čtvrtek 25. srpna 2016

Life of a bodybuilder - part 4

After I came back to UK I had a plan already on how to train for next year. I read as many books as possible from all different kind of sources. My favorite book was from John Hansen - Natural Bodybuilding and two other books from Chris Aceto. I bought plenty of books and DVD`s - all about training, nutrition, posing, mind etc. But I knew that I have to change something in my life...

In 2009 I decided that I will quit my job in Southampton making contact lenses and working night shifts and that I will pursue my passion and become personal trainer. Part of this plan was leave UK and going back home to Slovakia. So I packed all my stuff and went back home by the end of the year 2009. I didn`t know exactly what to do as I didn`t have any plan. It didn`t take long and I found advert online on becoming personal trainer. The school was set up in Prague. I went there for next two months or so and studied personal training and nutrition every day. By the end of January I finished this school with certified personal training diploma. But somehow I didn`t feel like staying in Prague or going back home to Slovakia. I missed England, all these gym`s and shops and bodybuilding life I had. But for sure I didn`t wanna go back to Southampton to make contact lenses.

I remember thinking about it during New Years Eve and talking with one of my friend from Oxford. She told me not to worry and that if I want I came come over and that I can stay in her place until I`ll find something else. She said that I should be able to find personal trainer job easy here.

So in the January after I passed all my exams from personal training school I was on my way back to UK, this time to Oxford. I settled down very quickly, found some decent gym and was looking for a job. In one gym they offered me great job and they liked me instantly but I was too scared to take it as they told me that I have to find my own clients and also that I have to lead some group sessions which I didn`t want because I wanted to compete and not spending my contest prep doing some Zumba... And I didn`t know anyone in Oxford! I am not sure if I regret this or not but I said no. I kept looking for other jobs but only one I found was in coffee shop Nero. So I became a barista.

I tried couple of gym before I found the best gym for me - Mike Sheridan Unique Bodies Gym. The best gym in Oxford. Period. I loved that place. All my workouts here were brutal and I can remember them all to this day. Pure motivation right away. It was like an underworld for me. Great music, atmosphere, great machines and everything else I needed for my training. Mike, the owner was competitive bodybuilder himself and he always encouraged me to train hard. On many occasions I asked him to take some photos or videos and he always did. Only one thing he didn`t like was opening his gym "early" morning at 10am :-)

I was working in coffee shop as a barista, later as an assistant manager. It was not easy job. All day on my feet, cycling to work and than cycling back home and than cycling to gym and back home. But I got use to it.

I had many great workouts in this gym here in Oxford but one specific is on my mind to this day. It was Tuesday and I suppose to train legs. The day before we had a party from work and I`ve got so much drunk that I was sick all night and day, went to work but my boss sent me back home... The reason to get drunk that one of my good friend died. He was only 24 years old. In the past I lost two best friends. But every time something like this happen I am broke and sad. But it didn`t stop me from training my legs. I was so pissed off and angry. On Natural Muscle forum was some kind of competition who can get more squats with 140kg on the bar within 3 minutes. Challenge accepted.
I told Mike Sheridan - the owner to make this video for me and he agreed. So after little warm up I started to squat and he started to record. I did 30 repetitions with 140kg within 3 minutes. After that I fall down to the floor grasping for air. But Mike told me "sorry mate, your camera didn`t work..." I just smiled and said "don`t worry". I knew that my friend was watching me from above. It was for him.

I didn`t compete that year 2010 but I must admit that it was one of the best year in terms of gaining knowledge. I studied a lot. Everything I could about training, nutrition from all my favorite bodybuilders like Jon Harris, John Hansen, Mezza, Andrew Palmer, Mark Oaks, Ian Duckett, Tony Montalbano, Mike Williams and other bodybuilding champions. I trained four times a week and I don`t remember doing any cardio except cycling to work and to gym :-)

I had a big plans for year 2011. To enter all NPA qualifiers and at least one BNBF qualifier and get to the British finals. And to get top 3 placings in every show.

To be continued....



pondělí 22. srpna 2016

Life of a bodybuilder - part 3

After my first year competing I felt fantastic. I didn`t feel that great in many years. I found something I really love. I always knew that my place was in the gym but never thought about competing until now.

I don`t remember taking any time off from training. I was back in the gym right after my British finals with big plans for next year. I knew that if I decide to compete next year I have to challenge more experienced and much better guys. No more Novice class but weight classes. Another thing was my body weight. I felt and looked great around 80kg but my weight was 72kg in my last competition... I knew that I didn`t want to compete under 70kg as I would not feel good. So next class was under 78kg.

In 2009 I contacted Andrew Merrifield called Mezza. He was UIBBN World Champion in Natural Bodybuilding and one of bodybuilders I admired and felt I could "reach the top with him". He was one of the nicest man I met and down to earth. We agreed on cooperation for next four months during my contest prep. This was the first time I prepared for contest with help. Everything he told me I did. I didn`t care if I had to wake up at 4 am or doing cardio twice a day. I was determined to do well among the men on stage. There we things I didn`t like but I never told Mezza I will not do it. I did everything he asked me to do and I feel it was not enough I did more. I had all these crazy nicknames at work like "Petrominator", "Rambo", Rocky", "LeanMeanFightingMachine" etc.
I told myself that I will do only one show and was hoping to qualify for the British finals. My qualifier was in September and I had four months to prepare. It was one of the hardest contest prep for me but I was happy with the result. I felt very confident I will do well in competition. I decided to enter NPA South East qualifier on 13th September. This was one first show from previous year where I won my first place trophy as a Novice competitor.

