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Ahmed Nasir


Ahmed Nasir grew up basking in the sun by the sea off the East Coast of Africa, so his introduction to sport and fitness naturally began at quite a young age.

Ahmed Nasir

Swimming, however, was the name of the game and Ahmed competed in open sea swimming galas and triathlons.  Yet while he got a serious thrill out of competing and training, he soon developed a fascination for all things gym and how bodybuilders sculpted their bodies.

Intrigue led to passion and Ahmed began focusing on building a physique he admired without impeding on his swimming athleticism.  Basically – he wanted to be cut, without too much bulk.

A move to Scotland, however, forced Ahmed to rethink his open water competitions and his passion for the gym only increased, yet he was happy just doing it to keep himself fit and healthy

His turning point came in 2014 when a close friend suggested he should try competing.  Initially daunted by the prospect, as he didn't want to look “too big,” his friend introduced him to the Men's Physique class and Ahmed knew in his gut that this was to be his next challenge.

So, he began training – hard – all the while maintaining his already clean diet and took his first steps onto the competition stage at the UKBFF Scottish Championships placing fourth out of seventeen.

This was simply not good enough for the competitive Ahmed and he began researching ways to improve his physique even further as well as competing at various events to garner as much experience as possible. In May 2015, all his hard work paid off as he successfully scooped the top prize at the Scottish Champs!

Ahmed now freely admits he has the competition bug and has no intention of letting up now.

Here's his story…

Ahmed Nasir - The Interview


Hi Ahmed, thank you for taking the time to chat with us - let's start with an easy one, could you give us a breakdown of your sporting history…

Having a privilege of being brought up in an island on the east coast of Africa came with advantage of spending a lot of time swimming in the ocean.

The tropical temperatures, sea, sun and the beach acted like a vacuum that sucked me into taking swimming participation from a hobby to a competitive sport. I competed in open sea swimming galas and also triathlon.

How did you get into bodybuilding?

Ahmed Nasir on Stage

Part of my swimming exercise regimen involved training in the gym. I had to do some resistance and cardiovascular exercises to help with muscle development as well as cardiovascular endurance that will both assist in competitions.

Training in the gym exposed me to bodybuilding. I remember the gym I went to had pictures of different bodybuilders with amazing physiques posted on the walls. In one of the pictures posted was of a guy called Shaun Ray.

This guy had a fascinating physique; he was well proportioned with an amazing ripped core. You simply couldn't fault his well-balanced physique. I started taking interest in how bodybuilders sculpted their bodies.

I was intrigued and one thing led to another, I started spending more time in the gym focusing on building a physique that I thought was ideal for me without jeopardising my swimming athletic performance by getting too big.

How long was it before you were happy with your physique?

Being a swimmer and having athletic body meant I had a good foundation to build a physique that was ideal, so I thought. However after years of training, one thing that I realised is that you never get satisfied with your physique.

one thing that I realised is that you never get satisfied with your physique

You always look for weaknesses and try to work on them, always trying to look better than you are, always looking for more. So my answer to your question is I don't think I have ever been happy with my physique but I however am satisfied with the progress I am making.

What was your lifestyle like before your transformation?

I have always led a healthy lifestyle, I try to eat clean as much as possible and train at least 3 to 4 times a week. However, being a full-time student and a part-time worker comes with challenges. Most of the time, I have to go for hours without eating a proper nutritious meal.

Other times I end up eating junk food unfortunately, especially during exam time when I get very busy. Another challenge is affordability of the main components of the diet; Protein. As we all know, lean and clean sources of protein don't come cheap.

And now…?

My lifestyle right now revolves around my transformation and goals. My diet has been very clean and training has been consistent. Don't get me wrong, when I say my diet has been very clean it does not mean eating boring chicken breast and broccoli all the time.

Thanks to Muscle Food for providing lean and clean sources and variety of foods at very affordable prices.

I still struggle during exams period as much of my time is occupied, but nowadays no matter how busy I get, I still squeeze in time to do my meal prep. As this is the only way to make sure I eat what my body requires in order to help me progress toward my goal.

I do carb cycling diet; I find this type of diet to be very effective and works very well on me without jeopardising the loss of muscle mass.

Carb Cycling - Low Carb Day

Every day the macronutrients are different no Tupperware or plate contain the same amount of macronutrients. I am currently on a very strict diet. I am trying to stay at single digit body fat percentage. This ensures that I can be competition ready in a matter of a few weeks.

