Images of
Raffi Melkonian

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Birthdate: August, 1982
Height: 5 9   Weight: 178 to 185

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I have been weight training, bodybuilding and following the fitness industry for over 10years now. My first bodybuilding contest was when I was 21yrs old and I have been competing since. I’m always looking to improve myself and help others with their physique and fitness goals. At the age of 15yrs old in high school because I was too small to play sports (wrestling and football).. Weighting at 135lbs freshman year of High School. There was a nearby Powerhouse Gym in Niles, IL that I trained at for 2-3hrs a day and started to see great results with my physique and got tips from fitness magazines and inspiration by all the fit people, Pro bodybuilders (ex. Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, Lee Priest), Product Companies and fitness/ nutrition articles. 

By Sophomore year I was hooked to fitness/ bodybuilding and dropped all sports I was in just to weight left/ bodybuilding on my own, getting up too 165lbs naturally by the winter of 1998.  Everybody was wondering and talking about how I developed by physique and some assumed that I was taking steroids at the age of 16, but it was just my training and diet.  

By the time I was 21years old attending college at DeVry University in Chicago and working part-time, I decided to become a real amateur bodybuilder and do a competition.  I decide to do IL-State 2004 as a Light-Heavy weight (one of the hardest competition in the State of Illinois).  There were over 100+ competitors and about 8 guys in my weight class.  I didn't place Top-5 and only did the Novice Class. The next year in 2005 I continued to grow and decide to give IL-State another try.  It was my second show and I competed at Light-Heavy again, placing 4th in the Novice Class, then went to Indiana in Indianapolis placing 4th in the Novice and 5th in the Open class as a Light-Heavy.

Taking some time off bodybuilding and decided to focus on my career but still continued to exercise/ stay somewhat fit.  Going thought a lot of ups and downs in life (jobs, family, friends etc.) I was then motivated in the fall of 2008 to give Natural Bodybuilding a try.  I started doing research on which competitions to do with the time I had to get ready.  I decided to register and join the 2008 NPC Mid-State Classics in Rockford, IL.  Having about 8-9weeks to get in shape for the show and my starting weight was 195lbs, which meant I would have to do the Middle-Weight Class and drop down to 176lbs because of the amount of body-fat I had.  Doing a lot of research on training, dieting and supplements guide mainly from (my primary source for supplements).  Reaching my goal and dialed in my physique the best I could naturally making weight at 175lbs on November 22, 2008.  I ended up placing 1st in the Novice and 3rd in the Open division.

Joining bodybuilding forms/ groups like, BodySpace,  I also decided to contact rep/ product companies for work and any advertisements.  Finally, I got called by ProSource Nutrition/ BioQuest and they featured me for their new product called RazorRipped.
I continued to diet and train naturally and was encouraged by my friends and the head of NPC-IL to do the IL-State.  Weighing in at 178lbs the morning of the competition May 16th 2009 as a Light-Heavy weight being the lightest guy in my class.  I ended up winning the Novice Light-heavy, Novice Overall and Open Light-heavy.  It was a great show with about 130 competitors participating. 
Flying out to Hartford CT. Memorial weekend of 2009 for a photo shoot with John from BBPics was a lot of hard work and a great experience working with a professional, respectful/ friendly photographer. 
The photoshoot started as soon as I planed that Friday night (May 22nd) when we got settled in.  We took about 20-30 practice photos that came out pretty good for getting off an airplane at 11pm.
The next day (May 23rd) we woke up around 8am and I started to prep/ plan out my nutrition and supplements that I need to dial and maintain my peak for the 8-9 hours photo shoot that was ahead.  We started at about 10am and finished at about 6pm taking about 450 photos.   We both were drained and it was time to get a BadAss meal at the Texas Roadhouse.  After dinner John wanted to review some of photos he thought were good, but wasn’t too satisfied and knew I could push for more and better.  John went to sleep and I did some more thinking and planning on how I could peak my physique even more and better for the last day was ahead.
My last day to go and it was ON.  Everything was dialed in and my plan worked.  It was time take some awesome pic’s (vascular, fullness, water lose and just ripped).  Again we started at about 10am but finish around 4-5pm taking about 300 pic’s ONLY this time due to weather condition.   My physique was at its best, the pic’s came out great and John was really, really excited (more so then I was haha) and it was Pizza time with dessert!
Since the photo shoot with John from BBPics I have been sending out my pic’s and accomplishments to many contacts to show all the hard work I’ve done as an natural bodybuilder/ fitness model this year of 2009 and hopefully get opportunities to work for fitness, modeling, product companies etc. that there may be.
I have also been train with a lot of different people helping them with nutrition/ supplements and training techniques that well help them with their goals and physique.
Overall it was a great pleasure it was working with John Mitchell from BBPics taking a total of 770+ photos.
I had a great experience and would recommend you to anyone who is inspiring to become a serious athlete/ fitness model.
Thanks for all the motivation and encouragement throughout the training and progress. Hope to do more work with you again in the near feature!
 I still want to Natural Body Build/ Model for companies that are willing to hopefully give me a chance to work for them and I could show them my 150% dedication.


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