records 37kg weight loss
Arriving in Auckland at the age of 10 to attend Dilworth School, Isaac Paul was given opportunities he would not otherwise have had. Not long after leaving school Isaac fathered three children, now aged 14, 12 and eight. Even though he didn’t physically give birth to the children, he did pile on the weight.
“I had got to 112kg and would hate to think what my body fat was,” he says.
Not being able to keep up with the kids was one reason to change.
“I then broke up with their mother and decided to do something about my weight. I joined Club Physical and started running, as well as writing my own nutrition plans, just from reading articles in magazines.
“I managed to get down to 75kg all on my own – losing a total of 37kg – just by eating right, cutting out fast food and training. This is when I decided to look at helping others. So I asked at a small local gym how to become a personal trainer.”
Isaac started out as a gym instructor at the gym, just helping people out and motivating them. He managed to pick up a few clients and assist them on their fitness journey.
He later moved to Wellington and worked at a high intensity gym, Elevate Plus, where he ran one-hour sessions that involved burpees, crawls, chin-ups and box jumps, to groups of up to 60 people. Next he worked as a personal trainer at City Fitness Thorndon where he was taking oneon-one sessions, as well as running 12-week transformation classes, focusing on training and nutrition.
Not content with just training at the gym, Isaac joined the Fire Service, where he was charged with helping a few firefighters lose weight and gain muscle. He also helped them with nutrition and training, to compete in strong man competitions.
At the time of this interview, Isaac (32) had just moved back from Wellington to Auckland and taken up a fulltime fire fighting position at Auckland City Fire Station in Pitt Street. This is where he works four days on and four days off on 10-hour day shifts and 14-hour night shifts – and it is not all about sitting around waiting for a fire call. There is training, drills and brigade exercises – then there is stress – although this is something Isaac is not too fazed by.
“We get some horrific calls, but you are surrounded by guys who you would call brothers. The jobs you go out to – they are looking out for you.”
It is, nevertheless, a hot job.
“Even just with the gear on, it is pretty hot. And with some jobs it can get up to 1,000 degrees centigrade.”
The protective clothing, however, helps, as does the breathing apparatus and the training.
“It comes down to your training and looking after each other.”
He has been with the Fire Service for eight years now and has been a participant in
fire fighting fitness challenges. At the Firefighter Combat Challenge national competition last year, Isaac entered and came eighth, but he is not entering this competition again as he has a new focus.
“I am now focusing on competing in bodybuilding competitions,” he says.
Isaac won the Wellington regional competition for the International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) in the men’s 80 to 90kg category last year and then went on to win the national competition in Auckland in October. This qualified him to enter the Arnold Classic event in Australia, which he plans to enter next year.
“I have taken this year to grow some more and I will compete at the Auckland competitions this year and the Nationals and hopefully, qualify again for the Arnold Classic.”
During the off-season, November to February, Isaac still trains – between two to three hours every day – largely weight training at Les Mills, Victoria Street in Auckland.
As part of his nutrition regime he eats six meals a day – oats for breakfast and chicken and vegetables for every other meal.
When training for bodybuilding competitions he eats eight meals a day.
“I have one rest day a week and I try and prepare meals for four days in advance.”
One or two of his work mates have competed before, but they all admire his discipline.
“I cannot have meals that they have, when I am in competition preparation mode and have to take my own food.”
Preparing for a competition also means no alcohol.
Guiding him along the way, is nutritionist Nick Reynolds, who wants Isaac to plan five years ahead.
“My goal for now is to compete at the Arnolds. If I do well I will be happy. The long-term goal would have to be to win on the international stage.”
Isaac Paul . . . cover of the 2014 New Zealand Firefighters Calendar.
On stage at
the New Zealand
IFBB national competitio
n 2015, Isaac
won the 80 to 90kg