For the second time in a row, the king of Italian bodybuilding qualified for the most famous competition in the world: “It’s like the World Cup final. People see us on stage but don’t see our fatigue. Kissed by genetics? No, but I’m not giving up “
In recent sport there is a divisive anecdote, you listen to it and take a stand: Evra goes to dinner at Cristiano Ronaldo’s, expects an evening of emerald life and instead finds at the table chicken breast, plain salad and water, plus two dribbles as a dessert to digest. Team Evra: you are a legend, relax every now and then. Team Ronaldo: If you relax once, you are no longer a legend. Andrea Presti, 34, is Team Ronaldo, and this is how he has become the greatest Italian expression of bodybuilding.
For the second year in a row he qualified for Mister Olympia, the elite of world bodybuilding, the platforms that made Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscles immortal and from which Italy had been missing since 1993: “Here, from here you understand why Ronaldo at 40 is still at the top. As a bodybuilder it is an aspect that I like “. Soon he came to visit us in the editorial office of the Gazzetta, and to tell us about his climb to the Olympus of muscles.
You started with Judo, you also played in the pre-Olympic for Beijing 2008. What happened then?
“That I realized that I liked physical enhancement more than combat. And then I tell the truth: I was not a phenomenon on the mat … “.
I have a good predisposition to put on muscle, but my basic physique is more like a sprinter
Hers, they say, is a sport where you have to be kissed by genetics. Did you receive this kiss?
“Nì. Compared to the average, I have a good predisposition to put on muscle, but I don’t have the characteristics of the classic bodybuilder. Indeed, basically my body is more like a sprinter: I am 1.80, basic slender, the top players of my sport have a different conformation. Take Big Ramy (Mamdouh Elssbiay, winner of the last two Mister Olympia, ed): he is not human, he has a body like those who are born once every 30 years and fate would have it that he has also chosen the right sport … “.
And how does she compete with people like that?
“With a soldier’s head. When you have a genetic limit you are at a crossroads: either you give up and accept mediocrity, or you compensate with more training and diet what genetics didn’t give you ”.
“Dorian Yates. Someone like me, a dry guy from Birmingham that no one would ever put a dime on, who has become a bodybuilding myth thanks to work ethic. He never wanted to move to the US and has always trained at his home, in a gym without bathrooms that looks like a basement. Yet he tore up all the American phenomena kissed by Mother Nature. They are more beautiful and predisposed, he is very well prepared “.
“The World Cup final, NBA final game 7, Wimbledon … A stuff that you know exists when you start working out but you are almost afraid to say”.
You go back: what lesson do you bring with you from last year?
“That humility pays. Last year in the qualifying race everyone gave me a favorite and this year as well, but I never thought for a single moment that I was. I just think about bringing what I have to the stage ”.
But sorry: a football match is played, a race is run. How do you compete on a bodybuilding stage?
“This is one of the problems of bodybuilding. You see a cyclist pushing hard uphill, you see a footballer playing, our sport has a huge bad luck: in the final act, that of the race, we are not called to show what we do every day to get to be like this. People see muscle, not fatigue. They see you pulled, oiled, in a thong and they think you’re just a braggart. ”
What matters on stage? The condition, then a well done posing. And then the charisma, but with that you are born …
Describe it to us, your fatigue.
“I wake up at four, I prepare the shaker, an hour of cardio, breakfast, some PC work, first weight training, shower, another meal, short recovery and more weight training. All this by eating rice and chicken, and sometimes in minimal quantities because in competition you have to arrive with the lowest percentage of fat possible. If one saw us on such a day, we would be more respected. And the exhibition would go beyond the aesthetic sense “.
Let’s go back to food: how much do you eat?
“From a minimum of 2,500 to a maximum of 4,000 calories per day, in the period of off season I also get to 7,000. All divided into six meals, the first at 6.30-7 in the morning and the last at around 11 pm. Sometimes I place one in my table even at night: if the calories are low and you are very hungry, you do not fall asleep easily. .. ”
How do they rate you? Is there any trick to stand out?
“The thing that is most evaluated is the condition. All the same, an attractive posing: who moves better on stage makes the difference. The important thing is to hide the fatigue, posing is very hard: if someone who contracts the muscles to the maximum and shows fatigue it seems that he is not well, if instead he shows a relaxed face it makes a good impression. We are like ballet dancers: they stand on pointe, have pain and smile. Then there is the charisma, but with that you are born, and some little superstition. Ronnie Coleman had a shot of vodka the night before, Kevin Levrone a martini, some don’t sleep … ”
Myths about bodybuilding, number one: you think about it and you come to mind steroids, injections, doping …
“Doping exists in this as in all sports. But the pharmacological component is always a choice of the subject. If it moves? I’ve seen people who have never taken anything have better results than those who have worse genetics but used them ”
Myths, two: bodybuilding trains hypertrophy and not strength.
“Anyone who says this does not know physiology. Strength is directly proportional to the cross section of a muscle. The bigger the muscle, the more it pulls up ”.
Myths three: you stop lifting weights and become obese.
“In any sport where sports conduct affects the physicality, if one stops, one regresses. It is up to the person to choose whether to continue to keep fit or not ”.
Sincere: have you ever said “But who the f … makes me do it?”
“Never. I understand that it is difficult to stay on a diet all the time, take time away from friends and family, I know it can be too much. But there is nothing else I like to do more. The best time of my day is when I train, the best time of the year is when I compete. When this is no longer the case, I will stop ”.
August 29, 2022 (change August 29, 2022 | 14:09)
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