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Namira, bodybuilder

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  1. Bodybuilding is a male-dominated sport. How and why did you get started in bodybuilding? What was your motivation for doing that?

    I grew up watching my Dad play sports and at one period of time, he was bodybuilding. There were weight plates and barbells all over the house! Growing up, I developed a strong desire to weight-lift. I have always been a mild feminist and thought, "If men can do it, why not women?" Many people say that bodybuilding is no sport for a woman as it makes them look big and too muscular. In my research, there are women who are huge in the bodybuilding industry but only because they consume steroids to increase the level of testosterones in their body, making them look masculine! So I googled for fitness models and bodybuilding competitors and I fell in love with the physique of Amanda Latona, Larissa Reis, Ashley Horner, Jamie Eason and many more. Pleasant news - they all LIFT.

    Motivation? I was mildly overweight in my teenage years and my schoolmates did not give me much respect. I had very low self-esteem and it affected me a lot at school. I was in the Trim and Fit (TAF) club when I was 14. After that, I became thinner than I could have ever imagined but the fear of falling back to being overweight again never left me. With bodybuilding, I finally found something that I can relate to very well and feel very comfortable with.

    Bodybuilding teaches me to respect my body, have discipline, hard work, perseverance and keeping a strong faith in achieving what I want (i.e. a dream body). These are the values that I apply to my everyday life. There will be naysayers and obstacles in the process but I learned to ignore pessimism and stay focused on my fitness goals.

    I fell in love with the 'iron' (i.e weights) and I call the gym my second home. Today I am lifting almost every day targeting different muscle groups to achieve that dream physique that I can one day call my own. Bodybuilding has made me a stronger person, both physically and mentally. What's better – I could finally speak another common language with my dear Daddy!

  2. Wow, that’s awesome. How long have you been involved in bodybuilding?

    It has been over a year now.

  3. Where do you usually work out and do you have an instructor to guide you?

    I usually head to Pioneer 's Clubfitt or Safra Toa Payoh's Energy One. I do not have a personal instructor to guide me but I work out with a team of sports enthusiasts most of the time - certified personal trainers and bodybuilding competitors. We do our own research on bodybuilding routines and nutrition and then we share the knowledge amongst ourselves. We follow fitness enthusiasts like IFBB Pro Competitors from all over the world on Instagram and Facebook too. They will post workout routines, tips and advice, which we will try out for ourselves and see if it works on our body type. A lot of research and trial and error are involved.

  4. Do you have any special diet that you have to adhere to and any supplements to enhance your workout?

    I wouldn't call it 'special diet' but rather 'clean-eating'. These are some of my practices:

    • Avoid fast foods, fried foods, foods high in MSG or contain artificial flavouring.
    • Foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates to assist in muscle recovery as I work out almost every day.
    • Fruits and vegetables are a must with every meal prepared.
    • Strictly no carbonated drinks.
    • 'Cheat meals' when I am out with my family and friends, which happens once in a while.

    My meal routines are as follows:

    • 2 hours before workout - Pre-workout meal.
    • 30 minutes before workout - Pre-workout drink that contains caffeine, taurine and/or beta-alanine (such as coffee or green tea).
    • During workout - Hydrate with water.
    • Post-workout - Protein shake and high-protein meal to assist muscle recovery.
  5. What is your perception on women who are interested or involved in bodybuilding and would you encourage women to start bodybuilding?

    I find women who partake in bodybuilding, sexy. They have outrageous determination and confidence to earn the body they desire. Their strength lies in their perseverance and hard work. I would definitely encourage women to start lifting weights (strength training) as it is more beneficial than cardio exercises. I wish to see more women discover their inner strength and prove to themselves through the results they achieve.

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