City-based Fahad Khan, a freelance personal trainer, has won sixth position in the Amateur Olympia Classic Bodybuilding competition, in above 181 cms category. He is the only Indian to have made it in the finals of the competition. Other contestants are from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain.
The competition, started in 1965, was the concept of bodybuilding pioneer and promoter Joe Weider. This is the first time that the series was held in India. The event took place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, between October 13 and 15 and witnessed more than 200 contenders from over 40 countries competing for the title. Besides, traditional men’s bodybuilding and physique, the competition included women’s bikini fitness and physique. Khan said, “It has taken me eight months of strict preparation, diet and workouts (twice a day) to reach here. In 2016, I had sustained a hairline fracture due to a car accident. It forced me to leave weightlifting for more than six months. It was tough to come out of that phase, as I had lost my stamina. I had to start from the scratch and bulked up. The last contest I had competed for was Bodypower Expo 2015, where I was in the Top 10 finalists.”
Khan received training under coach Umesh Mohite, who is a national-level bodybuilder. Khan said, “While I didn’t get a lot to eat, I also had to make sure that my meals were proportional and on time. There was a lot of early morning cardio, super sets and heavy weight training involved.”
About his competitors, he said, “The dedication of all the participants was remarkable. Everyone was in such a good shape, which made the competition all the more tough. This also made it difficult for the judges to come to a decision. I’m thankful that I had such good competitors. It is much clear now what I will be competing with in the future, as this was my first international competition.”
Khan has been into bodybuilding for almost a decade. He claimed to have started bodybuilding to stay fit, but, five years ago he was inspired by his father to venture into professional fitness. “I was highly influenced by my dad. He used to be a gym freak but he was more into taleem, which is more like gym but without the machines and very rugged,” he said.