Let us introduce you to the man who is taking revolutionary steps in making Bangladesh fit. Celebrity fitness guru and the man behind arguably the best gym in town, Ruslan Hossain shares with us his story.
1. What were your childhood years like?
Growing up in a joint family, and being an only child has enabled me to get away with quite a lot of mischief in my childhood years. For that, I will forever be grateful to my parents and family members – they allowed me to grow into my own. They gave me the benefit of the doubt and supported me throughout my life, letting me follow my passion rather than forcing me down a path that I did not like.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have made it this far without the constant support, help and guidance of my wife Sabaah S. Khan, the woman of my dreams and my biggest strength.
In retrospect, I think it was the time that I spent at school (Bangladesh International School) that helped me to discover my talents. My time at BIS helped me understand that my passion lay in unconventional disciplines. And I shall forever have my teachers to thank for guiding me through it all ever so graciously. I’d always been very passionate about sports, but playing cricket in school is what amplified my love for sports ten-fold. However, even though I loved playing cricket and played it well, I never pursued it as a profession – but my friends and I still do play occasionally.
2. How did you get introduced to the sport of bodybuilding?
During my A’ levels, I developed a serious addiction to junk food, which caused me to become overweight. It was then that I decided that it was time to do something about my weight, and so I joined a gym. At this point, I had no intention of starting body-building; all I wanted was to get fit, and if possible, develop a few bulging muscles in the process. Back at that time, the possibility of me having six packs was a dream for me. So when my instructor, Rana, approached me out of the blue to suggest that I take up body-building, I was quite surprised, but not entirely against the idea. Rana did quite a good job in training me – I started to feel the change from day one. Even though the effort I was putting into exercising was slowly starting to become visible, I was still dissatisfied with the outcome. Therefore, after consulting my instructor, I shifted to a diet that was more suitable for body-building. Within the next 3-4 months, I started to observe more prominent results. That is how my journey as a bodybuilder started, and I’ve had no reason to look back.
3. Can you tell us about the bodybuilding competitions you’ve participated in so far?
The very first competition that I participated in was one that was hosted by my gym. Even though I had developed a pretty solid six-pack by then, my competitors were far ahead of me in the bodybuilding game which was to be expected because they had started their bodybuilding journeys way before I had. Nonetheless, I was not discouraged. When I observed my competitors struggling to form decent poses in the free posing round of the competition, I considered it as an opportunity for me to gain some votes by flexing my newly developed muscles. That was the very first bodybuilding competition that I won.
After that, at the age of 19, I participated in my first Mr. Bangladesh competition. I went in feeling very confident but came out feeling somewhat deflated. Every single one of the participants in the competition was ripped from the neck down. My six-packs paled in comparison to their magnificent bodies, and so obviously, I ranked low. This experience, however, did not dishearten me in the slightest. If anything, I was even more pumped up to become bigger.
4. How did the idea of opening your studio came to you?
In the year 2009, I decided that it was time for me to use my knowledge of bodybuilding to help others. So I asked my parents if I could use our dining space to start a one-on-one training studio. My father invested in my idea and helped me set up my studio with all the necessary equipment. It started with 10 to 15 regular clients. In 2013, I took a risk and decided to move to Banani because traffic was causing a lot of hassle for my clients to get to my studio. Changing locations in the kind of business that I am associated with is often very risky because you never know whether you’re going to find the same level of response in the new area or not. After a year in Banani, we found a high-rise building in Kamal Ataturk Avenue that I instantly fell in love with because it had been a dream to own a gym with a view. Even though a lot of renovation was required to fancy up the place, it was worth it, because the current view from my studio is mesmerizing.
In the location, we expanded and remodeled our studio to take over two floors, one of which we designated for the basic work-out routines, and the other for tutorial classes of Yoga, Zumba, and Mixed Martial.
5. What are your aspirations for the fitness industry in regards to Bangladesh?
It has always been my wish to do what little I can to help the fitness industry to grow in Bangladesh. There used to be a time when people used to disregard fitness institutions and their work. Even now, people look down on this institution. In my opinion, if this industry has to grow further in this country, people have to come out of their shells and embrace the idea of fitness centers as a beneficiary addition to modern society.
6. Can you talk about some of the milestones in your career?
I am very proud of the fact that I have been able to complete more than 5000 assessments. Training these people has helped me learn more about human anatomy and has taught me how to work with different body types. When it comes to training, I am always interested in gaining more knowledge – I am always open to change.
7. Aside from bodybuilding, what else are you interested in?
Well, I also have a degree in Nutrition from J. D. Birla Institute in Kolkata. I feel like getting an education in a discipline that is related to my line of work has helped me to gain more insight and learn healthier ways to train my clients. Apart from that, I am very passionate about pets. My wife of 3 years, Sabaah Khan, and I own two dogs, one cat and a lot of fishes together. Additionally, cricket was, is and forever will be a very important part of my life.
8. What are your plans for the future?
I am always in competition with myself, trying to improve myself in every possible way that I can. As a bodybuilder, I want to reach greater heights. I have plans for participating in three international bodybuilding competitions this year. As for the studio, it will continue to be there in the service of people, helping them reach their desired body goals.
Ruslan Hossain is an inspiration to many. The Prestige wishes him every luck in his future endeavors.