Read about Mukul’s journey from a super-skinny teen to a fit, athletic adult.
I’ve always been an avid sports enthusiast. I participated in athletics in school, and became serious about badminton. At that point, my coach Mr. Rakesh Pandey enlightened me about the concept of fitness. Being physically fit became a goal.
But I was a super-skinny kid who weighed just 39kg! I was body shamed by school-mates. My efforts to eat extra and gain weight met with failure. In class X, I decided to start exercising seriously. In the beginning, I did body weight exercises: pushups and crunches and so on.
Fast forward 2 years
By the time I reached 12th grade, I was in better shape. My confidence was higher. When school finished, I joined a gym.
At this time, I weighed 55 kg. Being an ectomorph, I gained muscle very slowly. Healthy eating wasn’t a concept I was familiar with. My diet included paranthas, pizzas and other unhealthy foods. Over time, I changed my eating habits, based on my work schedule.
Roughly, this is what my diet consists of today:
Meal 1: My gainers shake (Milk + a cup of oats + 2 tbsp peanut butter + a banana)
Meal 2: 4-5 Eggs with bread
Meal 3: Rice, chicken and dal
Meal 4: Green tea and a banana
Meal 5 (post-workout): 10 egg whites
Meal 6: Same as Meal 1
Meal 7: Chicken, roti and veggies
Building my body
It was 2012, and social media didn’t exist, so I got to know about body building only when I became a gym goer. Information about supplements and steroids was limited then, since body building hadn’t yet become a craze. I read a bit online about these substances, but didn’t pay much attention.
At first, my gym trainer taught me some workouts, and exercises that targeted specific muscles. Then one day, he offered me some pink and white heart-shaped tablets. He said they would help me gain muscle quickly. First, I thought they were multi-vitamins or something, because why would a trainer openly give me something illegal, right? But soon I realized they were steroids.
In fact, I saw many gain pounds of muscle in front of my eyes and progress like crazy just because they were popping these pills. Being a natural bodybuilder, it was demotivating: I worked my ass off and ate healthy. But the results were negligible, because natural bodybuilders hit a plateau after 3-4 years of working out.
But I stuck to my routine; focused just on eating right and pushing weight.
My workout routine
Having tried many workout routines, from single split to GVT to full body workouts, I found that PUSH/PULL/LEGS really worked for me. I do this twice a week.
PUSH workouts involve training chest/shoulders/triceps in one session, focusing on compound exercises; PULL involves training back/biceps and LEGS is pretty self-explanatory.
Today, I weigh 70 kg and feel happy with the results of my fit, healthy lifestyle.
Take time and go slow
An important learning for me is that building fitness takes time. So teens and young adults starting with their fitness journey must build patience. How can you expect your body to change in a few months after years and years of looking and feeling a certain way?