Lifting weights and expectations | The Daily Star
12:10 AM, March 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:51 PM, March 13, 2020

Lifting weights and expectations

Awhona Rahman made history as the winner of the first ever Women's Bodybuilding Championship, organised by Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation. Currently a twelfth grader at Bir Shrestha Noor Mohammad School and College, she aspires to represent Bangladesh in international platforms.

Awhona started hitting the gym shortly after her SSC exams in 2018. Over time, she developed a passion for health and fitness. "My elder brother, Rahanur Rahman, motivated me to participate in the championship," she adds. Rahanur, who runs the gym, Rayhan Fitness in Lalbagh, was the first runner-up of Mr Bangladesh. He has been into bodybuilding for the last six years. He is the only MTUT certified trainer in the country. "When I started out, I was immensely inspired by my brother's lifestyle choices and determination," asserts Awhona.

Awhona believes that bodybuilding is a tough sport that requires a strict routine. "I think the diet for bodybuilding is more challenging than the fitness regime," she says. "Self-control is the key to success in this field."

Awhona received full support from her family in her pursuit of bodybuilding. "When I first told my parents, I expected a discouraging response from them, since my HSC exams were to take place at that time," she says.

 However, her parents were very proud of her and supported her through everything. "At the championship, my brother took on the role of my bodyguard, as he wanted to protect me from stereotypical questions and mean comments. But overall, the ambience was really welcoming," shares Awhona.

Her diet includes coffee, eggs, boiled vegetables, chicken and rice, among other things. She has five meals throughout the day, at intervals of two to three hours. For the championship, Awhona, who is an early riser, had to spend more than three hours every day in the gym. Yet, she kept up with her studies successfully.

The passionate bodybuilder further shared some tips for beginners at the gym. "Learning the proper forms for different exercises and staying consistent are crucial factors. Working out for forty minutes every day is sufficient to start with. Weightlifting is naturally challenging for women, and they should not push themselves too hard, as it may lead to injuries," concludes Awhona.

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