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Hitting the gym with Nedik Nedev

БНР Новини
Photo: private library

When one hears the name Nedik, they think of a perfect body. That is because Nedik Nedev is a legendary name among Bulgarian fitness maniacs. His extensive knowledge in the sport is undisputed and experienced coaches often ask him for advice. Training with Nedik means lots of hard work, sweat and jokes and on the next day you feel that sweet pain in the muscles, telling you did not lose your time. Nedik was born in 1970 in Bogota, Columbia. He was youth champion in bodybuilding in Costa Rika and Nicaragua. He has been Bulgarian champion three times and Balkan vice-champion once. His idol is Schwarzenegger. In 1993 some boys asked him to help them in training and that is how he gradually became fitness instructor. “At the beginning of the 90s fitness in Bulgaria was not very popular but soon a great number of people started coming to the gym,” Nedik Nedev recalls. We asked him how it feels seeing one’s body change thanks to his work:

“It is great. But my role is not so big. My work is probably 30 percent and the rest is the result of personal dedication. When you see people have motivation to change this gives you unique satisfaction. It is nice to see people changing for the better.”

You would always see Nedik training in clothes showing his perfect shape, which is a good motivation for those who train. What are the basic rules one should follow?

“Food is the most important thing. Petar Dunov said that you become what you eat and this is true. Training is important but food and sleep are even more important. If I started to eat unhealthy food I would immediately start gaining weight. That is why throughout my life I have always tried to eat healthy food,” Nedik says and adds:

“The basic rule is to eat small amounts of food 5-6 times a day. One should focus more on proteins and vegetables and less on fruit and carbohydrates. One should eat more meat and vegetables. Oats are also good food. If a person feels the urge to eat low- quality food like pies, chocolate, etc., then it is better to do it in the morning. It is much easier to keep in perfect shape after accepting this diet as a lifestyle." 
Nedik is convinced people who do not practice sports and who are slightly below or slightly above the normal weight range would need three hour-and-a-half workouts a week for a period of six months to get in good shape. 

Gym goers are often reluctant to seek help from fitness instructors and ask other advanced trainees in the gym. However, their instructions are often contradictory and involve risks, so it is better to trust the professionals, Nedik says and adds:

“A hundred people - a hundred opinions. What works for one person would not work for another. That is why fitness instructors focus on individual needs. Often younger gym goers do what the rest do, which is a wrong approach. Other common errors include very hard and long workouts and indiscriminate use of drugs. People think that drugs would allow them to achieve success quickly. But there is no magical pill. One needs to work out a lot,” the long-time instructor says. He would never recommend chemical supplements to those who work out for good shape but says it was absurd to think professional athletes could achieve their results without chemicals.

We ask Nedik about the recent scandal with 99 athletes implicated in the use of meldonium, which is used as anti-ischemia medication and was included in the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in January 2016. Bulgaria’s Paralympic shot put athlete Stela Eneva was also accused of taking doping. Who are those to usually fall into the doping trap? Are the richest nations the only one who can afford the development of new stimulant substances that can not be caught?

"In general, those who develop such substances are always one step ahead and are linked to the anti-doping watchdogs. Highly-paid athletes use the services of personal doctors who should know about all substances in the WADA list, which is updated each month. The number of medications included in the list is huge. For example, if you use simple Visine eye drops to treat eye irritation, you may fail a test because they contain a substance included in the list. One needs to constantly consult highly paid doctors in order not to make an unwanted mistake and fail a doping test,” Nedik Nedev told Radio Bulgaria.

English: Alexander Markov

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