Marko Petrović, master personal trainer has been achieving fantastic results for many years by applying a unique system for body redefinition, by managing both exercise and nutrition. For Reminder, Marko discusses the factors that determine motivation, how and why we falter and what is the quality of the food on our green markets.
„A frequent myth of the contemporary fitness industry is that exercise can let you can burn more calories than you ingest. This is possible, but only if you are participating in an Ironman contest, and I doubt there are many such people in your surroundings”, offers Marko Petrović, master personal trainer level 3, opening his conversation with Reminder. Marko’s team implements a unique system in body redefining, by taking into account both exercise and nutrition. Persistently, with dedication and sincere desire to help they manage behavioural changes and instil the principles of a healthy diet, using the latest scientific research as well as the experience they gained learning from the world’s top trainers, then built upon through their own initiative. In short, this is a team that truly knows what they are doing and how to achieve results that will not be short-lived but change people’s lives in a fundamental way.
“It is very important to have a nutrition plan that is well matched to the type of exercise you engage in”, explains Petrović. “If you exercise and pay no mind to your nutrition, you will not get results. Exercise and planned diet are two halves that make up a whole and, if they are not equally matched, there will be no success.” Another pervasive myth is that we must refrain from exercise if we have a physical problem. “The fitness club I run is full of people with herniated discs, women with Hashimoto’s and insulin resistance and many other issues, and exercise has been very instrumental in their management of these issues and has allowed them to feel much better.”
Taking on a sport, which will not be just for a season, and turning to healthy nutrition represent lifestyle changes, and this takes will power and motivation. Therefore, perhaps the greatest challenge lies in helping those that have spent their entire lives on a see-saw between wanting to change their lives and not being able to be bothered to start today.
“Back in the 1970ies, the famous psychologist Prohaska spoke of the types of personalities, classified according to motivation in terms of exercise”, says Marko. “Motivation for bodily change can have numerous origins. In my practice and in working with many different types of personalities, it turned out that the highest quality of motivation comes from within. External motivation is often short-lived. My advice to all people who spend at least some time self-contemplating is that they should awaken their physical entity and be prepared to face their problems head-on, through a realistic assessment of their situation. Ascetic lifestyle comes from self-love. Many people call me ascetic and it is true, but this comes from self-respect. When you respect yourself, you are on a good path from keeping your stomach from becoming a waste bin. When working with my clients, I advise them to be real with themselves. To look in the mirror, but also to be steered by the energy they feel. Energy is the strongest driver in live.”
Once we’re resolved to change our lifestyle for the better, things start to change. Still, many of us stray off this path, eventually returning to our old habits that we were so desperate to escape.
“Motivation for change usually decreases if there are no results,” says Marko. “Hitting a plateau or a stall in losing weight is our worst enemy. If the results keep coming, there’s not much chance that something will kick us off the wagon. I often quote a client of ours, who lost over 40 kg in less than nine months, who said that “the path of the program was arduous and long, but on the other hand, so simple and easy”. In every process – and the change of lifestyle is the most complex of processes, it is important to look at the big picture and become aware of what the process will bring to you, as you go down this road of change. And it will bring to you a feeling beneath your hands, an energy that no one can take away from you and enormous self-confidence and self-respect for having done something for yourself.”
Of course, Marko would not be able to lead such a program if his lifestyle did not set a living example for his clients to look up to. “To me, personally, exercise is deep under my skin,” he emphasizes. “I cannot imagine a day without exercise or some form of movement. A passive man is lazy and sloth is one of seven deadly sins. Exercise habits are forged in childhood, but my advice to all parents would be to pay attention to this aspect of life. I exercise every day, whether in my fitness club, or running along a river, riding my bike on Kosmaj, hiking the gorgeous mountains of Serbia, playing football with my friends, all the way to SUP boarding on a river or sea. For me, each season has an activity I enjoy. Belgrade is a gorgeous city with lovely exercise spots, from Košutnjak to Kalemegdan. Once a year, I SUP board with my friends on the Drina river and I think this contact with nature is priceless. Spending time outdoors is priceless. It is known that many a work of philosophy was formulated during walks through different landscapes. Exercise is something I deeply love, something that makes me feel good every day. We frequently see people start their workout unmotivated and ending it with their stress levels reduced and a feeling they could go on for a few more rounds. Training, in addition to making us stronger, is the archenemy to stress.”
Among other things, Marko built his expertise at professional development courses in America and England, where he graduated from the school of personal training and nutrition. “I think people are starting to take care of their nutrition,” remarks Marko Petrović. “There is increasing talk about organic food and this is where the company I work with, ZdavljeDeli, is looking for its place on the market. We have this luxury that each of us has a cousin in the countryside, producing food in the original way. In general, the planet is overpopulated, so genetic modification and increased exploitation to increase food production have led to people not taking care of the quality of said food. It is known that organic food in America and England is expensive and therefore inaccessible to many people. Our country has this advantage, considering that the people I meet are not wealthy, but are trying to eat healthily and buy high quality food. It is true that our green markets have a selection of local fruits and vegetables that still have the flavour they are supposed to have. I hope it stays that way.”
In the book he wrote, „21 gram“, it is written that purchasing food is 80 percent of the success in our attempts to eat healthily, as well as that ad hoc logistics make it harder to achieve a high-quality diet. “It is important to plan your meals and shop for food accordingly,” concludes Marko, adding that his favourite ritual is a trip to Bajloni green market on a Saturday morning, when he teaches his sons how to pick high quality foods.
By: Đurđa Petrović