Breaking the gender stereotypes in fitness – The Business Standard

Women do yoga, men lift weights – this has been the fitness stereotype for decades. 

In fact, having muscles was not considered feminine for a long time. Women’s fitness mostly revolved around aerobics, dance classes or morning walks. 

But this has since changed and more women are now joining gyms for strength training. 

Fitness enthusiast and fashion model Samira Sayed has been powerlifting for two years. She believes it is never too late to start your fitness journey.

In 2018, Samira started going to the gym just to keep fit. 

In 2019, while training for a powerlifting championship, she deadlifted 80 kilos and that inspired her to concentrate more on strength training.

She became one of the finalists at the qualifying round of BD Powerlifting Championship 2020 and secured fourth position at the finals under the 63 kilograms category.  

She is especially thankful to her coach Zico Zaman, owner of Oxygym in Dhaka, for seeing her potential and training her.  

“Simply put, powerlifting is playing with strength,” she said, adding, “It is also about emotional and psychological connection with your body. It is a lifestyle.”    

Samira’s first day at the gym was not that difficult because she was mentally prepared for what she was about to face. “Muscle soreness is a common issue for new gym-goers. You cannot stop working out because of it, rather you should push through,” she said. 

Samira follows a high carbohydrate, high protein, and low sugar diet. She strictly avoids restaurant food, but once in a while treats herself. 

“I usually do not eat dessert but I do eat a bit of cheese or yoghurt. I love to cook so that is a bonus,” she said.  

She absolutely loves leg workouts and deadlifts. “I do not like upper body workouts but I have to do them anyway!” she shared.  

She suggested exercises like body weight squats, planks, and lunges for those wishing to start working out at home. “Invest in some basic dumbbells and resistance belts so that you can do full body workouts at home,” she said. 

When Tasneem, a Masters student at Brac, wanted to lift weights, she was taken aback by negative comments from people around her. 

The first resistance was from her parents, who had a hard …….


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