At 105 kilos, Virender Singh boasts being the sole vegetarian bodybuilder in the country.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
On stage at the Mr. Delhi 2010 competition. For most professional bodybuilders the monetary rewards from winning a championship would buy them only a few months of diet and supplements.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
Coming from middle class families most bodybuilders depend on family support. Like 19 year old Raghav who works as a bouncer in a Chennai pub. His biggest hope is to win a national level championship that assures a job in either the railways or the military services under the sports quota.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
32 year old Kamaraj (centre) at the national selection trials for the 44th Mr. Universe at Wai, Maharashtra. Three times Mr India, his diet comprises of sixty egg whites, two kilos of boiled chicken breasts and an array of nutritional supplements. Although he earns Rs.19,000 from his army job, he spends more than 25,000 every month on diet and supplements.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
In Shaheenbag’s gali number chhay is Unique gym. A dimly lit body factory in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar where there is a surfeit of passion even though they cannot afford the costs of professional bodybuilding.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
All bodybuilders take an array of protein supplements. Whey protein and amino acids like albumin and glutamine helps in muscle recovery and in muscle building. Most bodybuilders also take steroids which is habit forming and can affect kidney and deplete calcium levels in the body. Continuous steroid usage can also lead to liver toxicity and cancer.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
Ten years ago Naushad Alam gave up on his muscles for a living. With a small business of making steel gates set up he is back to his body; with a target: 18-inch biceps by the year end.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
Minutes before midnight, the devout trainer at Unique gym rushes through his regimen.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
A panel of national selectors at the selection trials for the Mr. Universe and Mr. World championships at Wai, Maharashtra. Bodybuilding federations are managed privately by rich patrons and the sport does not enjoy any government support like power lifting or boxing.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
A bodybuilder is polished with the ‘dream tan’ cream backstage at the Mr. Delhi 2010 competition. Most participants are on a high protein diet during the competition season and a day before the finals they would stop all fluid intake including water. This makes their body dry and sharpens the cut of muscles.Photographs by: Sayantan Bera
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