Archive for January, 2009

Federation Cup Inter-State Bodybuilding Championship

Posted in Contests on January 31, 2009 by takeupsculpting

A plan that goes unfulfilled leaves behind more bruises than a lost battle. Team Masters underwent that pain recently, not once but twice!

A couple of much-awaited trips to Thrissur to attend the Federation Cup and Coonoor, Nilgiris,

for the 19th Jr. Tamil Nadu Bodybuilding Championship evaporated right in front of our eyes.

Members of Team Masters were helpless and forced to choose between their passion for the muscle festivals or their bread and butter job. Unable to listen to the voice of our hearts, we had to go by the diktats of our brains.

However, the results of Federation Cup, where Tamil Nadu lost Team Championship by a very close 1 point (!!!!!!) came as a small relief. On second thoughts, we were rather upset, I should say.

“Damn, one point is s@*$#,” I yelled at my team mates on hearing the news. But, I am sure that the day is not far away when our young lions of Tamil Nadu are going to roar big-time at the Nationals and grab that long-awaited No. 1 spot.

While wishing all competitors the very best of luck, I do offer a piece of my mind. “My dear brothers, ours is a sport in which a person can participate until he turns even 90 or more. It just calls for taking good care of the body and health and being smart. Good Luck.”

_ C. Lakshmi Kumar


Here’s is a list of top six finishers

55 kg Category

I Place – Amal P. Surendar (Kerala), II – Nitin Mhate (Maharashtra), III   – Pradip Kumar (Manipur),  IV   – M. Parasuraman (Pondicherry), V – Munuswamy (Tamilnadu) , VI    – S. Prabhakaran (Pondicherry)

60 kg Category

I Place – M. Kothandaraman (Tamilnadu), II – Nitin Sharma (U.P), III   – C. Ratheesh (Kerala),  IV   – Y. Sunetha (Manipur), V – K. Haribabu (Tamilnadu) , VI    – Chandrashekar Pawar (Maharashtra)

65 kg Category

I Place – M. Venkatesh (Tamilnadu), II – N. Perumal Durai (Tamilnadu), III   – K.P. Pradip (Kerala),  IV   – P.P. Shameel (Kerala) , V – E. Ponmudi (Pondicherry) , VI    – T. Ramakrishna (Telangana)

70 kg Category

I Place – K. Gopinath (Tamilnadu), II – Edwin Wilson (Kerala) , III   – P. Sibi (Tamilnadu),  IV   – E. Ramkumar (Pondicherry) , V –  P.D. Jinto (Kerala), VI    – Sudanshu Sharma (U.P)

75 kg Category

I Place – G. Saravanaraj (Tamilnadu), II – Prasad Anand (Kerala), III   – Sunil Gondkar (Maharashtra),  IV   – Sachin Dorge (Maharashtra), V – Vinayanak M. Dass (Kerala) , VI    – M.P. Abdul Razak         (Kerala)

80 kg Category

I Place – M. Romio (Manipur), II – Dheeraj Jaiswal (Haryana), III   – Cristojose (Kerala),  IV  – Hogaditya Rawal (Uttaranchal) , V – Som Raj (Punjab) , VI    – Anand Minz (M.P.)

85 kg Category

I Place – Anish Raj (Kerala) , II – G. Suresh Reddy (A.P) , III   – Yogesh Bane (Maharashtra),  IV   – Umesh Patil (M.P), V – V.M. Shinil (Kerala)  , VI    – Nagrajwadi (Goa)

90 kg Category

I Place – Amit Choudhary (U.P.), II – Md. Nawaz (Telangana), III   – M.K. Rafeeque       (Kerala),  IV – Sadashivan (Kerala), V – S. Venkatesan (Tamilnadu), VI  – Mahendra Desai (Goa)

100 kg Category

I Place – M.R. Satheesh (Kerala), II – Brij Pal Kadiyan (Haryana), III – S. Riyaz (Tamilnadu),  IV   – Narinder Singh (Punjab) , V – Syed Mahaboob Ali (Telengana) , VI  – M. Sathishkumar (Pondicherry)


Below 55 kg Category

I Place – Abdul Buhari (Kerala), II – Raja (Tamilnadu) , III  – Md. Abdul Rahim (Telangana),  IV – Ranjit (Manipur), V – K. Pentavya Reddy (A.P), VI  – Hemraj Survanshi (M.P.)

