Your fortune cookie can tell you “Luck”, but your fortune won’t come without “HARD WORK”. This is what we concluded from our interview with Ahmed Kamal and his journey with MuscleMania.
When Ahmed Kamal started the bodybuilding training career in 2003, he wished that he could qualify people to join in an international competition, but the problem was that most of the people he used to train were taking bodybuilding as a means to transform their bodies, not as a career. MuscleMania, as per Kamal, was the desired model. It has a different nature other than many bodybuilding competitions as it is divided to different ascending levels, one of them is “Physique” which was perfect for those who were not taking bodybuilding as a career from the very beginning.
A distinguished turning point
It was Youssef Sawaby’s qualification to MuscleMania in The United States and being able to win the first place in Classic Physique, despite the usual bias against Arab players. From Kamal’s point of view, Youssef is special. His quick body transformation grabbed the attention of many. This owes back to his hard work that was the main reason behind his progress and superb toning as Kamal assured. Vice Versa, he trained many other people, but because they didn’t have the willingness to train hard and follow the suitable diet, they couldn’t be potential participants in a bodybuilding championship. That’s why Kamal sees that it’s not about efficiency level gap between our bodybuilders and those who train abroad it’s about who is ready to work hard and Sawaby’s case is the evidence, as well as Saif Hussein who sees an extraordinary figure too.
Despite the achievements, there is no support
This is the real gap between training in Egypt and training abroad. Kamal explained how bodybuilding is not taken care of in Egypt and all the support, sponsorship, and media coverage go to football. He added that when Youssef Sawaby, for example, won, nobody outside the bodybuilding community paid attention and he wasn’t interviewed by any channel or magazine. Kamal stated that with a sport like bodybuilding the problem is bigger because it requires a lot of expenses, so it needs sponsorship and support from different entities. This makes the sport limited to certain people because even those who are offered sponsorship from foreign sponsors, need some other expenses.
MuscleMania is a decision
We couldn’t have interviewed Kamal without asking him “Who can join MuscleMania?” He said that there are no certain qualifications, anyone can start from scratch. Again it’s all about time and hard work. He added that it depends on the person himself, how much effort he’s ready to exert and to how extent he’s ready to compromise his social life for the training time also how much he is committed to the diet and rules the trainer gives. All this determines who can join MuscleMania and achieve a good result and who is not.
Supplements are good or bad?
Although it seems a very primitive question, it is still asked and no better person to answer than Ahmed Kamal. Kamal made it clear that supplements which contain hormones like testosterone, for example, aren’t questionable. They are harmful for sure. But other ones that don’t are beneficial, but should be taken under the trainer’s guidance so he can calculate the amount of protein given to the person he trains and gives him the suitable workouts and diet for that.
The next step
Kamal is willing to upgrade to a different level where he can qualify ladies to compete in official competitions. He is aware of the many challenges he will face. Kamal elaborated that there is no physical barrier to hinder women from this and that he has trained women who are able to do the same workout as him with the same efficiency. The problem is myths and stereotypes. Kamal highlighted that women who body build and take supplements will never have the bodies of men because of their bodies’ nature and women who become as men take hormones. He added that many ladies are willing to participate but are afraid of how people will judge them when they wear a swimsuit or categorize them as mannish, but he believes he can do it!