What a surprise it was for me when I realized that there was only one guy in my class! Me and Tsala Kabala, black guy with amazing physique, abs so deep that you could see them from back seats and his tiny waist and wide back muscles gave him incredible shape. Very well defined and balanced physique. When I saw him I already knew I can`t win. I felt weird. I was preparing for that one show only and then only one guy showed up and I even can`t beat him? What a disaster... I thought. After all compulsory poses we had our free posing routine. I remember my music. It was from the Terminator movie. Shortly after that they announced the results. Second place goes to....Martin Petro! Second place. I know, I should be happy with that and I`ve got my ticket to British finals. But somewhere inside of me I was sad and disappointing. I congratulated Tsala for fantastic first place win and left the building. I am not sure if I talked to judges, I normally do after every show but not on that day. I remember going back home, texting Mezza and telling him that I`ve got second place and British invite. He was so excited and happy for me. But I told him that I am not competing and that I am done with competitions. My roommate and my best friend Taavi ordered the biggest pizza you can imagine. But I didn`t eat one single slice. I just was not in the mood. I had an appointment for the next day with one of my friend from work. He agreed to take some photos on the beach if the weather was nice. But just to remind you...It was 14th of September 2009. I am sure I was the only one guy on that day in posing trunks on that beach! We took lot of great pictures. I was studying The Encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding from Arnold Schwarzenegger the night before and learned all poses suitable for my physique. That was my only satisfaction this year. Thank you Simon for these great pictures and memories.
Mezza sent me his amazing photos signed saying "See you at the top" and his DVD. I loved it. We became great friends ever since.

středa 17. srpna 2016

Life of a bodybuilder - part 2

After my return back from Spain back to England I went back to work and "normal" life. I didn`t feel very good because I was almost 15kg overweight but I started with my regular weight training and also some cardio. People in the gym were making funny jokes about me, that this cannot be me, must be my twin brother and very spicy comments like "fatty" or "fat bodybuilder". All what I was thinking was "just wait and you`ll see...." I was in shape all my life, never dieted before. I always trained for life and ate for life so I looked good. I remember my holiday in Bulgaria back in 2005 where I was eating pizza almost every day because I couldn`t speak english and there was only one place I found where to eat - pizza restaurant... After 11 days of holiday and no training at all I still had a six pack and didn`t lose any of my strength. So I never had to be worry about "being fat".

After a month or so after my return from Spain I was attending "Semi show" in London where I met Bruce Lee widow and his daughter and other well known people but most importantly I met there one guy at "Bnbf stand" and he gave me leaflet. There was a calendar of competitions for this year and it`s said Natural Bodybuilding. So I asked him what does this mean and he explained to me that they have policy of seven years drug free. I took the leaflet and the same day contacted Pete Bullard and told him about that. He said that he knows Bnbf and that he competed with them in the past. So again with his encouragement I decided to try it one more time. This time with Natural Bodybuilding organization called Bnbf. Pete told me that I must do it, that it`s gonna be different and I am sure will love it. Basically I did the same thing, diet, cardio, workouts four times a week.... Same work 12 hours shifts at night...I was determined to do it again, stand on the stage and be the best I can be. The show was in August and I was little bit behind due to the fact that I gained so much fat during my holiday in Spain... So I had to do more cardio and diet was little bit more strict. But I loved it. Every bit of it. This time I was preparing I think 12 weeks compared to my first show where I did prepare for less than 8 weeks.

úterý 16. srpna 2016

Life of a bodybuilder - part 1

I am going to write about my beginnings. Many people ask me why and how I started with bodybuilding...

I didn`t start just once. I started lifting weights when I was about 14 years old in my home made gym ( built by my father ). Simple old school weights and home made/built machines.

čtvrtek 11. srpna 2016

Fit for life.

I will write today about training for life. Not just regular "training". Not just "bodybuilding training", cross-fit training" etc. What I see every day in the gym is people even don`t know why they train. They don`t know how to train. They are not enjoying it. Who the hell on this planet Earth would train and don`t know why or how to train correctly?

Past five years I am enjoying my workouts so much that I feel like kid again. I normally weight train 3 to 4 times a week and do my drills/conditioning workouts 2 to 3 times a week. I train in the gym for strength and power. All my drill are done outside, whenever possible in the fresh air and sun. But even in the winter, I train when there is snow or rain or very cold freezing weather. I enjoy my power walks in the nature. It makes me feel more alive.

I made my best gains and my best progress so far. I feel strong, fit and agile. I can run fast, I can run long, I can jump high and far, I am pretty much flexible ( doing stretching regularly and sometimes yoga ). I feel great not just physically but also mentally.

I try to stick with basics. For example, for the chest I will do rack bench press, incline dumbbell press, dumbbell fly, dips; For back I will do rack dead lift or trap bar dead lift, rows, pull ups or pull downs; For legs I will do squat or rack squat, hack squat, leg press, stiff leg dead lift, lunges, you`ve got my point.

At my body weight of 205lbs at the moment I made fantastic progress with this "old school Conan program".