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ParkoLife | You are afraid because you don't know.

I used to be a swimmer. Slim and long. Broad shoulders and long thin legs.

I spent most of my time in the swimming pool. Not in the gym. Simple reason was, there weren’t many weight exercises you could do to simulate the swimming pattern.

Eventually, after 17 years of swimming, a "weight-free training" mentality was imprinted in my brain. With no specific reason. No one cared to explain me why I should or should not do any weights. Maybe they didn’t know back then.

On top of that, when I was young, I could pick up any sport easily and perform it with success. But it was never injury-free (guess why).

I always thought, spending time in the weight room is pointless. Since swimming training enables me to do any sport I want, this is the path. Bodyweight exercises and multi-sporting is the way forward.

After I finished the army and being slightly bored of swimming, I decided to join my local gym. And there I saw him for the first time. With flesh and bones. Not in a bloody magazine. There he was. Huge, scary, like Goliath, with a V-neck t-shirt down to the belly button and two trunks for legs. He was looking around like he owned the space. And the people.

"He is a bodybuilder" the trainer told me, laying his arm on my skinny shoulder. Like if I didn’t know. But the smirk on his face wanted to emphasize that not even in 100 years I could put on that amount of muscle.

From that moment instead of trying to understand the nature of being a bodybuilder, I always denied it. I felt a sense of antipathy for these bloated bodies. And I bet you feel the same. Every time you see them training next to you.

You see these massive, dysmorphic bodies and you think it s all about drugs. You think that they are just a creation of HGH, Testosterone, chicken and rice.

And when you go to the gym, you try to stay as far as possible. Maybe you are scared a bit. Just a little bit. I was. For sure. No one can deny that they are intimidating.

And you know what I did every time I was going to the gym?

I got the pre-set exercise program and tried to manipulate it myself. I preferred more "functional" and "fun" exercises, instead of the boring squat and deadlift. I tried to do exercises that were hard or physically difficult for a bodybuilder to do. And I was proud I could do them compared to the "un functional" gym freaks.

But you know what happened throughout the years? Even though I did my studies as a coach/trainer and started to understand how the body works, still the gap between me and the bodybuilding community grew bigger. And so did my fear for them. My mind couldn't accept the truth of how these colossal bodies are created.

Until 2 years ago, when I was offered to attend a bodybuilding coaching school in Greece. I knew I wouldn't get any new knowledge for my clients, but it was a great opportunity for two reasons.

First to start researching about bodybuilding in a deeper level and second to face my fear. And face my fear through knowledge. I was determined to get to the heart of this myth and overcome one of my life obstacles.

And so I did. For 2 years I studied hard. Both the actual science and broscience. I watched several videos of bodybuilders in the gym and competitions. I read plenty of reports, scientific articles and interviews of people related somehow to bodybuilding. I tried to figure out why people tend to keep a distance from them. I wanted to understand what is there to be scared of.

And here I am now. A qualified Bodybuilding coach, finishing first in my class, giving you the answer.

You simply don’t know.

You have no idea what a bodybuilder does throughout his day.

You don’t see it, but this is his job, to grow bigger.

You cant conceive that he might train 3 or 4 times per day.

You don’t recognize that he spends most of his Sunday preparing his meals for the following week.

You don’t understand that sleeping is a must and social life is limited.

You bet he is on drugs – anabolics and you don’t know there are naturals as well.

You can’t imagine the stress he puts his body into, so as to get to the "shredded - cut - photo-shoot" result.

You didn’t even know that are categories in bodybuilding competitions.

And this lack of knowledge makes you afraid. You are not afraid of people who don’t jump high (Sotomayor) or run fast (Bolt) or swim every style (Phelps). You are just afraid of someone who looks bigger than you. Human nature….

And the most important. For you beautiful ladies, Eleni, Athina, Christina, Matina, Teta, Georgia, Evaggelia, Marina, Sophia, Elena, Maria, Dimitra, Elina that you come to Parkolab for training. You don’t even realize, that when you are deadlifting to make these glutes get more rounded, you are just being another body-builder. In a smaller version of course.

