Matjaž Antončič from Slovenia has been building muscle for 12 years. He began as a skinny, 191cm tall guy – at the beginning he had 74kg, and over the last 12 years he build 26-28kg of rock hard muscles; now he weighs 100-102kg. Antončič shared with us his story – why and how he began to build muscle and what his diet and training strategies look like.
12 years of bodybuilding, 12 years of discipline, 12 years of learning, 12 years of satisfaction and progress.
- For how long have you been building muscle?
It’s been 12 years now.
- Do you train at home or do you go to the gym?
Mostly at home, but sometimes I also hit the gym.
- Why did you start exercising?
Out of curiosity and because my friend made a bet that I wouldn’t stick to it for more than 1 month.
- How often do you exercise?
4 times a week.
- Do you pay more attention to a particular type of your body? Why?
No, I train my whole body. My weekly routine looks like this:
– Day 1: 4 exercises for chest + 3 exercises for triceps
– Day 2: 5 exercises for legs +1 exercise for calves
– Day 3: 7 exercises for back + 3 exercises for biceps
– Day 4: 7 exercises for shoulders + 3 exercises for abs
Sometimes I combine the exercises a bit differently, but in general I follow this routine. Well, I’m not a pro and I don’t participate in any competition, so my training load is enough for my hobby training level. The guys who train for competitions have 5-6 training sessions a week; before the competition they even train 2 times a day plus doing cardio exercise plus following a strict diet – every gram counts!
- Besides going to the gym, do you do any other physical activity?
Yes, I play basketball.
- Do you follow any special training program?
No, after all these years I know my body so well that I know what I like and need. Sometimes I shock my muscles with different exercises, different number of repetitions or weightload.
My classic training routine consists of 4 x 10-12 repetitions and 4 sets. I also pay attention to the intensity of my training – I usually train for 60 minutes, but never more than 75 minutes.
- Do you pay attention to your diet? Do you take any dietary supplements?
Not really, but I like the foods which are recommended for building muscle, such as white meat, potatoes, pasta, rice, salads etc.
I also take supplements: whey, Glucofast, BCAA, Omega-3, vitamins, ZMA, Booster.
- Have you ever suffered injury as a result of training? What kind of injury? What was the cause?
When I started to train, I hurt my shoulder while doing Smith Machine Behind Neck Shoulder Press. I suffered an injury because I lifted too many kilos and because I didn’t execute the exercise correctly.
- What would you advise beginners?
In the beginning, find a personal trainer for 3-4 month who will teach you the basics – proper breathing, how to choose suitable exercises and how to execute them correctly, fitness diet. If you don’t get the basics right, there’s no real progress, you can lose motivation or even suffer an injury.
Would you like to share with us anything else?
Strength training is all about discipline and hard work. If you train with joy and pleasure, you’ll see results faster (but you have to get the basics right).
For me, building muscle has become a way of life and I can’t imagine my week without my four training sessions. We are all different, so what fits me may not fit other guys – this goes for the training strategy as well as diet. General guidelines and rules are, of course, known and can be found in various sources, however, if you want see specific, definite results you usually need to adapt the training and diet to your individual needs.