My road to become an IFBB Pro

I thought I’d share my story with you guys, how I got here where I am now.

My prep actually started end of February. I was 79kg, and I was getting ready for the Nabba Worlds in June in Italy. I was very keen, had the passion burning inside me. I wanted to win! Last year I finished 2nd at the Nabba Worlds in Russia and I really wanted to prove myself this year. Athletes would know that a contest prep is not easy, but you can always step it up when you’re keen, so I went all in.

So June came, and I went to Italy to compete. Finished 2nd again – not gonna lie, I was pissed off. We planned another competition a couple of weeks after that, Portugal or Spain, but I said no. I knew what improvements I had to make and I needed a bit more time to make them happen.

So after my first comp mid June I went straight into prepping for the second one in November. First I wanted to go to Poland but then we learnt that the @ironrebelshow was gonna be organised again in November – and we went there with @abe.superman In May when he competed, so I changed my mind and I registered for Denmark.

I had to bring up my shoulders, especially my rear delts, so I started training them 3x a week. My glutes and hammies needed more shape, so that meant glutes and hammies 2x a week, and quads/full legs with glutes 1x a week. Are you keeping score? That meant Ꭵ hᎪᎠ ᏆᎾ ᏆᏒᎪᎥᏁ ᏆᎳᎥᏟᎬ Ꭺ ᎠᎪᎽ ᏆᎳᎥᏟᎬ Ꭺ ᎳᎬᎬᏦ… and this is exactly what I did for 6 months to get into the shape I needed for the @ironrebelshow in Denmark last weekend.

The first pic was taken 2 weeks into my prep in March. The second pic was 1 week before the second comp last weekend. I’m proud of this package, I’m proud of the improvements I’ve made and the condition I’ve got myself into. I know there’s more to come, but so far that was my best ever shape.

About HIIT cardio

The competition season is upon us, many of you guys do endless cardio to lose body fat. Sometimes we go through phases when the weight loss stops and it seems almost impossible to get it going again. The body is trying to hold on to that little bit of fat – it’s a normal survival mechanism.

When weight loss stops, it’s a sign that your body has adapted to your current training and diet, and you just need to change something to kick it off again.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to switch up your cardio from steady state to HIIT. Many bodybuilders are scared that HIIT training will make them lose muscle. If you use it wisely, that can be avoided.

First of all you don’t need to do it all the time. If you do cardio 1x or 2x a day, you shouldn’t do HIIT both times. Actually, doing HIIT increases your metabolic rate for the next 24 hours, so you could even do it only every other day and on the other sessions stick to steady state cardio. And don’t forget: your body adapts to HIIT cardio, too, so after some time (could be about 3-4 weeks) you can change back to normal cardio again.

Now let’s see how we do HIIT cardio:

The essential framework of high-intensity interval training is always the same: Brief, all-out work periods, separated by rest periods. The work-to-rest ratio can vary from 1:1 (for example, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) to 1:4 or more, and the rounds can be just a few or 15 or more. Always try and gradually progress: either by reducing the rest periods, extending the work periods, adding one more round at the end or all these 3.

Don’t forget to supplement with BCAA before and after your cardio to minimise catabolism.

@wawannutrition WBCAA or Ronnie Coleman series Aminotone are a good choices for your BCAA supplementation


My message for beginners

A short video for those of you who contacted me on social media asking me questions about how to lose weight or get bigger.

The health benefits of foam rolling

The idea of foam rollers is simple: using your own bodyweight and agility you roll specific muscle groups against a firm foam roller to mimic a deep massage. You can control how much pressure you apply and you can locate and focus on problematic areas.

  • They improve blood circulation throughout your skin, muscles, fascia and even tendons and ligaments.
  • More efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products at a cellular level.
  • Lengthening of short, tight muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Better posture, stronger core.

When we experience pain or stiffness around weight-bearing joints (hips, knees and spinal joints) a very effective approach is to increase the blood circulation around the problematic area through deep pressure work and stretches.

Sometimes short and tight muscles and ligaments are the root cause of pain and stiffness in the joints.

Some foam rollers and softer, others harder. However it is always you, who controls the pressure that you put on a certain area.


