O’Malley suffers injury ahead of bodybuilding comp

By Tamati Tiananga

Professional bodybuilder Kenny O’Malley's return to the bodybuilding stage has hit a setback, with confirmation O’Malley has a large bicep distal tear to a muscle in his right arm.    

O’Malley says, “What was a bad accident has turned out to be positive.  Now I am taking better care of myself, shifting a bit more focus onto the rehabilitation”.

O’Malley was forced to take time off from lifting after a freak gym accident while performing a bicep exercise with a dumbbell losing his grip resulted in weight pulling on his muscle causing the tendon tear.  

“I had a dumbbell on my shoulder and it was a freak accident, it slipped off my shoulder and I tried to re-catch it again.  When I re-caught it- that’s when I tore the tendon and bicep and it ripped down.  It was an ugly accident, it’s something I didn’t expect to happen but it happened”.

An examination by radiologist Dr Peter Gendall of River Radiology has found that O’Malley's tendon requires surgery.    

“Three quarters of it has torn, there is only a quarter still attached, but the specialist said when I went to see him that the part still attached to it is still strong and will hold”, O"Malley said.      

The 2012 New Zealand Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (NZIFBB) opens champion could face up to six months out of the gym but has put a hold on surgery to compete this weekend.

“Just for now I’m going to hold on, there is a bit of pain but I’m going to just handle it", says O'Malley, "I already started something and can’t walk out halfway and leave something unfinished”.  

The 35-year-old has made the unusual decision to compete in the Men’s Classic division, a switch younger brother and professional bodybuilder Teina O’Malley made in 2017.

“We always have these talks about what’s best for one another- he has been a big influence for me shifting to Classic as well because we have never been competitive against each other.  We just want the best for each other”.

O’Malley has had to make major changes to his training regime to help reduce the pain in his bicep ahead of this weekend’s NZIFBB Pro/Am at the Victoria Conference Centre in Auckland.