ABU DHABI // As police officers, they are required to be ready for action at a moment's notice. When it comes to their hobby, however, the preparations take considerably longer. Officers from Abu Dhabi police are in training to compete in the Emirates Bodybuilding competition in Ajman next month, with a view to qualifying for the World Men Bodybuilding Championships in Manama, Bahrain, in November.
Nine policemen, mostly sergeants, will participate in the Ajman competition. "They come in after duty five times a week to train for two hours," said Lt Khaled Nakad, the training supervisor at the Abu Dhabi Police Members Sports Club. Ahmed Mahmoud, the 2008 champion of the Dubai International Bodybuilding tournament, who is the club's bodybuilding trainer, said the right diet, music and exercise played essential roles in winning a competition.
"Choosing the right music helps in better muscle presentation," he said. "I move each muscle with the rhythm. The music I choose begins with a slow beat for the first two minutes, and then shifts to a rap beat, usually 50 Cent." Mahmoud said his preparations for the Bahrain tournament were all he had thought about for the past month. Currently, he is focusing on building up his size by eating all types of food. On August 15, he will begin an intensive programme he calls "super set".
During the super set period, Mahmoud's day begins with morning exercise, such as a cardio (bicycle and treadmill) and stomach programme, and a two-hour tanning session. "Tanning is very important as it helps make the skin layer thinner, absorbs the water that exists under the skin [and] energises the body." His night exercise consists of sets devoted to biceps, triceps, the neck, shoulders and leg muscles.
"My calves used to be my weak point, but after exercising, I've won the 'best calves' title in several championships, such as the Fujairah Classic," he said. Another daily routine consists of extending a stick across his shoulders and moving his waist left to right 1,000 times. "This exercise makes me cry sometimes," he said. "My waist size in the off season is 48 centimetres, while during championships it reaches 32 centimetres."
A massage three times a week helps to keep his muscles relaxed. Since diet is one of the most essential elements of the perfect body builder, Mahmoud spends about Dh500 (US$136) a day on food. During his preparations for a championship, however, he will spend about Dh30,000. "I take three protein tablets daily, in addition to special food," he said. "Five days prior to a contest, I increase protein in my diet and cut carbohydrates [potato and rice], whereas two days prior to the contest I do the exact opposite and I stop drinking water."
He added: "I have a wife and a daughter, and I have deprived myself from many things, such as nice clothes, for the sake of championships because I am fond of contests." @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org