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Bodybuilding can make you a millionaire

fashion-and-trends Updated: Oct 09, 2011 15:29 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

If you were in a bar brawl, you’d definitely want bodybuilder Tamer El Guindy by your side. The newly crowned Mr USA, Tamer is built like a tank, and looks like he could crush one with his bare hands. “I first started gymming to improve my soccer skills,” he recalls. “When I watched my body develop, I became more serious about bodybuilding.”

Nicknamed The Razor, Tamer explains the criteria required to score a title like his. “There are three main areas in bodybuilding — muscle mass, symmetry-proportion, and finally, physical condition. Those are the foundations of judging, and I pride myself on my condition.”

So is bodybuilding still a viable career option? “Top bodybuilders have lucrative contracts with supplement companies, and they also earn a lot from their prize money,” Tamer says, adding, “A Mr Olympia competition offers $ 8,50,000 as prize money, and one like the Sheru Classic that was recently held in India offered $ 1,50,000.”

Ask about steroids and doping, and it’s obvious you’ve touched a nerve. “It’s the biggest misconception about bodybuilders,” Tamer protests. “Every sport has been connected to steroids, but drugs don’t make a champion. Plus, most competitions are drug tested.”


‘Arnold did a lot for the sport’
Tracing the rise of body-building globally, Tamer lists Arnold Schwarzenneger as being responsible for making the sport respectable. “Nobody did as much for the sport as Arnold. He’s not admired as much for his physique as for his mentality and character. He made an effort to be friendly, then made a career in Hollywood before finally becoming governor of California.” Jay Cutler is another bodybuilder, among the top rated in the field today, who Tamer attributes with having popularised the sport, saying, “He’s the biggest representatives of the sport today, and really goes out of his way to promote bodybuilding.” In a sport of alpha males, Tamer lists Ronnie Coleman as one of the biggest underdog-to-champion success stories, saying, “Nobody thought he stood a chance, but he went on to win Mr USA, the biggest amateur title and then bettered it by winning Mr Olympia, the biggest professional contest, eight time times.”

Training for a beefed up look
When he’s training for a competition, Tamer works out seven times a week, doing one hour of cardio on an empty stomach to maximise fat burning. He also does resistance training for 45 minutes about six days a week. He eats about seven meals a day, making to sure to add low amount of carbohydrates, high levels of proteins and a moderate amount of fats: “I follow this diet religiously for about 12-16 weeks.”