Komang Arnawa: Gentle Giant of Balinese Bodybuilding

Komang Arnawa rose to fame in the international bodybuilding arena, twice winning the highest honor in the sport as Pro World Champion in 2004 and 2005. He was crowned champion of his last six successive competitions, becoming one of the youngest ever to compete and currently remains undefeated as a top drug free bodybuilder. Komang holds degrees in Advanced Personal Training and Performance Nutrition. His Rejuvenation Retreat programs and online health and fitness consulting business extends his instruction to international fitness clientele outside Bali. Komang is the President of International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) Indonesia and the creator/director of Bali’s bodybuilding championship Muscle Beach Bali. Komang was the subject of an award-winning 2009 documentary Earth Meets Wind.



What was your childhood like?

I was born and grew up in Denpasar. Throughout my childhood, my parents educated me about Balinese culture and mythology. These stories highlighted important traits of character and the value of respect. My father embraced Balinese religious beliefs and the concept of Tri Hita Karana –  the three pillars of Balinese living – in order to maintain a harmonious balance between society and nature. I practice these principles daily to harness positive energy that comes with maintaining this harmony.


How did you first get into bodybuilding?

I started bodybuilding when I was 14 years old and practiced martial arts with my two brothers. Our amateur regimens soon became more disciplined after we joined a club offering free Karate lessons to kids. Once I attained a Black Belt and competed in local competitions, my Sensei suggested that I combine Karate instruction with weight training. Since my family didn’t have enough money for me to join a gym, I made my own barbells and dumbbells out of steel rods and cement.


What is your training philosophy?

Over the past 20 years, I have applied my knowledge and personal experimentation to fine tune many different strategies into what works for me. A personal goal is to feel my best at all times and to live a healthy life. To achieve this, it’s important to understand how my body works, what food and lifestyle habits I can apply to help me perform at my best and to maintain a positive attitude and good quality of sleep.


What exactly is a drug free competitor?

People are often skeptical when they read that I am a lifetime drug free athlete. Taking performance enhancement substances such as steroids simply does not fit into my personal philosophy. Leading up to a competition, my focus is only on what I have to do with the circumstances that I face to win. Not having ideal food, finances or a workout atmosphere is irrelevant. I perceive any limitations as a personal challenge, then turn them into my strengths. I concentrate on an ‘anything is possible’ mindset. My mind convinces my body to support my visualization of what I want to achieve.


Why is it important to keep fit?

Keeping fit enables one to handle stress more effectively, which in turn helps to have a positive outlook on all aspects of life. Confusion or doubt is to be out of focus. Physical movement helps in maintaining a clear focus on what we want to achieve. As a result, a hectic day at work becomes more of a challenge than a hardship. I would like to see Indonesians become as health conscious as Westerners. In many Western countries, fitness is a big part of the culture and diet is very important.


Has diet played any role in your success?

My extended study and experimentation as a fitness professional has transformed me from my former “bodybuilder” mindset of ‘Live to Eat’ 180 degrees to an ‘Eat to Live’ mentality. To perform at an optimum level your body has to be in a state that allows absorption of the nutrients you consume. My daily workouts help to develop a state of mind and physical condition that maximizes this. I mostly eat organic and nutrient rich ingredients that also serve to heal and support internal organs.


How do you prepare yourself for a competition?

 Bodybuilding is an ego driven sport. Throughout my career from 2003 to 2008, I always considered my own ego as my greatest rival when pushing myself beyond the limits of my body. It’s a constant battle between mind and body. I never step onto the stage with the intent to beat the other competitors. Competition is the ultimate arena to find out what I am capable of, my ultimate test of self.  It’s a personal challenge to rise to the level of success that I aspire to. I don’t have an on-season or off-season. My practices are very much ingrained into my lifestyle and daily habits. I am always in a state of readiness to compete.


Do you sponsor any events?

 I organize the bodybuilding competition Muscle Beach Bali – a.k.a. Bodiku fitness event – every two years. Attended by a diverse audience of local residents and tourists. This international event combines bodybuilding presentations with high-energy dance performances, martial art routines plus a bikini fashion show. MBB is my contribution to the general public in line with the Tri Hita Karana philosophy. I hope that the lifestyle promoted by MBB has a positive impact on competitors’ confidence and also inspires people to become the best version of themselves and reap the rich rewards of a fit and healthy mind and body.


Do you do any pro bono work?

 In 2011, I sponsored a clean-up Bali campaign known as Tas Pasar (“Market Bag”), initially inspired from a conversation I had with David Eagles. Bali is facing an environmental disaster with the overuse of plastic bags. Many people burn plastic bags and the smoke is highly toxic and can cause serious health problems including cancer. With the objective of addressing Bali’s severe rubbish problem, we produced a new reusable shopping bag made from durable fabric. This allows local residents to refuse plastic bags in favor of our re-useable cloth bag designed to hook conveniently onto motorbikes. The use of our bags has since spread all over the island.


How can readers help with your public fitness campaigns?

We welcome any sponsors who would like to support our athletic objectives. The Muscle Beach Bali event has become an ideal platform and role model for future Indonesian champions. MBB highlights businesses who contribute positively to the community. With the right thinking and support, we all have the power within us to become a champion!


How may you be contacted?

Hp: 081-703-610-777; email: fit@bodiku.com

Website: www.bodiku.com



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