Martin Petro WNBF Pro Lifetime Natural Bodybuilder & Massage Therapy Specialist

Becoming a World Champion

After successful year 2011 I`ve decided to take year 2012 off from competing. But it all changed once I heard the rumor that UIBBN World Championships will be held for the first time in Slovakia, my home country. It was beginning of the year, January or February. I was thinking a
lot about it and than said to myself OK, lets do this. I talked to my parents, to my brothers, and I had all their support. I was working as a personal trainer in Oldbury, close to Birmingham. I had lots of free time for training, posing, cooking, cardio, like never before. It was the life that I always imagined. I felt great and balanced.


11th of March I had training session with great Mark Oaks, great friend and World Champion bodybuilder. My body weight was 97,5 kg and it was one month before I started my official contest prep. I remember all the exercises and weight we were using like it was yesterday! Amazing experience and great session. Thank you Mark that you pushed me like never before.


I started with my contest prep in April with body weight 96,5 kg. My aim for the first contest of the year was qualifier NPA Midlands. 

The competition was 19.8.2012 and I was competing for the first time as a heavyweight. I weight – in 83,1 kg and came 2nd behind Mark Houghton, great competitor and friend who was giving me posing lessons just couple of days earlier 🙂 It was a great show and I really enjoyed that. I felt fantastic enjoying my progress.

Next stop was NPA South East qualifier on 9.9.2012 and this show was always my favorite. I won my heavyweight class O-78kg weighted 82,1 kg but lost in the overall to incredible Matty Alwell. It was an amazing experience, beautiful day in London, I remember taking sun outside before contest enjoying my journey. I was getting better and better and judges saw it. Michael Phillips knew my intention to compete at the UIBBN World Championships and he was encouraging me along the way. I asked for the feedback from judges and they told me that if I`ll keep improving I will be unbeatable. I was motivated like never before.



My next contest was NPA Mike Williams Classic & Pro-Am on 30.9.2012. I was still heavy for middleweight class ( weighted in 81,5 kg ) so I entered heavyweight class O-78kg again. I won my class and than the
overall which qualified me for the Pro-Am contest in the evening with another Pro bodybuilders or European/World bodybuilding champions. I couldn`t believe it. I was in my best shape ever and I almost didn`t make it to this show. I felt pressure for doing so many shows and I`ve got sore through, I felt so sick but I decided on the last minute that I will compete.


In the Pro-Am class were two other guys – Jason Barnett – World Champion and Paul Roberts – European Champion, and me. I won Pro-Am class and check for £300 plus Best presentation award and another £50. I was over the moon. It was very emotional win and for the first time I had tears in my eyes.

This contest is dedicated to Mike Williams, great bodybuilder and person who died couple of years ago and Michael Phillips with NPA doing great job promoting Natural Bodybuilding. I loved this venue and atmosphere was just electrifying… What a memories. On my way home I had so many big trophies that I almost didn`t make it to the train station! It was late night and raining but I was smiling from ear to ear…. Will never forget that.

After this win I knew I was about to do some big damage at the World stage…

8th of October I had one photo shoot with Shooting Guns in the gym. I had my regular shoulders and calves workout and except the end where I posed for a camera during the workout I was training heavy and fast as always. Great memories.

My next competition was UKDFBA  Open Championships 13.10.2012. UKDFBA  is new federation and I finished 2nd last year in U-80kg class. I knew that this contest is my ticket to the Pro Card in the future. Lee Kemp – the man behind this show is doing amazing job and the standard is just unbelievable.

I won my class U-80kg but lost in the Overall to Milan Panek who won also Pro Card.

I felt great and all I was thinking was UIBBN World Championships. I was so focused liked never before. The judges gave me great feedback after the show and even Lee Kemp invited me to compete in US with GB team but I knew I can`t afford it and I had to stuck with my plan. Richard Gozdiecky came to me backstage and told me that I look great and that competing at that body weight suits me.

Jon Harris – one of the judges and WNBF Pro World Champion gave me first place trophy and congratulated me on my win.  Amazing contest, people, judges, everything was so professional.

