There are some competitors who shock the audience by their freakish look. And then there are some who look like a piece of art, chiseled and polished by the best of sculptors. When handsome facial looks accompanies such a physique, the final product is a sight to behold. My good friend Sachin Yadav from Uttar Pradesh is among such champions who have a great physique and handsome looks. As I interacted more with him, I felt like I should do a story on him for my blog. Read along and see what this young man has to say about his journey as a competitor.
Lakshmi Kumar: You have a very nice physique Sachin. I’m really curious to hear your story. Let’s begin with the usual questions. Tell me about your parents, family back ground and all those things.
Sachin Yadav: Thanks for the interview ‘bhai,’ I was born on December 6, 1987, in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. My father’s name is Kiranpal Yadav. He is a property dealer. My mother’s name is Urmila Yadav and she is a housewife. I have four sisters – two elder sisters and two younger. My elder sisters are married.
LK: Oh, that’s a pretty big family. If I guessed it right, you have done your graduation.
SY: Yes, you are right. I have completed B.Sc. (statistics).
LK: How did you choose body building?
SY: I like this sport very much because this is where a competitor is identified by his sheer appearance. With due respect to all sports, every sportsman has to be introduced to the common man as to what sport he plays, unless he is a celebrated world-class player. But, you don’t need to introduce a bodybuilder to anybody – the champion’s physique says it all and does that talking. I looked at it like this, and started to train hard to build a great, muscular physique.
LK: Who was your inspiration, hero?
SY: Who else? Arnold Schwarzenegger of course.
LK: When did you first start working out and in which gym, and in which town?
SY: I remember the exact date I started to train – it was April 20, 2002, that I first stepped into a gym. It was the Prime Health Club in Meerut.
LK: Who was your first guru?
SY: Honestly speaking, the bodybuilding magazines I read were my guides.
LK: Oh, we share a common point there ‘bhai.’ I too started learning only by reading Muscle and Fitness, Muscular Development, Musclemag International, Ironman and Flex. Ok, do you have a guru now?
SY: Yes, right now I’m under the tutelage of Aniruddha ‘bhaiya.’
LK: Did your family support you when you started on the bodybuilding journey?
SY: My answer is an emphatic ‘no.’ They didn’t approve of it at all and tried to prevent me from going to the gym by not helping me pay membership fees. But, I didn’t give up. I somehow managed to workout and my body responded pretty fast. Within the first three months of training, my physique looked completely different. For all that, I couldn’t afford to buy any food supplement; it was just hard training and some good food.
LK: When did you get good guidance?
SY: After one month’s training, I switched to another gym – Raj Health Club. That was because they had enough equipment. However, I didn’t get any great coach. I just kept reading magazines and trying out new things myself. It was purely trial and error, but it worked big time. I trained for four years, but could not take any of the supplements I read about. My family wouldn’t support me to spend on food supplements and I had to remain contented with just solid food. In 2006, I started training clients in Physique Gym and that earning helped me to buy supplements. My body responded amazingly well and my offseason weight went from 64 kg to 88 kg! I entered my first contest, Mr. Uttar Pradesh in 2007 and placed second. That was unforgettable because I trained and dieted without any guidance. But, whatever I had learnt helped me. Then I met Sageer Ahmad, who taught me a lot of basic things about training and dieting. After that, I sought help from Sunil ‘bhaiya’ from Delhi to prepare for the nationals. And now, Aniruddha ‘bhaiya’ is guiding me. He is like my friend, brother and ‘guru.’
LK: Which weight class do you usually enter?
SY: I generally compete in 75 kg category. My offseason weight has been between 85 and 90 kg and I’m 171 cm tall.
LK: What all titles have you won until now?
SY: My first competition was, as I said earlier, Mr. Uttar Pradesh in 2007, in which I placed second in 75 kg class. I then won the State title and overall championship in August 2008 and qualified for the nationals. But, I did the mistake of coming down to 70 kg class. I lost muscle in that process and could place only in Top 10. It was very disappointing that I couldn’t place in Top 5. I continued my journey and won overall in State championship in 2011. I entered Mr. India Federation Cup, but, placed fourth, unfortunately. I was determined to get to my absolute best and kept training hard. I once again won State championship in 2012 and am ready to go next level.
LK: Does your family support or encourage you now?
SY: Yeah, a little bit, I should say.
LK: Where do you workout now? Do you have your own gym?
SY: No ‘bhai,’ I don’t have my own gym. I train at Inches & Pounds Gym.
LK: How did you feel after winning silver in your very first contest?
SY: Oh, I was on cloud nine! I have seen so many people training and dieting hard but not getting any placing. But, here I am with just 4-5 years of training all by myself and placing second in a prestigious State championship. Honestly, I was a little afraid about the results, but once it was announced, I was ecstatic.
LK: Who are your friends among Indian body builders?
SY: I don’t have very close friends among National champions. North Indian championship winner Pramod ‘bhai’ is my close friend. He is a great champion, a true friend and a very nice human being.
LK: Who is favourite international bodybuilder?
SY: Phil Heath, Ronnie Coleman and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
LK: And, among Indian bodybuilders?
SY: Suhas Khamkar is my favourite.
LK: How do you workout these days?
SY: I train each muscle twice a week. I do five different exercises for each muscle and 3 sets on all of them. I don’t do any cardio in offseason. When I start my contest prep, my diet helps me to burn off all the fat. If I really need it, I might do cardio for the last 15 days before a show to lose stubborn fat.
LK: Oh, does that mean there will be a lot of change in the way you workout in the offseason and contest season?
SY: There will be some changes. I use supersets while getting ready for a show. And, at times, I might increase the sets or reps for a particular muscle, if needed. I might do 6 exercises instead of the usual 5 for a muscle.
LK: Tell me about your offseason and contest diets.
SY: I eat six times a day. I get my protein from egg whites, chicken and whey protein powders. As regards carbohydrates, I get them from rice and chappati. I also take supplements such as glutamine and pre-workout shakes.
During contest prep, I eat once in 2 ½ to 3 hours, which comes to 7 or 8 meals per day. My diet consists of chicken breast, egg whites, brown bread and salad.
I continue to use whey protein, glutamine, BCAA, pre-workout shakes.
LK: I don’t think you are married. Do you have a serious girlfriend?
SY: (laughs) No ‘bhai,’ I don’t have a girl friend like what you mean.
LK: Then tell me what type of girl do you want as a comrade, and then, as partner?
SY: Of course, I would prefer a girl who would respect my family and take good care of them. As an individual, I would want her to be good looking, which is stating the obvious, and a bit mischievous and naughty.
LK: (Laughs) That’s nice and very honest too! Will you teach her how to workout, or rather, would you want her to train?
SY: ‘Bhai,’ when I was very young, I used to tell my mother that I would marry a woman bodybuilder (laughs). But, jokes apart, I will definitely teach her how to eat right and train so that she stays healthy and fit.
LK: That’s nice. OK, now tell me what are your favorite sports.
SY: Bodybuilding, of course.
LK: Hey, that’s very similar to what your favourite champion Suhas Khamkar said. And, do you watch movies?
SY: Yeah, I love watching films, especially movies made in the South. I love action films and Hrithik Roshan is my favourite actor. And among south stars, it’s Gopichand.
LK: Hrithik is my favourite too! Fine, tell me about your other interests as well.
SY: I love reading books, watching movies, travelling and riding my motorbike.
LK: What do you fell the present-day competitors need the most?
SY: ‘Bhai,’ it would be inappropriate on my part to answer this question. Only a veteran can answer this.
LK: You are very unassuming ‘bhai,’ that makes me feel so good. Before we sign-off, do you have any message for our readers?
SY: To all my friends who are reading this story, I will say – love bodybuilding. It’s not just a sport but lifestyle. Sign up at a gym and train with weights to improve your lives. Eat the right kind of food to stay healthy. Always think about your health and well-being and not just your taste buds. Though this advice on eating applies to both men and women, I target men here and add a tagline – “be a real man.”
Even as I finished this interview, I received information that Sachin has once again won overall at a State championship. Let’s wish him the very best of luck in his future contests which include the prestigious Mr. India and Mr. Asia.
– C. Lakshmi Kumar