ABOVE 55 kg Category

I Place – Nizar Daud Ali (Maharashtra), II – Ravindra Singh (Punjab), III  – P. Premkumar (Manipupr),  IV   – Santosh Hajare (Maharashtra), V – Vishal Naik (Goa)


40 – 50 YEARS

I Place – Peter Joseph (Kerala), II – Nauroz Dapotawala (Gujarat), III – Sanjeev Singh Chanda (Maharashtra),  IV – S. Muthuvel (Tamilnadu), V –  Reji Joseph (Kerala), VI – Nongadiren Mangarg (Manipur)

50 – 55 YEARS

I Place – Surendran (Kerala), II – Deepak Sorap (Maharashtra), III – K.C. Prasad (Kerala),  IV   – Prakash Naik (Maharashtra), V – M. Vijai Sai (Tamilnadu) , VI – Vijay Kumaran Nair (Kerala)

Above 55 YEARS

I Place – Thilakan (Kerala), II – O. Devan (Manipur), III   – Babu Plaktoottan (Kerala),  IV – Kartik Jena (Orissa), V – V. Babu Rajendran (Tamilnadu), VI – Gaindlal Sagarvanji (Chattisgar)


WINNER   –        KERALA   –        64 POINTS


Our sincere thanks to:

Mr. K. Gurunathan, Working President, Chennai Amateur Body Building Association


Supplement to burn fat, build muscle and grow hair

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on January 29, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Carnitine is a food supplement that entered the fitness world as a “fat-burner.” However, not many could get great results from it as researches on how to use it for best results were in nascent stage. Now, several studies have confirmed how to take carnitine and several forms of it to help the body burn fat, increase lean muscle, boost brain functioning, immune system and grow hair on the head!!!

What is it?

Carnitine, though considered by many as an amino acid, is actually an amino acid-like/vitamin-like supplement.

Carnitine can be produced by the liver from amino acids lysine and methionine, with vitamin C and B vitamins playing a vital role in the process.

What it does?

1. Carnitine helps to transport fat into the mitochondria of the cells, where fat is burned for energy. This happens only if a person cuts back his calories and trains hard.

If the body does not have adequate amount of carnitine, fat burning process may not be efficient.

2. Carnitine helps the muscle to store glycogen. This helps a person to train hard and keep his muscles full. 

3. Carnitine helps to reduce lactic acid levels in the muscles that increase following intense workouts. This quickens recovery and keeps a person fresh.

4. Carnitine can enhance blood flow, which brings more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the muscle fibres. This is because of its capacity to enhance activity of a key enzyme involved in nitric oxide (NO) production. This facilitates a good pump, recovery and better growth.

5. Research from University of Connecticut (Storrs) has found carnitine’s capacity to enhance testosterone receptors inside muscle cells. This helps more testosterone to bind to the receptors, which means better growth. Studies also show carnitine’s ability to increase Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) levels, which enhances growth.

6. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), is a form of carnitine found throughout the central nervous system. It helps to produce energy and neurotransmitter acetyl-l-choline. ALC helps to fight ageing besides improving memory and boosting brain function.

7. Studies from University of Hamburg (Germany) have proved that topical carnitine may help to grow hair. Oral supplementation may also help, they add.

Good and bad types

There are two types of carnitine, L-carnitine and D-carnitine. The latter has negative effects on the body and has been banned.

Different forms

There are forms of carnitine such as L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, L-carnitine-L-tartarate, and propionyl-L-carnitine.

L-carnitine is the basic form and used in several studies, which offers almost all the above-mentioned benefits. ALC is absorbed faster by the blood and seems to have an upper hand in improving brain functioning and immune system.

L-carnitine-L-tartarate is carnitine and tartaric acid. This has antioxidative properties and increases blood flow to the muscles. Propionyl-L-carnitine enhances NO levels.

Joe Weider’s FLEX magazine says a person can experiment with all forms and see which works best for him. However, carnitine should not be taken on an empty stomach. Like creatine, it has to be taken with some for of carbohydrates to improve its effectiveness.

When and how to take?

Carnitine can be taken with breakfast, pre-workout and post-workout shake and at bed time. Each serving can be 1 to 3 gm.

At bed time, do not take more carbs as it will make you fat. Instead, take ALC or propionyl-L-carnitine. FLEX magazine says that if you take L-carnitine or L-carninite-L-tartarate, combine it with an insulin mimicker such as 100 to 250 mg of Cinnulin-PF, 330 to 500 mg of alpha lipoic acid or 250 to 500 mg of Gymnema syllvestre.

I am not sure if these supplements are available in India as yet. Until they arrive, you can benefit by taking L-carnitine during the other parts of the day.


                                                       _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Creatine monohydrate does not affect kidneys

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on January 27, 2009 by takeupsculpting

I recently received a question from a reader whether supplements would cause side-effects.
My emphatic ‘no’ for answer had scientific backing.
I now offer one of the research reports I recently came across.
Creatine Monohydrate, a 100 % legal supplement used for strength and mass gains, is considered harmful to kidneys by many.
Brazilian researchers conducted a study in which test subjects were given 10 gm a day of creatine monohydrate for three months. The supplement had no harmful effects on kidney functioning in the subjects, who also performed cardio training for 40 minutes, thrice a week. Researchers found that Cystatin C, a marker of kidney dysfunction, had decreased in the creatine and placebo (fake creatine) groups, showing that workouts improved overall health of the kidneys.
The study has concluded that creatine monohydrate does not harm kidney functioning.
Reference: European Journal Applied Physiology, 103:33-40, 2008

_ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Training for Tennis

Posted in training on January 26, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Not all sportsmen should train like a bodybuilder or a person who wants to sculpt a lean, model-like physique. However, any training programme, when combined with proper dieting, cardiovascular training and sports practice, will make a person’s body more athletic.

