Category: motywacja , trening , fitness , kulturystyka , dieta , biceps , suplementacja

One hundred percent or nothing!

My adventure with sports began at a very early age. I was 12 when I became a member of a handball team in the primary school I used to attend. I quickly began to develop myself towards sports – I had good motor skills, I used to run quite well and that is why my results were very good. Then I got the impression that sport would always make a part of my life. Teachers and trainers seeing my potential moved me to a sports school (handball) in grade 7. The division was simple there – girls used to train basketball, while we would play handball. I had very good memories of the period, as fair sports competition had a very positive impact on my relationships with my peers. Finishing the primary school I was dreaming to continue sports and still play handball, but the secondary school I chose – the Technical College of Communication – was very demanding. I had to spend lots of time studying, so trainings collided with my school duties. Unfortunately, it made me give up sport for some time.            

Beginning of a great sports passion

Michał Karmowski at the gym

I had always liked physical effort and a sporty figure was something I was dreaming of. Unfortunately, similarly to many of my peers, I used to eat lots of sweets and food that had nothing in common with a healthy diet, so my silhouette was far from ideal. That is how I first went to a gym. It was a gym placed in a basement in my district. The equipment was basic: incline bench, flat bench, two lat pulldowns – top and bottom, with several home-made barbells and dumbbells. I became hooked on bodybuilding thanks to older colleagues who I used to train with. Initially, due to a complete lack of knowledge, we imitated one another. These boys helped me discover that bodybuilding was the sport I wanted to do. The discipline became my passion. I found more and more pleasure in it during subsequent trainings. From the very beginning I knew that bodybuilding, or exercising in a gym, was not for a while. I got really crazy about it. At the age of 17 I covered the walls of my room with posters of the champions of that time: Flex Wheeler, Dorian Yates, Chris Cormier, Paul Dillett and all other professionals whose photos I could find in magazines. I used to spend all the money I collected during birthday or holidays on buying bodybuilding magazines, such as "Flex” or "Muscle & Fitness”. English issues were available only in one bookshop in Gdańsk. Other people my age and family members could not understand my devotion and interest in the sport. They would spend the money on some pleasures and I would come back home with the magazines to cut out the posters with my idols and champions as quickly as possible. Bodybuilding was constantly present in my life – I used to train in a gym, develop the mass as a normal teenager, namely eat a lot with no knowledge about nutrition. At that time, people in all gyms kept on saying that training makes the foundation of success. Nobody would tell us anything about a diet apart from the fact that you have to eat a lot. At the age of 20 I weighed 138 kg. I was very big and strong, but I also had too much fatty tissue. Instead of going to the gym in the basement, I started to train with strongmen in Przymorze, in a club called ATLETA. I looked at how they handled the weights and tried to imitate them. After some time, I gained a different approach to my mass. I felt heavy and my weight became an obstacle in my everyday life. My friends kept on telling me I was too fat and they would even call me "Pork neck". It was the result of my eating habits: I liked eating a lot but not necessarily healthy. I felt bad in my body and wanted to change it. I made a decision to lose some weight. I focused on losing the fatty tissue I had been building for so many years. I started boxing to burn as much fat as possible. I found a very good kick-boxing trainer – Rafał Kałurzny – and used to train under his supervision three times a week for some time. Naturally, I did not forget my real hobby – going to the gym, which I did regularly 3-4 times a week. I managed to lose some fatty tissue but a poor diet, i.e. eating wrong products, prevented me from achieving the silhouette of my dreams. At the beginning of 2004 I had to leave to work and came back only 2 years later. That was the period when I continued doing exercise and reading bodybuilding magazines, where I learnt how important a diet is for training. I also discovered that the diet determines 70% of the success in developing a nice silhouette. I changed my diet and did not have to wait long for the results – when I came back home I weighed 92 kg and had visible abdomen muscles. At that time I started training in a gym located in Gdańsk Zaspa and in 2006 I met Jan Urbanowicz there. He took me to the first rugby training. I liked the sport. I joined the team of the coach of Lechia Rugby Gdańsk of the day. Running on the beach with the fellow team members or training with Jan helped me develop a good and sporty silhouette. Unfortunately, I suffered a spine injury, which was particularly troublesome in my everyday life for a long time. Later on, it turned into sciatic nerve damage and forced me to quit rugby trainings and going to the gym. I had to give up all physical exercise for a month and a half. Regular rehabilitation combined with natural medicine therapy helped me relieve the pain to some extent and that is how I started it all over again. My fate did not let me continue playing for the Lechia team but since I loved rugby and was perceived as a creative and involved person, I was offered to become the team manager. It was also then when I became a manager of a shop with diet supplements. As you can see my whole private and professional life were related to sports.

