Bodybuilding's Indian Monster crowned Mr Universe 2019 in South Korea

Forty egg whites, one kilogram chicken breast, a measured portion of fish, rice, vegetables... For nearly a year this has been the diet followed by Chitharesh Natesan, the first Indian to be crowned Mr Universe 2019 at the 11th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship (WBPF) 2019 that was held in South Korea recently.

“No, I don’t get bored of the diet. Bodybuilders need the right amount of proteins, carbs and fats. I take about 300 grams of protein every day. There are a lot of sacrifices involved when you aim to reach the top. I have not had any junk food, sweets, deep-fried snacks or anything other than what has been cooked at home since January,” says the Delhi-based 33-year-old muscle man from Kerala, known as the ‘Indian Monster’ in bodybuilding circles.

Bodybuilding's Indian Monster crowned Mr Universe 2019 in South Korea

Coming down hard on those taking to drugs and steroids to build up their body, he says that a good coach will ensure that bodybuilders don’t fall for the lure of such supplements.

“MV Sagar, my former college mate, who is also from Kerala, continues to be my coach. Trainers like him ensure that you are on the right diet and exercise. There is no need for any short-cuts if you are willing to work hard,” he avers. If he were not training, he says he enjoys nothing better than rice and fish curry and dosa-chutney, all made at home.

His fitness regimen includes five-and-a-half hours at the gym everyday, sculpting those bulging biceps, triceps and six packs. “It is divided into five sessions and I work out under my coach,” adds Chitharesh.

Bodybuilding's Indian Monster crowned Mr Universe 2019 in South Korea

Speaking on the phone from Kochi, his home town, the former hockey player-turned-bodybuilder says that ever since he decided to flex his muscles, he has been steadily aiming for this championship.

“I was a hockey player and graduated in Physical Education from Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Thiruvananthapuram. After my studies, I got a job as a fitness trainer with Rejuvenation Fitness Group, a gym in Delhi. As opportunities to play hockey became fewer, I was attracted to bodybuilding. Fitness has always been a passion,” he explains.

Weight training is a way to keep the body healthy, and once you develop an attractive physique, naturally, you are able to stand out in a crowd, he adds. Once he began pumping iron in earnest, in a year or two, he noticed the changes in his physique.

Bodybuilding's Indian Monster crowned Mr Universe 2019 in South Korea

“Be it any field, studies, hockey or bodybuilding, I always give it my best and aim to be the best. From 2014, I began to focus on professional bodybuilding. I won the title of Mr Delhi four times, from 2015 to 2018, and also the title of Mr India. Early in 2019, I began training for the championship and got selected to the Asian team for the championship. I first won Mr World 2019 in the 90kg category. After that, the winner competes with the winners of other weight categories for the selection of the overall champion and also the title of Mr Universe 2019,” he explains.

Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, does he plan to reach for the stars by stepping into tinsel town? “Yes, I would certainly take up the opportunity if I get an offer. But more than anything else, I hope I get a government job. This is the first time an Indian has won the Championship,” he says.

To the many bodybuilding aspirants flocking to gyms for that chiselled body, he says that perseverance and persistence are mandatory to go places in the field. But he does not want to remain a trainer, as his heart is set on a government job. “I can do both, coach enthusiasts in my spare time.”

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 11:01:40 PM |

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