FIRE­FIGHT­ING BODY­BUILDER

records 37kg weight loss

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Lor­raine Thom­son

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.”

14

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

men’s body­buildi

ng cat­e­gory.

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