About Rafal Augustynowicz
A Few Words About Me
Hey! My name is Rafal Augustynowicz. As a kid I was a short and funny fatty. Of course, becacuse of that, I was the subject of ridicule in my days at school. One day I said to myself NO MORE! I had to do something about it! It was then that I became interested in sport and dietetics. I had much more heart and enthusiasm for training than I had knowledge on the subject.
My first workouts, as surely most guys at my age, were the press ups, biceps curls and of course ABS crunches. The training I did every day throughout the summer when i was about 14 years old looked like:
30 min running
- Press ups (max)
- Biceps curl (5kg)
- Badly done abs crunches!
And my diet consisted of starving myself…
Despite the lack of knowledge, the effects were instantly visible! I went back to school as a new man. But soon I began to regain previously lost weight and I stopped training due to lack of time (school), and slipped back to bad habits eating wise.
I always was fascinated about fighting sports (as a kid I watched a thousand times American Ninja with Michael Dudikoff and all series of Dragonball).
At the age of 15 Years, I enrolled in Thai Boxing (I even once sparred with the then unknown Joanna Jędrzejczyk, a well known atm from UFC, I would not like to spar with her now
After the school holidays, and getting into High School, I once again had the time for my true passion. But my wrist was still not 100% efficient. After several months of rehabilitation, it was better, but the pain did not disappear completely. I stopped to train Thai boxing … During the next school holiday, I enrolled at a public gym. I was spending there all my free time (two months in Poland) watching and learning from others, now I know that some of them did not know what they were doing either! But they were bigger than me, so I was copying them with hope of the same results. Again, I lost a bit of fat, but my silhouette left a lot to be desired. I could not really gain any muscles. I trained too long and too hard. I was not eating enough, and my diet was very bad and unbalanced, hence no major effects…
When I got back to school I did not have the time to train again and commute to the city where my gym was(I lived about 15km from the city, in the complete middle of nowhere). And i just could not afford that..
I started to work more and save all the money. And in 2007 I bought my first bench, barbell and dumbbells. I put it all in a large utility room next to the house. This place became my new home. Inspired by Frank McGrath and his “ANIMAL JOURNEY”. I started my way to a perfect appearance. Litres of sweat, fatigue, pain – I loved it all, because through this I became better than myself from yesterday. I was increasing my knowledge about supplementation and training. I became stronger and fitter as a result, in the end, I become more confident.
With an on-site gym, I was able to finally start to train regularly. A minimum of three times a week. But still not doing well prepared workouts. Minimum of 3 exercises for chest and back, but only squats for legs (face palm)… The diet was still not perfect either but my knowledge about food was greater than before. And the good thing was that I wanted to learn more.
I then started my first real mass diet. I ate too much .. and not entirely healthy. But the weight and strength went up. I did know that the warm up is very important (I learnt that in Thai boxing lessons) But I didn’t stretch after workouts.. which is what negatively affected my health later on… I became less and less mobile and became slower. After almost a year of bulking up I decided to, as they say, cut the fat and see what I built.
I set myself a new goal for a 6 pack for summer 2008
At the beginning of 2008 I started to train more, jog and eat less. Not so drastically but significantly lowered calories. I tried supplements and new training techniques. I fell in love with HIIT and tried to bench press as much as possible to impress my friends.
Too fast I wanted to see the effects so again ended up starving myself a bit… This time I was smarter and knew i needed protein in the diet. So I only ate the protein and started to count calories. I tried not to exceed 1000 calories a day …After almost 2 months of starving (but then I did not know it was wrong)I was able to lose a lot and see my dream 6pack. But i paid for it with most of my hard earned muscle due to my ignorance and lack of experience…
After gaining my best form, I decided to go to the UK for a few months to earn some money for college. During those few months I worked 70 and sometimes 110 hours a week. I hardly slept and there was no time to train or stick to a diet. Sometimes if I finished earlier I tried to train with resistance bands and TRX. But the lack of diet and fatigue was evident. I returned to Poland after 4 months and immediately started training in the gym, trying to regain my old form.
