Name: Marek Strojvus
Why I decided to transform
I've been active throughout my life, competed in volleyball since age 12, and continue to play competitively today. Lifting weights and training have always been part of my life, but used to be primarily for volleyball conditioning or to stay active in the off-season.
In fall 2012, I went through personal struggles and divorce, and the gym became my place to get away from it. The gym provided an avenue to stay sane during this troubling time and allowed me to feel at peace. I always felt that exercise is the best antidepressant. I didn't have a transformation in mind when I started. It was about getting the fresh start needed at that point in my life.
Realizing that I was about to become a full-time single dad, I wanted to live healthier and happier to be a great role model for my 3-year-old boy. My 2013 New Year's resolution was to commit to cooking my own food and quit drinking sugar and alcoholic beverages.
My body transformed instantly after changing my diet to include nutritious, home-cooked meals, and lots of water. Within a few months, I had a six pack. These changes fueled my passion to achieve more. There was no turning back.
I set a goal to reach 10 percent body fat by summer 2013. As I worked toward my goal, a female natural bodybuilder friend suggested I look into men's physique and I found my new calling.
After reaching my body fat goal, I contacted a recommended trainer named Lisa Thomas with Elite Fitness Training Studio to tweak my diet and posing. I competed at two men's physique shows in October and won the OCB National Championships to earn my IFPA pro card. I competed at 192 pounds and 7 percent body fat.
I can't imagine going back to my pre-transformation way of life.
How I accomplished my goals
Changing my nutrition was the biggest driver in my transformation process. It took time to find a rhythm with a full-time job, being a single dad, working out 5-6 days per week, and constant food preparation. Being consistent with your routine is the key. There are no shortcuts to results.
What aspect challenged me the most
The hardest part was eating every 2-3 hours. It requires lots of willpower to consume a full meal every 2-3 hours, but it was worth the effort and time in the end.
My future fitness plans
I'm currently preparing to step on the men's physique IFPA stage. I'm addicted to fitness and promoting healthy living. As a father, child physical development means a lot to me. I want to become a coach for local youth programs to help children with strength and conditioning.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Start with small changes and ease into it. Achieving a complete transformation is a long-term goal. Take it step by step and set small, attainable goals along the way.
Changing too many things in your life at once will lead you to quit because you'll get burned out before you see progress.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com provided me with endless information about supplementation and nutrition. BodySpace is an amazing tool that connects many people who strive to better their bodies.
I was blown away by the continuous support BodySpace members provide for each other and I truly enjoy and appreciate my BodySpace FitFam!
Marek's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Incredible" by Carnage & Borgore
- "Pjanoo" by Eric Prydz
- "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Funk
- "Surrender" by Cazzette
- "Slow Down" by Showtek