Joe Petreycik had always taken great pride in his weight-lifting ability. He'd been seriously lifting since he was 16. He was a strong guy, a former high school football player and college tennis player. Sometimes, though, what we want to believe is at odds with the truth.
Even with his exercise regimen, Joe weighed 225 pounds. (Once, not so long before, he'd weighed as much as 252 lbs!) But even 225 was too much. Too much, certainly, for his 5'7" frame. Oh, sure, he was strong. He had plenty of muscle mass. But he had plenty of excess fat, too.
"People always were mistaking me for a powerlifter, when all I wanted to be known as was a bodybuilder," Joe says. "In my mind, I saw myself as weak-minded, and a failure. I didn't like the way I looked in the mirror. I was constantly feeling like people were judging me, based on how I looked."
Joe knew what he had to do. Fortunately, he also knew the importance of setting yourself a desirable goal.
"In early December of 2006, I saw an advertisement for a local bodybuilding show in May that I wanted to compete in. What better motivation to start then having a specific goal and date to achieve that goal? I'm the type of person that works best under pressure. I made the plan to start by the end of the month and give myself enough time to achieve my goal."
To get started, Joe, an ICU nurse and a certified exercise physiologist in a busy inner-city hospital, had to rebuild his diet from the ground up. "For years, I was eating 6 meals per night, but they were definitely big meals, with too many calories." Joe started measuring his portions, and recalibrated his diet so it consisted of high protein, moderate carbohydrates, and moderate fat intake. He ate a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts, flank steak, and ground turkey. For carbohydrates, he relied on oats, yams, brown rice, broccoli, and mixed green vegetables. For fats, stuck to extra-virgin olive oil, all-natural peanut butter, and flax seed oil. His total caloric intake was 2,800 calories, including 300 grams of protein, 180 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of fat per day.
Joe lost about 5 pounds in the first couple of days, mainly water weight. Having a few less pounds helped him increase his endurance, providing him with more energy to get through the workouts. And then things got difficult.
"My energy levels were lagging, my strength was suffering, and my weight wasn't really decreasing. Most importantly, my body-fat levels were staying the same, and even increasing slightly over a 2 week period! With only about 10 weeks to go until showtime, I weighed 225 pounds, with 16.3% body-fat. I knew I needed to do something quick."
Tetrazene ES-50 came to the rescue.
"I went to my local nutrition store," Joe says, "and the salesperson introduced me to Tetrazene ES-50. He said many of his customers were getting great results with this product. Having explained to him the problems I was having with low energy, fatigue, and reaching that plateau in my training, he was confident that this product would help. I decided to give it a try."
Tetrazene ended up being just what he needed. "I had more energy, which not only helped my workouts along, but also enabled me to be more alert and productive on the job. Having taken various thermogenic fat burners in the past, including 'fat-burning legends of yesterday', I noticed Tetrazene ES-50 was different, in that it didn't give me that jittery feeling. This was a relief, since that would be a problem, especially when administering medications with needles and inserting IVs into my patients. Furthermore, I didn't experience a "crash" like I did with 'fat-burning legends of yesterday', on the days I didn't take the product.
"Another benefit was the weight really started to come off. My body-fat was finally decreasing on a weekly basis. In fact, even though I was losing weight, my strength was actually starting to improve! Tetrazene ES-50 turned out to be just what I needed at the right time. My appetite decreased, and the energy boost I felt from Tetrazene was very significant."
Ripped and ready to compete
In May 2007, Joe Petreycik took the stage with a rock-hard, chiseled 194-pound physique. He'd lost 31 pounds. In the competition, he placed 5th out of 11 in his weight class. He was pleased with the results, and he wants to take it further.
"My plan is to keep my body-fat under 12% for this year. I will increase my caloric intake, take a short break from Tetrazene, so my body will respond even better when I resume it. The way I see it is I'll be taking one step backward, in order to reach 2 steps forward. My goal is to compete next year in a heavier weight class, yet keep the conditioning I achieved this year."
We like his chances. No one mistakes Joe Petreycik for a powerflifter anymore.
Joe's Weekly Workout Regimen
Day 1 - Shoulders, Triceps, and Calves
Squats - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 5-10 reps
Hack squats - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps. 4 working sets of 5-10 reps
Lunges - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 2 working sets of 10-12 reps
Leg extensions - 1 warmup set of 15 reps, 2 working sets of 12-15 reps
Weighted crunches on decline bench - 4 sets of 15 reps to failure
Hanging leg raises - 4 sets of 25 reps to failure
Day 2 - Hamstrings and Calves
Lying leg curl - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 8-12 reps
Single leg curl - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 8-12 reps
Stiff-legged deadlifts - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 8-12 reps
Seated calf raise - 1 warmup set of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 25 reps
Standing calf raise - 1 warmup set of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 8-12 reps
Day 3 - Chest and Biceps
Incline dumbbell press - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Weighted dips - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Flat dumbbell flys - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 10-12 reps
Standing barbell curl - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
1-arm dumbbell preacher curl - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Reverse cambered bar curl - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 8-12 reps
Day 4 - Back, Traps, and Posterior Delts
Deadlift - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 4-6 reps
Front lat pulldown - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Bent over barbell row - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Dumbbell pullover - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Behind-the-back shrugs - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Bent over dumbbell rear lateral raise - 1 warmup set of 25 reps, 4 working sets of 15
Day 5 - Shoulders, Triceps, and Calves
Seated dumbbell press - 3 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Standing dumbbell side lateral raise - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10
Standing 1 - arm tricep extension - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps, 4 working sets of 6-10
Cable tricep pushdown - 2 warmup sets of 15 reps,4 working sets of 6-10 reps
Standing 1- legged calf raise - 4 working sets of 12-15 reps
Seated calf press - 4 working sets of 12-15 reps
For cardio, Joe started off doing 30 minutes, 3 days per week of the recumbent bike, treadmill, stairmaster, or stepmill. He kept his heart rate at 65-70% of my estimated max. Every 2 weeks, he gradually increased duration and frequency, to the point where he ended up doing 60 minutes of cardio every day. He would either do cardio first thing in the afternoon when he woke up on an empty stomach, or immediately after a weight training workout.