Benefits of stretching

Stretching is very important for flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle.
There are 2 types of stretching:

  • dynamic stretching
  • static stretching

Dynamic stretching you do before you start your workout. The purpose of it is to prepare the muscles and your body – and also your mind – for the workout. It consists of putting your muscles through their full range of motion by way of mobilizing the joints they’re attached to. Dynamic stretches will elevate the muscles’ core temperature and ramp up the nervous system so that your body is ready to lift some heavy weights. It will help reduce the risk of injury and over time it improves your performance and maximizes your movements due to the increase of flexibility in your joints.
Static stretching you use during and after your workout. It helps cool down the muscles, prevents injury and makes sure you lengthen your muscles after contracting/shortening them during resistance training.

The benefits of HIIT training

The benefits of HIIT training

There’s an ongoing debate about cardio: which one is more beneficial? HIIT or steady state cardio? It depends on your goal and even your bodytype. Some people can get away with the mind numbing steady state cardio – which is a lot more comfortable, let’s be honest. However it doesn’t work for everyone. If you have been doing that for quite some time it might have stopped working for you – because let’s be honest, your body will get used to most things and will adapt in time. Then it might be a wise idea to step it up to HIIT cardio.

Anyone can benefit from HIIT cardio: elite athletes and everyday people who just want to lose a bit of weight.

So what are the benefits of HIIT?

#1 When you perform high intensity training, glycogen is your preferred fuel that is stored in your muscles. To do more high intensity workouts we need a bigger reserve of muscle glycogen stores. This will allow you to train harder for longer. In addition it will allow for a greater carbs tolerance which means you can eat more carbs and store them as refuel, instead of fat.

#2 Improved aerobic fitness: your body can take in more oxygen and deliver it to your muscles, enabling you to perform faster for longer.

#3 Greater fat burning: some time ago it was the ‘fat burning zone’ on the cardio machine. If you wanted to burn fat, you had to be in the fat burning zone. HIIT burns more fat, because the quicker you deplete your muscle glycogen stores, the sooner your body will tap into your stored fat for fuel. HIIT training depletes muscle glycogen stores because the main fuel for HIIT is glycogen.

#4 Improved capacity for exercise: if you’re doing high intensity – or I could call it metabolic type – weight training, HIIT can increase your capacity for exercise. By increasing our aerobic capacity we can go harder for longer which can help you burn more calories = lose more weight.

#5 Improved insulin sensitivity: One major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is reduced insulin sensitivity. If you have normal insulin sensitivity, then insulin can help you shuttle the carbs into your muscles, instead of your fat cells.

#6 You boost your metabolism and get an afterburn: Resistance training has a different effect on your body opposed to endurance training. Resistance training increases excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOS). EPOS describes the calories you burn immediately after the training session, also known as the ‘afterburn’ effect.

If you want to step up your training, want to lose weight or just need a change in your training routine, get in touch!

Bespoke metabolic type resistance training plans are available


How to train for weight loss

In my previous article I outlined a few points for a diet plan for weight loss. As you probably have heard this phrase a million times by now: abs are made in the kitchen. About 80% of your weight loss efforts will come down to your diet.You can estimate how much energy you burn during exercise, but the rule of thumb is that the more intense the exercise, the more calories are burnt.

For eg for a 150 lb person (69 kg) 30 mins of:

  • walking at 3 miles/hr burns 150 kcal
  • walking at 4.5 miles/hr burns 233 kcal
  • martial arts burn 401 kcal.

More often than not you see people in the gym, plodding away on the treadmill, crosstrainer or bike at a speed that allows them to play on their phones or talk to their friends.
Just to compare the calories and how much it takes to burn them off:
 A Krispy Kreme chocolate ice donut with Kreme filling is 360 Kcal. That equals to =

  • 94 mins walking
  • 41 mins jogging or
  • 48 mins cycling

A double cheese burger at McDonald’s is 440 Kcal. That equals to =

  • 115 mins walking
  • 50 mins jogging or
  • 59 mins cycling

And usually when people go to McDonald’s or Krispy Kreme they don’t just have 1 donut or 1 burger.
So my point is: with a balanced diet it’s easier to ‘keep in shape’ than doing a yo-yo diet.

