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Muscle Sport Magazine

Mike Heretakis – A Pro Bodybuilder in the Making

There’s an old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young” that does not pertain to everyone. Sure, there are certain people on the short side of 20 that take the easy way out, but Mike Heretakis does not fit into that category. The 18-year-old Commack, New York native made his debut on the bodybuilding stage at the 2009 Mr. and Mrs. Jones Beach USA contest on August 9 and although his placing was not where he had hoped, it did not diminish the preparation and dedication that this young man showed in the weeks leading up to the show.

Competing in the Teen division of the Dan Lurie/Steve Michalik-promoted event, Heretakis finished a surprising fourth where it appeared that he should have been the runner-up at worst. Many a bodybuilder – professional and amateur – have asked themselves the same question when they placed lower than they expected: What exactly were the judges looking for?

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There was no runaway winner amongst the young men who competed against one another that day and the ‘old school’ judge’s panel – which included Leon Brown and Anibal Sanchez – would seem to have taken the posing routine into serious consideration. Heretakis’ routine was well thought-out and his transitions were smooth. The 5’11”, 190-pound graduate of Commack High School began his presentation in a pose that was reminiscent of the cover photo of Lurie’s “Heart of Steel” book. It was obvious that this routine was rehearsed, something that is lost on many of the bodybuilders of today. “I practiced it for 45 minutes for the last 35 or 40 nights,” said Heretakis.

Using different poses he learned from reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding,” Heretakis impressed by utilizing a lost art in today’s sport. It was no surprise to hear that he was first inspired to work out after seeing “Pumping Iron.”

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“I just kept telling myself to relax and not to tense up,” recalled Heretakis when asked what was going through his mind when he stepped on stage,” to do it in one fluid motion and act as nonchalant as possible.” When it came time to announce the placing of the four competitors, Heretakis felt utter disappointment that he did not have his name called.

“I felt like I wanted to give up the sport and never try again,” he admitted. “It was very disappointing. My whole family was there and I was the odd man out.” Heretakis felt that way for only one or two days but even during that period of despair he did not miss any workouts. He was back at the Commack New York Sports Club – where he also works as a personal trainer – the following morning. “That’s my therapy, my release.”

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It is a that type of mature attitude that separates Heretakis from the slew of young bodybuilders that have come and gone over the years without making a dent. Where many would have given up, he is using this experience as a springboard for future competitions. He has his sights set on the 2010 New York Metropolitan Steve Stone contest and hopes to compete at least one more time before his teen eligibility runs out. With only two years in the gym, Heretakis – who is entering SUNY Suffolk County Community College this fall – has a world of potential that is still untapped.

His shoulder and back development is ahead of the curve and he brings a visually appealing v-taper to the table. By adding some lower body thickness, Heretakis will ensure himself of less disappointing days. If he was able to use finishing out of the top three as an incentive, he’ll have to find something new to bust out that last rep.

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Finishing fourth the first time he donned the posing trunks is not indicative of what is in store for Heretakis. All he needs to do is look at Lurie, who had his own tough outing as a teenager in his rookie show. “I finished last – and it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said the 86-year-old legend of bodybuilding of the 1940 Mr. New York City contest.

There are better days ahead for Heretakis, just as there were for Lurie. Their paths have crossed once and their destinies may do the same.

5 Comments

  1. Michael Swifer

    April 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    this kid weighed 130 lbs his junior year of High School. I know this because we were classmates. He has obviously taken some kind of illegal supplements such as some form of anabolic steroids. He is a fake, a fraud, and a discrace to the bodybuilding community.

  2. Joe Pietaro

    April 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    This is a pretty ballsy accusation and one that usually comes as the result of jealousy. Whenever someone takes care of themselves and dedicates themselves to a bodybuilding lifestyle (proper nutrition, weight training, cardio, etc.) and looks the part, the lazy people who don’t have what it takes immediately start saying “steroids.”

    What a fuckin’ joke. Even if you did know this young man that many years ago, males have their biggest growth potential and highest natural testosterone levels during that period of their lives. If they eat right and train hard, they will grow like a weed – without any juice.

    As a matter of fact, taking shit while you’re still in your teens is detrimental. The synthetic hormones will shut down your body’s natural creation of them.

    From junior year in HS to 19 is plenty of time to get yourself looking right. I, of course, have no idea what you look like and why you feel this way. I welcome you to send us your photo and stats and I will give you the platform to state your case.

    Of course, I will also give Heretakis the opportunity to rebut, as well.

  3. Mike Heretakis

    April 3, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Clearly Mike Swifer is an uneducated ignorent person. I would like to see you post pics on how you look because I bet anytime you see someone bigger then you or more succesful than you make an excuse. Making excuses will only set you up for failure. And quite funny how i do not remember you.

  4. Dick Hardy

    April 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Yeah I was in Mike’s High School class and it was basically a joke senior year how he was this tall skinny kid and a month later he comes in with a beater on with a huge back. Everybody knew he was on steroids, even at that age you don’t naturally put on that much muscle in that short a time period. I think one of his teachers asked if he was on steroids during class.

  5. Joe Pietaro

    April 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Hey, ‘Dick Hardy,’ or whatever your real name is. If you’re going to be accusatory, then have the balls to say who you really are.

    Getting to your bullshit comment, I have ben around people who have used steroids since I was a teenager and can tell you that when I saw Mike competing at this show that year, he was completely natural.

    He looked great and was in excellent shape, but juice muscles look entirely different from regular growth.

    The late high school years are the best time for a guy to hit it hard in the gym and eat like an animal. The gains you can make just doing that – with the highest natural test levels in your body at that time of your life – would be enough to pack on a shitload of quality muscle.

    It’s actually detrimental to take steroids when you’re 17 – 21 because you will slow down that natural production of test in your body.

    I have found that the ones who like to point fingers and say that someone is on the shit are just lazy bastards who have no drive to work out and east right. They are looking for excuses for themselves being fat fucks and should realize that the mirror is where the blame should be made.

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