2009, and fascinated by the sport, I enrolled in a school-Arrachion MMA, to broaden my knowledge of the martial arts. Under the supervision of really brilliant coaches: Pawła Derlacza and Szymona Bońkowskiego, (trainers of the best middleweight MMA fighter in Poland Mamed Khalidov) . The atmosphere at the training was great! Coaches perfectly able to motivate unimaginable effort and pass on their knowledge and skills. I could never wait for the next workout. I was studying in absentia, training in the week and weekends working as a security guard. My diet was getting better and I started to eat smarter.
A doctor’s judgment- discopathy. It seemed to me like the end of my dreams of being a cage fighter. I had to stop training my martial arts and gym. After 3 months of rehabilitation, every doctor strongly discouraged me doing any sports or at most recreational swimming in the pool. Lack of exercise and that motivation to keep the diet caused me to once again gain weight. But I always believed that I would come back to form.
I did not want to give up so easily! Even though my body was no longer looking like it once was and I was not fully functional, I was full of enthusiasm I started all over again. But this time calmly. Long warm-up, continuous rehabilitation exercises, I did everything. For 2 months every two days I was running 40 minutes and then doing the simple exercises I learned in the MMA training and then did some exercises in my gym. Just light but focusing on TUT (Time under Tension).
I went back to MMA training but the back pain was coming back very often, sometimes too strong to continue training.
I tried different diets from the Internet, read forums and tested myself on different types of diet. Low carb, paleo, diet by blood type. In the end, I began to understand how you need to eat and when.
I decided to go down to a lower weight class for my own safety. I practiced every day. My week was looking like this:
- 3x 60 minutes run
- 3x Strength Training
- 2 to 3x training MMA (Boxing/ Thai boxing / kick boxing / BJJ / sparrings)
I studied in absentia, so most weekends I spent learning for exams. Where possible, when I wasn’t working or studying, I was training and raising awareness about nutrition and sports.
I managed to come down from 89kg to 79kg. I paid for it with really great effort and it cost me a lot of sacrifices. I started to know my body and its reactions to the training and food. Many of my friends have asked me for advice and help with diets and workouts. It was for me the greatest reward and motivation for further effort. I decided that I would be the coach and I will do what I like best- helping others achieve results!
2 weeks before my first amateur cage fight at the end of 2009, I experienced yet another injury during training. Twisted left knee and a torn ligament. Again weeks without training and then months of rehabilitation. I then decided to end my adventure with martial arts and I abandoned my plans of becoming a coach.
Then everything happened quickly. I tried to go back to the gym several times. Always interrupting workouts due to old injuries or just trips abroad in search of better life. In 2010, I decided to go and stay in the UK. At the beginning it was very hard. I remember being homeless for 2 days and sleeping on the grass near Tesco in Sheerness, when I then took the risk of changing working on the farm for something better.
Later, I got a better job. I trained very rarely, usually i was running. Later I changed job and place of residence several times. I did forklift driver courses and applied to the company in which I wanted to work. My English was getting better. From the ordinary worker in a plastic manufactor company, and by hard work I was able in half a year became a shift manager. I tried to return to the gym, but unfortunately my injuries did not allow any longer than normal workouts. Due to changes in my posture, and increasing problems caused by a back injury I started to have problems with my right shoulder. It got to the point that I could not even lift my arm up… I started to take more and more days off at work. 2012 proved to be for me a year of visits to doctors and physiotherapists. Continuous research, ultrasound, MRI, etc. Questions were more and more but so was the lack of a response.
At some point during mid-2012, I could not even do 5 push-ups !! … I was depressed and weak. I’d had enough of the daily pain. Slowly I agreed with what the doctors said. I stopped eating healthy food. There were days that I did not want to eat at all and fell into depression. I stopped believing that I could ever again function normally.
In December 2012, after many months, finally I heard the diagnosis on the shoulder and confirmed the results of a slipped disc. And it was then I had a referral for rehabilitation.
