Building bodies, changing lives: Ruslan Hossain's inspiring journey to success
Having touched the lives of over 9,000 individuals and countless tales of success, Ruslan's Studio is arguably one of the most significant fitness centers in Bangladesh. In addition to that, it has been actively trying to change the entire landscape of professional bodybuilding over the past couple of years by consistently sponsoring events and shaping athletes for the global stage. At present, it is home to 6 professional bodybuilding athletes, including Ruslan Hossain himself.
"Whatever I am today is due to bodybuilding, so I want to give back in every way that I can," explains Ruslan, whose life drastically changed when he took up going to the gym in 2005. "I was 17 and struggling with my fitness. I was also being bullied and wanted to get my life on track, so I joined the gym. I was instantly hooked to it. I enjoyed going to the gym more than anything and within the first few months, I started seeing massive changes, which greatly boosted my confidence," he recalls. His feel-good factor received a further boost when he placed in the top 4 in a competition which was held in his gym. "I was only 6 months into my journey, so that was huge for me. I got even more serious about bodybuilding," he adds.
While focusing on the competitive aspects of the sports, Ruslan started noticing the various elements in Bangladeshi gyms that needed improvements. "We had a lot of amazing trainers but I noticed how there was a massive gap in the knowledge we had about nutrition and the dietary aspects of fitness. I started doing my own research on the topic and back then, there was no YouTube or social media. So, it was really tough," Ruslan explains. His bodybuilding career had already taken off at that point, but he was also training a few friends around that time and helping them achieve amazing results with all of his knowledge. "I was having a discussion with my father and considering the success of the training sessions that I gave to my friends. Then he pitched the idea of opening my own gym after some brainstorming. We had a spare room at home and I transformed the 800sqft space into a personal training space. Hence, Ruslan's Studio was born in 2009, as a literal studio," he elaborates.
My initial clientele consisted of elite corporate executives and they constantly encouraged me to scale up. So, I swapped my 800sqft room for a 2500sqft space in Mohakhali and then after a few years, a huge step up to Banani 11. "I took a huge gamble when I scaled up once again to our new 6500sqft space in Banani 11. I always had my family's support, and around this time, I also started training a pool of trainers to help out with operations. The response we got from customers was huge and our members just kept on growing and growing to the point where we had to open a second location in Dhanmondi. Pretty soon, the two branches started competing with each other. At the height of the pandemic, where all of us were unsure about everything, I took my biggest gamble yet when I decided to completely renovate the Banani outlet with a new setup so both of our outlets align," Ruslan adds.
Currently, Ruslan's Studio has over 2000 active members. What sets it apart from other gyms is the fact that even after all these years, and the success it has achieved, Ruslan's stays true to its origin of being a personal studio where people get individual care and attention. Ruslan aims to open more outlets in Dhaka, and also create history by expanding his initiative across borders and opening an outlet abroad. "When I was getting started, I had the option of bringing an international franchise to Bangladesh, but I was always keen on creating my own brand and taking it international. There is a lot of knowledge and expertise which we can spread to the world and we look forward to doing that. Taking our operations international will also open the doors for athletes to compete in global competition and will expand the overall horizons of competitive bodybuilding in Bangladesh," he states.