During your transformation, were there any unique challenges that made your journey particularly tough?

I faced different challenges during my transformation both mental and physical.

  • Physical challenge: Loss of strength in the weight room. It is without a doubt after reduction of calorie intake from carb restriction you start losing strength which might also lead to feeling lethargic.
  • Mental challenge: The lethargy brings about some mood swings but it is bearable. However, when cravings start to creep in then it gets harder. It's like an inner battle, to cheat or not to cheat?

The funny part is that you start craving for foods that are usually not in the menu. The thoughts become impaired and most of the time you think about food. If you are not strongly determined in what you want to achieve, you can easily sin.

What inspired you to compete in the UKBFF Scottish Championships earlier this year [2015]?

In 2014, a very good friend of mine at the gym asked me why I didn't compete. My response to him was:
“I am not sure if I would do well in bodybuilding and also I am not keen in getting big as I just want a good physique”.

He then told me that is not what he was suggesting, and he said that I will do well in men's physique and that I have a great chance in placing. I took his words very seriously and in the same year I competed twice.

Competing

The first competition was UKBFF Scottish Championship, which I placed 4th out of 17 in a strong line-up. Many people will be happy with the result, I however was very disappointment and I looked at every possible reason of why didn't I win the competition.

When I do something I give 100% and I go all the way.

So I asked myself a lot of questions: Was it the whole preparation that was wrong? Was it my physique? Was it the diet or was it my posing? I had so many questions but one thing was certain, I was determined to do better.

I trained harder, tweaked my diet and I had a friend of mine to help me with posing. Two months later I competed again at the UKBFF Championship in Leeds. I triumphed and claimed the up to 178cm men's physique North East Champion title, which gave me an automatic invite to the UKBFF British finals.

In October 2014 I competed in British Finals and placed 5th, another great achievement but yet disappointing result.

In May 2015 I went on again to compete at the UKBFF Scottish championship. This time I ensured that I left no stone unturned, I live in Scotland and winning the Scottish championship meant a lot to me. I successfully scooped the UKBFF men's physique up to 178cm Scottish Champion title.

Competing

Word on the wire is you walked away with 1st place… Could you describe the moment for us?

It was unbelievable, no words I could put together to describe the feeling. I mean I simply could not believe it. All I could think about was is this real or is it a dream?

How long did it take before your victory sunk in?

I think it took me a week to realise that the winning actually happened and it wasn't just a dream. All that week was exciting, my colleagues, classmates, friends and family they were all congratulating my success.

Top 3 lessons you learnt from the moment you made the decision to compete to walking off the stage with the trophy?

The three things I learned would be persistence, sacrifice and staying positive.

  • Persistence: - Holding on even when you feel like quitting. Not allowing anything to stop you from doing what you do and staying on course unless it's something really severe.
    For me this meant I needed to stay on track with my diet and training no matter what. Unless it's a health problem then I would take time off dieting and training to recover.
  • Sacrifice: - “Giving up something that matters for something that matters more” This quote says it all; you must be willing to give up on some things that can jeopardise the progression towards your goal.
    For me it meant giving up on junk food, parties, clubbing and even eating out.
  • Staying positive: - Because giving up on most things that you like is tough, you are going to need to harness Positive Mental Energy (PMA). At some point during the diet and training, you are going to start missing food and hanging out with mates.
    That's where the staying positive comes in, you use positive self-talk to stay on track.

Explain your current training philosophy…

My training is purely based on my current goal, which is muscle hypertrophy. I do a lot of resistance exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press, pull-ups and dips. I train 6 days a week and have one day off. I usually do one major muscle followed by a minor muscle.

For example:

Ahmed on Stage
  • Chest and biceps on Monday
  • Quads and calves on Tuesday
  • Back and triceps on Wednesday
  • I take a rest day after every 3 consecutive days of training…

By splitting different muscle groups on different days gives me an advantage to train the muscles once they are fully recovered.

Giving me an upper hand to blast the rest of muscle groups left to be trained. I ensure that I train all muscle groups in a week.

I however emphasise my weakness points to ensure I bring them up to match with my overall appearance.

Personally I think that there is nothing worse than having a mismatched muscle proportion. Having a big chest that overpowers shoulders or having big biceps that overpowers triceps is nothing less than a nightmare for any physique athlete.

What about cardio - love it or loathe it?

