As she flaunts her six-pack abs, Kiran Dembla shares with Neeraja Murthy her amazing journey from being a homemaker to a celebrity fitness trainer

It is wise to never annoy Kiran Dembla. If you do, she will flaunt her biceps, flex her muscles, lift you and throw you like a pack of cards. At 40 and as a mother of two young children, she has joined the six-pack club. And, when she is not building her muscles, she is a celebrity personal trainer helping director Rajamouli and actresses Taapsee, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, amongst others retain their fitness and figures.

In a white sleeveless dress and smile on her lips, as she enters Muse Art Gallery in Hotel Marriott, her easy demeanour draws admirers all along. “Fit and fine,” she exclaims as she poses for our photographer while walking us through the photo exhibition titled ‘Super Mom’. Clicked by photographer Sarath Shetty, the exhibition showcases Kiran, the bodybuilder and her muscle building workouts have been effectively captured (the photo exhibition ends today). Her toned physique and six pack abs is every bodybuilder’s dream. However, bodybuilding was not what Kiran dreamt while growing up in Agra. She was a classical singer spellbound in the world of surs and tans. When four-year-olds were busy playing with their dolls, she gave her first stage show.

In ’97 when she got married to Ajit Dembla and moved to Mumbai, a new life unfolded. She accompanied her husband as he travelled to Bengaluru, Japan, Germany and the US for work and they moved to Hyderabad in 2006. “By the time I was 30 years, I had my two kids,” she smiles as her nose stud shines under the lights.

That was also the time when she was bogged down with boredom. “I was an ordinary housewife taking care of my husband and children. I used to be alone most of the time and feel miserable remembering my music days. Sangeet mera choot tha chalaya gaya,” she recounts. She started teaching music to kids but it was not a continuous affair. The stress had taken a toll on her weight. “I was weighing 75 kg. I looked at the mirror one day and was shocked. I had grown so fat that I had a problem in sleeping, could not bend and walk without huffing and puffing.”

She joined a swimming class despite being scared of water. “I had this passion to learn. I lost weight but my skin tanned. To avoid it, I joined a gym near my house and my life got a new direction,” she says. She met Laxman Reddy (“a best buddy for eight years now”), got into the fitness mould and redefined herself. “I understood what a toned body means and how to train to get biceps and triceps,” she laughs. With a Correspondence course from America, she updated her knowledge by reading regularly on the internet. “In seven months, I lost 24 kg and it upped my confidence levels,” she smiles.

Kiran and Laxman opened a gym Sweatzone in partnership. “Our gym was in news when Laxman won Mr. World in 2010 and he worked with Rana. During that time, we met Charan and I got an opportunity to work with Upasana,” she recounts. With word of mouth, the clients in her list grew — Nayantara, Deeksha Seth, Taapsee, Anushka Shetty, Lakshmi Manchu and Rajamouli.

How did six pack abs happen? “One day I casually told myself, ‘Kuch naya karte hain. Having six pack abs is hard slog and I was attempting it at 40. After pregnancy, skin becomes mature and is difficult to work on lower abs.” The whole process involved dieting, exercising consistently and with dedication. “Every two months the diet changes. There has to be a balance in your intake with low carbs, calcium and proteins,” she says. What about steroids? “I have not taken any. I cannot abuse my body with it. I have a family and have to think of my children,” she says. However, she cautions young muscle maniacs to not fall for gimmicks. “Diet, medical history and workout are extremely important to be a bodybuilder.”

What are the challenges women bodybuilders face? “Bodybuilding is common for both men and women abroad. It is not so in India. Men can build their bodies but women face problems in getting the support of their families. If young girls want to take it up, they are discouraged saying that supplements and dieting will spoil their health. None of that is true. If dieting and supplements spoilt health, I wouldn’t be here. My medical reports are positive as well. The only thing women bodybuilders have to take care is to know how to balance their personal and professional lives.”

Talking about crash diets, she says, “Women are different and so are their bodies. Some girls want to reduce weight in two months because their wedding is fixed. Body is not a short cut and one cannot abuse it,” she says and adds, “Models in a rush to have hourglass figures resort to unhealthy dieting. Even these fat burners, which are in vogue are used without proper knowledge. One has to eat healthy, work out and follow a disciplined lifestyle.” Any inspiration? “I am my own inspiration. But when it comes to admiring someone, I am crazy about Dana Linn Bailey, the professional bodybuilder from USA.” Kiran (check her website kirandembla.com) is preparing to take part in the world championship to be held in Hungary.

Finally, she exhorts women to get started on fitness. “Women especially housewives give 100 excuses to not exercise. But when you prioritise things, finding time to exercise is not difficult. If you are not able to go to the gym, walk, jog or do yoga and eat healthy. Good health ka raasta, kitchen se nikalta hai.”

Wonders with weight

She does leg press: 150kg, biceps: 15kg, chest press: 20kg

Training the celebs

Taapsee: She has a fit body and is high on energy while working out. Her body type is beautiful. She is a tomboy who can do aerobics and zumba with equal enthusiasm.

Tamannah: She is very fond of workouts. Even at 4.30 a.m., she calls as she does not want to miss the training. She pushes her family members also to exercise. Different regimes karne mein mazaa aata hai.

Rajamouli: He is a fitness freek. Jo bhi bolti hoon woh exercise karte hain. Be it strengths training or any other exercise, he does it.

Anushka: She keeps telling me that she wants to have a six pack. I told her we will definitely do after she wraps up Bahubali and Rudrama Devi.

In Bollywood, her dream is to train Kareena Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai.