Afghan weightlifters loosen up their sport

Updated: April 8, 2006, 12:54 PM ET
Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan -- In a country famous for the body-shrouding burqa and the Islamic puritanism of the former Taliban rulers, a gym's advertisements are jolting: a shirtless man in bikini briefs with bulging arm and abdominal muscles rippling, his massive chest flexed.

Gyms for bodybuilders are opening all over Kabul. Growing numbers of men are working out in places like Super Gym and Afghan Gold's that have set up shop in abandoned war-ravaged buildings and new high-rises.


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