Michał Karmowski at the gym

That period was full of new experiences, as I met my first coach and good friend – Marek Olejniczak, the current bodybuilding world champion in the heavy weight category. It was he who took me for the first proper training of legs. I still laugh that the muscles I trained with Marek then, have developed most of my other muscles too. He put a spell on my legs and I am most proud of them in my whole silhouette. Marek was the first person to convince me to take part in a bodybuilding competition. He also helped me prepare for it. I found it hard to understand why it was so important to count every single calorie, as I had never done it before. I knew what products to use but I didn't have the vaguest idea about counting calories. Hard work, systematic approach and consequence are most important to be successful.

Bodybuilding – a way of life

In 2008 I took part in my first bodybuilding competition in Rypin. I took the 12th place among 19 contestants in the weight category of 95 kg. Then I promised to myself that I would strive to be better in every subsequent season. In 2009, the coach of the national team – Leszek Michalski – was preparing me for the forthcoming competition. I participated in a grouping and gained new experience thanks to Leszek. I also owe him my winning of the Bodybuilding Debuts competition in my own and in the open category. Three weeks later I was second best in the Polish championship in the heaviest category in bodybuilding (+100 kg).

Both victories kindled my appetite to take part in other competitions and developing, consequently. I met Radek Słodkiewicz who became my mentor and found a perfect diet for me. More importantly, he was preparing me in the last week before the competition, which is most important in this sport. Under his supervision I built several kilograms of muscle mass and weighed 115 kg in the competition in 2013. Until now Radek Słodkiewicz has been of great support for me and I can always rely on him. The same applies to Robert Piotrkowicz's wife – Joanna. You certainly wonder what a woman who does not take part in competitions knows about preparing a contestant. But Joanna is a woman with great knowledge about the mechanisms in the body and the impact of particular diet elements on the body.

New stimuli – new motivation

Previously, still in 2009, I went to the USA for the Mr. Olympia competition in Las Vegas. It was the opportunity to meet top bodybuilders who were my great idols. I extended my knowledge in dietetics, supplementation and training. The whole stay in the USA and the impressions I had became a stimulus for me to choose my future career.

First, I completed a bodybuilding instructor's course and then a course for an international personal trainer. In the meantime I was extending my knowledge of natural medicine, dietetics, supplementation and how to run personal trainings with clients. In the evenings, I would spend my time reading medical guidebooks and books on nutrition in sports.

2012 saw the beginning of my cooperation with TREC. For two years now they have constantly supported me in all my undertakings. Moreover, I have almost unlimited access to the top class supplements produced by TREC NUTRITION. We jointly develop many ambitious and interesting projects. We participate in a number of sports and charity events. Last time it was the Festival of Vampires involving actively persuading young people to donate blood, or an event called "Let's burn calories". Our cooperation has resulted in videos called "ASK A TRAINER" and "DIETETIC CUISINE". Some time ago we also created an innovative project called "A SPORTSPERSON'S DIARY", with a video camera filming my everyday life for twelve weeks. It was very popular. Owing to people who support and motivate me there are more and more ideas we want to implement with TREC.

Michał Karmowski at the gym

Simultaneously, I was developing my Facebook profile. I still regularly publish descriptions and photos of my meals and exercises for particular areas of the body. I also share information from my private life. In my profile you can find information about places where you can eat low-calorie meals or dietetic desserts. At present there are almost 70,000 active users on my fanpage. They are people who motivate one another and whom I motivate and inspire. They are active in the forum, ask for advice and share new ideas. It boosts me for even more intense activity and harder work. Such a great popularity of my FB profile helps me share my knowledge with a large number of people and believe that Poles will be even more sporty and determined in their sports activities. There are many people whom I helped to get rid of excess weight.

