THE WAY TO THE IFBB ELITE PRO CARD
When you come from very poor circumstances and after hard work, you are getting to achieve some success as an athlete in a sport of bodybuilding and fitness, it might be the way to your better future. That is how Ali Bilal made it and he is the real proof that if you have passion and genetics you can do whatever you decide if you to all your concentration on your career. Everybody starts from the bottom at the beginning of their career, but too many struggles too many years without any serious results. Ali Bilal is a typical athlete who has huge genetic potential and passion to succeed. Almost ten major wins in the biggest Amateur events of Europe including winning Arnold Europe Amateur and seven of them are overall victories. If this guy is qualified enough to the professional athlete so who else it would be? Muscle and Health is proud to introduce you readers – Ali Bilal!
What is your background in sport?
My first and oldest love in sports was cricket, which I played from the age of 6 and until today. I play it with friends, purely on a leisure basis and to hang out with them. Before I started my journey from Afghanistan to Europe, I also practiced karate for approximately three years and boxing for two years. Early on as a little boy, I enjoyed doing pushups and I wanted to look different from the other kids in our village. I was lean and well-toned because I was constantly bodily active, helping my father on the land or playing with the other children. My idols on sports tv were The Rock and John Cena: I wanted to look like them!
How did you become a Men’s Physique competitor?
In 2016, a friend of mine asked me to comment on his physique as he was preparing himself for participation in a Benelux fitness championship in Genk, Belgium. I convinced myself that my shoulder width, narrow waistline and my dry shape should enable me to participate and possibly even yield me a medal. I started looking for posing footage on YouTube and was coached in a proper contest prep three weeks out. On D-day, I participated in the junior series and in my length class (< 173 cm). I won both titles, and the overall men’s physique too! All at the age of 22 and at my very first participation ever in a fitness contest!
The motivation for training and dieting every day?
Basically I get motivated by looking in the mirror (a lot)! Because it provides honest feedback on the current status of my body and the course of action required. I want to preserve what I have achieved already. I also use both offseason and contest prep pictures to assess progress (or the lack thereof) over a wider time interval. Preserving always a good shape is essential: my offseason shape seldom differs more than 5 kg from my ideal contest weight. That is the basis. Fine-tuning during a contest prep therefore never is a dramatic event: I find it easier to maintain a fairly strict diet at all times than to regret binge eating afterward. I may have one cheat meal every 3 to 4 weeks, but never a cheat day. Never!
What is your most important win?
Undoubtedly the Arnold Classic Europe – what a morale booster that was!
Nordic Cup – First competition as a Pro athlete?
Having won the Overall in the Nordic Cup competition, the Head Judge invited me to participate in the Pro Show. It had been a tough day already, and I gradually lost a bit of hardness as the amateur competition continued. I was less than optimal when I appeared on stage for the Pro competition, in a line up of 18 athletes. But I felt honored by the invitation and gave it my very best. I wanted to show that amateurs can score in Pro contests too. I finished in 5th place and I was truly happy with this unexpected result. It boosted my determination to continue with the sport in the Pro League. And my first foray in the Pro League won me friends for life: they looked in amazement at this daring youngster!
Full interview and gallery in the July issue. Get it know!