Australian Natural Bodz - - Star Profile | Raman Kesha -

When and where did your jour­ney into the world of health and fit­ness be­gin and who or what in­spired you to get into weight train­ing?

I used to watch my fa­ther weight train when I was young so that was my first in­spi­ra­tion, I lifted my first weight when I was 6 years old to try and be like him and al­ways dreamt of be­com­ing a mus­cle man. At the age of 18 while in­volved in Rugby League I de­cided to study ge­net­ics to work out the best way to struc­turally build my body to be­come the best ath­lete I could.

Con­grat­u­la­tions on your vic­tory at the 2016 Nat­u­ral Bodz Asia Pa­cific Cham­pi­onships where you took out first place in the Mus­cle Model Cat­e­gory. I be­lieve this was your first com­pe­ti­tion, how did it feel to achieve such suc­cess in your first ever stage ap­pear­ance?

It was a great feel­ing at the age of 41 to en­ter and win my first comp. It was amaz­ing to know that all my hard work had paid off. I felt re­ally proud but also hum­bled to beat the other great com­peti­tors.

Are you in­volved in any other sports or have pre­vi­ously had suc­cess in any other sport­ing en­deav­ours.

I have had suc­cess in the Mar­tial Arts world, achiev­ing 2nd Dan Black Belt for the NZ Karate Academy. I also played in a Pre­mier Rugby League team in my younger days.

Do you be­lieve in­volve­ment in th­ese sports has helped forge the physique you have to­day?

Yes, I be­lieve it was the build­ing blocks to the phys­i­cal form I have to­day.

You are a part of the highly suc­cess­ful Team EPA Aus­tralia headed by Joshua Ho­hua. How did you find the whole Team ex­pe­ri­ence and ca­ma­raderie lead­ing into the event?

Ab­so­lutely amaz­ing, great fam­ily-like at­mos­phere which made the ex­pe­ri­ence of my prepa­ra­tion more en­joy­able and easy. We all built each other up both dur­ing prep and on the day so when some­one won it felt like we all had in a way.

What do you do for a ca­reer and have you any ad­vice for those that say they don’t have time to get to the gym be­cause of their busy sched­ules?

Cur­rently work­ing in civil con­struc­tion, of­ten work­ing 10 hours a day. Gym should al­ways be about want­ing to go not forc­ing your­self to go, you can al­ways make time for a ses­sion, even if it’s only 45 min­utes, that’s still enough to make gains. It’s a life­style and you just make it work!

How im­por­tant do you feel it is to have pro­fes­sional guid­ance lead­ing into an event in re­gards body con­di­tion­ing and stage con­fi­dence?

I think it’s very im­por­tant, to have a great coach be­hind you takes the stress off you and al­lows you to fo­cus on what you need to. The guid­ance I re­ceived from Josh, par­tic­u­larly with pos­ing (also meal prep), was in­valu­able and gave me the con­fi­dence I needed to win.

Nu­tri­tion is al­ways a stum­bling block for many look­ing to com­pete for the first time. What sort of diet did you fol­low lead­ing into the Asia Pa­cific event. Are you a high pro­tein –low carb per­son or pre­ferred the more bal­anced ap­proach?

My nu­tri­tion was com­pletely un­der josh’s (EPAs) guid­ance. It was more of a bal­anced diet, I am lucky to have a high me­tab­o­lism so I was able to keep my carb in­take up and didn’t have to drop the calo­ries too much. I was on to 1700 calo­ries on my last week.

How im­por­tant is men­tal fo­cus and a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude when it comes to get­ting into great phys­i­cal shape?

It’s the big­gest part in my opin­ion. You need to have the fo­cus to be able to go the gym and get the most out of your work­out. If you go in there drag­ging your feet, you won’t get the re­sults. For that 1 hour or so, while in the gym, you just need to dom­i­nate and fo­cus and push your­self in or­der to make changes.

Do you be­lieve in hav­ing an off sea­son or pre­fer to stay in good shape year round.

I try to stay around 9% body fat all year round What’s the max­i­mum weight any­one should gain post comp? For male and fe­male? Male – 10-15kgs

Fe­male – 7-8 kgs

How many days a week and what sort of pro­gram do you fol­low lead­ing into a com­pe­ti­tion? Can you pro­vide our read­ers with an ex­am­ple split?

5 days gym, 2 days off. Then 4 days gym 1 day off, then 6 days gym 1 day off. Pro­gram is based on my prob­lem ar­eas when lead­ing up to comp. For ex­am­ple I wanted to grow my legs so I worked them heavy 3 days a week. My pro­gram is very spe­cific to me and get­ting the big­gest gains on my ‘prob­lem’ ar­eas so I had good sym­me­try on comp day.

Are you a big car­dio man or pre­fer to use diet and weight train­ing to drop body fat prior to a show?

Def­i­nitely diet and weight train­ing. I did al­most no car­dio prior to the show!

How im­por­tant is it to have a good fam­ily and sup­port crew be­hind you when pre­par­ing for a show?

Very im­por­tant, I be­lieve in pos­i­tive vibes at the gym and home life helps cre­ate a bet­ter ath­lete.

Do you use any spe­cial train­ing tech­niques if so can you share some of them with our read­ers?

