Posted 28 May 2011 by Interview:

Aesthetic Ripped Josef Rakich

Can you remember the first time
you picked up a dumbbell?

The first time I picked up a dumbbell was when I was 12 years old I got a set of two 2kg dumbbells for my birthday (lol) worked out my biceps for like one day then used them as a door stop and didn’t bother with them again, years passed and I had no interest in bodybuilding or working out at all, I was always into my sports though such as skating, soccer and cross-country. When I was 17 I joined up to my local gym (which I am now a contract personal trainer at) I went to the gym on a regular basis with a few mates from school and we trained biceps and chest every day, we didn’t know any better back then. As time went on I started noticing progress so I got more serious about my training and diet and stepped everything up, did alot of research online read alot of articles posted on alot of forums and applied everything learnt to achieving the physique of my dreams (which I'm still working on). Bodybuilding is now basically what I live for, it’s definitely my passion.

What’s the longest break you’ve had from
training since starting?

No more than 2 weeks I would say, every year I try and take 1 week off twice a year to prevent over-training of the central nervous system and let the body fully recover (I'm currently on my week off now as I’m typing this) so I have 1 week off when I feel I need to and one week off also over the New Year period as I'm always on holiday and with my mates and cannot make it to the gym because I’m up for like 5 days straight partying. Apart from that I will always make it to the gym no matter what, gym always comes first nothing gets in the way of the gym, this one time I cut my palm/finger open with some glass and needed some stitches, the nurse told me to have 2 weeks off from the gym to let it heal, it was literally impossible for me to keep away from the gym for that long, I was in there the next day training back and ripped them open again. But hey at least I got my back workout in.

You say you want to create the most aesthetic physique possible, what do you feel you need to work on to progress?

Everything,... you can always better yourself in some way or another, this year I'm trying to pack on some more mass, and then towards the end of the year I will do a cut and get even leaner than I have ever been. There is always things to work on and always ways to progress, mostly I would like to bring my calfs up though, so I'm working hard on them.

Who has helped or influenced you towards creating your current physique?

Frank Zane has influenced me alot, the first time I saw a picture of his physique I was like "wow” and I knew from that day on that was my goal physique in which I wanted to achieve, so I started training harder hoping to one day match the king of aesthetics in bodybuilding. Also Keith, my boss at work and owner of the gym I train at, he has helped me alot with creating my current physique, training/nutrition and also my mindset.

Do you have lucky genetics?

Yes I do have lucky genetics aesthetic wise I believe, which I am grateful for. But I do have "skinny guy" genetics, which sucks, before I started lifting weights I was literally skin and bones and couldn’t even break a toothpick, but hard work and dedication can out do those genetics no matter what.

Your very active on forums, in what ways has this benefited your goals?

Without I would not be where I am today, no way.. has helped me so much, there so much information on that site I have read so many articles about everything always improving my knowledge, and the forums are great also alot of great posters who help each other out its great and that site has benefited me so much I cannot even describe, the site keeps me motivated also.

If a newbie were looking to not only gain muscle but also create an aesthetically pleasing physique what would be your top three tips?

  • Work out a good training programme (and train hard)
  • Work out a good diet with a good calorie intake and good macronutrient break down for your goals (and stick to it)
  • Get in enough sleep

Do all of these to the best of your ability and you will achieve the very best.

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

I bulk and cut, over winter I like to bulk up and add as much size as possible then when summer comes I like to do a cut and get extremely shredded and ripped up. Even when bulking though I stay in single digit bodyfat percentage, I like to keep the physique in good condition year around, but when summer comes that’s when I get into top condition.

What are your favourite core/ab exercises and why?

  • Weighted roman chair crunches (nothing hits my abs harder)
  • Hanging leg raises (awesome exercise for the lower abs)
  • Decline twisting sit ups (good exercise for developing aesthetic oblique’s)
  • Stomach Vacuum (good for activating the transversus abdominis muscle which is the muscle responsible for pulling the abdominal wall back and also the muscle in which creates the "Adonis belt")

What’s most important to you nutrition or training?

Both are equally important.

Where do hope to be in 5 years?

In 5 years time hope to be a multi-millionaire and have one of the most aesthetic physique on earth and whatever else comes with that.

What is your training routine like?

I like to train each main muscle group at high volume 1x per week with abs/calf’s 2x per week (depending on DOMS), my routine as such always changes up every now and again I always like to add in new things, I usually train by time I try to spend 1.5 hours in the gym at a time. The rep range I use is all over the place sometimes I go heavy with low reps 4-6 then other times I use a rep range of like 25, sometimes even more. Muscle hypertrophy is caused by overload, weight is one form of overload, repetition is another form of overload so I like to use both, most of the time however I like to keep my reps around 10-12 as I find that’s a decent amount of reps and you can still use a solid amount of weight.

I don’t do any cardio currently, only during summer when trying to get extra lean, I try to hold off on cardio as much as possible until its really needed, I prefer just some MISS (moderate intensity sustained state) cardio 3x a week.

My days off are pretty chilled, I have saturday/sunday off because I like to go out on friday/saturday nights and don’t usually get home till about 4,5,6,7am so that chucks my sleep patterns out and its just to hard to train on the weekends when I end up waking up at like 12 during the day, so I like to keep all my training Monday to Friday.

Here is an example of how my current workout routine looks like (click to download printable PDF):

What is your diet when trying to get in peak condition?

Just the same as it is when bulking, except much less calories of course, I still like to keep protein high and carbs high, with fat intake moderate. I use to prefer high fat intake with moderate carb intake but now I have changed it slightly and prefer it like this. My food choices on a daily basis are:

  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Almonds
  • Brown rice
  • Mixed veggies
  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Protein shakes

What do you think about when you have to dig deep and push out that last rep?

How much do I really want this? ...This much.


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