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Third Place
Benjamin Lowy Mens Health Magazine
"Afghan Abs"

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An Afghan cyclist bikes past the war-ravaged building that houses the Super Gym on April 11 2007. In the six years since the US invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Talbian, gyms and specifically the practice of bodybuilding have spread across the country, with more than 90 gyms opened in Kabul alone.

Since the fall of the Taliban, 90 new bodybuilding gyms have opened in Kabul alone, up from a total of 15. You see them everywhere, tucked into garage-size storefronts beneath huge pieces of plywood bearing the hulking likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger, or some other bodybuilder. The gyms have names like Gold Gym, Super Gym, and Super Gold Top Gym. They stand in the shadow of shattered war ravaged buildings - evidence of a country struggling to rebuild itself.



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