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TESTMONIALS Start Your Transformation
English Macedonian

An Interview With Petar Čelik, Bodybuilder

Welcome again. I am honored to present Petar Čelik, an icon of bodybuilding who left a huge mark that inspires many people. He is the most successful bodybuilder from Yugoslavia, who won over 110 matches.

Before starting his fitness career, he went to Germany at 18, where he began working as an intern for the Bayer Company in Leverkusen. Afterward, he worked as a journalist for the Athletic Sport Journal in Essen. However, Petar’s fitness career began when he returned to Ljubljana, where he opened a company named “Body Building,” the first sports club in Yugoslavia.

He also started the magazine “HERCULES” and organized the competition, Mister Yugoslavia. In addition, Petar Celik was named “professor bodybuilding by invitation” in 1998.

Among his most notable achievements in the bodybuilding sport are winning the awards Mister Yugoslavia, the European Championship DBBV in 1980, IBFA World Championship in 2004. He was also the president of IFBB Yugoslavia and NABBA Yugoslavia.

Petar Celik opened the path for many people in this sport. He is a true inspiration and an example for everyone. Let’s not wait further and jump on the interview so you can discover the secret behind his success and endurance.

    Tose Zafirov

    Mr. Olympia Representative

    Welcome again. I am honored to present Petar Čelik, an icon of bodybuilding who left a huge mark that inspires many people. He is the most successful bodybuilder from Yugoslavia, who won over 110 matches.

    Before starting his fitness career, he went to Germany at 18, where he began working as an intern for the Bayer Company in Leverkusen. Afterward, he worked as a journalist for the Athletic Sport Journal in Essen. However, Petar’s fitness career began when he returned to Ljubljana, where he opened a company named “Body Building,” the first sports club in Yugoslavia.

    He also started the magazine “HERCULES” and organized the competition, Mister Yugoslavia. In addition, Petar Celik was named “professor bodybuilding by invitation” in 1998.

    Among his most notable achievements in the bodybuilding sport are winning the awards Mister Yugoslavia, the European Championship DBBV in 1980, IBFA World Championship in 2004. He was also the president of IFBB Yugoslavia and NABBA Yugoslavia.

    Petar Celik opened the path for many people in this sport. He is a true inspiration and an example for everyone. Let’s not wait further and jump on the interview so you can discover the secret behind his success and endurance.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Hello, Petar. First, I want to express my gratitude for taking the time to do this interview. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what motivated you to enter this field many years ago? Back then, not many people knew about the sport, so how did the desire for bodybuilding come to you?

    Petar Čelik:

    I think it’s fate. My surname says enough, as does my name – Petrus in Greek means “Rock,” which signifies strength and solidity.

    I liked it at some point when I was supposed to understand it, and that happened at the age of 15-16. By that, I can say that I started on time. When I found myself in this industry and when I accepted that this was what I wanted to do, success was coming.

    Then, a man gets a greater desire to continue along that path. I can say that I have continued that path for over 50 years, not only as part of the bodybuilding world but as a competitor.

    Tose Zafirov:

    You have a lot of experience, and you have been part of many competitions. Can you tell us more about one match that really had a big impact on you?

    Petar Čelik:

    It was in the 1980s when I was at the Offenbach European Championship, where I became a European Champion in my category and an Absolute Champion.

    I competed and defeated the giants of the time known as “Salvador Ruiz” with the title “Mister Universe NABBA” and “Janko Rudman,” who was three times European champion at the time.

    Tose Zafirov:

    As the first owner of a fitness magazine and nutritional supplements in Yugoslavia, what was your secret to success in your work? After all, this happened when the Internet and social networks were not around.

    Petar Čelik:

    In May of 1968, I graduated from high school, and then immediately, in September of that year, I went to Germany.

    First, I worked at BAYER’s main laboratory in the city of Leverkusen and then switched to Essen, the Athletik Sportversand, which at the time was Europe’s number one bodybuilding company. I was lucky enough to move into that company just at a time when it started to grow and evolve into something huge. I have worked in all fields and have been able to learn things from every field, as well as every stage of production, shipping, transportation, and marketing.

    Three years later, I returned to Serbia and started doing the same here, where I was 100 steps ahead of others. In addition, at that time in Yugoslavia, no one was doing this because bodybuilding was a new sport and almost no one was familiar with it. I was actually developing the sport during this period and benefited from the whole situation.

    Over the years, I have sold about a million magazines under the name “HERCULES,” about a million brochures and exercise books, and about a million cans of protein produced by my company. In addition, I organized many competitions that I financed with my own money, including the 1984 NABBA World Championship in Belgrade, attended by seven competitors from “Mr. Olympia.”

    At that time, I had a fitness club at the elite Hotel Park in Novi Sad, which had about 500 active members, which changed over time, but the number of active members always remained the same. The average membership fee at that time was between 40 and 45 euros. Despite the high prices, everyone could afford to pay them since the nation was doing well overall.

