What’s On has details of the bodybuilding world championships taking place in Dubai Sports City on June 13. Find out what bodybuilders eat.

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Hundreds of amateur and professional fitness buffs and bunnies from 54 countries will be facing-off and flexing pecs in the 2015 INBA (International Natural Bodybuilding Association) World Championships this month in Dubai Sports City. Billed as an all-natural competition, participants are free from any steroid-use or other illegal supplements and are tested regularly throughout the competition. Bodybuilders compete in various divisions throughout the day from Bikini Diva and Sports Model heats to Mr Physique and couple contests, all played out before a panel of keen-eyed judges. Welcome to the ultimate gun show.

Rico van Huizenrico

Age: 24
Country: Netherlands
Division: Amateur Mr World

How did you get involved in bodybuilding? When I was 13 my father showed me the film Pumping Iron. Arnold Schwarzenegger fascinated me.

How often are you in the gym? I train five times a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I rest on Wednesday and Sunday. Workouts last somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes.

What kind of poses do you do on stage? First rounds are relaxed poses where you stand – without flexing – in front of the judges. The second round is a set of compulsory poses where you squeeze each muscle on stage individually including biceps, triceps, back, chest, abs and legs. The third round is an individual posing routine where you demonstrate your physique in the best way possible.

How competitive is bodybuilding? Everybody treats each other like friends. Of course there is rivalry, but it’s good rivalry.

Do you get nervous before a big competition? I was 17 when I did my first show and have been doing this for nine years. I don’t really get nervous. It’s a moment where I need to be my most confident.

Are you excited to compete in Dubai? It’s a dream come true. It’s amazing to get the opportunity to travel and compete against the best athletes from all over the world.

Rico’s daily food intake:

Meal 1: Oatmeal with syrup, whey protein shake, one banana, three Oreo cookies, 200g frozen fruits, coconut milk

Meal 2: 100g of pasta, two can of sardines, corn mix, 100g of salad

Meal 3 & 4: 150g of chicken with chilli, 100g of salad, olive oil

Meal 5: Whey protein shake, 200g frozen fruits

Serene Ghandour

Serene GhandourAge: 35
Country: Palestine
Division: Bikini Diva

Do you think bodybuilding is a sport? Absolutely. Just like any other athlete, bodybuilders put in a lot of hard work, time, dedication and make many sacrifices to reach their goals.

How often are you in the gym? I work out twice a day, for six days a week.

What supplements do you use? I only use BCAA (branched amino acids) in the morning before my fasted cardio (a cardio session done without eating beforehand). I make sure I get all that my body needs from eating real food.

How is the scoring done? Judges for the Bikini Diva division will be looking at overall cosmetic appearance, skin tone, personality, composure and walk. Most importantly, they’ll be looking for balanced muscle tone rather than muscle mass. This is not bodybuilding or a figure competition so we’re not allowed to flex.

What are judges looking for? Confidence is key. You can have the best body in the world but if you can’t bring confidence to the stage, you might as well stay at home.

Is it true you don’t drink water before a competition? You might need to reduce your water intake and cut out sodium, as you don’t want water retention to affect your appearance, muscle tone and skin tightness on competition day.

Got any rivalries in the bodybuilding world? I have met a lot of wonderful women competing this month with me, and the support we all have for each other is remarkable.

Tell us about the fake tan you use in competitions. The bronzing is very important. It helps to enhance muscle tone and muscle definition under the harsh stage lights.

Do you get nervous before a big competition? I get stage fright and I know I’ll be nervous on the day. But I love challenging myself. Whatever happens I’ll come out feeling like a winner.

Serene Ghandour

Serene’s daily food intake:

Meal 1: Two eggs and three egg whites, boiled or scrambled

Meal 2: Oatmeal with cinnamon and honey

Meal 3: Lean beef with almond nuts

Meal 4: Chicken with rice or sweet potato

Meal 5: Two eggs, three egg whites, one rice cake

Meal 6: Fish and vegetables

Meal 7: Cottage cheese and peanut butter

June 13
The Dome, Dubai Sports City, Dubai, 9am to 9pm, Dhs100. Tel: (050) 2205778. Taxi: Sports City Stadium. inba-middleeast.com