Naturally, I still participated in bodybuilding competitions and in 2010 won the second Polish Vice-Championship and the Polish bodybuilding competition in Słupsk. Then I won a competition in Strzegom. In 2011 I was the first one in Poland to win the Polish Championship of the NAC federation. I went for the World Championship to Luxembourg, where I was ranked among the top six contestants and ended up as the 5th. In the same year I also won the Polish Cup of the NAC federation and took part in the most prestigious competition held by the organisation – Mr. Universe in Germany.

Nevertheless, there were also hard moments in my life. The greatest difficulty was to combine preparations for competitions with work. Accumulation of duties and personal consultations prevented me from participating for one season. Then I received great support and understanding from my friends and family. I threw myself into work.

I became a manager of instructors in IMPULS FITNESS club in Gdańsk. Then I got a proposal to manage and develop ENERGY club in Gdynia. My task was to build the place from scratch and develop it. I was successful since ENERGY has so far been doing really well.

My own fitness club – dreams come true

In 2013 after the expiry of my one-year contract with Energy Club, the idea to open my own club crossed my mind. Together with my wife we faced the challenge and within four months we managed to create our original ALL TIME FITNESS club, located in Gdańsk at ul. Fieldorfa 2. It was opened in November but has been developing really fast ever since. We have a sauna zone with a relaxation room, fitness zone, room for a functional training and a gym with excellent equipment, cardio area and a bar with supplements. Everybody can enjoy friendly and homely atmosphere in our club. Our clients have the opportunity to exercise with the best trainers in the Tricity. It is all available without any time limits and at a very attractive price. We are open to people with passion. New ideas are constantly born in my head. We are motivated by the increasing number of people coming to our club. It is nice to look at those who come back for the following trainings with smiles on their faces. Feel invited to visit ALL TIME FITNESS and be active there.

2013 was a lucky year for me. Besides opening the club, I won the Polish Championship of the NAC federation, the Polish Championship of the WBFF federation and became the European Vice-Champion. Bodybuilding takes my whole free time. It has always been and will be my greatest passion.

Unfortunately, since I have broken my chest attachments, it is impossible for me to achieve further international success. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. This muscle group is my drawback. I had the ambition to win prestigious international competitions, so due to this defect and willing to change it I applied for a programme on TVN Style called "Life without shame" to try to have my chest operated on. Such corrective surgery is very expensive but TVN was supposed to cover all the costs. Unfortunately, after a specialised consultation it turned out that suturing the broken attachments would prevent me from further training. A load would quickly damage them and make them return to the condition from before the operation. Plastic surgery seemed to be the only solution but I did not want to have any implants. It contradicts my rules and the idea I have about sport. I achieved all my successes working very hard. I would undermine it, if I agreed to have something artificial implanted in my body. Sport makes my whole life. I would not be able to function being aware that I cheat others. Even if I won a competition thanks to implants, I would feel like a liar and would not enjoy the victory. It all led to the decision to finish my bodybuilding career now.

I do not take part in competitions but I feel fulfilled

I am now 100% fulfilled as a club owner, personal 

trainer, father and husband. I have many clients from Poland and abroad (distance is not a problem for me). My plans for the future include making healthy lifestyle more popular and arouse the passion for training and healthy food in people. I would like to make people aware that hard work means the ability to reach the established goal. Systematic approach and self-denial are essential. It is worth finding a sport that suits you and devote yourself to it. It is worth having dreams and striving for making them come true.

I am a perfect example that if you really want something, you will always achieve it. You only need time, systematic work and patience. I am also very proud of all people who started doing something for their health and silhouette, regardless of their age.

Several years ago somebody eating from a lunchbox raised astonishment. You can't imagine how happy I am to see every other client of my club paying great attention to what they eat. I am pleased to find out that my clients bring home-made bread or dietetic meals. This is when I feel that what I do really makes sense.

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