If you want to maximise the exercise component in order to shed body fat, choose exercise modes that are physically demanding as they use more energy. So instead of walking on the treadmill at 3-4 mph for 45 mins, do a HIIT training for 20-25 mins. With this type of training – even though you’re out of your ‘fat burning zone’, but you deplete your muscle glycogen stores and your body will be forced to tap into the adipose tissue for fuel. We have an almost unlimited supply of energy in the form of stored fat. Marathon runners fatigue due to glycogen depletion, not fat.
You will also burn more fat post workout, during your recovery, if you engage in high intensity training.
 And last but not least: strength train! Girls, boys, everyone. The more muscle you have the higher your metabolism is. Building muscle and strength is intense. Intense training depletes glycogen therefore more stored fat is used for energy. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Different fuel sources of the body

Our food choices supply the energy for our bodies to continue to function properly. These energy sources are: carbohydrate, protein and fats. The body can store these fuels in a form that allows immediate source of energy. Carbohydrates are readily broken down to glucose, the body’s main energy source. Glucose can be used immediately as fuel, or can be sent to the muscles and liver to be stored as glycogen. During exercise muscle glycogen is converted back into glucose. The liver converts its glycogen back into glucose, too, however it is released into the bloodstream to maintain your blood sugar levels. Blood glucose is also the main fuel for the brain when you rest as well as when you exercise. The body constantly uses and replenishes its glycogen stores.
The amount of energy the body can store is limited however. The body can store approximately 1800 – 2000 kcal worth of energy, enough to fuel about 90-120 min high intensity exercise. As we exercise, we gradually deplete our muscle glycogen stores, and blood glucose plays an increasingly important role in meeting the body’s energy demands. When the liver is also depleted of glycogen, you experience hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) when your performance drops. You can avoid that by consuming carbohydrates during prolonged and high intensity exercise.
 Fat is the body’s most concentrated energy source. During exercise stored fat in the body is broken down into fatty acids. These fatty acids are transported through blood into the muscles for fuel. This process is slower than the mobilization of carbohydrates for fuel. Fat is also stored within the muscles where it can be accessed easier during exercise. In order for fat to fuel exercise, sufficient oxygen must be simultaneously consumed.

 As for protein, our bodies use protein to build, maintain and repair body tissues as well as synthesize important enzymes and hormones. Protein meets only 5 % of the body’s energy needs. In some situations, however, such as when we eat too few calories daily or not enough carbohydrate, as well as during latter stages of endurance exercise, when glycogen reserves are depleted, skeletal muscle is broken down and used as fuel to access certain amino acids that can be converted into glucose.

For bespoke training and nutrition plan contact me on

How to step up your training – increase intensity

If you go to the gym on most days and you do the same workouts day in day out, not only you will get bored of it but your body will adapt to it, too. That means you will not see changes from the same workout after a while.

There are different techniques for the advanced athletes to step up their training and shock their bodies.
Go to failure: muscle failure is when you cannot do any more full reps with that weight. Most people don’t go to this extent because this is when the going gets tough. When we say you need to do 8 – 12 reps for muscle hypertrophy that means you cannot do more reps than 8 – 12. So if you could do another 3-4 reps with that weight, increase it.
Drop set: that means you do your regular reps with your weight and when you cannot do any more reps (you reach muscle failure) you drop the weights by 20-30% and continue the set until failure. For eg: you are doing bench press with 100 kg, you rep out to failure and when you cannot do any more full reps you strip off 20-30% of the weight (70-80 kg) and continue the set until failure.
Forced reps: you will need a training partner for this, unless you do certain exercises where you can self spot yourself: for eg one arm dumbbell curl. You do your set to muscle failure and when you cannot do any more full reps your training partner helps you with the concentric part of the lift.
Negatives: again, you will need a training partner for this. You only do 3-4 reps with this technique, not the full 10-12 reps. You load the weight heavier than you normally do. For eg: if you do bicep curls with 15 kg dumbbells for 12 reps, then you will use 17 kg or even 20 kg for this exercise. Your training partner helps you with the concentric part of the lift (ie: curling up) and you lower the weight yourself slowly. We are a lot stronger on the eccentric part of the lift, than on the concentric part of the lift, that’s why you need a partner to help you with the concentric part.
These are just a few ideas you could try, if you didn’t know about them.
For a personalized training plan please contact me: or KIK: tamaramakar
For personal training/coaching/contest prep FOR MEN AND WOMEN: please book an appointment in advance and see me at True Gym Mohandeseen.
#spacefitness #panatta