středa 26. července 2017

Off-season training 2016-2017

It`s been a while since my last blog entry. I kept myself relatively busy but also my working schedule is very competitive with a lot of traveling too.

Last time I competed was in 2015... Since than I am enjoying more life as I can travel more and exploring different places around the world. It doesn`t mean that I stopped training, not at all. I am training on regular basis and very hard, actually harder than ever. My weight is at the moment around 190 lbs and this is my weight I am trying to keep most of the time during the off-season. I feel very strong and fit. I train four times a week with my split varying but my favorite is:

Monday: Back, biceps, abs
Tuesday: Chest, triceps, calves
Wednesday: Drills/Conditioning + hiking
Thursday: Shoulders, calves
Friday: Legs, abs
Saturday: Drills/Conditioning + hiking
Sunday: Off or hiking

I love this split. One of the best results for me came from this split. I use power rack a lot and most of the time I do one power/strength move first in my routine going as low as one rep. After this I will do typical bodybuilding routine and do 3 to 4 exercises with 2 main working sets. But don`t get confused here... When I say two main working sets I mean really heavy hard intense sets. That is all my body needs and can handle and recover from. My workout normally last 45 to 60 minutes. I keep it simple and sticking to basic old school exercises.

I thought about competing this year for a while and even started with my diet in April/May but after some time I realized that I would be better without forcing myself to compete this year. I travel a lot, spent almost 3 months in UK at the beginning of this year working very hard seven days a week and still training in the gym twice a week. In May I accepted another challenge and went to San Diego, US for couple of months. I will be back in Prague, Czech Republic in September later this year but than again I have to spend some time in Slovakia, my home country and in October I will fly to England, UK to watch and support UKDFBA contest held by my friend Lee Kemp.

With all that I believe that I made a good decision not to compete this year. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life even without any diet just eating clean, natural food... But most of all I miss being on stage. Let`s wait until the end of this year and than decide what it is going to be next year... ;-)

Martin Petro


čtvrtek 6. dubna 2017

My comeback in 2015 and Pro Card win

My last blog was about winning my World Championships title with UIBBN back in 2012 in Slovakia. At that time I wasn`t even sure if I`ll be competing again... But you know saying, never say never...

I had lots of setback after my win in 2012. I moved back to Prague after 8 years in UK, I was looking for a new job, new place to stay, I was just too busy with my "new" life. But I was training hard and eating clean in the same time. I enjoyed my workouts in the off season, full body split or push/pull/lower body split and drills at the other days which consisted of hill sprints, stair sprints, skipping rope, TRX training, KB training, box jumps etc. My eating was spot on, I started to eat less meat, more fresh food, fruit, nuts, vegetable, fish, brown rice, sweet potato, I started to bake my own bread at home and oatcakes on the weekend. My only treat was 90% organic dark chocolate.

As time was flying by and I was slowly settling down somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking about competing again. In 2013 October 17th I think it was I went to UK for charity contest called Three Challenge organised by Ian Duckett, former British and World Natural bodybuilding champion and great inspiration for me. Everybody was surprised to see me there as I was flying all the way from Prague, Czech to UK "just" for charity. But deep inside of me I knew that was right thing to do. To be honest with you, I enjoyed the challenge, came 4th but it was one of the hardest things i did in my life. Challenge consisted of 3 rounds - strength - fitness - agility. Almost 3 hours non stop action. I could write another blog just about that Three challenge... It was an amazing day with great people I will never forget.

Earlier this year I also did my first power-lifting meet in Czech but only benchpress and deadlifts and another contest where I only did deadlift. It was non-tested show but I enjoyed the challenge. If I remember my benchpress was 160 kg and deadlift 265 kg. I was happy with that at 90 kg body weight.

Also in 2013, October 12th I did my first ever posing exhibition for a breast cancer charity event in Prague. All the money raised went to the breast cancer charity. I had my new choreography with Conan the Barbarian music.

As year 2014 was approaching fast I thought I might do some local shows in Czech or Slovakia. But as I found out there was no federation like in the UK. All these natural bodybuilding federations in Czech or Slovakia had different rules which I didn`t like. According to your height is your weight limit. For me it meant that I would never compete heavier than 76kg... And I knew that it is almost impossible for me as I always struggled to get under 78kg for a contest.

And because of that I start looking back to UK again for new challenge and particularly Lee Kemp show UKDFBA. But early in 2014 I had another setbacks in my life and I have decided not to compete.

