Almutairi sets Bodybuilding World Records

LONDON: Sports intelligence is a gift distinguished athletes have, yet some develop it alongside with education to become an even better athlete and student such as Tariq Almutairi, 27, who was placed fifth in the Nottingham International Bodybuilding competition recently (in October) in the UK.

Almutairi finished second at the UKBFF competition held in September this year in Birmingham after competing in the under-90 kg weight category. This qualified him to compete at the UKBFF British finals championship under-80 kg in Nottingham in October where he finished fifth.

"Tariq improved his physique considerably between his qualifier in Birmingham and the British Finals in Nottingham," said Helen O'Reilly, Gladiator Panther TV personality, the 1991 Miss Europe and owner of Panthers Gym where Almutairi trains since May 2011. "Tariq has the physical attributes and mental strength required to make him a World Champion in the future," she said. "Panthers Gym will also continue to support and encourage Tariq and our other athletes to reach their bodybuilding goals and fulfill their true potential," she said, adding that he has attended the IFBB Education Course and is a qualified Personal Trainer.

What O'Reilly said was not a surprise as Arabs are known to have the best figure, especially with the small waist comparing to Europeans and other nationalities to adopt bodybuilding and show the improvements when hard work is made and so far most of the world titles are delivered by them, said Almutairi. Saudi Arabian bodybuilder Emad Alharbi and Muneer Aljassas are some examples of that success. "Nothing is impossible. I was privileged with the chance to study here and my experience as a coach (GYM instructor) encouraged me to get back and dedicate myself to it and am confident I'll will not stop until I get the world title," O'Reilly added.

In a three-hour long interview at Brunel University where he is finishing his bachelor's degree in business management, he said, from coaching many Arabs and especially Saudis, practicing bodybuilding is encouraged because it provides fast rewards to the individual, not to mention, self confidence. Most of his customers back home for example are in the age group 15 to 24.

"People think youth do it to gain praise or to show off their physique, and this is true to some extent, but the bigger picture is to be able to stand out with confidence and enjoy a healthier good looking body," he said. Hence, he added, children and even married couples tend to join to enjoy that. Women too, he added, are interested in it, to enjoy similar rewards even if they do not look for the huge muscles and six-pack men wants. "Surprisingly, women showed more determination in it," he said.

With small lunch boxes made every night and packed in his bag, he starts his day counting his own calories and carbs gained each day. He takes pictures and keeps a record of his body's reaction to it and limits the hours of training according to what his body needs. The job of an athlete, trainer, physiologist and nutritionist all rolled into one, and when asked how he does it, he said: "I just got into the habit of researching whatever interests me in addition to attending workshops and courses on these topics," he said. His friends think he is crazy, however, he believes having them trying it out even if for a week is proof they trust him and his sports intelligence, despite the fact that he was modest enough to mention it this way.

Almutairi's passionate heart on bodybuilding allowed him to establish himself and gain more than hundreds of fans on a Facebook fan page and from his previous work experiences in clubs such as the IMC hospital in Jeddah. "This and the continuous support I get from my fellow colleagues in the same game and here is truly a huge incentive and motivation for me. And when I qualify for an event, I ensure that I give it my best as I am presenting myself, my country, Arabs and Muslims. So, I have to set a good example to be able to make them all proud, and on top of all that my country, and not just settle with the qualification."

The tempting thing about bodybuilding is the fact, he said, you could see the difference from the first week. It might be the living condition in our country and the choice many of us make to eat homemade food. "What made me sure is that bodybuilders do need supplements and in specific during the last month before any competition. "I've tried both, and I'm thankful to God my body agrees with me on that and is giving me good results," he said.

Understanding one's body is not easy and takes years of experiment, the 170 cm tall Almutairi said, when it comes to water for example, sometimes we need to reduce or even stop drinking any sort of liquids for a day, considering our body already consists of almost 70 percent of water and sometimes the body gets extra weight or holds extra water. "However not all athletes are aware of it, and we have seen some not being cautious on the day of their competition due to that." Almutairi's efforts earned him the nickname the Red Shadow among his colleagues as he learned how to offer his body a balanced diet.
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