Bodybuilder and holder of 3 post graduate degrees, Jinnie Gogia Chugh tells Foreverfit how her desire to keep learning was a major asset in her transition from a teacher, to a bodybuilder.
My journey from a teacher to a bodybuilder has been a challenging one. But the single factor that kept me going throughout, was a keen desire to learn. Today, I am a triple post graduate degree holder (M.A., M.Ed, MBA) and a certified fitness professional too.
Became an athlete after a decade long career of teaching
At the age of 37, and merely 6 month after I joined a gym, I started competing as a physique athlete. As a physique athlete, I represented India thrice on the international level.
Though I had no plans to become a power-lifter, ultimately power-lifting became my destiny. At the gym, I always loved to do weight training. Over time, lifting heavy weights become my passion.
When someone suggested that I participate in the National Powerlifting Championship, I decided to go for it! By god’s grace, I won 4 gold medals in this.
My success as a powerlifter encouraged me
I was very motivated by my success at the national level and this encouraged me to compete for an international championship. Again, I was blessed to win 5 gold medals in total: one each in equipped powerlifting and equipped bench press category, and three individuals in squat, bench and deadlift.
Faced many challenges
Preparing for the power-lifting championship was an all together a different game. I faced multiple challenges. One of the main ones was to maintain a balance between maintaining a good physique, and increasing my strength.
Many people discouraged me, saying that I was chasing two contrary goals. Yet I was stubborn about wanting to maintain my physique, and accomplish my strength goals at the same time. So, I decided to prepare for the championship, and maintained my diet accordingly.
I have a respect for women in male dominated sports
Body-building and power-lifting are highly male dominated sports. Yet, there are a few women athletes who have made it to this sport. Despite the struggle, they have carved a niche for themselves. And, they are well recognized and respected. Of course, there is immense hard work behind their success, since nothing comes easy.
Mental strength matters as much as physical strength
Power-lifting is not merely about the physical strength. Using the right technique and having mental strength matter too. In my case, I was more nervous about judging whether to clear the lift or pass the lift, than the heavy weights.
This is a tough call, and a lifter doesn’t know her fate. It all depends on those 60 seconds. The moment of victory is very emotional, as this is not just a victory of that moment, but victory over the thousand battles that we fight in our minds too.