Body Transformation: Marek Strojvus Cooked Lean To Look Lean

Hardship and crisis drove Marek into the gym where he became immersed in the fitness culture. Now he has ripped abs and competes at 7 percent body fat!

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.

Before /// 217 lbs
After /// 192 lbs
AGE 31 / HEIGHT 6'2" / BODY FAT 17%
AGE 32 / HEIGHT 6'2" / BODY FAT 7%
Post To Fitboard

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.

Supplements that helped me through the journey

With Meal 1
  • Bodybuilding.com Foundation Series Glutamine Bodybuilding.com Foundation Series Glutamine

With Meal 2
With Meal 4
Pre-workout
Intra-workout
Post-workout
With Meal 6
  • Bodybuilding.com Foundation Series CLA Bodybuilding.com Foundation Series CLA

  • Bodybuilding.com Foundation Series Fish Oil Bodybuilding.com Foundation Series Fish Oil

Before Bed
  • Inner Armour Casein Peak Inner Armour Casein Peak

Diet plan that guided my transformation

Meal 1
  • Oatmeal Oatmeal

    1 cup

  • banana Banana

    1

  • eggs Eggs

    2

  • eggs Egg Whites

    5

Meal 2
  • BSN Syntha-6 BSN Syntha-6

    1 serving

  • Berries Berries

    1/2 cup

  • Fat-free Milk Fat-free Milk

    1 serving

Meal 3
  • chicken Chicken Breast

    8 oz

  • brown rice Brown Rice

    1 cup

  • broccoli Broccoli

    4 oz

  • kale Kale

    2 oz

  • almonds Almonds

    2 oz

  • eggs Egg Whites

    5

Meal 4
  • Beef Beef

    6 oz

  • Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potatoes

    1/2 cup

  • broccoli Broccoli

    6 oz

Meal 5: Post-workout
Meal 6
  • 1% Cottage Cheese 1% Cottage Cheese

    1/2 cup

  • Sugar-free Raspberry Preserves Sugar-free Raspberry Preserves

    1 tbsp

Meal 7: Before Bed
  • Inner Armour Casein Peak Inner Armour Casein Peak

    1 serving

Training regimen that kept me on track

I do 20 minutes of post-workout cardio twice per week.

Day 1: Back/Biceps
  • Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up
    1 warm-up set of 12 reps, 3 working sets of 10 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
    4 sets of 10, 8, 6, and 4 reps
  • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows
    4 sets of 12, 10, 10, and 8 reps
  • Neutral-grip Pull-downs Neutral-grip Pull-downs Neutral-grip Pull-downs
    4 sets of 10, 8, 8, and 20 reps
  • Straight-Arm Pulldown Straight-Arm Pulldown Straight-Arm Pulldown
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • V-Bar Pullup V-Bar Pullup V-Bar Pullup
    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Machine Bicep Curl Machine Bicep Curl Machine Bicep Curl
    3 sets of 10, 8, and 20 reps
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
  • Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
    4 sets of 12, 10, 10, and 8 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press
    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes
    6 sets of 12 reps (2 sets high, low, and middle)
  • Dips - Chest Version Dips - Chest Version Dips - Chest Version (Weighted)
    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Pushups (Close and Wide Hand Positions) Pushups (Close and Wide Hand Positions) Pushups (Close Hand Position)
    3 sets of 25 reps
Day 3: Legs
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls
    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions Leg Extensions
    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Squat Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
    4 sets of 10, 10, 8, and 8 reps, 1 dropset of 25-30 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise
    5 sets of 20 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges
    4 sets of 20 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises
    4 sets of 20 reps
Day 4: Shoulders/Abs
  • Reverse Flyes Reverse Flyes Reverse Flyes
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars
    5 sets of 20 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Standing Military Press Standing Military Press Standing Military Press
    4 sets of 12, 10, 10, and 8 reps
  • Ab Roller Ab Roller Ab Roller
    4 sets of 20 reps
  • Arnold Dumbbell Press Arnold Dumbbell Press Arnold Dumbbell Press
    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly Cable Rear Delt Fly Cable Rear Delt Fly
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Decline Crunch Decline Crunch Decline Crunch
    4 sets of 20 reps
Day 5: Biceps/Triceps
  • Preacher Curl Preacher Curl Preacher Curl
    4 sets of 10 reps, 1 dropset of 20 reps
  • Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl
    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Barbell Curl Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
    4 sets of 10, 8, 8, and 6 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
    4 sets of 8 reps
  • Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press
    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Hammer Curls Hammer Curls Hammer Curls
    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Concentration Curls Concentration Curls Concentration Curls
    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Hyperextensions (Back Extensions) Hyperextensions (Back Extensions) Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)
    3 sets of 10 reps, 1 dropset of 20 reps

What aspect challenged me the most

"Start with small changes and ease into it. Achieving a complete transformation is a long-term goal."

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

  1. "Incredible" by Carnage & Borgore
  2. "Pjanoo" by Eric Prydz
  3. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Funk
  4. "Surrender" by Cazzette
  5. "Slow Down" by Showtek