So where I m getting with all this bodybuilding story?

It s all about knowledge. Knowledge is power.

When you are afraid of something try to learn everything about it.

When you are intimidated by someone try to meet him.

Whatever troubles you, analyze it.

Get to the heart of the cause that makes you insecure.

How are you going to get the knowledge? Easy.

Read books, participate on events, watch seminars on line, watch movies, travel, meet new people, try new things, be curious and ask, find mentors and let them guide you.

And of course my dear little bird, never stop aiming for the best. Use the knowledge you get to plan and lead a life of value. If you think about it, this is the only reason you wake up every morning.


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ParkoLife | Fast Food

You think I m going to talk about food...Nah..

Actually I could, but there is something far more deep than that.

Mentality.

Modern world has been engaged in a "fast food" mentality. They want to get stuff done as fast as possible. They want to get the maximum result with the less effort, irrespective of the quality or what are the consequences. They want to get that juicy Mac Burger in 3 minutes, instead of cooking themselves a slow roasted beef with baby potatoes, seasoned with rosemary and mustard.

I would not say that's always bad. As my friend Dimitris Tsitos would say, life and its actions should be efficient. Otherwise you are loosing your time.

I agree. Totally. But there is a huge difference between being efficient and being sloppy. It s one thing something works perfectly because you put your extraordinary mind or body in action and another to wait to get things done in a ridiculous short amount of time, just because you saw them somewhere and you think you are a magician.

Wake up my friend! You're not special. You have to work as hard as anyone else. Maybe even harder.

Let me explain what I mean.

A good example is anabolics. People (let s talk about Greeks, shall we?) get anabolic hormones (mostly testosterone, GH, insulin) so as to get their ideal physique in the shortest possible way and time. The basically want a shortcut. They are not willing to put the proper amount of work, effort, sweat, time and money to get to their dream body. They want to have an athlete's body just because they think they are special. Or because they have the money to pay for it. Or because a friend of them did it and they want the same.

Or let s take the most common example that happens here in the home country of the Olympic Games. People want to get "shredded", especially on the abs, from February until June. Every year. For the past 20 years of their lives.

No problem with that, if you train hard the rest of the year as well. But how do you you think this is possible, my friend, if you haven't trained seriously for the rest of your life or you eat like an orca the other 7 months!!!!!!!?????

People don't realise that there is a procedure. And they need to trust it. An athlete gets to the top level because he/she trains physically and mentally 365 days per year. For many years. The same training. Every day. The same movements. The same food. The same life pattern. The same lifestyle. Repetition is called. And yes, it makes you better.

Ok. I understand. You don't want to be an athlete. But don't expect things to happen fast just because you woke up one day, you decided to train 3 times per week, eat one piece of chicken with broccoli, cut the 2 bottles of daily beer and go to sleep "early" at 12.

The body needs to adapt. You have to disrupt homeostasis many times. You need to give it time. You need to try again and again the same movements. The same foods. The same routine. This happens everywhere. Not just training. You need to do something a million times just to get better 1%.

Training 3 times per week and trying to eat with more consciousness will give you the minimum result. It s the first step. A small difference to your body that will have a truly great impact to your mentality.

But you have to put your head down and work. And work. And work again. Commit to the program. Trust the process.

Give time.

It takes time.

You cant jump from one conclusion to another after 2 weeks of training. Minimum results come after 3 consecutive months (thats minimum 36 good workouts) and 90 days of mindful eating.

And then magic happens. Yes it happens. Suddenly after these 3 months of hard work you have changed. You have improved as a human being. You have changed lifestyle. You have learned something. No, it s not how to eat properly or how to squat and deadlift.

You ve learned that in order to achieve your goal you need to try hard and invest resources. You had a goal, you found the way to do it, you followed the procedure and after a period of time you reached your small dream.

Now, with this thought, go right now and try to improve yourself. Right now. After finishing to read this last paragraph, write down a small goal, write all the possible ways you can achieve it and go for it. You will not regret it. Trust me.


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