First impulse for my body transformation
‘Skinny’/ ‘Sukda’: The tease that I use to hear more often during my childhood days and it made me wonder if I could only get over it someday as it was quite irritating for me to concentrate on my daily activities. That was also the first and most powerful trigger when the thought of body transformation engrossed my mind. My body structure was so weak and under nourished due to lack of proper food and healthy environment that I used to fall sick every now and then. I hardly used to eat and used to skip my meals more often. Also, constant nagging from my family about my joblessness has reduced my appetite habitually. Looking at me that time, anybody would have considered me as one of those malnourished children. My appearance was far behind as compared to even a normal healthy person and the fact that my body can become aesthetic and muscular like body-builder was beyond anybody’s imagination including my own. However, deep-down in my mind, subconsciously, I was very much determined to change my body somehow and prove my capability.
My Hopeless journey
“Tere jaisa phakut nahi khaata huun main (I don’t sit idle and work to earn my livelihood unlike you)” retorted my younger brother once when I asked him about the refrigerator that he bought first time at home. He used to work in Medical Shop and spent most of his salary for daily chores. “You don’t even earn half your younger brother’s income and contribute nothing for household necessities” scolded my mother. I was speechless and confused. That was one of the worst night that I remember when I felt completely abandoned and hopeless in front of my family. That insult made me numb that night and I sulked down into my bed with heavy heart and could not stop cursing my miserable situation. I got up in the morning with misty eyes and tears running down my cheeks and ran out of my house with empty stomach just to look for a quick-payment job to compensate for the discomfort I had caused to my family.
Someone suggested me for house-keeping job which I did for 3 months but left as I used to get only 500-600 rupees which was not even sufficient to fulfill requirements. I then hesitantly joined as ‘Security Guard’ hoping that nobody would notice me in this dress. However, I used to still hide or feel embarrass if some of my friends or relatives accidently recognized me. Unexpectedly, I was removed from this job because I missed to salute once to my Employer. After this, I tried for desk job in a corporate firm where I used to compile all documents but could not continue as I was too pre-occupied with my own ambitious thoughts. There was no job that I could continue and be stable at least for a year as the payment was too less to fulfill even my basic needs or it was not on time. All these was so frustrating that I could not understand what is happening with my life. One thing was clear that I cannot work like this without fulfilling my ambition to change my body and status.
My ambitious journey
I could not take this hindrance anymore and quit my job to only concentrate on developing my body structure to look better as this is what I was too passionate to go to any extent. As I could not afford a standard well-equipped gym, I had to accommodate my training routine in a local gym by paying 5 rupees situated near my place. I went to this gym for 3 years taking out time from my part-time work as a society manager, sometimes even at odd timings in the late night but there was very little improvement in my body shape due to lack of proper guidance, techniques and adequate nutrition. I was bit disappointed but I still followed my heart and continued my search for better options.
Never gave up
My inadequate family income and struggle for job didn’t stop me to pursue my ambition of becoming an elite Body-builder and muscle trainer. There was such a burning desire in me to outperform in the field of body building that any news or articles or discussion which gave even slightest of the tips or guidance to shape my body structure instigated me to research more and more till I find the best possible answer and satisfied my thirst for knowledge in body-building. I was so determined to transform my body and excel in fitness that I used to work part time and used to study in the night college due to lack of financial support. By searching bit more, I got to know about affordable standard gym at ‘R M Bhatt High School’ where I paid Rs 50 and started developing good amount of muscles with improved diet plan and extensive guidance.
I approached professional body builders for guidance and realized that it was very important for me to eat healthy and have wholesome diet. As a learning from this, I started spending more on my daily nutritional requirements that a muscular body demands. For example, 12-14 eggs, 2-3 bananas per day. Sometimes, I even used to upset my family members by paying only 1/4th of my salary as most of it was spent on my fitness regimen and diet. I had to overcome this guilt feeling with a firm thought of taking care and giving the best to my family in future. I continued diligently and my body started showing drastic improvement and changed my appearance to large extent. I even started participating in Body- weight championship wherein I used to gain 30-45kgs excess body weight with high carb diet and high intensity workout which helped us to compete under high muscular category and used to reduce again 30kg fat and get a benefit of muscle gain before the competition compare to last year. This was also the time when I worked tirelessly from dawn to dusk and realized that God has put my perseverance to test to prove my mettle.
