Martin Petro WNBF Pro Lifetime Natural Bodybuilder & Massage Therapy Specialist

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….

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