Since the beginning of 2013, I spent a lot of time on rehabilitation and exercises. Despite the decisions of many doctors, I came back to the gym. There are no excuses! This is my whole life, something that I love and I want to do. it gives me strength and improves my moods! The first four months I practiced at home with almost no weight, just rehabilitation with resistance bands and basic bodyweight exercises. Later, I got back to a public gym. Friends laughed at me saying that I was training ballet when they saw how I was doing my rehabilitation exercises in the gym. I was not able to bring a 20kg dumbbell from the racks to the bench without putting my back at risk for the next injury or violation of my shoulder.
I started to look for alternative ways of training and nutrition. I could not do all the same exercises as other healthy people. I had to give up the deadlift, squat, different exercises without support for the spine and everything which put too much pressure on my back or shoulder. I was expanding expertise in training, and nutrition. I did not get rid of the pain completely !! But I got rid of thinking that i can’t achieve something because of it !!!
Injuries returned. I often had to take breaks for a week or 2. When ceased to ache, I started from scratch. In mid-2013 my back was much stronger and the situation with a shoulder was getting better. I even started doing light squats!
By accident I found a new diet, intermittent fasting (IF). After searching the internet on this subject, I decided to try it even though it contradicted many of my existing rules and what I had read earlier about diet. But, as I soon found out, it worked! IF brought me surprisingly satisfying results !! Without much effort I was able to in the first 5 weeks of intermittent fasting lose 11 cm in waist and lower my weight from 92kg to 86,5kg. Despite the weight lost my strength improved. With a loss of 5.5 kg, the arm circumference changed only slightly.I was gaining a little muscle mass when fat was literally disappearing. I had used already many different diets, some worked better, some less so and sometimes it was more counterproductive than I assumed it would be. But the system of intermittent fasting is simply convenient and brings good results.
In the 16 weeks I lost 16kg, I got my 6pak without losing strength or muscle mass even though I put into it a lot less work than I had in the past and continued enjoying my favorite products. I loved this diet and I started telling everyone about its effectiveness and simplicity.
I began creating a website about this diet to help others to lose kg. While starting to help a few of my first clients I found out that I cannot give people legal advice without the neccesary courses and licenses . Because I like to learn new things and learn about the sport, I saved money and started a sports nutrition course and took my gym instructor lvl2. Because I worked full-time. And courses were not in my mother language, it took me a few months. And I did it!
With the beginning of 2015, having a lvl 2 gym instructor license, I have changed job. Started to work at the gym at the same time I was doing a course for a personal trainer LVL3! Helping others in gaining their dream figures- and my client’s results brought me a lot of satisfaction and joy. After completing the course of PT in May 2015 I opened my first company! (Team Rafal Augustynowicz Fitness) But because I have such a difficult name, even the first name makes the problem in pronunciation I called the company TeamRAFitnes and every one calls me Raf.
I’ve trained and worked hard, I’ve helped many people. Many of my clients became my close friends. I love my job! I love sports! It is all my life and I would not trade it for any other! At the gym I met also my beloved girlfriend Ann, who loves to do squats and deadlifts. She can deadlift almost more than me and cooks great and healthy.
Halfway through 2016 and my clients are getting better and better results. Many of them have learned how to live healthily and how to effectively train. With many of them now I train too. Some are even stronger than me! I was able to reconcile training with injuries. I got a new hip injury, caused by an old knee injury. But now I know it’s not terrible! I am already working on this, and it won’t be too long before I get back to my goal -squat 200kg. For the last few months I am doing deadlifts too. Max 175kg at the moment but it does not matter because four years ago I could not even bend over and tie my own shoes!
I do not have time for all my own training, the whole day I spend in the gym helping others and in the evenings I train on my own weaknesses. I’m still learning, learning new methods and trying them on myself. Proven methods I use in my plans for my clients and the results speak for themselves. Due to lack of time I am not able to help everyone, I have to refuse some people my help which is what I hate! Then came the idea of a website or blog. To help more people at the same time. To show people the right path and help those, who like me few years ago, thought that nothing could be done… And so I made TeamRAFitnes.com! I will try to give you all my knowledge and experience so that you do not have to go through such a long and painful journey to your dream body and life on your own. When there is a smile on your face every morning, just before the hour running with your beloved partner, is a destination I want for everyone.