Come year 2015 I was 100% committed to my contest prep. I had a clear vision and plan. I started my contest prep with only one goal in mind - to win my Pro Card in UK that year.

I started with my diet around March/April time of the year. As I was progressing through the diet I entered couple of shows. My first contest that year was Grand Prix Hungary on 6th June with INBA federation. I was competing for the first time with them and it was a good warm up show. I came second in my class and was happy with my look just couple of weeks on the diet. I haven`t changed anything for this show, no food or water manipulation. Just another day for me. I had some good feedback from judges and so I decided to go to INBA World Championships in Dubai just 10 days later. My second place qualified me for that.

INBA World Championships in Dubai was another good warm up show and experience. It was very hot and humid at that time of the year. There were hundreds of competitors from all around the world
I stayed in Dubai for 5 days and had a great time. I didn`t really liked that federation as I felt its all about money. I didn`t feel any "connections" and it cost me fortune just to enter... Also for the first time in my life I was giving my blood as a drug test... But it cost 150 or 200 euros.
I came 5th in the finals and couldn`t be more happier with my progress. I was still just at the start of my diet. I was around 85 kg at that time and I looked great.

Summer of 2015 I spent in San Diego - 5 weeks with one of my client and friend. I had great time. I trained in the World Gym and to tell you the truth, for me it is the best gym on this planet! My motivation went trough the roof. I had one of the best workouts ever. Travelling to LA to train at Gold`s gym and Muscle beach... Will never forget that. I came back to Prague in September and I knew I don`t have much time left before my UKDFBA show in October....

I was training 4 days a week with weights but did my special "morning" routine every day for 7 days a week plus my powerwalk and lunges in the morning. My weight didn`t dropped as much and I was worried a little but trusted myself in the process. I had 5 meals a day and very basic food. My main protein source was coming from eggs and turkey or chicken and fish, carbohydrates from sweet potato, brown rice and oats, fruit and healthy fat came from Udo`s Oil Blend Omega 3-6-9 and almonds. I also used range of multivitamins and minerals from Flora as they sponsored me for this contest. I kept everything very simple, training and nutrition.

I couldn`t wait to compete again. I was flying to UK Birmingham Airport in October, my friend and another Pro Natural bodybuilder Milan Panek picked me up at the airport and offered me his place to stay for a weekend. What a great gesture from him. My bodyweight was around 81 kg and I knew I will have to be with heavyweights or loose 1 kg.

Morning of the show - I weight in 80,2 kg and after that I went outside for couple of rounds around football pitch. I came back sweating but it was worth it, my weight dropped to 79,9 kg and I was officially in the middle weight class.

I met lot of old and new faces in the theater, it was great feeling to be back in UK after so many year living and competing here. I felt like home again. Lee Kemp welcomed me very warmly and so did other people.

I had no clue who is competing against me as I was focusing only on myself and doing my best. In my weight class I was against Damien Lees, he looked and posed great, I really enjoyed the challenge between us. I won U-80kg class that evening and went into the overall to battle for Pro Card.

In the overall I was against Nigel St. Lewis and another top athletes like Steve Howarth. The atmosphere was amazing, you could cut the tension between Nigel and me. Judges were comparing us for so long I lost count on how many rounds we were doing of compulsory poses. I was never that long on stage before. After almost 30 minutes battling onstage the called my name as a new WNBF Pro and I was so happy I jumped as high as I could. What a moment. I congratulated all my fellow competitors and really enjoyed that moment. It was my lifetime achievement. After winning my World Championships and British title in 2012 this was another dream come true.

It was great weekend and great show with lots of memories. It was also very hard as all the competitors looked phenomenal. After the Overall win I was invited to compete at my first Pro show with another Pro Natural bodybuilders and I placed second behind Adrian Gray, great newcomer who just won his Pro card the day before me. What a great challenge.

I returned from UK following day and decided to go to Switzerland to compete at the another Pro show. I already felt very exhausted but wanted to do it. I also never been in Switzerland before. The Pro show in Switzerland was in November, just 7 days before the Wnbf Pro World Championships in Atlantic city. I arrived Switzerland already not feeling my best, I had headache and sore trough. My body was telling me that it can`t take any more beatings....
I never seen so many Pro bodybuilders at one show, I think around 19...mainly from Italy. I finished 7th that evening and was very disappointing with my placing as I saw myself 3rd or 4th. Even the guys who finished before me came to me and told me that they don`t know how is that possible.
I emailed the Swiss federation couple of days later and asked them for judging sheets but they never replied to my email... Anyway, it was a great weekend in beautiful Switzerland and hard true reality as a new Pro bodybuilder.