    Workers now make roughly 300 euros a month instead of the 1,000 to 1,200 euros they used to make when the Americans arrived to set up a system of “democracy,” which caused the country to fall apart and war to break out.

    That is one of the reasons why my previous success is unmatched. At that time, the state had a population of 22.5 million, and I can say that I had no decent competition in the entire country.

    Today, the country has about 6 million inhabitants and still uses what I produced, and no other new private producers and those that have it are on the verge of profitability.

    Tose Zafirov:

    With so much experience gained, you certainly have a routine to follow before any competition. Can you share that routine with us? Furthermore, is that routine any different now than it was 30 years ago?

    Petar Čelik:

    I have been active in sports for over 55 years. The first match I participated in was in Yugoslavia in 1968 and shortly thereafter in Essen in 1969 in Germany. Before that, I competed as a classic weightlifter in Olympic sports and became a Junior Champion in Vojvodina, as well as a Champion in all of Serbia. Because of this, I can say that I have vast experience.

    The sport, for me, has no secrets because I’ve been in it for many years, and I can say that I follow everything in this industry. I know “old school” well and all the latest methods and techniques because I’m still competing and staying in shape. I’ve participated in over 135 competitions, of which I have won 110.

    The secret lies in the intensity, mental commitment, and orientation of the success process. You need to be mentally stable and endure it, not only in terms of exercise but also in diet and supplements.

    Tose Zafirov:

    How do you feel about today’s bodybuilders? Is there a noticeable difference in the sport today compared to what the industry looked like when it was just beginning?

    Petar Čelik:

    Today’s bodybuilders are bigger and more defined because of overdoses and how they react to health. That, in a way, is paid for by their health.

    I didn’t want to do it that way, and if I wanted to, I could say that I would have been sick long ago, or at worst, I would have died. I am now over 70 years old and still the best in the world in my category.

    Tose Zafirov:

    I have great respect for you and your work, which is one of the main reasons I started my career. I have to ask, how does it feel to be an icon in the bodybuilding industry? More precisely, how does it feel to be Petar Čelik?

    Petar Čelik:

    Thank you, my friend, colleague, and champion. We worked well together for the good of both parties.

    I never saw an icon in myself, but the reputation has grown over the years, with success achieved through them. Now I see what people have actually seen in me because I’m a living legend in this industry within this area, active from the very beginning.

    When I started working, I never dreamed of being an icon or leaving a story behind me. But, those who work intensively and make sacrifices for the right things will one day realize that everything will pay off and that it’s worth it.

    Due to this, I can say it’s wonderful to be Petar Čelik.

    Tose Zafirov:

    I have to admit that even today, you look very fit. What’s your secret?

    Petar Čelik:

    The secret to my fit physique is that I do not just prepare for a competition. I am always in shape, and I focus more on my diet before a competition. Also, I always pay attention to my line and never stop training.

    I train mostly with the younger bodybuilders, and we always try to compete on who will perform better or who will endure more.

    It’s my lifestyle, and I see it as a privilege because I can still live like this.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Do you believe that bodybuilding as a sport and profession requires sacrifice? In your opinion, can the path to bodybuilding success harm a person’s health?

    Petar Čelik:

    In my opinion, it all depends on how much of your time and effort you decide to dedicate to the sport.

    For example, the big stars in the bodybuilding world, the biggest professionals in the industry, were much more successful than me, with huge successes throughout their careers. However, their careers ended much earlier than mine.

    This type of life did not work for me; on the contrary, over the years, I can say that I have seen and heard everything.

    For me, there’s no champion in a person who wins but gets injured, gets sick, or even gives up. A champion is someone who can successfully do it consistently and permanently, going through all the tasks. It’s a completely different concept, a different approach to sports, and a different approach to life. For me, the most important thing is to be consistent.

    So, everyone has to choose their own path and follow it.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Have you set any goals for the near future?

    Petar Čelik:

    I will compete at the IBFA World Championship this year and hope to win two categories.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Finally, I want to thank you for everything you have done for the bodybuilding industry over the years. If you could share one piece of advice for all young and ambitious bodybuilders, what would it be?

    Petar Čelik:

    Thank you Tose.

    I think everyone should listen to their inner voice and choose their own path. When they choose the right path, they need to make the most of it and do their best not to let themselves down. I wish them all success, much health, and peace in their heart and soul.

    Final Words

    Petar, thank you for your time and for the honest answers. I hope you will continue conquering the stage for many more years. After all, there are dozens of people you inspire the same way you inspire me, so we look forward to your upcoming successes.

    Visit Petar Celik’s official Wikipedia page to learn more details about his life and accomplishments.

    For more inspiring stories, feel free to check the Interviews page. 

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