In this day and age it is essentially important if you are a guy to look good. Or this is the image that is being projected on all men from the movies on the big screen and in particular the action movies. Year after year I see the action movie stars becoming bigger and musclier, […]
In this day and age it is essentially important if you are a guy to look good. Or this is the image that is being projected on all men from the movies on the big screen and in particular the action movies. Year after year I see the action movie stars becoming bigger and musclier, leaner and more defined. Giving being ripped a whole new meaning. Which would all be good if it was not for a short while. By the CNN‘s link I recently shared on Arthlete's facebook page it becomes very clear that these physiques are maintained for a very short period of time and presented to us being recorded in specific light conditions and always altered with make-up and pump-to-look-bigger right before the shootout effects. For these reasons and more I cannot be a fan of that industry. It is unrealistic. But then I would like to raise a question. What would an objectively realistic look be like? I think we can easily disregard the bodybuilders since it’s no secret to all of us how they achieve their results. Then what about the natural bodybuilders? Well I stopped counting them natural after I heard one guy(from my country) saying he invested $15,000 USD in 2 years of professional training.
The person who can be the answer to the above question should be somebody who manages to maintain his looks and performance together with everything else in his life. This is what objectively realistic means to me. To be able to keep your life going without dedicating all of your time and attention to just training, progressing without the need to spend a bag of gold into substances to enhance your results. I am sure there are a lot of people who would fall into this category. Nonetheless I chose somebody who achieved more than the average person with far less resources than the average person possesses.
His name is Ivan and he is studying to become a pianist in the conservatory in my country. And as you have probably guessed already we are going to talk about his physical training rather than his musical skills. But first let me tell you when we met. It was probably around 8 years ago when I saw him in the gymnastics’ hall and he did not look like much. His body seemed below average for the guys I would meet there. He had some excessive fat everywhere and especially on his stomach. He had to catch up a lot for that reason. First to get rid of the fat and then to build up some muscle. But he had a big passion and huge desire to make a difference. Eventually as you can see by the pictures things fell into place in the end. I can still recall him calling himself fat and how he would get frustrated about it. Right now it seems to me like somebody else told me that and not him. He is leaner than most people I know.
I think it would be interesting to describe the physical activities he had been involved till now. He was once involved in martial arts(hence the photo above), then he did some floor gymnastics(mainly acrobatics, no strength). Then later he grew interest in strength workouts. Nowadays he works out approximately 4-5 days per week. He claims about himself that he doesn’t follow any popular training programs. Instead his workouts incorporate some gymnastics’ strength training with a little bit of weight lifting. Everyday he does push-ups, dips, weighted pull-ups. From the weight lifting he does bench presses, shoulder presses and squats only. Obviously he keeps it down to the fundamentals and it seems it’s working very well for him there. He has an immense passion for ring training but hasn’t gotten the chance to install his own rings set-up yet.
I find it amazing how much of a difference he managed to do throughout the years. Yet what strikes me as even more fascinating is what he has to go through to maintain his shape. Apart from his lectures that he has to attend daily he works full time. All of his money go for his family and he hardly manages to pay the fees for his studies. He says that he doesn’t always get to sleep enough because of his busy lifestyle but the rhythm keeps him going through his workouts. As for his nutrition, well as you know meat is a very important part of an athlete’s diet. He knows that as well and of course his meals do include meat, but only sometimes. Often he cannot afford it. Thus he usually eats rice and potatoes. The proteins he says he tries to get from beans, yoghurt and feta cheese. The yellow cheese “is nice but too expensive to afford”. He has to often resort to some sort of cheap soup like one of nettle/spinach, potatoes and carrots. The oatmeal usually makes up for his breakfast. He tries to buy fruits but these could sometimes be too expensive as well.
Actually because he plans his nutrition based on his budget he says that sometimes he drops down by 4kgs(~ 9lbs.). But he is not annoyed when he shares this, he says this is how it is and that he has to keep going. After all this is his passion and when life pushes him hard he tries to push back even harder.
So this, gentlemen, is what the objectively realistic look is to me. Something that each person out there can achieve as long as they are disciplined, dedicated and hard working to their goal of becoming better looking. Do you know people around you who share a similar story and who inspire you for your workouts? If so share their story with us.