Cardiovascular exercises only exist in my training regimen 6 weeks prior to competition. Once the fat loss plateaus after diet alteration and weight training, only then I add cardio in my arsenal to ensure that I win the war against fat, especially the stubborn fat that's hanging on for dear life.

I introduce ten minutes HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) twice a week in my training regimen.

The HIIT after the weight training sessions. I do treadmill sprints for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of a light jog and sometimes I do sprints outdoors.

To be honest I prefer the outdoors, not only do I find it easy to push myself to the limit without worrying about falling but also it motivates me.

However, living in Scotland doesn't come with privilege of having good weather.

Top 5 songs you HAVE to have on your playlist to get you through a tough sesh?

Ahmed on Stage
  • Jay Z - 99 Problems
  • Rick Ross - Hold Me Back
  • Rick Ross ft. Jay Z - The Devil is a Lie
  • JME ft. Giggs - Man Don't Care
  • The Game ft. 2 Chains, Rick Ross - Ali Bomaye

Tell us more about your approach to nutrition?

My nutrition is based on goals. As I said earlier on I try to stay as close as possible to my peak condition. I eat my meals every 2.5/3 hours; I usually consume six to seven meals a day. My macros are well balanced in those meals.

I eat all my carbohydrate allowance in the first three meals and post workout. The last two meals consist of high protein food like steaks or fish and salads or vegetables. In the evenings I am unlikely to be active and consumption of carbohydrate might lead to an increase of adipose tissue (fat).

When I start dieting for competition, I use carb cycling diet; I find this to be very effective for fat loss. Below is an example of my 7-day carb cycling method using 200 grams of carbs as the highest amount on a high day:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
200g 150g 100g 50g
100g 150g 200g


I repeat the cycle throughout the course of the diet. The sources I use for my carbohydrate allowance are from:

Ahmed on Stage

These sources ensure I don't get a surge of glucose in the blood stream.

The only time I use simple carbs is post workout, I consume dextrose with my post workout shake. I also have a cheat meal once a weak to cut down the cravings and keep me going. I stop cheat meals 6 weeks out from competitions.

Biggest foodie weakness?

My old time favourite, it doesn't matter if I am on diet or not, I always crave for Madeira cake, Biscuits and tea. I grew up having tea time with my mum and that became engraved in my behaviour. Giving up on my afternoon tea is the biggest sacrifice I guess.

What motivates you to keep going and push harder?

Newspaper Cutting

My biggest motivation is the place I came from. I want to set an example for a lot of younger generations. There's a lot of potential in the younger generation, however many are involved gang related crime and all sorts of drug use. It is so painful to see how things went from bad to worse.

I lost a few friends from drug addiction. This gives me the drive to do the best I can and lead by example and show the younger generations that they can do better. They can achieve anything they want in life as long as they work on their dreams.

Top 3 tips for someone wanting to reach their goal physique?

  • Tip 1. Give 100% in all aspects of the goal. Training, dieting and having adequate amount of time sleeping during the night.
  • Tip 2. Make sacrifices. The ability to say no to clubbing/party invitations, no to anything that can tempt a person to slip and not go to gym or eat junk food.
  • Tip 3. Never give up! This is the most crucial tip. I am not going to lie it is great to work on a goal.

You will become so obsessed and ready for the challenge to conquer at the beginning. However, somewhere down the road you'll experience some hardship, some obstacles will come and the road can get bumpy. That's when you'll need to harness your will to stay focussed.

Tell us more about Muscle Food and you…

Muscle Food, Aw Dearest Muscle Food. When I was first introduced to Muscle Food I wasn't quite sure about it. I guess it's a natural reaction about something new really. However, when I went on musclefood.com and saw what's on sale.

I was simply amazed. I swear, like there's nowhere in the UK I have been that offer what Muscle Food has in store. Not a single website or shop that contains the amount of food and supplement varieties for bodybuilders and physique athletes.

I think it absolutely brilliant idea. In Muscle Food you can buy almost all things you desire. Let it be starters, main courses or desserts, muscle food has it but with high amount proteins (Gains), low in fat and carbs.

What more can you ask for? You can buy all sorts of food dependent on your goals.

Muscle Food gives an opportunity to a lot of people to buy different types of food that less likely to contain high amount of calories.

This is brilliant; it makes a dieting easier for many people including myself. I just simply love it.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

That's all I have to say right now. If anyone is interested in getting to know me, ask me any questions or if you are simply inspired by my story find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Abooyeah…

I will be posting my progress, diet and training tips as well.