GETTING to the gym and keeping fit can be difficult at the best of times. Weight and resistance training is tough work and it takes years to develop an impressive physique.
Just ask Queanbeyan man John Stojanoski who, for the fifth time, is training to compete in September’s INBA Natural Physique Championships in Canberra.
The amount of training required to get his body prepared for an event like this is phenomenal. And the whole process is more than just a physical challenge.
For bodybuilders, the lead in to a competition is the most exhausting period mentally of the whole process as they juggle priorities with strict disciple and commitment.
It is no different for Stojanoski who has been training for over 10 years.
In his first competition in 2005, he narrowly missed out on the top gong coming a close second. In the three competitions since, he has placed every time.
This time Stojanoski is motivated to go one better.
"It's a huge challenge to prepare for a competition and there isn't really a day off," Stojanoski said when I asked him how hard this really is.
"Along with the weight training, there is a lot of aerobic and cardiovascular work involved. Couple that with a strict diet and the need to get plenty of sleep, it's definitely hard work."
Stojanoski is currently training six days a week but doesn't let the difficulty of the task ahead get in the way.
"It's been a part if my life for a long time now so to me it's not a huge amount of extra work, just a higher level of focus is needed as the competition approaches,” he said.
"Some days are harder than others, especially when it comes to food and diet, but those thoughts don't last long and so far so good.”
Stojanoski weighs in at 110kg at the moment and will need to drop a further 8kg before the competition comes around. He has shred 22kg so far.
The discipline required to get his body to the correct standard is what impresses me the most.
Knowing a lot of bodybuilders and people that have competed, I can vouch for the sacrifices he is making to resemble a stone sculpture.
Standing at 195cm, I liken Stojanoski to a Californian Oak and there isn’t long to go now before it’s time display the hard work on stage.
“I have a couple of things I’m still working on, some muscle groups that let me down a little last time and by working extra hard on those, I hope to take the title this time around,” he said.
I don’t envy the effort required but I can only marvel at the outcome.