It is amazing when you are able to find your passion so young in your life and it is a passion that keeps you physically fit. Marudeen Aivaz has evolved his passion to suit his healthy way of life. He is a weightlifter and bodybuilder. He also believes that good nutrition goes hand in hand with the whole fitness aspect. In addition, Marudeen Aivaz believes that the cornerstone of any fitness lifestyle is the attention to nutrition and that chronic health issues can many times be addressed with good nutrition.

Marudeen was born in California. He is one of three children raised with a Middle-eastern culture centered around family, food, and fitness. His parents were very active and went to the gym regularly. By the age of fifteen, Marudeen Aivaz would join his parents at the gym and work-out on the equipment. By the time he reached college, he had a great foundation for pursuing weight lifting and bodybuilding.

According to Marudeen Aivaz, fitness is a lifelong journey. He believes nutrition is one key on the path. There are no short-cuts to be taken and no pill to replace the hard work, focus, and dedication it takes to achieve healthy lifestyle goals.

What is your hobby?
My hobby is weight lifting and bodybuilding. My parents were very active. They believed in staying fit and going to the gym. I use to go with them when I was about fifteen and I used some of the equipment and dabbled a bit with weight lifting. But I didn’t start my actual weight training until later.

How did you get started with your weight lifting and bodybuilding hobby?
Initially, I began weight lifting as a sophomore in high school when I was on the wrestling team. Our training consisted of learning how to grapple, but also required that we spent a portion of our time learning weight lifting for strength training. We learned techniques such as squat, bench, and deadlifts. It was not a passion of mine at that time more than it was a requirement of the sport.

Weight lifting was a part of the college culture and many of my friends were into weight lifting. As a result, I continued weight lifting through my college years. My interest really peaked when I was in my first year of college. I was about 18 when I began to learn more about nutrition, fitness and the importance of sleeping habits. It was at this time when it became more of a passion for me. I have been pursuing knowledge and I have been evolving ever since.

What do you love about weight lifting?

There are many reasons why weight lifting is a benefit in my life. Being able to see your body transform over time is one reason. You can control the way you look. It is also a challenge. The more you put in the more you get out. I am a challenge-oriented person in general, it is always a challenge for me.  You can never be the strongest or the best or the fittest. It is the continued striving to be better that keeps me going.

What are some of the challenges that you have encountered in weight lifting?

There have been flexibility problems, back problems, shoulder problems and minor strains. Sometimes you can be walking down the street and if your hip is tight, you can pull a muscle, and be limping for the rest of the day. That has happened to me numerous times. I have also had a few surgeries. I have had broken fingers and broken toes.

Do you have any groups that you are a part of or that you attend to encourage you with weight lifting & bodybuilding?

I am not a part of any groups or organizations who participate in weight lifting or bodybuilding. However, I attend local powerlifting events to learn about the culture. I have not yet competed in any of the events.

Have you had to invest in any equipment and if so, can you share whatever you have bought?

Most of the equipment that I have bought is used for safety. I have purchased running shoes and a safety belt for my back. I purchased straps to make your grip stronger. I purchased chalk to make your grip stronger. I purchased wrist wraps to keep your wrists from hyperextending when you are working out. I believe that everyone should invest in safety equipment.

Where do you get most of your supplies?

There are two stores that I would recommend especially for bodybuilding equipment. The first source that I go to is BodyBuilding.com and the other one is EliteFts.

Are there any books you would recommend for beginners of weight lifting and bodybuilding?

For bodybuilding, I would recommend Arnold’s Encyclopedia by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The book I would recommend for powerlifting is 5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength by Jim Wendler. These two books together would give anyone learning about both sports as a great comprehension of each sport.

How has being involved in each of these sports has changed your life?

One way it has enhanced my life is that I have been able to make so many friends with people who have the same interest. The gym is a very social place. You can develop a lot of close relationships and a lot of trusted relationships. If you go to the gym every day, you are seeing the same people there all the time. You become close to a group that you spend a lot of time with. Participating in these sports has increased my confidence. It always feels good when you reach a personal goal that you have set for yourself. It could be a body weight goal or a strength goal perhaps it is a certain number of repetitions that you’ve had in mind, it is just a really rewarding feeling. There are also times when a perfect stranger will approach you to ask questions about what you are doing. It is nice to share knowledge with people. It has kept me at a good body mass index (BMI) and maintain good habits.

What advice would you have for someone else starting out with this hobby?

My advice would be to remember that fitness is a journey. You will always be making evolutions in your body. Don’t rush the process. It takes a long time. It is not something where you can see results overnight. It takes much more work than people probably think. There is no magic pill or potion to achieve your goals. Stay consistent and continue to educate yourself as much as you can. I would also recommend lifting smart. Always keep in mind that an injury at the gym is not likely but always a possibility. The more you progress in weight lifting, no matter which techniques you use, powerlifting, bodybuilding, or Olympic lifting, there is always a chance of getting hurt. Also, taking rest periods is not a bad thing and it is good for your body. Picking the right exercise selection is a good idea. It would be a good idea to first focus on bodybuilding to start off with and then go to powerlifting. It would be a good foundation to set for yourself. After you map your foundation you can get into other things.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

One of the other things I love is to cook. I started cooking in college. I believe it goes hand in hand with the whole fitness aspect. The cornerstone of any fitness lifestyle or program is the attention to nutrition. I believe chronic health problems can many times be fixed through nutrition. It is a very big part of my life.

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