Week after this show I was flying to Atlantic city, US to compete in my first ever US show, Wnbf Pro World Championships. I was already ill with a temperature taking paracetamol. I felt really bad but didn`t wanna give up so easily. I had already booked my plain ticket and arranged my accommodation.

As the result of not feeling well I ended up in heavyweight category weighted around 82-83 kg. It was very though class even if I would be at my best! But I knew I can`t compete with these guys feeling and looking like that. I finished dead last and was happy that the day is over. I couldn`t even get a pump backstage. I tried to enjoy my time and learn something new from this great experience.
I promised myself I will be back one day...

středa 12. října 2016

Becoming a World Champion

After successful year 2011 I`ve decided to take year 2012 off from competing. But it all changed once I heard the rumor that UIBBN World Championships will be held for the first time in Slovakia, my home country. It was beginning of the year, January or February. I was thinking a lot about it and than said to myself OK, lets do this. I talked to my parents, to my brothers, and I had all their support. I was working as a personal trainer in Oldbury, close to Birmingham. I had lots of free time for training, posing, cooking, cardio, like never before. It was the life that I always imagined. I felt great and balanced.

11th of March I had training session with great Mark Oaks, great friend and World Champion bodybuilder. My body weight was 97,5 kg and it was one month before I started my official contest prep. I remember all the exercises and weight we were using like it was yesterday! Amazing experience and great session. Thank you Mark that you pushed me like never before.

I started with my contest prep in April with body weight 96,5 kg. My aim for the first contest of the year was qualifier NPA Midlands. 

The competition was 19.8.2012 and I was competing for the first time as a heavyweight. I weight - in 83,1 kg and came 2nd behind Mark Houghton, great competitor and friend who was giving me posing lessons just couple of days earlier :-) It was a great show and I really enjoyed that. I felt fantastic enjoying my progress.

Next stop was NPA South East qualifier on 9.9.2012 and this show was always my favorite. I won my heavyweight class O-78kg weighted 82,1 kg but lost in the overall to incredible Matty Alwell. It was an amazing experience, beautiful day in London, I remember taking sun outside before contest enjoying my journey. I was getting better and better and judges saw it. Michael Phillips knew my intention to compete at the UIBBN World Championships and he was encouraging me along the way. I asked for the feedback from judges and they told me that if I`ll keep improving I will be unbeatable. I was motivated like never before.

On 17th September I went to Birmingham to train in Dorian Yates Temple Gym. It was a good change and motivation.

My next contest was NPA Mike Williams Classic & Pro-Am on 30.9.2012. I was still heavy for middleweight class ( weighted in 81,5 kg ) so I entered heavyweight class O-78kg again. I won my class and than the overall which qualified me for the Pro-Am contest in the evening with another Pro bodybuilders or European/World bodybuilding champions. I couldn`t believe it. I was in my best shape ever and I almost didn`t make it to this show. I felt pressure for doing so many shows and I`ve got sore through, I felt so sick but I decided on the last minute that I will compete.

In the Pro-Am class were two other guys - Jason Barnett - World Champion and Paul Roberts - European Champion, and me. I won Pro-Am class and check for £300 plus Best presentation award and another £50. I was over the moon. It was very emotional win and for the first time I had tears in my eyes.

This contest is dedicated to Mike Williams, great bodybuilder and person who died couple of years ago and Michael Phillips with NPA doing great job promoting Natural Bodybuilding. I loved this venue and atmosphere was just electrifying... What a memories. On my way home I had so many big trophies that I almost didn`t make it to the train station! It was late night and raining but I was smiling from ear to ear.... Will never forget that.

After this win I knew I was about to do some big damage at the World stage...

8th of October I had one photo shoot with Shooting Guns in the gym. I had my regular shoulders and calves workout and except the end where I posed for a camera during the workout I was training heavy and fast as always. Great memories.

My next competition was UKDFBA  Open Championships 13.10.2012. UKDFBA  is new federation and I finished 2nd last year in U-80kg class. I knew that this contest is my ticket to the Pro Card in the future. Lee Kemp - the man behind this show is doing amazing job and the standard is just unbelievable.

I won my class U-80kg but lost in the Overall to Milan Panek who won also Pro Card.

