Mukesh Singh Gahlot aka ‘Guruji’ is a renowned Indian bodybuilder, who has made India proud at several bodybuilding competitions and has won multiple accolades for the country. The most esteemed bodybuilder of the Indian Bodybuilding fraternity, Mukesh Singh holds the national record of winning 4 times Mr. India Title (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012) and a pro – Olympia powerlifting championship.
Rarest of the athletes who have made in both iron games of Bodybuilding and Powerlifting, Mukesh Singh is a true champion and a decent person who has been inspiring a lot of budding bodybuilders to venture into this game.
Sportz Business Insights had an exclusive conversation with this living hunk of India. During the interaction with Abhinav from SB, Mukesh Singh Gahlot shared his part of the wonk and the trivia of being the best in this business. To people less known, this is the same man who has facelifted the Indian bodybuilding industry on several international platforms.
Q When did you start bodybuilding? What made you enter this industry? Who inspired you a lot to enter into bodybuilding?
It all started when I once went to see Mr. Delhi competition in 1996. That competition fascinated me a lot towards the sport of Bodybuilding. At that time, I was not into bodybuilding however, I used to do freestyle exercises like running and normal workouts just for the sake of fitness.
The competition of Mr. Delhi 1996 which was mostly dominated by the bodybuilders associated with ‘The Gym’( later known as Dronacharya, The Gym) had marked a life-changing moment in my life. It made me to think of doing Bodybuilding and subsequently, I joined The Gym in September 1997. Thereafter, I started training under my Guruji (Teacher) Bhupender Dhawan, a streak that still continues at present. I want to give all the credits to my teacher Bhupender Dhawan for whatever achievements I have gained till the date. Citing about my inspirational bodybuilder I would straight state, Dinesh Aswal. He is my ideal bodybuilder and I have not seen such a qualitative bodybuilder till the date.
Q Bagging 4 times Mr. India Title and 3 times World Championship in Power Lifting on the International ground, do you think the new generation bodybuilders to break such an invincible spree of records of yours?
Not only these new young bodybuilders will surpass my record but also they will mark their own names in the industry. While comparing to our time, the game today is snowballing. At our time, we didn’t have the perk of multiple advance facilities as well as we faced capital as a big tussle. Today, fitness inculcates worldwide major brands hence equally the demand of fit icons has proliferated. Erstwhile, everything used to swirl around hard work but now there are a lot many things that have come into being which includes good types of machinery (fitness equipment), Personal coaching, and result giving supplements. These are all there to help new bodybuilders to meet desired body muscles.
The second thing is that with the commencement of several companies, it has widened the source of income and of course social media has boomed the market in an unprecedented way. Besides, the Internet has palm-closed the world and today everybody is aware of any global and indigenous happenings and events.
Q What message do you want to disseminate to those aspiring bodybuilders who can’t afford to register themselves to such events?
My message to those aspiring bodybuilders and newcomers who are into any iron game is that they don’t need to see and compare bigger champions of the sport over diets, supplements, and gains. The newcomers don’t need to have such a diet rather they should start with having normal home-based diets. At least they should start from somewhere, and then establish at some platform.
For such financially weak young aspiring bodybuilders, our sources are open. If we find someone who is economically weak but puts much effort into the game with perseverance and hard work, we would glad to assist them in every possible way. Having said that, the candidate will have to show sincerity and utter discipline and bring pride to our brand Dronacharya, The Gym.
Q You have a bag full of medals and titles, including the most coveted 4 times Mr. India and a Pro-Olympia Powerlifting Champion, what is the next big thing you are preparing for?
I am preparing for a powerlifting competition which is scheduled to be held in September 2020. Well, in addition to that as I am also gaining some muscle mass through heavy training, most probably people can also see me on a bodybuilding championship by the end of 2020. Both championships will be held overseas.
Q What are the steps you consider taking to make Bodybuilding and Powerlifting equally popular as cricket and football?
Cricket is a professional game so is football. Since long their federations have successful strategies to promote these games respectively. Firstly, in comparison to these professional sports, Bodybuilding is not counted as a professional one. Nevertheless, as more people are learning about the benefits of bodybuilding in the pursuit of fitness, a phenomenal change is coming into the mindset of people. Now, even parents come to me with their young ones requesting us to take them in this game. This is totally contrary to the period when parents used to be reluctant to send their kids to the gym, things have definitely changed now. The second thing is that Bodybuilding and powerlifting is an amateur game, which means players can’t make enough money with this game. And it is only after winning a pro-card, you are allowed to compete on a professional bodybuilding platform where you can earn a cash prize for sure.
Q How do you see the contemporary Indian bodybuilding industry? Is it somewhere affected by the supplement market?
I won’t deny that there is a trend of such dependency over supplements. However, supplements help a lot in muscle recovery. I will suggest newcomers and young bodybuilders not to worry much about supplements but try to concentrate on a natural diet to gain muscles. As these supplements are exclusively for those advance level bodybuilders who do intense workouts, they desperately need supplementation which is again a very effective thing to recover muscle.
Q How do you start your training day? What do you take as in diet?
Mostly I start my training in the morning, and my first meal includes boiled eggs, boiled potato, and fruit, which is followed by a light meal at 9 am. My training starts at around 10:30 which stretches around 2.5 hours. In my post work out meals, I take protein shake just after the completion of workout and then in a gap of 40 minutes, I head to my third meal which includes chicken, white rice, and salad.
In the next diet, I try to make it large so that it digests slowly, where brown rice replaces white rice keeping everything the same as in the third meal. Well, coming to my dinner I usually like to have a chicken breast or fish in addition to Broccoli, Beans, Salad, and Papaya maintaining a low-calorie diet.
Q How different is powerlifting in comparison to bodybuilding?
The major difference between these two iron games; Bodybuilding and Powerlifting, swirls around load and number of reps (Repetitions).
In Powerlifting we do 3-5 reps considering not to reach failure reps, while in Bodybuilding we try to reach failure reps in every set which basically constitutes 10-12 reps. In case of cutting, the reps can go up to around 12-16 in each set!
In bodybuilding, the load does not matter much, all we try to reach is failure reps in every set. Besides, loads and reps diets also vary in bodybuilding and powerlifting.
Fats and Protein intake remain high in Powerlifting keeping carbs low while in Bodybuilding carbohydrates remain high around 55-60% of your diet and protein and fats remain 30% and 10-15 % respectively.
Q Amidst different fitness regimes, tell us which one is the most effective to be fit?
The most effective workout schedule will always be ‘Weight Training’. The reason behind that is that once you do weight training it has a major effect over your metabolism which continues for 48 hours. Talking about different fitness regimes including cardio, Zumba, Pilates, and other allied ones, their effect lasts only for 6-8 hours. So this will be my general message for all to do weight training to be fit.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.