Battled with disappointments
Although there was improvement in my body structure and skills, I realized there was no change in my income or it was very fluctuating. Suppose for a month, I used to earn 20k to 50k and for other 2 months, I used to have empty pockets. I used to literally plead other trainers to buy in some clients for personal training. Sometimes, I was not able to afford my basic needs such as petrol, dietary requirements and personal gym-wears. When these miserable circumstances were unbearable, I used to sit at Siddhivinayak temple to bring peace to my mind and pray for good things. In the midst of these failings, I was having no answers when my parents and younger brother used to ask me to leave this field and go for a job where there is fixed income. With bitter disappointment and very thin ray of hope, I still stuck to my profession and decided to work more hard and make it big.
Signs of success
Officially in year 1994, I started my bodybuilding profession and won Novoice Mr. Mumbai Champion of champion and many other junior level local body building competition. Basis this and through my friends reference, I got my first job as a fitness trainer in Talwalkar with decent salary of 4000rupees per month which was also the highest as I never used to get more than 1500 at any job before. I was overwhelmed and excited. Initially, there were some hiccups I was not prepared to adapt to posh locality which used to get me bit scared of anyone speaking fluent english as I have always stayed in poverty and studied in vernacular medium. I used to sit with dictionary to be more prepared. Thereafter, I also won many titles such as Mr. Mumbai Gold Medal 2008, Mr. Mumbai Silver Medal – 2 times, Mr. Maharashtra Silver Medal – 2 times, Mr. Jogeshwari Champion of champion, Mr. Girgaon Champion of champion, Kamgar Shree Champion of champion, R. M. Bhat college Champion of champion.
My intense analysis
In the quest to understand better and to further dig-down into the core of each exercise, I used to perform each exercise and implement each form on myself along with different types of diets and nutritional supplements only to experience and learn better as to how my body reacts to this change in the forms of exercise and diet. The fact that I was good in sports helped me to learn and adapt to any form of exercise quickly and perform it better every next time. I started developing coaching skills in this process naturally. I used to study each of my client’s health profiles such as age, BMI, fat percentage and other functioning with minute details. Although most of the techniques and guidance were available in the books or videos, I was never too convinced to accept a particular exercise or diet to be perfect unless I used to try it myself. This has boosted my confidence level while imparting any exercise training or suggesting dietary supplements to anyone. For any new form of exercise, I was always restless to keep on doing it till I have good amount of control on it myself and completely at ease with it to instill confidence in my clients to achieve their goals. This was how I used to set level for myself to be recognized as the most looked-after personal trainer. It was not that easy as I left no stones unturned to miss any forms of exercises that would help me or my clients to achieve their fitness.To develop myself professionally I certified myself from k-11 academy.
My first celebrity meet
I decided to shift to Bandra or Andheri as there was more scope of personal training due to the TV and film crowd residing there and their profession always demanded to look good. I inquired and got an opportunity to work as freelance Personal Trainer in Sykz gym at Bandra. While I was dedicating myself completely in improving on new and different workout techniques and dietary supplements for my clients, one of my client recommended my name to Ritesh Deshmukh who joined my personalized training program to get sculpted body for his upcoming movie House full 1. This was when I got my first break to train a celebrity and an opportunity to prove myself as an Effective trainer in the film industry. Ritesh was quite happy and satisfied with my training results and further suggested his House-Full 1 team crew to join my personal training. Ritesh even insisted me to assist him with his world tour plan for constant coaching and guidance. This was really surprise to me as I used to just wish if I can only go to any country for vacation one day and here I was going on world tour. Another pleasant surprise was when I met Amitabh Bachchan on this tour and he referred to me as ‘Sir’ when I was coaching for some exercise. This was the biggest moment of my life. After that, there was no looking back.