Here are two routines 5-time ‘Mr. Universe’ Bill Pearl recommends for tennis players.

Pearl recommends one routine to be performed off-season and another about 6 weeks before a match.

Perform the routines on three non-consecutive days, in consultation with an experienced trainer and sports coach.


Crunches 2 sets 25 to 30 reps
Seated Twisting 2 x 25-30 reps each side
Twisting Hyperextensions 2 x 15
Dumbell Bench Press 3 x 12,10,10
Military Press 2 x 12,10
One-arm Dumbell Row 3 x 12,10,10
Dips 2 x 15
Barbell Wrist Curl 2 x 15-20
Jump Squats (no weights) 2 x 15


Lying Hip Roll 1 set 20 to 30 reps each side
Good Mornings 1 x 15-30
Incline Dumbell Press 2 x 12,10
Seated Lateral Raises 2 x 12,10
Close-grip Pulldowns 2 x 12,10
Pressdowns 1 x 12
Barbell step-ups 2 x 12-15
Side Lunges 1 x 10 each leg
Wrist Roller 1 set

Pearl also recommends trainees to try circuit training.

After sometime, one can change the exercises using machines or dumbbells, hand-grippers, medicine balls or surgical tubes. He also insists on stretching regularly, plyometrics such as depth jumping, short sprints and agility runs and running on tennis courts. 

                    C. Lakshmikumar

Best way to build muscle

Posted in training on January 22, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Stop searching anymore for tricks and put all your energy into simple, hard training. This IS the best advice to build muscle on the frame of the hardest of hardgainers.

Multi-'Mr. India'Jayaprakash's physique shows that he really knows to train hard and smart.

Multi-'Mr. India'Jayaprakash's physique shows that he really knows to train hard and smart.

Having spent almost a decade experimenting with myriad techniques, diets, supplements and …probably everything out there, I was frustrated about getting less than average results.

When I accidentally made my programmes very simple, yet brutally intense, my body finally started to respond!

The body only realises the amount of load it is forced to shoulder. It does not know what technique you are using. Just keep increasing the load gradually, from a variety of angles every season, and force the body to work hard.

Points to help you:

1. Train each body part once in every 3-5 days.

2. Choose 2 basic exercises for each muscle group.

3. Warm up with 2 or 3 sets and follow them with 3-4 working sets of 8 reps to failure using a very heavy weight.

4. Finish the routine with 2 sets of high-rep work using an isolation movement.

5. Add weight to the basic movements when performing 8 reps becomes easy.

6. After 8 to 12 weeks, perform light work, 3 non-consecutive days a week for 2 weeks and then start again.

7. This time choose 2 different basic exercises for each muscle group and train like before.

You are sure to build muscle.

                                   _ C. Lakshmi Kumar




THE CHAMP–Mr. Tamil Nadu A. Srinivasan

Posted in Champions on January 15, 2009 by takeupsculpting

It's unbelievable that this man's contest prep lasts only 30 days.

It's unbelievable that this man's contest prep lasts only 30 days.



The body building scene in our country certainly does not suffer from dearth of potential. The irony, however, is that talent is either misguided and ruined or unable to flourish owing to myriad reasons. Lack of financial security is the biggest of all hurdles. Here is testimony to that fact – A. Srinivasan hailing from Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.

Having won Mr. Tamil Nadu and over half-a-dozen titles in 60-kg category, he is capable of placing high at national-level shows, provided he gets support to train and eat properly round the year.

Here is what he recently told Team Masters:

Champ: “I come from a carpenter family. When I started training, I could not workout for more than two or three days a week as I had to work from dawn to dusk. Two years after initial training, I entered my first district-level competition in Vellore but did not place. After a few more months of serious workout, I entered my second show and placed second. I started visiting State competitions wherever they were held. I was lucky that Mr. India J. Muniappan took interest in me. He gave me tips and encouraged me to move into Chennai.

Masters: How did he help you?

C: I couldn’t have asked for anything better. As soon as I landed in Chennai in 2005, he got me a job to initially help me support myself. He gave me tailored-made routines on which my body grew and got harder. He introduced me to eating once in every three hours. I learnt about high quality proteins, carbohydrates and calorific manipulation to gain weight and get ripped.

M: When did your competition glory begin?