I was just under 78kg, if I remember I was 77,9 kg exactly. Hard as rock, or man of steel. I could see my veins everywhere. I knew it`s not gonna be easy as there was 8 competitors in my middleweight class U-78kg many of them past champions. I knew the battle is gonna be between me and Tsala Kabala.There was one more show in UK before I was heading back home for the UIBBN World Championships. NPA British Finals 28.10.2012 in Bedworth. The standard was amazing, many people, great atmosphere and camaraderie, true natural bodybuilding. I love being backstage, not just standing on stage. I enjoy all that process, warming up, talking to other people, watching other people doing weird things 🙂


I won British Middleweight Championships title U-78kg and was very happy with that. Tsala looked disappointed but that`s competition. Once you win, once you lose. I really enjoyed that battle between us two, I believe everybody in the audience loved it. I was confident I could do well in the Overall but I lost to Matty Alwell, incredible newcomer who never competed before! He looked amazing and won his overall British title. But I was very happy. My progress so far was amazing. My competitive year in UK was at the end but not my journey….


I was flying to Slovakia in the next couple of days for Kezmarska Grand Prix on 11.10.2012. It was just a one week before UIBBN World Championships and I was told that if I wanna compete at the Worlds I have to qualify through this competition. I didn`t understand as I just won British Middleweight title in UK but they had their own rules so I had to accept it. The only problem was my weight. According to their rules, with my height 173cm I could have maximum 76kg or less. I could not see from where I should cut that weight as I was hard as rock and ready to compete. So I had to eat less and doing more cardio just to make the weight class….


I won my category up to 174cm from 9 competitors but lost in the overall. I knew I am on my way to win World Title. I didn`t enjoy this show because I had to drop some of my weight and I didn`t feel good about it. But it was great experience and I met another good people on my way. One week to go….

UIBBN World Championships, Martin, Slovakia, 17.10.2012

My weight was 74,5 on the morning of the contest. I was competing in U-80 kg but could easily fit in U-75 kg class!! I looked amazing. My younger brother and my mum was with me in the hotel room the morning before the show to help me with my tan. I was dry and muscled from top to bottom. Veins everywhere, rock hard muscles and lines I`ve never seen before. I felt great. I was very excited but also relaxed at the same time. I felt I will win. I don`t know how but I felt it. I visualized it many times happen in my mind.


There was 7 competitors in my class, and I didn`t know any of them, one I noticed was big guy from Spain, he looked very good. I had my very good friend with me backstage from Hungary, Sandor Nagy, he was in U-75 or U-70kg category and looked great. He was helping me with pumping up and my tan. The atmosphere was amazing. I was not happy with organization as we were going on stage very late, was cold, inside was freezing, seriously…no heating… But I didn`t care. I was focused so much that even cold couldn`t take my attention. I felt very light but great. My posing was spot on and I was happy with my posing routine too. Finally they called our class on stage….


 I won U-80kg class and became UIBBN World Champion! I can`t describe how I felt but it was amazing….




My parents and brothers were in the audience, some of my friends came to support me too. I felt like I belong to Great Britain team as I was spending so much time with GB team and Michael Phillips. When he saw me he said “Martin, you will have great day today, you look amazing….” I knew what that mean 🙂

I can tell you one thing – I was the last man leaving the place…. It was around 11 pm or midnight when I finally got a chance to get a shower. My mum was waiting for me so she could finally hug me!!! I will never forget that moment.

On our way home I ate some home made cakes and I didn`t know how but 4 hours drive was gone. I came home in the morning with my World Championship medal and trophy and I didn`t sleep at all all day and night. I just couldn`t. Still have goosebumps when thinking about that day.

I enjoyed my family and food until the end of the year and in January 2013 I came to Prague where I was looking for place to stay and work to do. Another adventure and journey….

I remember talking to Lee Kemp back in UK that after I will win UIBBN World Championships I will retire…. He just smiled at me and said ” I know you will be back….”

To be continued….

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