Ripped To Shreds: Josef Rakich Talks With [Updated 2011]

How did you get started?

I have been into sports my whole life as I played soccer for about 11 years, 1st Division and Premier League. I was also into my skating on and off over the years as well and I was sponsored by a company over in America before I gave it up. Although with skating I had my fair share of injury’s and what not including internal bleeding in my knee cap and many more. I still loved it though; sport has always been a big part of my life.

At school P.E (Physical Education) was my favorite subject except for the days we had weight training, I use to hate that for some reason. Mainly due to me being the smallest/skinniest person in class!

One day my mum won a free “2 week gym pass” which she ended up giving to me.

I decided to use it and give it a shot at trying to build some muscle. When the 2 week free trial expired, I ended up joining the gym because I was hooked on it already. After a lot of hard work, and proper dieting I was able to see some results appear over time. Once I started to notice these little results I got even more hooked and became more serious about my training and dieting.

I guess now I am addicted, in a way it has become my ‘drug’.

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from many different places including the compliments I get in and out of the gym and also the people I train with. All these factors help motivate me and push me harder. The people I train with are also a big motivation to me as sometimes you just need someone there with you to push you for an extra few reps.

The gym gives me a natural high, I look forward to going every day. Just seeing results is enough motivation in itself to keep me going, setting goals and accomplishing them and working towards that ultimate physique.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

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.

Here is an example of how my current workout routine looks like:

Monday: Chest/Calves/TVA

(transversus abdominis muscle)

  • 6x Dumbell press
  • 5x Incline barbell press
  • 4x Dumbell decline flys
  • 3x Standing cable cross-over’s
  • 3x Dumbell pull over’s
  • 6x Standing calf raise
  • 5x Seated calf raise
  • 5x Standing on swiss ball (using TVA to balance)

Tuesday: Back/Core

  • 6x Rack pulls
  • 5x Weighted pull ups
  • 4x Barbell rows
  • 3x Seated low cable row
  • 3x Reverse pec deck
  • 6x Jesus Christ ab crunches on the roman chair
  • 5x Cable crunches
  • 4x Hanging leg raises
  • 3x Oblique twists with medicine ball

Wednesday: Quadriceps/ Hamstrings/Calves

  • 6x Barbell squats
  • 5x Leg press
  • 4x hack squat
  • 3x Leg extension
  • 3x Partial bodyweight squats
  • 5x Seated hamstring curl
  • 6x Standing dumbell raises
  • 5x Lying calf raises
  • 4x Donkeys

Thursday: Shoulders/Traps/TVA

(transversus abdominis muscle)

  • 6x Smith machine shoulder press
  • 5x Upright rows
  • 4x Dumbell lateral raises
  • 3x Plate front delt raises
  • 3x Cable face pulls
  • 5x Barbell shrugs
  • 4x Machine shrugs
  • 3x Calf machine shrugs
  • 20x Stomach vacuum
  • 3x Planks

Friday: Arms/Core

  • 6x Barbell curl
  • 5x Incline dumbell curls
  • 4x Preacher curls
  • 3x Hammer curls
  • 6x Tricep EZ bar push down
  • 5x Weighted tricep dips
  • 4x Skull crushers
  • 3x Rope extensions
  • 5x Jack knifes
  • 5x Ab crunch machine
  • 5x Decline twisting sit ups

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Barbell Squats: Easily the best exercise for the lower body, nothing can compare.
  2. Barbell Bicep Curls – In my opinion it’s the best mass builder for the biceps, and biceps is one of my favorite muscles to train, yet a muscle group I would like to bring up a lot this year.
  3. Dumbell Chest Press – Best upper body mass movement!

Also chest is one of my favorite muscles to train and nothing gives me a better pump than a set of heavy dumbell chest presses.

What is your diet like?

My diet changes often, at the moment I’m eating chicken and rice, some kind of a stir-fry mix I suppose, but I recently just came from a pizza diet which believe it or not I got sick of it (eating pizza every day).

The pizza was quite healthy and was perfect since it hit my desired macro goals (Click here for recipe).

Most of the time I eat 7 meals per day, but depending on what I’m doing or where I am sometimes I only eat 3 per day, however the overall calorie intake and macronutrient breakdown for the day is always equal whether I eat 3x per day or 7x per day, meal frequency itself isn’t important anyway it has no effect on the metabolism or metabolic rate. If I only eat 3 meals per day I consume 2 or sometimes even 3 of my meals in one sitting it just depends. I also believe that meal timing is also irrelevant, the only thing I make sure of is that I hit my total calorie intake and desired macros for my goals whatever they may be.

Sample Daily Diet:

  • Meal 1 – Proats (protein powder and oats mixed up)
  • Meal 2 – Stir-fry (Chicken/brown rice/mixed veggies/almonds/pizza sauce)
  • Meal 3 – Stir-fry (Chicken/brown rice/mixed veggies/almonds/pizza sauce)
  • Meal 4 – Stir-fry (Chicken/brown rice/mixed veggies/almonds/pizza sauce) + 1/2 cup or oats + banana
  • Meal 5 – Proats (protein powder and oats mixed up)
  • Meal 6 – Dinner (Steak/chicken/fish/etc… + veggies)
  • Meal 7 – Casein ice cream + peanut butter

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

No cardio at first just all diet, but if need be, to take it one step higher I will add in MISS (moderate intensity cardio) post-workout for about 20 or so minutes to speed things up, and sometimes I will perform HIIT but that’s only if I really need to get extra lean.

What is your supplementation like?

I just like to stick to the basics, here is what I’m currently using:

  • Optimum Nutrition – Whey protein
  • Optimum Nutrition – Casein protein
  • Controlled Labs – Orange Triad
  • Fish oil (from the supermarket)
  • Vitamin C (from the supermarket)
  • Calcium (from the supermarket)

Favorite Bodybuilders?

Frank Zane definitely, he has the greatest physique on this planet, amazing aesthetics.

Favorite Quote?

“Don’t talk about it, be about it”