CHENNAI: When it comes to fitness, some choose to stick to the gym but indulge in all kinds of food, while others go the hard way of dieting and exercising for that ripped body. Perhaps the latter was more prominent at UK-based Bodypower Fitnesss model hunt auditions held in the city recently. From beefed-up looks, ripped muscles and carefully bronzed and oiled chests, the contestants comprised people from in and around the city, most of them participating for the first time ever. Hosted and judged by Ollie Upton, co-founder of Bodypower Expo, renowned bodybuilders and athletes like Matty Orwell, Jason Robinson, and Harry Ranson were the highlight of the evening.
With the aim of finding models with the perfect body while at the same time educating people on the benefits of fitness and supplements, the Fit-Factor contest had contestants from all over India participate for the grand finale, to be held in January next year. The contestants, from in and around the southern states, had been preparing for months ever since the competition opened registrations. “I’ve been into fitness for the past four years, following a strict diet of proteins and no carbs. So that means no place for junk food. In fact, I don’t even know what it tastes like anymore,” says Chaitanya Prabhu, a 21-year-old contestant from Vishakapatnam.
Incidentally, going on a diet isn’t the ultimate step for getting a good physique, believes nutritionist and fitness expert Harry Ranson. Having stayed in India for 18 months now and training Bollywood celebrities like Arjun Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput, he says that including a lot of vegetables to your diet is good but needn’t be so bland. “There are ways to make your food intake better. You don’t have to resort to eating rabbit food alone. Ensure you take enough proteins,” he says. With the number of fitness supplements increasing in the market, what does one eventually choose? “You can have your regular whey protein. But eventually, the term ‘supplement’ is used when you lack something. So if you don’t eat a lot of vegetables, you take multi-vitamin supplements. You don’t have to take them if you have all your nutrition and proteins in check,” he adds.
Former winners of the contest, Pavan Shetty from Bangalore and Bharat Raj from Chennai, emphasised on the importance of looking and feeling good while on stage, bearing in mind that confidence and presentation supersedes one’s physique. “I believe that everyone’s got a fire inside that needs to be brought out and you can do that on stage. Every little turn you take, every strut and expression is noted. So whenever you do things, make it look graceful and all your efforts will pay,” advises Bharat.
Contestants are judged based on a lot of factors other than the ripped muscles popping out or the innumerable abs on their chest. “It takes a lot to be a fitness model. It takes a lot to come on stage, take their tops off and show off those months, maybe even years of efforts. The point behind these contests is that not everyone can do this and speaks more about the person’s journey,” says Ollie.