Pune-based Fahad Khan, a freelance fitness trainer, stood sixth in the Amateur Olympia Classic Bodybuilding (above 181 cms plus category). Fahad is the only Indian to have been in the top six finalists. He was competing against contestants from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. The competition took place in India for the first time.
But it wasn’t an easy journey for Fahad as he met with a car accident and suffered serious injuries last year. This forced him to take a break from weight lifting and it was sheer dedication for the sport that made him bounce back. The bodybuilder says that he had to start from scratch.
Started by pioneer and promoter of bodybuilding Joe Weider in 1965, besides traditional Men’s bodybuilding, this competition also includes Men’s classic bodybuilding, Men’s Physique, Women Bikini Fitness and Women Physique competitions.
Excerpts from the interview:
Congrats for winning the sixth position in Amateur Olympia Classic Bodybuilding. How did you prepare?
Thank you very much. I had to workout twice a day for at least two hours at once, keep a proper diet plan with specific food and ingredients added in them. I had to avoid all the junk and outside food in this time span. It took me eight months of preparation to do so.
How did your passion for bodybuilding begin?
My passion for bodybuilding began from my early childhood days when I used to see my father workout. He was into ‘Taleem’ which is more of a rugged workout which Indian wrestlers do. As time passed I got more and more inspired and decided to be a professional bodybuilder since then.
You met with a car accident last year. How did you bounce back?
It was very difficult to get back since I had a hairline fracture in the ribs and couldn’t breathe properly so when I used to try lifting weights, I used to pant a lot. Initially, I had to take it very slowly since I had gained a lot of weight as I took a long break of almost six months. It took me almost a year to get back in shape and bounce back on stage.
What are certain things that one has to be careful about when getting into bodybuilding?
One can be very prone to injuries while working out so you have to be very careful. You need to workout with proper form and technique. You also need to know what to eat because nutrition plays a very important role in this field. But most importantly, guidance is very important. One should always take training from an experienced coach in case of heavy weight lifting workouts. My coach Umesh Mohite helped me with my diet and workouts all this while when I was preparing.
What is your diet and workout plan?
My diet was high in proteins which included chicken, fish, eggs and whey protein. I also ate meals with low carbohydrates which included oats, rice and daliya, 10 times a day. With this, I did workouts twice a day which included supersets heavyweight training and cardio for an hour each day.
Any piece of advice for budding bodybuilders?
You can’t become a bodybuilder overnight. It requires years of dedication and discipline along with expert guidance from experienced professionals. So be passionate about what you do, follow a proper time schedule along with the right meals and expert coaching.