 2018 we stayed affiliated with WNBF.

From 2019 after talking with Berend we asked you to be affiliated with INBA GLOBAL and PNBA, It is a great family, I want to develop a lot the Natural Bodybuilding now with you and the INBA GLOBAL!



My father has always been against the culture of doping, so I grew up with this ideal. My goal is to let people know and transmit the healthy lifestyle to more people, giving their best with their own strength.

What do you think of when somebody says “natural bodybuilding”?


I hope everybody really knows what is Natural bodybuilding!



I think (as I said before), the healthy lifestyle, as training and nutrition, but not only, even mentally. Anyone who practices natural bodybuilding can be a better person for themselves and others.

What do you consider to be your achievements in natural bodybuilding?


Because of Natural Bodybuilding I lost a lot of business with my commercial company, because here in Italy a lot of sportsmen take steroids and drugs and due to my part in the Natural BB a lot of them do not buy from Olympians Store…


I started training seriously when I was 16 and started from a condition where I was overweight. So I had to first lose weight and put on lean mass, doing a balanced diet and varying many training techniques. Currently I am satisfied with my physical condition, I do not do competitions, but I like training and feeling healthy.

Where would you like to see this sport in future?


I would like to see this sport accepted by everyone and media.



It would be nice that more and more people are approaching this sport, because it is the only one that can be practiced for a lifetime. I always take the example of my grandfather, who trained with weights up to almost 90 years.

What advice would you give to people who would like to start with bodybuilding?


Start slowly and develop muscles with your own potential. Before Learn, then put in practice, then obtain results.



I advise you to start practicing it, without prejudice, without haste and with constancy. The results then come, like all things it takes effort, but of course, what you earn is yours.