Martin Petro WNBF Pro Lifetime Natural Bodybuilder & Massage Therapy Specialist

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.

It was a great start and I foundation which served me later in my life. At the time I had no idea that I will compete one day. My hero was Arnold and I believed that all bodybuilders are natural. Nice childhood 🙂

I played a football a lot, spent almost every day on the football pitch. I was fast but not so much strong. That`s why I decided to join local gym around 15 years of age. I had already some experience with lifting weights at home in my basement. But here it was different. I didn`t have a squat rack or lot of weights, no Olympic barbell. And of course no other people. And at home I could train any time I wanted. But I found one great place not so far from place I lived – local gym called “Matica”. It was downstairs in the basement, very simple, old school gym with few bodybuilders in it. I loved it from the first moment. I decided to train there every time after school, four to five times a week. I didn`t make great progress as my nutrition was not at best, but still, I loved it and enjoyed very much. In just less then one year of training I was the strongest guy around in my school. I still played football but slowly started to realize that bodybuilding is for me and the gym is “my” place…

I started with reading all muscle magazines I could lay my hands on. I was interesting mainly in training and nutrition. I was studying everything I could about it. In my room I had posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Franco Columbo, Steve Reeves and other old school bodybuilders I admired.

I continued with my training on and off until 2005. That was the year I moved to England and I stopped bodybuilding for almost two years.

In 2007 I started again, but this time with serious training and much better nutrition. I never followed any diet just ate simple and healthy. I was running every day 4-5 miles, doing weight training four times a week and wing tsun kung fu two times a week. I spent lot of time training outside next to the beach – pull ups, push ups, skipping rope… I felt amazing, I was fast and strong but not as strong as I would like to be. I never done any kind of dead lift in my life to this point. I was squatting four 45lbs plates and felt like the king of the gym. I was doing a lot of things and at this time I realized that if I want to be good at something, it is the time to decide what it`s gonna be. And bodybuilding won. Still never even thought about competing until I moved from Portsmouth to Southampton and joined local gym ( I believe it was Collymore Leisure ) where one young fella approached me and said “are you natural?” When I told him “what do you mean?” he replied “do you take any steroids?” I said no. He told me that I looked amazing and I should compete. His name was Pete Bullard. He helped me with my first diet for the show and in less then 8 weeks I was standing on stage competing with UKBFF Novice class. Eight weeks. That`s all. It was not easy. I was working 12h shifts in the night, trained four times a week and I was doing cardio every day, mainly running outside for minutes. I was happy with the results, I have never seen so much definition and muscles on my body. But still, I didn`t place. What a disappointment. The guy who won has bigger belly than a pregnant women and other guy bigger biceps than his thighs.  I enjoyed the journey but told myself never do it again. All that torture and strict diet for nothing? No way. Straight after this competition ( it was in April, first contest of the year I believe ) I went to Spain to Malaga to visit one of my friend and enjoy some time off. But I was so frustrated that I gained 14kg in less than two weeks! I was ashamed of myself. What a bodybuilder. I didn`t really understand what was happening with me and my body. Never experienced that kind of emotions before.

To be continued…

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