That Body Builder at LMAD…

Have you every worked out with someone who has just 3.7% body fat? 

Yesterday I did just that. And he definitely put me through my paces…


Isaac is Personal Trainer at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, and is also a finalist at the International Natural Body Building Championships which are taking place in Italy this October.

I caught up with him to ask him a few questions about his diet and training regime… (and then to be murdered in the gym)

 Congratulations on qualifying for the finals of the International Natural Body Building Championships – but what exactly does the ‘Natural’ part mean?

Natural means that we are not allowed to put any substances in our body. We are only able to take on protein, but no hormones or steroids. We are tested the day before the competition to make sure that everyone is following the rules.

You qualified in the amateur category. What defines amateur? 

This was my first competition, and I actually started by applying for the novice category, which is for beginners. But when I arrived at the competition, my body was at a higher standard than any of the others. My fried suggested that I compete in amateur (the next stage up), and so I did!

How long have you been weight lifting? 

I started weight lifting three years ago, but leading up to the competition I had to take it to the next level. I went for higher reps to shred, with 4 sets of each exercise. 1 x 20 reps, 1 x 16, 1 x 12 and 1 x 8. This helped me lose body fat and make my muscles become more defined.

So, what is your body fat percentage?

During the competition and up until now, my body has 3.7% body fat

Heres where, I nearly fell off of my chair

It is very very low, and so I have to keep an eye on my body and make sure that everything is OK. I have to make sure that I am exercising and eating well.

What do you eat? 

I don’t believe in strict dieting – I just eat clean. I have 5 meals throughout the day with a healthy balance of protein, good fats & carbohydrates. Every single meal is balanced, and I spread my carbs throughout the day. I don’t measure my foods. I just make sure it’s clean.

Up until around 2 months before the Natural Body Building Competition, I ate more and bulked, lifting heavier weights to add size to my body. Then I cut with a low fat, high protein diet to really define my muscles. Two weeks before the competition, I cut water as much as I could, only having it with protein shakes and little sips here and there. With one week to go, water cutting was very intensive. It’s a real struggle, everything is dry, your skin is so dry, and it’s really difficult.

Do you have a cheat day? 

No, I don’t have cheat days. To be honest, I don’t really like chocolate or KFC. I don’t drink alcohol or fizzy drinks either.

But are there things you do like to have? 

Yes, of course! I do remember about a month ago, my friend bought me this big bar of chocolate and gave it to me at home. Once I knew it was there in my kitchen suddenly it was everything! I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and then I ate the whole thing all in one go!

What about your training – cardio or weights?

Weights all the way! I haven’t done any cardio in five months!!

Talk to us about competition day…

Competition day is great. I wasn’t nervous – I was ready and really happy with my body because it was very defined. All of the work had been done by then, so I took on a little water before going on stage so I didn’t pass out!

Amazing job from Isaac! And we’ll be following him on his way to the finals of the International Natural Body Building Championships in Italy this October.

After we’d talked, Isaac agreed to take me through a little training session. I was pretty happy to hear that we were going to do a body weight circuit, but maybe my smile was too obvious – because he had definitely got rid of it by the end of the workout!

Here’s what we did:

Warm Up – 10 minutes treadmill

Circuits – Repeat x 3

Circuit 1 – 12 x Burpees / 12 x Press Ups / 12 x V Sits

Circuit 2 – 10 x Box Jumps (each side) / 10 x 25kg Assisted Pull Ups / 10 x Mountain Climbers (each side)

Circuit 3 – 10 x Tricep Dips / 10 x Crunches / 10 x Squats

To say I was sweaty was an understatement!!

As I mentioned before, Isaac is a Personal Trainer at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, and they offer various programmes to suit everyones needs. From single training sessions to their ‘Body Revolution’ packages – If you’re looking for a trainer in Abu Dhabi – this is the place to go!

Isaac works with everyones specific needs, and has a wide variety of clients. And he works to a time that suits you. He mentioned to me that a lot of training happens between 5:30 – 9am for the early risers, and then again from 5 – 11pm for the people that prefer to exercise after work. After a full body assessment, he’ll be able to create a plan that will work for YOU!

To contact Le Meridien Abu Dhabi to discuss their Personal Training packages, call +971 (0)2 6974 354

Unfortunately I had to rush off to a meeting, so I didn’t get a full opportunity to take photos of the full gym/spa facilities available at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back down there and give you a full round up soon!