This Sea Point woman proves that dynamite comes in small packages.
Firdous Asmodien, 38, is one of the top five female bodybuilders in South Africa – and she only started in February last year!
On Saturday, the physiotherapist won first place in the International Federation of Bodybuilders South Africa (IFBBSA) Shaneen Classic competition, held at CPUT in Bellville.
It took her a couple of weeks to build muscle and a year later, she’s still going strong.
“I wanted to be healthier and fit,” she says.
“I was very active growing up but when I got to my mid 30s, I started to feel sluggish.
“Your metabolism changes and you need to start watching what you eat because your body doesn’t digest food the same way.”
Firdous, who is married to D1S Drift Squad chairman Noer Asmodien, says her personal trainer encouraged her to enter her first fitness competition.
“I was [hesitant], I didn’t want to get on stage and do this thing,” she says.
“I then decided I’m going to do this challenge and see if I can transform my body.
“You always see pictures in magazines and wonder if it’s possible so I went in full force.
“My journey started in February when I entered the USN [supplement] body makeover challenge.
“At that stage I had 24 percent body fat, I did a makeover challenge and I went down to 10 percent [body fat] in 12 weeks.
“I followed a strict exercise plan daily and spent two to three hours a day in the gym.
“I’m using my supplements, training hard and eating right.”
Firdous prepared herself for the fitness bikini category, but was disqualified because she was “too lean”.
But the setback spurred her on.
“I was then told to enter in the body fitness category,” she says.
“I thought to myself ‘I sacrificed so much and now I’m being thrown somewhere else’.
“I have a sweet tooth and I cut out everything I love to prepare for fitness bikini category.
“When I couldn’t enter that category I thought to myself ‘why didn’t I have more chocolate cake?’”
But much to her surprise, judges selected her as the category winner.
Later this month, Firdous will compete in the Arnold Classic Africa competition.
The annual multisport event is named after legendary bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hulky John Charles was the winner of the Novice over 80kg and Masters over 40s categories.