Jon Harris WNBF Pro World Champion is congratulating me on my win

I felt great and all I was thinking was UIBBN World Championships. I was so focused liked never before. The judges gave me great feedback after the show and even Lee Kemp invited me to compete in US with GB team but I knew I can`t afford it and I had to stuck with my plan. Richard Gozdiecky came to me backstage and told me that I look great and that competing at that body weight suits me.
Jon Harris - one of the judges and WNBF Pro World Champion gave me first place trophy and congratulated me on my win.  Amazing contest, people, judges, everything was so professional.

Posing backstage with Milan Panek

Posing backstage with Milan Panek

Having fun backstage with Jon Harris WNBF Pro World Champion, Richard Gozdiecky WNBF Pro World Champion, Steve Howarth

There was one more show in UK before I was heading back home for the UIBBN World Championships. NPA British Finals 28.10.2012 in Bedworth. The standard was amazing, many people, great atmosphere and camaraderie, true natural bodybuilding. I love being backstage, not just standing on stage. I enjoy all that process, warming up, talking to other people, watching other people doing weird things :-)

 I was just under 78kg, if I remember I was 77,9 kg exactly. Hard as rock, or man of steel. I could see my veins everywhere. I knew it`s not gonna be easy as there was 8 competitors in my middleweight class U-78kg many of them past champions. I knew the battle is gonna be between me and Tsala Kabala.

I won British Middleweight Championships title U-78kg and was very happy with that. Tsala looked disappointed but that`s competition. Once you win, once you lose. I really enjoyed that battle between us two, I believe everybody in the audience loved it. I was confident I could do well in the Overall but I lost to Matty Alwell, incredible newcomer who never competed before! He looked amazing and won his overall British title. But I was very happy. My progress so far was amazing. My competitive year in UK was at the end but not my journey....

I was flying to Slovakia in the next couple of days for Kezmarska Grand Prix on 11.10.2012. It was just a one week before UIBBN World Championships and I was told that if I wanna compete at the Worlds I have to qualify through this competition. I didn`t understand as I just won British Middleweight title in UK but they had their own rules so I had to accept it. The only problem was my weight. According to their rules, with my height 173cm I could have maximum 76kg or less. I could not see from where I should cut that weight as I was hard as rock and ready to compete. So I had to eat less and doing more cardio just to make the weight class....

Posing backstage

Top 3 in my category

I won my category up to 174cm from 9 competitors but lost in the overall. I knew I am on my way to win World Title. I didn`t enjoy this show because I had to drop some of my weight and I didn`t feel good about it. But it was great experience and I met another good people on my way. One week to go....

UIBBN World Championships, Martin, Slovakia, 17.10.2012

My weight was 74,5 on the morning of the contest. I was competing in U-80 kg but could easily fit in U-75 kg class!! I looked amazing. My younger brother and my mum was with me in the hotel room the morning before the show to help me with my tan. I was dry and muscled from top to bottom. Veins everywhere, rock hard muscles and lines I`ve never seen before. I felt great. I was very excited but also relaxed at the same time. I felt I will win. I don`t know how but I felt it. I visualized it many times happen in my mind.

With my friend Sandor Nagy from Hungary and one of the beauty :-)

There was 7 competitors in my class, and I didn`t know any of them, one I noticed was big guy from Spain, he looked very good. I had my very good friend with me backstage from Hungary, Sandor Nagy, he was in U-75 or U-70kg category and looked great. He was helping me with pumping up and my tan. The atmosphere was amazing. I was not happy with organization as we were going on stage very late, was cold, inside was freezing, heating... But I didn`t care. I was focused so much that even cold couldn`t take my attention. I felt very light but great. My posing was spot on and I was happy with my posing routine too. Finally they called our class on stage....

Posing backstage with big Wayne Robb

With my Spanish friend Sergio

Posing with legendary Lloyd Stewart

I won U-80kg class and became UIBBN World Champion! I can`t describe how I felt but it was amazing....

After winning

Happy World Champion with my parents

With my younger brother

Me and Sandor Nagy after winning my World Title and Sandor taking 2nd place in his category

My parents and brothers were in the audience, some of my friends came to support me too. I felt like I belong to Great Britain team as I was spending so much time with GB team and Michael Phillips. When he saw me he said "Martin, you will have great day today, you look amazing...." I knew what that mean :-)

With Michael Phillips, head of GB team

Memorable photo with Great Britain team

I can tell you one thing - I was the last man leaving the place.... It was around 11 pm or midnight when I finally got a chance to get a shower. My mum was waiting for me so she could finally hug me!!! I will never forget that moment.

Hug from my mum I will never forget