Body Transformation: Body By Marco

Marco was insecure in his pear-shaped body and tired of his troubled ego. He adjusted his mindset, found influential friends, and kissed his obese physique goodbye!

Name: Marco Romagnuolo
BodySpace: MarcoNLF

Marco Romagnuolo Marco Romagnuolo
AGE 21
265 lbs
AGE 22
182 lbs

Why I Decided to Transform

I started lifting weights in ninth grade with my weight training teacher and gained amazing knowledge that led to a passion for power lifting training. However, I put my ego in front of my nutritional needs and continued to increase in body fat during the following years. I was known as the nice "fat kid."

At age 20, I went out on the town with friends and noticed my pear-shaped body in the mirror and the insecurity I felt. Something clicked that day and I still don't understand why, but it was apparent I needed a drastic change. It was like my mind got put on cruise control in a new direction.

That week, I purchased a bodybuilding magazine that had articles about the benefits of a change in atmosphere and eating habits. It also had an article with Kai Greene that talked about the power of the mind and his video documentary in preparation for the Arnold and Olympia.

I left my ego at the front cover and started to read and apply what it said. The article had three steps. Step 1 was to find a local gym that was hardcore/blue collar, not commercial. Step 2 was about nutrition, how it works with the body, and what time your body needs certain foods. Step 3 was about understanding the KISS training method (keep it simple stupid) and how to apply Arnold's six secrets to success.

Kai's article inspired me and showed the connection between my body and mind. Ironically, within a month at my new gym, I meet a gentleman who is now my trainer. He set up a foundation for my destiny. He ate, trained, practiced, and preached everything a professional athlete and bodybuilder would.

I had a solid routine in place by age 21 with set standards that my coach laid out for me. Within weeks, the fat started to shed off me and my muscle started to stand out and increase in composition and size. I'm blessed to say I have a supportive family that cheered me on. However, my friends were amazed by my changes, but always wondered why I didn't drink alcohol anymore and why my diet was so critical to me.

Within six months, my trainer and I knew this was more than a transition. It was a goal and dream of mine to compete. So I set a timeframe in February 2012 to be on stage in November of that year.

My life is so different now. I have more confidence, amazing friends, and training partners. I owe everything to my trainer and family. I meet and network with people every day who have the same mindset, goals, and dreams as I. My trainer started a personal training group called Next Level Fitness where I currently train with two bikini competitors and one grandmaster bodybuilder who I'm proud to call my friend. My high school weight training teacher is proud of my change and for finally realizing how proper nutrition works.

This is the first time in my life that I can say I love what I do. I can't wait to come back bigger and better at my next competition. The judges will remember me. I have many achievements to come.

How I Accomplished My Goals

My diet did a major 360. I no longer have urges or cravings for fast food or junk. I learned from mentors and research that any man-made meal is bad, which makes sense when you think about it. Look at fast food, microwave dinners, and packaged foods. They all have added junk.

Discipline fueled my journey. The only doubt I had was how I looked. My trainer was blown away by my changes, but my insecurity made me feel far away from my goals. I still thought I was the "fat kid." I wanted to change every day and still do. There's still much hard work to be done.

A major factor that helped was my training partner, Joe "The Phoenix" Turry, who's also a member of Next Level Fitness and competed for the first time in April 2013 in Stratford, Ontario. His 35 years of training experience push me to get that extra rep. I owe him for what he did for me and will always represent him and the team with pride.

What Aspect Challenged Me the Most

The toughest challenge was working six days per week and getting used to cardio on an empty stomach twice per day during contest prep. It was taxing on my body and started to break down my mind. When that happened, I watched Kai Greene videos and listened to my trainer's advice on willpower.

My Future Fitness Plans

My future consists of many goals. I want to be an icon and inspiration to others who want to change and work their butts off. My training group, Next Level Fitness, generates many new clients for my trainer. I want him to be known across the bodybuilding world and on

My short-term goal is to qualify and win the provincial championship and get sponsored by a supplement company like Dymatize or MuscleTech. My long-term goal is to win a national title and become an IFBB pro on the Olympia stage.

Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers

I want all the hard workers, grinders, and future transformers to know there are people like my trainer and I who know what you go through every day; the early morning cardio/training before the world is up, the late nights in the gym, the posing routines and the non-stop prep for tomorrow.

When you think of quitting, look back and think of how far you came and double that. For those on the other side of the spectrum who think they're awesome and get cocky, there's always someone working harder than you.

Next Level Fitness Motto: Eat Clean, Train Mean, and Live Lean.

How Helped Me Reach My Goals helped me reach my goals and can introduce my story to supplement companies for sponsorship.

Marco's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Cinderella Man" by Eminem
  2. "Till I Collapse" by Eminem
  3. "Outta Your Mind" by Lil John
  4. "Android Porn (dub step)" by Kraddy
  5. "Zombie Nation Remix" by Three 6 Mafia (feat. Lil John)