Turning Pages with Collins Debden: Fitness and Wellness 1

As part of our fifth edition of TURNING PAGES with Collins Debden, we speak to Mumeen Shah who is a Therapy Associate at a local hospital and an aspiring bodybuilder. He discusses fitness goals, how to get started and most importantly how to stay on track with a busy schedule. 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Mumeen Shah. I’m 32 this year and currently working full-time in a hospital as a therapy associate. Today,I also train people in the gym as a freelance physical trainer as I know that with my knowledge, I can now help more people get to the fitness level that they’ve always hoped for. I also really enjoy sports and fitness, especially football and occasionally play the game on the weekend with my team. On my days off, you will find me watching a movie or grabbing a cup of coffee in a café

2. How did you get into bodybuilding?

When I was in school, I was always smaller in built and shorter than most of my peers. I was also part of the ‘’Milk Scheme Programme’’ during my secondary school days where each week, I would be given two packets of full cream milk to help me gain weight. I found it embarrassing to receive packets of milk in front of my classmates and to be always labelled as “scrawny”.

Four years ago, my self-esteem took a big hit when I was constantly being labelled because of my built. It was after this that I decided to turn my life around. I decided to quit the self-pity and procrastination and started reading up on bodybuilding. I read countless materials on how to transform physically and more importantly, mentally. Since then, I have gone on to compete as an amateur bodybuilder!

3. What inspires you to push on as you try and manage your full time profession and your passion for bodybuilding?

I think over the course of my transformation. I was inspired by the results I have achieved through my hard work. As my body continued to change, I was more encouraged to make better progress. People have also started to notice the change, which has really helped to boost my confidence and spur me to strive on.

Managing a professional career, my passion for bodybuilding and physical training commitments to my client was tough but now with a proper planning and a diary, I am able to balance all elements well. I am also inspired to continue to help my clients achieve their health and fitness goals!

4. Do you keep a fitness journal or a diary to document your achievements? What does your diary look like?

Yes I do! I track all my workouts including the exercises that I do. I also track my weight and calorie intake. This is essential in bodybuilding. It has really become my passion and now I track it with ease! My diary has photos of my transformation, which I sometimes use to inspire my clients.

5. What is your message for other professionals looking to chase their dreams and passions?

Keep chasing your dreams and if you’re into your fitness, share that knowledge with more people so that they too can achieve their health and fitness goals. Also, if you were my old-self, don’t worry, it is never too late to get started! Start small and celebrate every mini goal! You can do this!