Rahat Shah: Interview

Q1- How tough is it to become a professional bodybuilder?   “It is very tough. Once you get on the stage that is the time to really enjoy yourself...

Q1- How tough is it to become a professional bodybuilder?


“It is very tough. Once you get on the stage that is the time to really enjoy yourself and show off the hard work that has been put in. Discipline is a key factor in the bodybuilding profession and for me makes up roughly 80% of your work. After that you must of course observe a strict diet, get ample sleep and ensure your prepping all your meals correctly.”



Q2- What fulfils you most; the financial reward or the satisfaction of competing?



“There are financial rewards which can come from sponsorship via entering & winning competitions but my main motivation is not money. Every time I step on stage, I am representing my country, my family, my community so when I win it is not just a victory solely for myself. These are the real rewards for me. After month of strenuous training & preparation a win at a major competition validates the effort put in.”

Q3- Who were your inspirations for initially getting involved in the sport?

“My initial and biggest inspiration was my daughter. It was her who filled me with the drive and passion to better my physique and in turn make her proud of her father.  I began training at the age of 21, closely studying Arnold Schwarzenegger; how he trained, dieted, competed and paid close attention to all general aspects of his profession. Even to this day Arnold says he is learning new techniques from young competitors and this in turn gave me a hunger to learn more and to never stop learning.”


Q4- What was your first competition like?

“My first competition was done without the help of a coach and this was a massive learning curve for me. I was practicing posing in front of the mirror on daily basis late at night, watching YouTube tutorials on how to correctly shape my body etc.  I didn’t achieve my best finish but I learnt extensively about the semantics of professional competition and the dearth of talent and obstacles that I had to successfully hurdle in order to then myself win competitions. This set me in good stead for my other competitions of which I entered 7 in total in 2017.”


Q5- If you could give 3 words of advice to upcoming competitors what would it be?

“A winning mentality is key. Market yourself & your brand accordingly. Set yourself a goal & execute it.”



Q6- Importance of sponsorship?

 “Bodybuilding as a profession is an expensive sport and can be financially taxing on an individual. Sponsorship can be vital to a new competitor/athlete & winning a big competition such as (The world Championships in Barcelona) in which I achieved a top 10 finish, sponsorship is likely to arrive from such exposure. In Barcelona I saw professionals who had been competing for 10-15 years and it was a massive step up for myself. I had to quickly adapt to my surroundings and was forced to become fiercely competitive. I learnt a lot from Barcelona; with my execution and posing the main improvements I had to work improve on. My posing coach James Alex who himself is an (WBAF competitor and bodybuilding champ) was pivotal in helping me improve on these key aspects. Without the help of seasoned professionals like himself I would not possess the confidence I wield today.”


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