Evolving From Bodybuilding To Athletic Training–Part Two
Following the final exam prior to obtaining my Bachelors degree, I started training ferociously. I never missed a workout, though for a few months all I did were pushups and pull-ups at home. I wanted to broaden my training horizons—I bought home barbells and dumbbells. I wanted to squat and do shoulder presses. I also had read that the squat and shoulder presses were very good movements to build strength and muscle. I then added a bench, for I also read that the bench press is good strength movement for the upper body. I did this training program for almost six months. I immersed myself in training. A friend of mine who had seen my eagerness suggested to me that I should join a gym. He told me that that would serve me very well.
My God! Did I love the gym?! I whole-heartedly embraced the gym. I worshiped the place. It was were I belonged. I never missed a day’s training even during my college years. Later, while I was pursuing my Bachelors in Law, I continued to train. Many of my friends where interested in several other things—girls, partying, boozing, etc, but I, on the other hand had embraced the gym. I didn’t want to give up on that. It had given my health back. I didn’t want to squander this opportunity. I also remember that I skipped attending many college functions. Surely no one would do that, for college functions means fun and frolic. On the other hand, I didn’t want to miss a single session of training at the gym. I was romancing the barbell.
I further wanted to broaden my ambitions. I wanted to be a gigantic bodybuilder. Though I didn’t like eating more calories, I was forced to stuff myself to attain body mass. I succeeded. My bodyweight shot up from sixty kilograms to eighty two kilograms. I looked pretty huge. Many guys at the gym admired my physique. However a thought always lingered–the picture was not perfect—a sense of voidness…
Meanwhile a lot of things had happened in my life. I practiced law for a short period. From the very beginning I knew that I didn’t belong in that place. I quit practicing law much to the chagrin of my late father. I joined a gym as a trainer for a meager salary. My salary only helped me to buy whey protein supplement. There was no question of me supporting my wife. I was entirely leaning on my father. Fortunately, as always, he came to my rescue.
Thereafter, I opened my own fitness facility. I also received my certification by the International Sports Sciences Association(ISSA). That prompted me to think deeply of what I was doing. I came across many worthy men. Among them, my mentor, Todd Reinhard, stood tall. My Brother, Chaitra, chided me that I didn’t prove anything though I had been in this field for many years– he wanted me to compete in bodybuilding. I took the help of my mentor. He helped to chart out a plan with regard to my training and dieting. I also thought that it was a real good opportunity to fill the void, because though I achieved whatever I dreamed off, I had lacked fulfillment. I thought maybe that would answer my uncertainty.
Oh boy! Was I shredded?! In the year 2005 I competed for the first time. I was ripped to the core. Thanks to my mentor. I learned a lot of things regarding training, dieting, and leading a fitness lifestyle. I was introduced to many ideas from various sources—books, peers, etc, and, last but not the least, my mentor. But I still thought that something was missing. I analyzed the situation. To compete in bodybuilding, ironically, I had applied very little of bodybuilding training protocol. I got into athletic (functional) training.
To my surprise, I was heading in the right direction. It was the right calling for me. I further researched on functional training. I wanted to take a firm stand on what I taught. I seriously thought, and I still feel that we should all be training movements rather than muscles. That is we should be training muscles to move naturally. Instead of isolating the muscles. It answered many of my doubts that I had while I was performing bodybuilding routines. Moreover, I was getting injured less often. My mobility and athletic ability were improving. Training was fun. Any training protocol to last long has to be enjoyable. I now feel that the picture is complete. I will quote John Grimek, who was one of the world’s greatest natural bodybuilders. He rightly says, “I feel if a man is going to spend some time developing his body he should do it the right way so whatever gains he makes will last him a lifetime.” Indeed, a true statement by a champ.
PS: In the first two pictures, I had reached a maximum weight of 82 kilograms. Followed by my 2005 competition picture, where I was 65 kilograms, but I obtained a very low body fat percentage. In the next picture, you will again see me shredded in the 2006 competition. Lastly, in the 2009 photo I obtained a very low body fat percentage though I stopped competing.