Meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger Convinced Me To Go Natural!

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Like many of his well-sculpted peers, Michael Ferencsik credits Arnold Schwarzenegger with giving his passion for bodybuilding a good, er, pump, some 25 years ago.

Only the meeting actually pushed the 44-year-old Ferencsik, who next month competes in the International Natural Bodybuilding Association’s Natural Olympia IX competition in Australia, away from pursuing his passion for a living.

“He said, ‘Either you compete at that level and do what they’re willing to do or stop dreaming and go on to another career, he remembers. “It blew my mind.”

From that day on, Ferencsik, a Naples resident for the past 17 years after moving from New Jersey, has pursued that dream as an amateur, without the benefit of pharmaceutical performance enhancers.

“I won’t succumb to that for 15 minutes of fame and have it threaten my life,” he said. “I really wrestled with it. I was close to doing it, I was encouraged to do it, and I chose not to. From that day on, I’ve never looked back.”

Ferencsik, who earned his trip Down Under by placing second in his division at the Team USA and Forever Natural Championships in Las Vegas last month, is one of a handful of men and women from the U.S. to compete in the world competition. He will vie with athletes from 37 other countries — all tested every 60 days under Olympic guidelines — for the Natural Olympia title, the world’s most prestigious natural bodybuilding title.

It’s the first such trip for the 5-foot-11, 178-pounder, who competes at around three percent body fat.

“I’m not nervous because I’m dialed into my shape and I know I’ll do well,” he said. “It just depends on how the cards fall that day.”

Ferencsik is also the founder of the Kids Fit Club, which he started last spring to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids age 8-17. He runs one-hour sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Naples Art Center (at 2230 J and C Blvd.), stressing cardiovascular, endurance, strength and speed training.

“Fifty percent of children in the U.S. are overweight, and it’s going to equate to an adult population that has a shorter life expectancy than I do. That’s a sad statement,” Ferencsik said.

Still, he occasionally springs for his 10-year-old daughter Olivia’s Happy Meal after dance practice.

“Keep them away,” he said with a laugh, “and they’ll get it anyway.”

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Comments on Meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger Convinced Me To Go Natural! »

August 2, 2007

henry vivian

sir, iam currently 62 kgs iand iam 159cm tall i want to get down to 55 kg will this loss in fat build my muscles and my only cardio workout is skipping and i go to the gym to build muscles please giude me on this concept that will losing fat make mucles more ripped and more clearly seen

November 15, 2007

Eugene Calloway

I just wanted to say “Thank You” for all your input, I am trying to save up for your diet DVD and will get it.
Congratulations on your win as well, anybody who is willing to help people in the way that you do, well I just cannot say enough about you.
Thank you,
You kept me from making a huge mistake or at least helped me to make a decision that could have been life altering and would have taken away from the pride I feel of doing it on my own without chemical help.
again, Thank you,
Eugene Calloway

November 17, 2007

Michael Ferencsik

Eugene: Comments like yours is what gives me the passion to promote drug free sports like I have done  for the last thirty years . If I can encourage one person to keep their distance from the devestating effects of performance enhancing drugs , to me it’s worth all the time and effort I put into it. Thanks for taking the time to listen and to hear what I have to say. Enjoy the natural bodybuilding lifestyle and if there are any questions you have along the way I look forward to answering them for you. Train Hard , Eat smart ,Stay Natural

Michael Ferencsik

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