Sunday, September 04, 2011

IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos reveals the secrets of his success

A few days before the 2011 Mr. Olympia, at Las Vegas

IFBB Pro MIchael Kefalianis was born and raised in the Dodecanese, Greece, on the small island of Kos. Born on August 16, 1970 into a family of 13 siblings, he finished school and started working at a young age. Stone masonry was his main job, which helped his build, especially his now massive quads. Lifting 50+kilo slabs up 4 or 5 flights of stairs every day.

After the completion of his military duties, he joined a gym to lose some weight he had gained. He noticed some of the men lifting weights. He studied their routines, and decided to try it out. He loved it! He became very addicted, not missing a workout. The following year he met Helen, a Greek Australian that was holidaying in Kos. They fell in love and got married in 1991. Soon after they moved to Adelaide Australia for 4 years where they had 2 children, and he became an Australian citizen.

Moving back to Kos, they had two more children. He became a taxi driver for living.  Meeting up with an old friend and gym owner David Balasas, they discussed Michael competing in the local competitions. On his first try he was placed second. Excited and ready, he then went onto compete in WABBA Mr.Hellas, which he won numerous times. Playing as a pro in WABBA in the European competitions was challenging, but something was missing. His all time dream was to step onto the Mr.Olympia stage.

He took some time off, after leaving WABBA, to build up good quality mass on his frame. He was given the opportunity to play in Germany, where he won local and over all competitions and was offered the chance to fulfill his dream. To become an IFBB Pro. Through the Australians he started his journey of competing with other  bodybuilders which he once looked up to and admired.

Since becoming a Pro in 2008, he has slowly but surely risen in ranking. He is currently ranked 17th, competing in his second Mr.Olympia, September 15, at Las Vegas. Sponsored by American supplements MHP, and placing better than ever in competitions, Michael has been given the name of «Mr. Conditioning» due to the fact he’s the most ripped, shredded and always in better condition than his previous competition.

IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos
So, how much are you dedicated to the sport?
Micheal Kefalianos: I have been pumping iron for almost 21 years now, loving it and never miss a workout. I have been married for 19 years to Australian Helen and we have 4 wonderful children ranging in age from 10 to 18.

I guess, having a family of 6 needs dedication and it takes a lot of your time. How do you handle it?
M.K: I drive a taxi for a living. Helen takes care of my meals. 6 meals a day of mainly egg whites, chicken, potatoes, fish, and rice. A bit boring to some people but it has become a way of life for me.

What's your daily schedule?
M.K.: My day is basically the same everyday, I  work up to 12 hours during the summer. Living in a tourist island, we have an amazing amount of people here everyday. I keep my meals with me. Then, when I finish work, I go to the gym, train for about one and a half hours. Then home to have my last meal of the day. In winter I do less hours in the taxi because of no tourists, and spend more time at home.To be honest, we are a very normal family.

So, Helen takes care of your meals. What about your training?
M.K.: I train with my friend David Balasas, which I owe much of my success. With out him and my wife Helen I would not of reached my goals.

How do you split your daily training schedule at the gym?
M.K.: We train a different part of the body everyday, My split goes like this:
Monday: Shoulders
Tuesday: Quads
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Hams/Calves
Friday: Chest
Saturday: Bis & Tris
Sunday: Off

Will you reveal your sets and reps for our readers?
M.K.: Off course, I will. There is nothing to hide.

My sets and reps are:

Shoulders: Behind neck press: 4 x 8-12 reps
Front neck press or dumbbells: 3 x 8-12
Side Raises: 3 x 8-12
Front Dumbbell Raises: 3 x 8-12
Reverse Machine Flies (rear delts): 3 x 8-12
Shrugs: 3 x 8-12

Quads:Hack Squat: 4 x 8-15 reps
Leg Press: 3 x 8-15 reps
Leg Extensions: 3 x 8-15 reps
Adductor machine: 3 x 8-15 reps
Abductor Machine: 3 x 8-15 reps
Sissy Squats: 3 x 8-15 reps

Back: Front Pulldown or Chins: 4 x 8-12
Behind Neck Pulldown: 3 x 8-12
Close grip pulldown: 3 x 8-12
Dumbell Rows: 3 x 8-12
Low back pulls: 3 x 8-12
Hyperextentions: 3 x 8-12

Hams/Calves: Lying leg curls: 4 x 8-12
Standing leg curls (alternating): 3 x 8-12
Stiff Leg Deadlift: 3 x 8-12
Lunges: 3 x 8-12
45 degree leg press machine for calves: 3 x 15-20
Standing calf raises: 3 x 15-20 reps.

Chest: Incline Smith Machine: 4 x 8-12
Decline smith press: 3 x 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 x 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Flys: 3 x 8-12
Peck Deck Machine: 3 x 8-12
Cable Cross Over: 3 x 8-12
Pullovers or dips: 3 x 8-12

Biceps & Triceps: Barbell Curls: 4 x 8-12
Preacher Curls: 3 x 8-12
Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8-12
Hammer Curls: 3 x 8-12

Tricep Pushdown: 4 x 8-12
Cable Pushdown: 3 x 8-12
Flat bench dumbbell French press: 3 x 8-12
Kickbacks: 3 x 8-12

Who else is there to support your dreams?
M.K.: Last year I was lucky enough to be signed up by a great company MHP, that has helped me to reach the  Mr.Olympia stage in 2011. They have a wide range of products from proteins to vitamins. Great tasting proteins, and I have seen wonderful results with the products. Their web page is

The MHP products

My major sponsor here in Greece is Alex Siatravani of healthy2day. He was kind enough to take on the MHP brand also for distribution in Greece, and it is going very well. He has been a sponsor and father figure for over 10 years. I owe him at least this recognition.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and friends  that have  supported me and been patient when I had it rough, my trainer David and my fans, for their kind words, their love, and I hope to make them proud once again in the Mr.O.

What advice would you like to offer to all the new athletes?
M.K.: To all the new athletes I want to mention, if they love the sport enough and want to further their dreams outside of the regular workouts at the gym, anything is possible, with the right support of family and friends. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve whatever your heart desires. Don’t listen to the negatives that people offer, there might be another reason for it.

When I met my wife in 1991, I was just 21 at that time, and had been in the gym for only 1 year, I told her: "One day I want to step on the Mr.O stage". She believed in me enough to help make that dream come true, not once, but twice and hopefully many more to come.

1 comment:

Does P90X Work said...

Great interview. Thanks for posting.
I like reading the success stories of the fitness / BB world, I think they help keep us on the path to succeeding our goals. Bring it on :)
Toby | Does P90X Work