Mike “Wheels” Cipriani

IFBB pro bodybuilder

Ever since I can remember, being physically active has been a staple in my life; it’s something my parents imprinted in me from an early age.

I stepped on the ice for the first time at 3 years old, which ended up leading me to play hockey competitively until I was 16. Snowboarding and skateboarding were also sports that were embedded into my daily lifestyle growing up from a young age, up until years after graduating high school. I always loved the physical and mental demand of playing sports, as well as the competitive aspect as well. The only thing I didn’t like about team sports, is the reliance on other people in order to play them. When I started weight training at 18 years old, it was something I could excel at by myself. I did not need another team to play against, or other players on my team in order to shine. I could do it in the latest hours of the night, and in the darkest corners of the gym all by myself! I feel that aspect alone has led me to be successful at it, because my efforts, and my efforts alone is all that matters. It’s my actions that held me accountable for my success or failure at my bodybuilding show, and that aspect alone got me addicted. I was finally able to put my self perseverance/ determination and tunnel vision focus to use!

My adolescent years were quite challenging emotionally and psychologically. Being surrounded by instability led me down a dark and lonely path. A path that was leading me to jail time, homelessness or death at a young age, it was a hopeless and dead-end road. So, when I felt I could still get a high from training, and was able to have this positive addiction that was healthy for me, I was instantly hooked. Having the ability to look good/ boost confidence just by letting out anger and frustration was a cool concept to me. Most addictions or activities that bring you a high have a catastrophic end game, so this was heaven for me. Between my die-hard vision and passion for the gym, and my eagerness to help make those around me better, I knew I was onto something.

It was in 2008 when I really started taking my training seriously. I did my first several shows completely natural and got annihilated onstage in my opinion (2010). I was discouraged, but knew if others could do it, then I could too! However, part of the reason being, I was competing at natural shows, but was one of the only guys that were actually natural. It was then I said to myself “I’m either going to go all in with the big boys, or pick another career, cause right now I’m in no mans land.” Deciding to stick with my gut I pursued the open class, which was very bumpy the first several years. I placed close to last at many of the shows and was heckled by friends/ fellow competitors that “I was in the wrong sport.” By 2013 things started looking up as I won my first regional show, I felt at that point there was a little light at the end of the tunnel, and my daily efforts were finally starting to surface. 2 years/10 shows later in 2015 I turned pro at the Canada’s, which was a huge deal for me. Not only did I prove so many people wrong, but I invested everything into turning pro that show. Financially, emotionally, psychologically, I was all in!!! So, this was a very big deal for me. I went onto compete at 9 pro shows between 2016-2018 until things started getting bumpy for me. In 2019 I had major surgery on my right shoulder that took 8 months for me to get moving back in the gym again. Then in early 2020, I was diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy (heart disease) which was a massive blow to my career. 3 months later I got surgery on my right elbow, which I was waiting for quite some time to get (delayed due to covid). But through all that I kept my head high and kept my eyes on the prize. I am still battling this heart disease, but I’m positive it will only be a matter of time before I beat it. I hope to look back at it as just being another obstacle I hurdled over. At that point I will entertain continuing my journey competing as an IFBB pro bodybuilder.

Personally, I love having a challenge to leap over, it motivates me, keeps me accountable and helps me focus. Knowing there are always exit doors that I never even consider walking through when most people would, definitely lights a fire under my ass. Having the ability to inspire and motivate people by doing what I love everyday, motivates me to try and be at least 1% better everyday!

Being an SSW (social service worker) graduate, I feel it helped prepare me for so many ups and downs throughout my life/ career. It allowed me to perceive and interpret problems as a blessing instead of a curse. Understanding why things happen and looking for change internally instead of pointing fingers is a big step. Regardless of whatever life decides to throw at me, I’ve always managed to stay hungry and put in 100%. If there is one thing I’d like to promote, it’s staying true to yourself and having a relentless passion and vision to accomplish your goals. People are going to judge you regardless, so you might as well give them something to talk about!!


Complete Contest History


Amateur shows 

2010- Can/Am- 4th place open light heavyweight

2010- IDFA- 6th place open heavyweight 

2010- London Championships- junior men 2nd place 

2011- Luchka/ O’brian OPA- 8th place open heavyweight 

2011- Sudbury championships OPA-3rd place open heavyweight

2012- Ontario championships- 6th place light heavyweight

2013- Sudbury championships OPA- 1st place heavyweight and Overall winner

2013- Ontario championships-4th place heavyweight 

2014- CBBF Canadian nationals-6th place Super heavyweight 

2015- Ontario championships-1st place super heavyweight and Overall winner 

2015- CBBF Canadians nationals- 1st place heavyweight and IFBB pro card winner


IFBB pro shows 

2016- Baltimore pro- 11th place 

2016- Tampa pro- 16th place

2016- Golden State pro- 7th place 

2017-Toronto pro- 6th place 

2017- Vancouver pro- 8th place 

2017- Tampa pro- 15th place 

2018- Toronto pro- 14th place 

2018- Muscle Mayhem- 12th place

2018- Vancouver pro- 8th place


Van Pro 2017 Most muscular