Community, Weeklies

Bodybuilders: Creating more than just an image

“Quitters never win. Winners never quit.”

These are the words that members of the Boston University Bodybuilding & Fitness Club proudly have printed on their T-shirts.

Prady Tewarie, a professional bodybuilder and founder of BUBFC, said she is trying to give students the opportunity to experience that.

BUBFC was created in the spring as a group focused on motivating people within the BU community to reach their personal training goals, according to organization’s website.

By hosting meetings focused on fitness, nutrition, supplementation and technique, the BUBFC serves as a valuable resource for training information, support and motivation for the needs of BU students.

 

MEET THE TEAM

Motivated by his passion for bodybuilding, Tewarie, a senior in the College of Arts of Sciences studying political science and film, said he strives to turn the idea of a fitness-minded support system into a lasting community.

“Three of my friends and I came up with the idea of creating the BUBFC after we noticed that there was no organization on campus catering to students’ fitness needs,” Tewarie said.

And he has come a long way. More than 200 members, ranging from freshmen to graduate students, have signed up for the fall to receive information on the fitness and nutrition services BUBFC offers.

Free Zumba classes are now being held in classrooms in CAS, instructed by a fellow BUBFC member and professional dancer. The club is trying to get their voice heard in the BU community to improve students’ options.

For instance, on Twitter, BUBFC wrote, “@BUDiningService Can we get Greek yogurt [in] the salad bar?”

Although Tewarie originally based the club off of his own experience in bodybuilding, by undertaking further research on physical fitness to widen his expertise and by coordinating with professional athletes and certified nutritionists, he said, the BUBFC will provide an appealing option in addition to PDP classes offered to students at FitRec.

 

CELEBRITY TRAINING

Not only will members be able to work on their own goals at their own pace, but they will also be introduced to a gym-buddy system. This system will ensure that members will always have someone to turn to for emotional support, as well as someone to work with to exploring different approaches to fitness for each individual, he said.

In addition to training together at the Fitness & Recreation Center and meeting for frequent dinners at Chipotle, the club arranges activities for students to mingle with professionals such as the former Mr. Universe Greg Rando, Mr. USA Jose Raymond, Female Figure and Bodybuilding competitor Lori Steele and National Champion Ron Harris.

“I was excited to learn that these organized clubs exist in colleges because they’re promoting the sport of bodybuilding and fitness and helping to promote its benefits,” Rando, who owns his own gym and personal training business, said.

Rando initially worked with the BUBFC during a seminar to promote awareness about the benefits of bodybuilding, where the group raised money for inner-city lifting groups. He said he was then inspired to share his experience with the club.

“After the event, I was so encouraged by the turn out and the enthusiasm of the students,” he said. “I talked to them about setting aside some time to help individuals in the club by sharing my 20 years of experience in the fitness industry and helping to really educate and express what bodybuilding and fitness has done for me in my life.”

Rando said he hopes to inspire the club members and to incorporate health and physical fitness into their lifestyles.

DEDICATED MEMBERS

While the club is gaining new members as the new semester starts, a few returning students, Tewarie said, bring something unique to the club and exemplify what makes BUBFC special.

This group includes School of Management sophomore Cherie Pereira, CAS junior Edward Ho and Metropolitan College first-year graduate student Lawrence Yu.

Cherie Pereira, a native of Mumbai, India, said that not only has the BUBFC provided her with a great support system to help achieve the goals she set for herself upon joining, but it has come to mean much more since then.

Like any new college student, Pereira said she wanted to take the notorious “freshman 15” head-on. She was looking to get in shape and find a healthy balance.

At first intimidated by the thought of tackling the weight room alone at FitRec, Pereira found that the bonds and friendships she made with other members of the club was the best kind of encouragement and motivation to start — and stick to — her fitness routine and choices towards a healthy lifestyle.

“I now follow the Paleo diet, but I didn’t even know what it was until a friend of mine on the e-board introduced it to me,” Pereira said. “If I hadn’t met the people I have and made the changes I’ve made, I don’t know what my life would be like at BU. It wouldn’t be as good as it is right now.”

Such enthusiasm is exactly what makes it all worth it for Tewarie, he said.

“Cherie had a goal when she came in, and it’s great to see that she’s made so much improvement,” he said. “Now she’s one of the first ones at every event, and that makes me really happy. I find that inspiring for myself.”

 

LOOKING FORWARD

Promoting the positive side to the sport of bodybuilding is what Tewarie said he hopes to accomplish during his last year at BU, and what he hopes will continue to thrive when he passes down the organization to current members of the club’s e-board.

“There are a lot of misconceptions and negative connotations about bodybuilding in pop culture,” Tewarie said. “People think bodybuilders are stupid or associate them with steroid abuse. But I’m trying to get away from that image and show the regimented discipline that the sport inspires.”

 

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Yu, who came to BU from the University of Delaware for his graduate degree, has also found tremendous motivation in the perseverance thriving within the BUBFC community.

Looking to meet other people with similar interests to talk to and train with, Yu has found strength in being surrounded by goal-minded individuals who push him to set and reach his own goals.

“Prady [Tewarie] has really worked with me and motivated me to train smarter,” he said. “I just came off a back injury a year ago, so if I hadn’t met Prady, I would still be struggling towards recovery.”

Providing one-on-one attention to members is one of the goals Tewarie continues to work towards this year.

“Fitness is a personal thing,” Ho said. “You get involved on your own goals. So we’re just there to help.”

A Bostonian and e-board member of the BUBFC, Ho originally got involved in the club simply by attending one of its weightlifting events that had peaked his interest.

But after getting to interact with people who shared his curiosity, and meeting professional lifters, Ho said he grew attached to the concept of the club.

“Before the club, there wasn’t really anything fitness-oriented [on campus], so I feel that it’s established something to bring people together,” he said.

Pereira said altogether, BUBFC has given her an all-around better perspective on self-confidence.

“Last semester I was a freshman, a girl and an international student. You think, I’m going to go and everyone will be fit, and I’ll stand out,” Pereira said.

“You would think it’s intimidating, but it’s not at all,” she added. “Everyone is really helpful and approachable. It’s nice to meet other girls that understand.”

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