By Franklin Wilson
The challenges are many at this juncture of the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It is no secret and well documented how the sports world has buckled the world over; and while there have been many distressing stories, there have also been some encouraging ones too.
And, even in the face of the lockdown, reigning Equipped Overall National Champion, Vijai ‘Antsman’ Rahim has been able to keep himself active and is fit as a fiddle as he strives to stay in shape.
The Fitness Express sponsored Rahim who started powerlifting at 13 years-old and first competed at14 years-old and has been a consistent performer ever since setting and breaking records along the way.
Rahim, who hails from Rosignol (Reg. #5) also owns a Gym which has been a huge positive for him during these times of social distancing. Kaieteur Sport relished the opportunity to chat with Rahim on how he has been able to maneuverer during this unprecedented period.
KS – How difficult has it been for you during these challenging times?
VR- It has been very difficult but I’m able to find a way out because I’m employed at Guysuco and I also have my own Gym.
KS – As a champion athlete, how have you been able to stay fit and focused?
VR – I haven’t missed a session of training because I’m a bit fortunate to have my own gym, it’s a life time investment but it was
KS – Share a bit with us about the job you do?
VR – Well I’m a big believer in hard work so I never get anyway with laziness. I’m a Constable at the Blairmont Sugar Estate. I’m also a Gym Instructor, Personal Trainer, Farmer, Husband and a father of two. I work eight (8) hours at the Estate, two (2) in garden, three (3) for me to train, sometimes six (6) to ten (10) for personal training and instructing; the remaining time is for home and rest.
KS – How have you been able to take care of your nutrition in order to be able to manage so many things successfully?
VR – My nutrition is intact and I must say a special thank you to Mr. Jamie McDonald, the Manager/Owner of Fitness Express for his continued support and sponsorship. Besides all of the problems with the Covid-19 and elections, I still get my monthly sponsorship of a protein powder of my choice from Fitness Express. That apart, I go strictly organic as I grow most of my vegetables. I don’t live very far away from the market so I get all of my fruits, meats and fish, fresh.
KS – You are a father and husband, how are you managing to take care of family, work and still train?
VR – I’m able to manage everything because I have a very steady job and a gym and my wife trains too, so when I’m in the gym she takes care of the kids and when she’s in the gym, I take care of the kids …she’s also a Fitness Instructor. So with team work we are able to get it done.
KS – How often do you train?
VR – I do various types of training; full body training as well as off season to develop my muscles where I train seven (7) days and when I’m preparing for a competition I do powerlifting training where I do a split style training, three (3) times per week.
KS – Have you missed the fact that all competitions have been put on hold or called off?
VR – I’m at a point in my life where it doesn’t matter if there’s a competition or not because my competition is with myself. Besides, I was very disappointed with the results from my last competition. I did 700 lbs deadlift at 159 lbs bodyweight which is history being the first person to do 4.4 times my bodyweight and the lightest lifter to deadlift 700 lbs also the first person from Berbice to deadlift 700 lbs.
KS – Are you looking forward to getting back on stage?
VR – As I said my competition is myself…if there’s competition I will compete but if there’s not it won’t matter. The last time I competed in 2019 I took part as a 74 kg Open lifter, I weighed in at 159 lbs and I achieved a 633.5lbs squat, 402.5 lbs bench press which was a new bench record. I also achieved a700 lbs deadlift which is also a national record along with a new Total record of 1636 lbs, all records being in the Equipped division.
KS – What would be your advice to other athletes in terms of remaining focused?
VR – We as athletes in fitness are aware that it’s a daily grind, it’s a lifestyle it’s not about doing it for a period of time and you are done; just hard consistent and committed work. My advice is if a person wants something bad enough you will find a way to get it; consistency, discipline and dedication makes the difference. So even in these challenging times, you need to find a way to keep fit physically, mentally and spiritually, it is very important so that you can be relevant when we get over this phase of the covid-19. With equipment or not, you must find a way to get it done.
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