High Performer: Antoni Pecora
Tell us a bit about yourself and give us an insight as to how you got into the world of fitness?
My background is in professional sport, I was a footballer for Aston Villa and several other clubs in the UK and Australia. I didn’t actually enjoy working out or being in the gym at all while playing. I was too interested in just playing. I got into fitness whilst in Australia and I am truly grateful for the places it has taken me and the opportunities it has given me.
As a celebrity coach, how would you encourage fitness enthusiasts to be more objective and not indiscriminately follow extensive celeb workout regimes?
Most celebs workout these days because it’s a prerequisite for their line of work. I think the key to sticking to anything is that you realise the benefits it has for you and that you have to enjoy it. Sticking to workout routines isn’t for everyone and most people don’t have the intrinsic or extrinsic motivating factors as most celebs do. Everyone’s body and genetics are different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try things they are doing or copy and paste them into your fitness routines, but do find the right balance.
Who is the most interesting or eccentric person you have ever trained?
Most interesting for me personally was Ranbir Kapoor. I came over to India to train him and didn’t know anything about him or much about Bollywood. I had travelled to India as a backpacker in 2008 and absolutely loved it here. I’d even seen some movies played on buses as I made my way around so I knew it was big over here. I did not have a full comprehension of just how big though. It’s very impressive with how he and other celebs deal with it at times. Also being part of All-Stars FC I get to be around lots of interesting and eccentric characters. I’m very honoured and blessed to be their coach and part of the playing squad.
Tell us about the diet routine that you follow to remain healthy and maintain your gorgeous six-pack abs?
My diet routine is fairly similar every day, I love eggs in the morning with green tea and coconut water. I will usually have a protein smoothie with almond milk and oats mid-morning. The chicken or lamb wraps during the day as they are easy for me to eat on the go. For dinner, it will vary but it will always contain a good amount of protein with vegetables. It’s important you plan your meals and/or prepare them. That way you aren’t left with no other option than to get something you know you shouldn’t be eating on a daily basis. Keeping your diet simple but varied helps keep you on track and things in your control, which is over half the battle.
Powerlifting has grown in popularity over the recent years, what do you think is the future for the sport?
Powerlifting is great fun and very addictive. Just make sure you do it safely and treat it with respect. I think powerlifting can certainly get bigger and better. Our interest in fitness, our understanding of the body and exercise has skyrocketed the last ten years or so. I can’t wait to see where it is in another five/ten years.
What is your favourite non-traditional form of exercise?
Walking places and exploring on foot, be it in nature or a city. I’ve done some amazing treks and hikes all over the world and in India.
What is your take on natural bodybuilding? Do you think it is possible for someone to get a good body without the use of steroids?
It is 100 per cent possible. Most people assume that if you take steroids you automatically get a great body, which is a long way from the truth. It still requires a lot of dedication and hard work. I’m very much against steroid use and that’s probably not a popular answer in certain circles believe it or not. Yes, there are ways to use steroids that are safer than others. However, none are without side effects nor do we fully understand the lasting long term effects they can have on us. If you are a regular gymgoer or fitness enthusiast stay well away from them.
The best piece of fitness advice you have received?
You are what you eat, so eat what you want to be. Water and food give us energy, balance our moods and hormones, repair and replenish our bodies. The amount and type we consume in most cases are directly correlated to how we look and feel. So if you want to be healthy, happy, and lean, eat with that in mind always.
If you were not in the fitness industry, what would you be doing right now?
Surfing/skiing instructor or some form of outdoor pursuit work. I’m highly adventurous, fairly fearless and love pushing myself. You could say I enjoy things that get my adrenaline going.