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One-two finish in the bodybuilding contest!
We did it because of our rivalry!

Ryuji Kajita
Yusuke Zama

At both the 52nd Kanto Student Bodybuilding Championship (Kanto Championships) and the 46th All Japan Student Bodybuilding Championships (All Japan Championships,) Ryuji Kajita and Yusuke Zama of the WASEDA Barbell Club fought for the championship and made a great achievement of becoming the first champion from WASEDA in 12 years and accomplished a one-two finish of first and second places for the first time in 20 years. Furthermore, WASEDA University also won the group category at the Kanto Championships, winning the event for three consecutive years. We interviewed Ryuji (2nd at Kanto Championships and 1st at All Japan Championships) and Yusuke (1st at Kanto Championships and 2nd at All Japan Championships) who led the WASEDA Team and asked them about their commitment to bodybuilding.

At the “Mr. WASEDA Bodybuilding Contest” held at the Waseda Festival 2011 Ryuji is 8th from right in the front row (entry number 10). Yusuke is 2nd from right in the second row (entry number 1).

“I love working out, so I just joined the Barbell Club, but when I was a first year student, I was chosen to participate in the Kanto Championships without any experience,” Ryuji recalls. “Of course, my results were bad, but when the event finished, I was determined to participate in the next year's championships.” “I joined the Barbell Club in order to get accustomed to doing physical exercise. I was not interested in bodybuilding and was somewhat biased about it, thinking that it was a funny sport where dark skinned macho men pose in underwear (laughing)” Yusuke says. “But when I saw Ryuji and other senior colleagues on stage, I somehow wanted to participate!”

Competing against each other in most muscular posing

Attracted to the sport, both of them started to build up their bodies. Bodybuilding is a mental sport. Your body changes, depending on how you train yourself every day, so it is necessary to steadily build your muscles in a planned manner.

In the 52nd Kanto Championships, Ryuji and Yusuke were the last entrants to decide the champion. It was anticipated that Ryuji had the edge, but the actual winner was Yusuke. While he says, “As I projected I wouldn't be in the final four, I thought it was an error,” Ryuji says the results carried weight, though he was vexed. “Yusuke is a genius who can bring the peak of his muscle conditions to the critical moment. Even if his muscles are uneven a few hours beforehand, his vessels and muscle fibers are at the best at the decisive moment. I thought I wouldn't be able to beat Yusuke with just an ordinary effort.”

Toward the All Japan Championships scheduled for two weeks later, Ryuji absorbed himself in training more than ever. Yusuke looks back on the day of the event, saying, “Ryuji's body was abnormal. His muscles appeared to be directly exposed, and honestly speaking, they were disagreeable (laughing).”

“Stimulated by the body shown at the Kanto Championships, I desperately toned up my body for two weeks,” Ryuji says. “Bodybuilding is a battle against yourself, but if you have a rival next to you, it provides encouragement.”

At the decisive moment of the championships, they were again on stage. The winner who got the great student championship was Ryuji who experienced bitter disappointment at the Kanto Championships. “I did my best, so I didn't care about the rank. But still I shed tears of joy. Bodybuilding is an individual sport but at the same time is a group sport. I think I couldn't have won without Yusuke and other members of the Barbell Club.” Yusuke who came second place says, “His victory was the natural result. He made more effort than anyone else. I could work this far, as I had a rival at hand, too.”

The two say they have learned the importance of accumulated efforts and the joy of achieving goals through sport. At present, to become the sixth champion for two consecutive years in history, Ryuji is devoting himself to training with Yusuke and the other teammates of the Barbell Club.

Most muscular posing reveals the entire body at its strongest

Side triceps posing to emphasize triceps muscles of the arm The Refresh Studio will open in late September in the Second Semester.


Ryuji Kajita (left)

Born in Gifu Prefecture in 1989. Graduated from Tajimikita High School. 4th year, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Entered the School of Literature, interested in philosophy and cosmology. His favorite book is a short story by Atsushi Nakajima, 'Sangetsuki.' “I might be taken as an introvert, but I love the book enough to read it aloud at home (laughing).”

Yusuke Zama (right)

Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1990. Graduated from Seikei Senior High School. 4th year, School of Creative Science and Engineering. An industrious person with a kind character, who keeps his own pace. He is a fan of AKB48. “It is an unforgettable memory that at the FNS Kayosai Music Festival the Barbell Club participated in, I stood on the same stage with Sae Miyazawa, my favorite member of the group (laughing).”