T Nation

Afghanistan's Bodybuilding Champions


I thought this was really cool.


I seem to remember Men's Health running an article covering bodybuilding in Afghanistan a while back as well.


Pretty cool, lot of people in that gym!


Damn, that's a crowded gym!

Thanks for sharing, good find.


A lot of clueless people...with questionable hygiene.

If someone can build a great physique in an environment like that, no one here has any excuses.


Hot damn, I think I'd lose it if my gym was that packed.


That gym was PACKED! Great vid OP, nice to see guys working hard over there at things other than trying to kill our boys and girls over there.


That was very inspiring. With all the shit these people have to deal with, they still make it into that packed smelly gym. These guys literally live in a war zone and hear they are making it to the gym every day. Meanwhile, I can't get my best friend who joined the gym with me in July 08 to go a single day since Oct 08. Despite him saying he's gonna start up on Monday every time I bring it up.


Damn nice....the winner definitely deserved it. Love how there wasn't any prize money,yet they were just doing it pretty much for only bragging rights/thrill of competing which is awesome.


That is sick. And they don't even win any money!

It's insanely motivating what they deal with to get up on stage. Makes any issues that I have to put up with seem small, insignificant, and petty. just... wow.


That's awesome. I put that right up there with 'Merry Christmas Bob' for motivation.

Place was ridiculously crowded though, like a disco with weight machines.


Can you imagine the wait?


must suck when mid afternoon rolls around and everyone has to roll out their prayer mats


Nope,My gym is for ,the most part,deserted. Thanks for providing the video OP,this was very inspiring and very cool to watch our sport grow in another country. Im just wondering,how and why did Bodybuilding get so popular over there? What triggered such enormous interest from ,of all places,Afghanistan?


The dedication with which these guys pray when it is time to pray is the same dedication with which they work out and stay consistent in the gym. Maybe if some of us here in the west had that, less of us would be suffering from keyboard warrior syndrome?


This is from a bodybuilding competition in Jalalabad, in April 2007. My wife (that's her in the photo) helped organize an agricultural trade fair, as part of an aid project. She asked some of her Afghan counterparts what would be good entertainment for the crowd. They said that bodybuilding and training was really popular, so they put on a show. It was a huge hit.





Why are they bigger than most here?


Yeah, I can't answer that. I know that Jalalabad is not developed like Kabul - the gyms are minimal, with a lot of training equipment cobbled together from old machinery, pipe and so on. I'd have to say, these guys have a lot of heart. And of course, they almost all struggle day-to-day, to put food on the table for their families.

I'll post a couple more pics that Jenny took that day.




It was already growing when we went over there (we as in US military). Contrary to what some seem to believe, bodybuilding actually seems to be growing in a lot of places despite the negative image HERE....even though we possibly have the best equipment and means to make the most progress.

I have heard from some soldiers that it is pretty big in Germany also.