My train­ing is very dif­fer­ent to the norm, I in­cor­po­rate high reps, high in­ten­sity, ply­o­met­rics and kalis­then­ics into my train­ing to fo­cus on cre­at­ing lean mus­cle. But I will com­bine that with heavy weights in the same ses­sion. I en­sure ev­ery work­out is dif­fer­ent and never the same so the body never knows what has hit them!

Free weights or ma­chines, what works for you?

Mainly free weights, be­cause it al­lows me to get full range of mo­tion and make the mind – mus­cle con­nec­tion that is so im­por­tant (but so un­der-utilised)

Apart from weight train­ing what other forms of ex­er­cise do you in­clude or rec­om­mend for those seek­ing a physique like yours?

High in­ten­sity train­ing, ply­o­met­rics and kalis­then­ics.

How do you stay mo­ti­vated to main­tain that hunger to suc­ceed?

I al­ways want to be bet­ter than yes­ter­day. The de­sire to win is pretty mo­ti­vat­ing in it­self, I didn’t en­ter the comp to com­pete I en­tered it to win so the mo­ti­va­tion was easy.

What are the most com­mon mis­takes you see in be­gin­ners when it comes to weight train­ing?

Poor tech­nique and only train­ing up­per body (of­ten for­get­ting to train lower body or not train it enough)

The Physique class is some­what new and gain­ing a lot of pop­u­lar­ity. Why do you feel it ap­peals to many guys out there?

It’s a more nat­u­ral look­ing body type, it’s not so much about huge mus­cles as it is about aes­thet­ics and sym­me­try so that will ap­peal to many guys that don’t want to or cant get huge.

For any as­pir­ing ath­letes look­ing to com­pete in a Fit­ness Model/ Physique event where do you sug­gest they start?

Find a good coach, it’s that sim­ple.

How im­por­tant is wa­ter prior to an event are you an

ad­vo­cate of wa­ter load­ing or any other kind of tweaks in wa­ter in­take?

Yes, I am an ad­vo­cate of wa­ter load­ing. It worked for me and has worked for a long time.

Do you use sport sup­ple­ments in your nu­tri­tion plan, if so which ones?

Good qual­ity pro­tein, BCAA, L-Glu­tamine, Crea­tine, Fish Oils, Glu­cosamine & Zinc, Test Booster.

Do you doc­u­ment and count calo­ries, pro­tein and grams of carbs when work­ing out your diet or pre­fer a more in­stinc­tive ap­proach?

Lead­ing up to comp I def­i­nitely counted and mea­sured calo­ries as nu­tri­tion is such an im­por­tant part of prep etc how­ever off sea­son is more an in­stinc­tive ap­proach.

Do you find that your body re­sponds bet­ter with cer­tain foods than oth­ers? E.g types of carbs/pro­teins?

My body re­sponds very quickly to small changes in nu­tri­tion, I no­ticed the big­gest change when carb de­plet­ing lead­ing to comp day.

We host a num­ber of Events in Aus­tralia, do you feel that th­ese events are a great place for as­pir­ing ath­letes to gain ex­po­sure, op­por­tu­ni­ties and ex­pe­ri­ence?

Yes, I think it’s a great plat­form to el­e­vate your pro­file in the world of com­pet­ing. If you do well and get at­ten­tion this can lead to spon­sor­ship e.g supps, gym wear etc and other great op­por­tu­ni­ties and of course just the ex­pe­ri­ence of com­pet­ing in th­ese events is won­der­ful on it’s own.

Who do you ad­mire most in the in­dus­try?

I look up to a few great ath­letes around the world; Jeremy Buen­dia is one that stands out; I ad­mire his suc­cess and physique but also the fact he is hum­ble. Also Ulisses Ju­nior for the same rea­sons. Thanks to the power of so­cial me­dia I have been able to fol­low th­ese guys through their comps and train­ing and have learnt alot.

Who do you ad­mire most out­side of the health and fit­ness in­dus­try?

My Karate In­struc­ter of 16 years, Henare Heta (NZ Karate Academy, Whangarei, be­cause he taught me how to be a man, taught me how to be hum­ble and how to re­spect oth­ers and I will al­ways ad­mire him for that.

How do you feel about the use of drugs in sport, and is there any room for im­prove­ments to keep it clean?

I feel like it has got out of con­trol and is way too ac­ces­si­ble for peo­ple to get their hands on low qual­ity drugs which leads to neg­a­tive re­ac­tions both men­tally and phys­i­cally. Every­one is look­ing for the quick fix to get the body with­out hav­ing to work too hard for it and I am re­ally against it. There is room for im­prove­ment, I think if you de­cide to en­ter into a nat­u­ral body­build­ing comp then you should be pre­pared to take a test ear­lier than comp day be­cause peo­ple are still us­ing prior then go­ing off the gear in time to test clean for the day. That is not nat­u­ral.

What do you do to re­lax?

Spend qual­ity time with my wife and my baby daugh­ter, try­ing new cafes, go­ing for walks.

What are your im­me­di­ate goals in re­spect to your ca­reer and com­pet­ing in the next 12 months?

Ul­ti­mate goal is to qual­ify and com­pete in Mus­cle­ma­nia Fit­ness Week in Las Ve­gas 2017 as part of the Nat­u­ral Bodz Aus­tralian team and to com­pete in Asia Pa­cific Gold Coast 2017 to achieve my Pro card.

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Nat­u­ral Bodz

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Nat­u­ral Bodz Mag­a­zine

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