Athletes of different disciplines have an opportunity to maintain their fitness by doing exercise at home, but weightlifters need special type of exercise which cannot be conducted at home.
With all types of sports activities suspended in the country since March 16, athletes of various sports have been trying to remain as fit as they can so that they can easily take to the field when sporting activities resume, but the situation for weightlifters is quite different as they will have to start from the scratch regarding fitness and improvement of performance.
Mabia Akter Simanta, a two-time gold medallist in the South Asian Games, is worried about her fitness and disappointed that she cannot go outside to have training amid the countrywide shutdown due to the deteriorating coronavirus situation.
"It is not possible for weightlifters to maintain fitness at home like other athletes. If I really want to maintain my fitness, I must go outside because I am not a big player who can afford a personal gym at home. So for me there is no alternative but to train outside," Mabia told The Daily Star.
"I think I have to start from zero when the shutdown comes to an end. It is really very tough for us to improve performance once it goes down," said Mabia, who won a gold medal each in the 2016 SA Games and the 2019 SA Games.
"Performance improvement requires perseverance, but if we stay home without any practice we will lose our endurance, patience and concentration," Mabia explained. "If we skip just one day's training, the next day we can't do the same volume of training. Even though we don't know when the situation will come under control, but if training resumes after one month with already 15 days having gone, we will have to start from zero like a beginner."
The 21-year-old is now using her idle time to learn prepare exotic dishes, watch movies and video footages of World Weightlifting Championships as well as learn weightlifting techniques online.
She is also keeping in touch with her teammates and she is disappointed that the young talented weightlifters are not getting performance bonus or stipend due to the postponement of the training camp under Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation (BWF).
"Everyone is alright and staying at home, but they are bored with the situation. Everyone is concerned about fitness and counting days when the situation improves," said Mabia, who had won a gold medal in Commonwealth Youth Weightlifting Championship in Pune in 2015.
"Due to the suspension of the training camp, many players are being deprived of performance bonus as the federation provides Tk 3000 to each weightlifter for lifting one kilogram weight more than what the person had lifted in the previous month. Most of our weightlifters are coming from lower middle-class families, so the performance bonus is an assistance to their families," said Mabia, who is, however, working for Bangladesh Ansar and getting paid regularly.