My Training with the stars
After Ritesh, my journey began to become one of the favourite celebrity trainer. I also trained Deepika Padukone and Lara Dutt for short while during house full 1 shoots. My list included Ashish Chaudhary, John Abraham ( Force movie, Race-2, Shoot out at wadala), Genelia d’souza, Jiya khan, Sohail khan, Abhijit sawant ( 1st indian idol), Shekhar ( music director), Samita shetty, Shilpa shetty, Raj kundra, Harman baweja, Aayushman Khurana, R.Madhavan, Krishika lulla, Purna patel (daughter of Mr. Praful patel), Smriti Shinde ( daughter of Home ministers Mr. Sushilkumar shinde).
My divine connection
Some of the incidents led me to believe that God is reading my mind and giving me what actually I am asking for. Once I had approached police training academy in Marol to share my fitness knowledge. Looking at my potential, I was requested to train police recruits and take seminar at Marol training camp for 1 day which I felt more like an honor. There was a mixed feeling of happiness and bitter memory from the fact that I was not enrolled in the police training academy 5 years back due to my poor background and non-regional surname but now I was taken aback.
A plot against me
I joined Gold Gym as the skyz gym was shut. I was at good start of my body-building career, I joined Freelance Personal trainer where my caliber was noticed more frequently. Many high-profile builders used to approach me for tips and appreciate my efforts and training method. I noticed that there was a fan following atmosphere at this gym which I thoroughly relished and did my best to help others with their expectations. However, little did I know that I was indirectly becoming a hurdle for other trainers in this Gym and their reputations as most of their clients were also coming to me for coaching. Unfortunately, I had to leave Gold Gym as there were complaints against me from all other trainers on irrational grounds.
My test of perseverance
While I was training at Gold’s gym, I suffered from jaundice and malaria and due to a result of long travelling hours for 8 hours a day on bike made my back stiff and aggravated my back problems and lead to slip disc. The condition was so worse that I could not get up from the chair on my own.I was totally dependant on others just to get up, 24*7 it’s a killing pain, its worst condition where you are so helpless and medication also cannot help you and you just have to bear each second.Pain killer is the only solution that too was a temporary relief. My profession was full of movements and I could not do anything and still my livelihood was not so good that I could rest.I used to come to the Gym wearing a belt with an assistant trainer to continue with my training. Many suggested me to take rest but it was too small a sacrifice for me to reach my goal I thought. I was ready to take pain, sweat, workload and put-in as much efforts but could not lose even a single opportunity to grow at any cost as this was my peak of the career and was highest paid trainer. I was so occupied with my daily training and handling multiple clients from morning at 6 am till 10 pm in the night that my exposure to sunlight kept on decreasing and I suffered from Vitamin D and Calcium deficiency.I could have still continued with all these problems, however I was unable to take the misbehavior of the management at Gold’s gym I had left Gold’s gym.
Exploring new horizon
As a result of my own experience with back pain, conditional diseases and observation of various lifestyle diseases, I realized that only working on strength (which is required in body building is not enough or complete fitness). Fitness is vast, I need to learn different fitness techniques to reach complete fitness. The new time-bound and individual-based approach is required to address lifestyle discomforts of my clients by studying their work background, its effects on their body and assigning them unique suitable forms of exercise. For example, an individual with a desk job is more likely to suffer from back pain, incorrect postures pain, heart diseases due to lack of body movement. I used to design an exercise regimen with mixture of different types of fitness techniques. As we are in constantly changing and dynamic environment, the need of the hour is to learn and adopt different types of workouts that suits best to our work-body- lifestyle pattern and bring in new forms of training with enthusiastic vigor and positive attitude instead of failing ourselves with strict set of exercise goals. All these can be achieved from different fitness techniques like strength with weight training, flexibility with dynamic and static stretches and yoga, speed and agility from functional training, parkour, gymnastic, callisthenics and other such training. There are other conditioning and balancing techniques achieved from gadget training like TRX, Bosuball, Swiss Ball, Kettle bell etc.
My life goal
Every person has their own struggle or experiences in life which leads them to draw their own conclusion and belief systems. Based on my experience with negative and positive extremities in life, I have come to believe that the intense struggle makes you more responsible, constant hardships prepares you to deal with any situation and your unbroken spirit to prove yourself in life not only brings out the best but matures you enough to give it back to society.