On Saturday, April 14th, 2012, four first-time competitors took to the stage at the 2012 OCB Eastern Regional’s Bodybuilding Championships in Baltimore, MD.  Each brought a level of symmetry, poise, and beauty to the stage they had never before achieved, and each walked away victorious, placing within the top 5 of all categories entered.  The reward: a boatload of trophies and medals; but more importantly, a new found sense of discipline, pride, and personal accomplishment, each knowing they had brought their own personal best to the table.

First off was Sandy Aja.  Sandy began her journey with David Johnston Training in October of 2011.  She already worked out regularly, and wanted to do “something more” with her fitness.  She decided she wanted to compete in her first physique competition, potentially taking part in the Figure Division.  After meeting, we agreed she would be best suited now for the Bikini Division, and immediately put her on an aggressive training and nutrition regimen.  Starting at 5’4” and 130lbs, Sandy had the stated goal of adding muscle mass and stripping fat, hoping to get down to 115lbs.

At the show, Sandy took to the stage at a ripped and muscular 110lbs, surpassing even her own expectations.  She ended up taking 5th  out of 12 in the Bikini Division, taking home a hefty trophy.  More importantly, Sandy proved she had the work ethic and drive to train like a beast and let nothing stop her.  David and Nikki Johnston now have no doubt that with another year of dedicated training, Sandy will be able to completely transform her physique and be competitive in any Figure show she decides to enter.


Next up was Sara Pearson.  Sara approached David in September of 2011, standing at 5’5”, 130lbs.  Sara’s goal was to build muscle while stripping fat.  Already in the gym several days a week, Sara found she had hit a plateau, and wanted something more ambitious to motivate her workouts– thus deciding to aim for her first Bikini competition.  Sara rapidly proved to have a tremendous work ethic, paying attention to detail and implementing her program design perfectly.

In a matter of just over 6 months, Sara was able to bust through her plateau, build new muscle mass, and strip her frame down to 115lbs on stage– all while studying for and passing the Maryland Bar Exam and beginning regular work as a lawyer!  She walked out last Saturday like a seasoned professional, carrying herself with tremendous stage presence and grace, and nabbed a 4th place finish out of 12 in the Bikini Division.  David and Nikki Johnston are incredibly proud of the strides Sara has made these past few months, and can’t wait to see what’s next for her!

After meeting Sandy Aja and Sara Pearson last fall, David Johnston, their trainer, decided it would be a good idea for all of them to actually attend their first physique competition.  Sandy brought along her boyfriend, Dr. Martin Ozimek, an aerospace engineer with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab who helps design space missions to the moon, asteroids, and comets for NASA http://sites.google.com/site/mtozimek/   Marty had already been lifting weights and living the bodybuilding lifestyle for a good chunk of his life, but had never found the time to actually step on stage and compete.  David offered his help to Marty, telling him that he had tremendous potential should he ever decide to compete.  Figuring now was a good time– it certainly wouldn’t hurt to support Sandy in her own journey– Marty also committed to prepping for his first show.

By and large, Marty handled all of his own training, and only went to David for overarching advice on his contest diet, cardio regimen, posing instruction, and overall programming to get him into the best shape of his life.  Over the course of four months, Marty transformed from a very-in-shape 218lbs, to a ripped-to-the-bone 187lbs.

Marty ended up being the “surprise of the night”, taking first place in the Men’s Debut Bodybuilding Division, first place in the Men’s Novice Heavyweight Bodybuilding Division, winning the Men’s Bodybuilding Novice Overall title, and placing 3rd in the Men’s Open Middlweight Bodybuilding Division, the most competitive class of the night.  Marty took to the stage like a warrior, fighting hard during the posedown for the Novice Overall.  He won over the audience and had a huge cheering section behind him by the time he left the stage.  Going home that night, Marty had his hands full with not one, but four large trophies, and the knowledge that he had truly gone the distance, pushing his mind and body to new heights of personal accomplishment.  Marty will be competing again this weekend, Saturday April 21st, and we wish him the absolute best on stage.  David and Nikki Johnston look forward to continuing to guide Marty in his bodybuilding endeavors.  He truly is one of the hardest working individuals we’ve ever met, and it shows in his continued success.

Last but certainly not least was Christina Fahey.  Christina was the one individual who competed last weekend that never intended to get on stage.  Christina approached David Johnston in February of 2011 in the worst shape of her life.  Standing at 5’3” and 186lbs, Christina was working out in the gym furiously but seeing zero progress.  After assessing her situation, David realized that Christina’s problem was largely her diet and lifestyle, and proposed a complete overhaul to her nutrition habits.  They fought furiously in the beginning over every morsel of food, but David was relentless and would not budge when it came to his dietary recommendations.  He told Christina right off the bat about the potential he saw in her, and explained that if she ever went the distance, she would have a physique the likes of which nobody would believe.  Christina was hoping to get down to approximately 136lbs, give or take 5lbs.  Her end point would far exceed even her own expectations.

Though a battle in the beginning, Christina started to see the benefits of following the eating and training style suggested by David.  As the compliments started to slowly trickle in from strangers, Christina grew more driven and motivated, and had a progressively easier time sticking to the diet plan.  Though never simple, with practice, everything got a bit easier.  After the first 6 months, Christina had dropped to 150lbs, a total loss of 36lbs.  She was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but still didn’t have the full faith or vision.  David, however, was hellbent on getting her there, and started tossing around the idea of Christina doing her first bodybuilding competition.  He knew this would give her a concrete goal and motivate her to push to the next level of personal development.  It never pays to set the bar low, and with Christina, we set it at the stars.  Little did we realize she would ride that rocket into the stratosphere.

After months of blood, sweat, and tears in the gym– combined with enough chicken breast to feed an army– Christina weighted in the day before the show at 123.2lbs.  She had surpassed even her own expectations, dropping 63lbs,  and now truly looked like the champion she had always had bottled inside.  Though not always the most aggressive on the outside, Christina took to the stage like a seasoned warrior, and moved the audience with her beautiful posing routine.  Christina ended up taking 2nd place in the Women’s Bodybuilding Debut division and 3rd in the Women’s Open Bodybuilding Division.  In the course of just over a year, Christina completely morphed from the worst shape of her life, to looking like a living, breathing statue on stage.  Her beaming smile showed the personal pride and accomplishment she had achieved through her dedicated hard work, and David sat in the audience like a proud parent.  They both look forward to seeing what the future holds for Christina’s training, and pushing her to new heights with her personal development.

All four competitors approached David Johnston unsure of themselves– their abilities, their potential, and a realistic timeline.  Each, however, knew that there was more within them, a champion, or warrior, just clawing to get out.  David would like to stress that he cannot take the credit for each individual’s success– he was merely the instructor and tireless guide on the path of every person truly seeking, and finding, the best within themselves.  Congratulations to Sandy Aja, Sara Pearson, Marty Ozimek and Christina Fahey on elevating yourselves from would-be champions to actual living, breathing success stories.  It is individuals like you that motivate us all to ever-greater heights.

-David A. Johnston
April 20th, 2012

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