C: I won a city meet in August 2005, a few months of training under Muniappan. Then I won an inter-district meet in October 2005 and participated in Federation Cup held December 2005 in Mumbai.

M: Did you win any medal there?

C: I could get only sixth. But, it encouraged me to train harder. I competed in Mr. Tamil Nadu held in Chennai in February 2006 and won. I qualified for Junior Mr. India held the same month in Jalandher. Unfortunately, I could get only a participation certificate. But my efforts did not stop. For a while I was in Vijayawada. I competed in an Andhra Pradesh State-level meet and won even there.

M: You don’t seem to leave anything untouched!

C: Honestly, I can do a lot more. But, I don’t have enough money to eat right round the year. What little I earn, I save so that I can spend it for my contest preparation. In 2007, I could not get to my absolute best and had to take second place in both Junior Mr. Tamil Nadu and Mr. Tamil Nadu held in Coimbatore. And after a lot of financial problems, I saved some money and entered Mr. Tamil Nadu in 2008. But, I came second.

M: You are unhappy with the decision?

C: No, no, no…not like that. I feel bad because I could not get amazing owing to lack of financial support. I respect all decisions at every contest. Just give me a good, stable job and I will be able to make my ‘guru’ proud of my achievements.

M: You can certainly do it Srinivasan. You are very young and have a long, long career. And now, can you explain a routine which Muniappan gave you to build your body?

C: Sure. I will outline one of the routines he gave me.

M: You blew away the minds of several competitors with your conditioning at the recent State meet. How long do you take to prepare for a show?

C: I generally get sharp very fast. So my contest prep is only for one month! I can’t afford to buy a lot of food in the off-season and so I am forced to stay lean. That also helps in a way, I feel.

I take this opportunity to thank Muniappan, whom I owe everything, and all judges who have encouraged me over these years.

M: Srinivasan, for your gratitude to your ‘guru, passion for the sport, thirst for success and penchant for hard work, you will go places.

Good luck from Team Masters.

_ C. Lakshmi Kumar

The champ with his mentor Muniappan

The champ with his mentor Muniappan



One of the routines Srinivasan used:

Day 1 (morning)

Bench Press, Incline Press, Flat Bench Flye all 4 sets 15,12,8, 6 reps in Pyramid technique.

Parallel Bar Dips 4 sets 10 reps each


Lying Barbell Extension, Seated Barbell Extension, Pressdown, One arm Dumbell Extension, Reverse Wrist Curl all 4 x 15,12,8, 6

Day 2 (morning)

Chinning 4 x10, Pulldown Behind Neck, Barbell Row and One Arm Dumbell Row all 4×15,12,8,6


Barbell Curl, Incline Curl, Preacher Curl, Concentration Curl, Wrist Curl, all 4×15,12,8,6

Day 3 (morning)

Press Behind Neck, Dumbell Press, Lateral Raise, Front Raise, Barbell Shrug all 4×15,12,8,6


Squat, Leg Press, Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Standing Calf Raise all 4×15,12,8,6

Day 4 Rest

Day 5 Cycle repeats

Note: This was tailor-made for a particular individual.


The champ stunning the crowd with his muscularity

The champ stunning the crowd with his muscularity


How to get a flat stomach

Posted in training on January 14, 2009 by takeupsculpting

It is a misconception that working the abdominal muscles alone will flatten your stomach. Researchers have proved that “spot reduction” is impossible. Trainers the world over state that a combination of diet, weight training and cardiovascular training (often referred to as aerobics) alone helps to flatten the stomach.

Here are some guidelines to help a person achieve that goal:

Diet plan:

Protein is a ‘thermic’ macronutrient and should be the most important part of a fat-loss diet (thermic effect of food is the increment in energy expenditure above resting metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for storage and use).

Carbohydrates are fuel sources and should be utilised during activity. For example, an active person can consume moderate quantities of carbohydrates and a small amount of fat at breakfast and lunch. But he should minimise the intake of these nutrients during later part of the day.

Eat five to six small meals instead of three big meals. Let the last couple of meals provide more protein, lots of fibre and less  carbs. Add enough esential fatty acids to your diet .

Workout plan:

Start performing simple cardio training (on an empty stomach) such as very brisk walking or cycling for 30 to 60 minutes non-stop on alternate days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) in the mornings.

Train with weights in the evening. Perform two exercises for each muscle group, 4 sets each using light and medium weights. Try to get 10 to 15 reps on each set and rest for 35 to 60 seconds between each set.

Monday – Chest, Shoulder, Triceps, Lower abs

Tuesday – Legs, Back, Biceps, Upper abs

Wednesday – Rest day

Thursday – Chest, Shoulder, Triceps, Lower abs

Friday – Legs, Back, Biceps, Upper abs

Saturday, Sunday – Rest days

Note: This is not a plan for people who are excessively heavy or obese.