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“I intend to build a better future for women in bodybuilding”

Maksuda Akhter MouPhoto: Monon Muntaka

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Maksuda Akhter MouPhoto: Monon Muntaka

The IHFF Olympia Amateur Bodybuilding Championship held in Mumbai, India hosted 30 competitors this year. At the event, Maksuda Akhter Mou made history as the first female bodybuilder from Bangladesh to win an international medal. She won the bronze medal in the “Women’s physique” category.

“The competitors were surprised to see a female bodybuilder from Bangladesh. They have all been training for 16 to 17 years, while I have only been training for about three years. So this is a huge achievement for me,” said shared Mou.

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Previously, she won the Bangabandhu National Championship of the Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation for two consecutive years.

Coming from a humble background, she rose through the ranks of success with courage and tenacity. After studying at Bangladesh Navy School & College in Chattogram, she traveled to India to pursue textile design studies at Chandigarh University.

Initially, his family and friends did not support his ambition to become a bodybuilder.

Back in Mou’s hometown of Chattogram, people were skeptical that a woman would coach men in the gym. There weren’t any good training centers for women to train as bodybuilders, but when she went abroad she found these options available.

“I had to forge my own course because no other woman in our country has entered this field before. I hope that the women who come after me do not have to face the barriers that I have struggled with. I have already broken taboos and I will. keep doing it. I intend to build a better future for women in bodybuilding, ”said Mou.

“I have my own trainer who helps me prepare for any competition. Before IHFF, I needed to lose almost 18 pounds in two and a half months to build muscle strength and prepare my body to a certain level of performance. endurance. It was also very difficult to juggle both my job and my training. “

According to Mou, men should encourage the women in their lives to pursue their dreams, instead of conforming to gender roles. In addition, there are many good male bodybuilders in Bangladesh who can help women who are just starting out and promote the notion of women participating in such sports.

“Even though we don’t get support or sponsorships like cricket, we still try to overcome any challenges,” she explained. Mou is inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger. His dream is to one day participate in the Arnold Sports Festival.

The author is a student at BRAC University and a freelance journalist. Email: [email protected]