A Bodybuilder’s Drug-Free Message

Michael Monis, who has won bodybuilding competitions around the world without using steroids, calls it a career after Saturday’s contest at the Blaisdell

Yu Shing Ting
Friday - June 23, 2006
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Monis strikes a pose in competition
Monis strikes a pose in

Muscle man Michael Monis has one message: It’s cool to be drug free!

The competitive bodybuilder has announced his retirement from the bodybuilding circuit, with his last event being the 2006 Hawaiian Islands Bodybuilding Championships, Saturday, July 1, 6:30 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall.

While he has planned to retire at previous competitions, Monis says this time it’s for real.

He has been training extremely hard with a goal to not only do well, but to be on the cover of MuscleMag and more importantly to inspire people, especially local kids, to be drug free.

“My first show I competed in was in Hawaii,” notes Monis, who is currently training in Redondo Beach, Calif. “For the last 10 years I have been competing in Europe. So now with an opportunity to land the cover of MuscleMag International Magazine, I would like to have my last competition in Hawaii where I grew up.

“After that I plan to eat brownies and work out for fun because it is my lifestyle and not as hard as training for a competition.”

You may recognize Monis from the thousands of “It’s Cool To Be Drug Free” posters seen in store windows and on walls all over Oahu. The poster features Monis along with many other local celebrities and professionals to remind Hawaii’s youth that they have a choice to stay drug free.

Michael Monis retires having won multiple bodybuilding titles
Michael Monis retires
having won multiple
bodybuilding titles

The poster project is organized by various volunteers in partnership with the state Department of Education, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Program.

“What makes me different from some other bodybuilders is that I’m trying to do all of this drug free,” says Monis, “without the steroids and all that negative stuff everyone’s against. I’m trying to do it naturally, and it’s very hard to do it naturally because the injuries really get to me.

“That’s one reason why bodybuilders do steroids, because it helps their recovery time. During a workout you tear a lot of muscle tissue and the drugs help to recuperate the muscle to heal faster for your next workout so you get stronger. But I’m doing it the other way - the hard way.”

Monis, who works as a machine operator for Matson Navigation Company, has been a competitive bodybuilder for more than a decade, winning numerous titles including Mr. 50th State, Mr. Pacific International, Mr. Hawaiian International, Mr. MuscleMania, Mr. California Grand Prix, Mr. Pro USA and Mr. Europe World.

He first discovered weight training in high school after joining the Waianae football team. And it’s his high school football coach Larry Ginoza whom he credits for his being positive and drug free.

“Coach (Ginoza) was real tough about drugs,” recalls Monis, who also played high school baseball. “And if kids back then wanted to intimidate us and fight us, we couldn’t fight them. Instead coach used to tell us to come to football practice, and if you want to express your feelings you can do it with pads.”

In addition to football and baseball, Monis also surfed, was a skin diver, spear fisherman and a certified SCUBA diver.

Monis, 45, stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 187 pounds.

His competition training is intense, working out twice a day (two hours each session) every day except Sunday, which is his rest day. He also spends about two to three hours a day working on his tan as “a dark tan will make your muscles show better and make you look more cut.”

He’s also on a very interesting diet: 5:30 a.m. protein shake with creatine, vitamins and minerals

8:30 a.m. breakfast (10 egg whites, two slices whole wheat toasts dry, a bowl of fruit, and two glasses of water).

10:30 a.m. protein shake

12 p.m. lunch (one plain baked potato, one chicken breast, one can tuna, six egg whites, a bowl of fruit, and two to three glasses of water)

2:30 p.m. protein shake

6 p.m. dinner (12-ounce broiled steak, bowl of rice, salad with no dressing, a bowl of fruit, two to three glasses of water)

8:30 p.m. 10 egg whites Snacks: rice cakes

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