Why Pakistan’s Bodybuilders Are Dying

Last year, national bodybuilding champion and winner of Mr Pakistan 2011, Shehzad Khan Afridi, suddenly died of a heart attack just a few days after winning a gold medal at the National Championship in Karachi. It is widely understood within the community that the real cause of death was the use of deadly and illegal steroids – and this wasn’t an isolated incident.

For many lower class kids in Pakistan today, bodybuilding has become an obsession and a route out of the abject poverty in which they were born. But time spent at the gym brings them into contact with unscrupulous actors feeding off their dreams, and supplying them with steroids.

VICE World News is in Pakistan to explore firsthand the obsessive culture of bodybuilding among frustrated lower working-class men and how, after investing more than they can afford in this competitive and unforgiving sport, they end up gambling with their lives for a shot at wealth and fame.

Check out the VICE World News playlist for global reporting you won’t find elsewhere: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw613M86o5o4S3BXgi3bCiIVuopQxIMgV

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Produced & Directed by Saad Zuberi
(Insta: https://www.instagram.com/zuberisaad/ | Twitter: https://twitter.com/saadmzuberi)
DOP: Haider Ali
Editor: Husain Qaizar Yunus
Associate Editor: Nina Zehri
Assistant Producer: Sharjeel Arshad

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