"Be consistent, be patient, and give your heart and soul to whatever you are trying to pursue"
Indian female bodybuilders are working hard to break down the huge barriers in the traditionally male dominated sport of bodybuilding.
They are now receiving more support than ever before and proving their abilities by competing in competitions around the world.
India’s male and female athletes won 15 medals at the 50th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Championships, placing India sixth overall.
They will be hoping to improve further at the 51st Championships in Seoul, South Korea, in August 2017.
So, DESIblitz speaks exclusively to some of the top Indian female bodybuilders and brings you everything you need to know.
And with bodybuilding becoming a new obsession for women, these incredible athletes also give you their best advice to help you achieve your goals.
Yashmeen Chauhan – Gurgaon, Haryana
Yashmeen Chauhan is one of the top Indian female bodybuilders and otherwise known as the ‘Iron Lady’ for good reason.
The 38-year-old fitness professional and strength athlete, from Gurgaon, Haryana, is a multiple award winner in the sport.
Yashmeen beat the young Indian female bodybuilder, Bhumika Sharma, to two gold medals at the 2016 IBBFF Miss India competition.
After winning the Women’s Physique and Women’s Fitness categories, Yashmeen was named the 2016 Indian Body Building and Fitness Federation (IBBFF) Miss India.
Impressively, she also won bronze at the IFBB’s 50th Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Beijing, China, 2016.
But now, after two decades of intense training, Yashmeen is focussing her efforts into the gym she owns in Gurgaon.
Yashmeen’s Advice: “Never compare your body with others. Every person is different, and so are you! Work towards sculpting the best out of your unique body, and it may come out better than you could imagine. Patience, discipline, and meticulous hard work will take you where you want to be.”
Sonali Swami – Bangalore, Karnataka
Sonali Swami (41) is a certified Zumba and Bowka instructor who proves that women can succeed in bodybuilding.
At the 50th Asian Bodybuilding Championships in Bhutan, 2016, Sonali won bronze in the Women’s Model Physique category.
Her selection for the 2017 Championships is her third in a row, and Sonali will be hoping to make India proud.
Sonali’s Advice: “It’s never too late to pursue your dreams and goals. I’m almost 42 now, but there is still lots more to do and learn. So, go out there and do your thing. Be consistent, be patient, and give your heart and soul to whatever you are trying to pursue, and it will be rewarded.”
Ankita Singh – Bangalore, Karnataka
While Ankita has been working out since 2008, it was 2014 which was her breakthrough year in bodybuilding.
She came fifth in the Women’s Fitness Physique category at the 6th World Body Building & Physique Sports Championships, 2014. Soon after, Ankita was once again a top five finalist, this time at the 2015 Jerrai Classics.
In 2016, she narrowly missed out on a medal after coming fourth at the Miss India Championships in Raipur. More recently, though, 27-year-old Ankita won a bronze medal at the 2017 IBBF Miss India Bikini Physique.
Ankita Singh has now competed as a professional Indian female bodybuilder 13 times nationally and twice internationally. But Ankita will now be hoping to continue her progress by winning a silver or gold medal next.
Ankita’s Advice: “Never consider yourself less than anyone. Believe in your abilities as ‘YouNoLess’. Stay patient and stay consistent as every good thing takes time! Consistency is the key.
Deepika Chowdhury – Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Deepika Chowdhury’s name is very much a prominent one in Indian female bodybuilders.
The 34-year-old is India’s first female IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) professional.
She is also the first Indian woman to win in an international competition when she won the Overall Figure category at the 2015 NPC Steve Stone Metropolitan Championships, USA.
Deepika is now training for her third professional show, the 10th IFBB Tampa Pro, which takes place in August 2017.
“Ask yourself why you want to transform your physique. Be true to yourself and know the reason. You need to re-evaluate if the answer is influenced by reasons other than YOU. Do it for you and not for anyone else.
“Just to have your dream body is not everything. You have to take better efforts to make your mind, character, and spiritual aspect stronger. You have to detach from the greed of attention that comes from anything which is only external and temporary.
“Once you truly realise it, you will be honest towards your goal to build your ideal body. This is because you will define it to yourself for what an ideal body is for YOU and not for the WORLD. Use your wisdom, intellect and vision to know the reasons for your every action. Everything else is secondary.”
Kiran Dembla – Hyderabad, Telangana
41-year-old Kiran Dembla is a certified personal fitness and aerobics trainer whose clients include Anushka Shetty and Tamanna Bhatia.
The fitness professional came a respectable sixth in her bodybuilding debut in Hungary, 2013. She is now setting goals to participate in a future World Body Building Championship.
If toning your abs is your target, then ab-specialist Kiran is the woman you need.
Kiran’s Advice: “I would like to advise all the women and youngsters to ‘never say never.’ I follow this mantra and believe that everybody else should too. If we want, we can achieve anything we like, always believe in yourself.”
Karuna Waghmare – Mumbai
Following nearly two decades of fitness training, Karuna Waghmare (41) is one of the most experienced Indian female bodybuilders.
With sponsorship from Salman Khan, Karuna has organised bodybuilding and fitness training camps for aspiring Indian female bodybuilders over the past several years.
Karuna came sixth in the Female Physique Fitness category at the 2015 Amateur Olympia, becoming the first Indian woman to receive a medal at the event. She went on to win the overall 2015 Miss India title.
The fitness consultant is currently recovering from an operation on a broken arm and is unable to compete. However, she is planning to return, telling DESIblitz: “I am preparing myself for 2018. My focus now is coming back in 2018.”
Karuna’s Advice: “Women should work out, and know that weight training will not make you muscular or manly. Don’t just see others and follow them blindly. If you want to lose fat, do more weight training. Only doing cardio will not give you hundred percent fat loss.
“Always focus on your goal and work out accordingly. Be sure to take good care of your health first. Stay calm, take care of your health, and work hard towards your goal.”
Shweta Metha – Fatehabad, Haryana
After working as a software engineer in Bangalore for several years, Shweta is now a full-time bodybuilder and fitness model.
Shweta shot to fame after performing a sensational stunt for her MTV Roadies Rising Warrior audition. She completed several squats with the cricketer, Harbhajan Singh, sitting on her shoulders.
28-year-old Shweta was a runner-up in the Women’s Fitness Model category in the 2015 Jerai Classic. But at the 2016 edition, Shweta won the Women’s Physique category, and also won the overall competition.
Indian Female Bodybuilders
With names such as Mamota Devi, Shweta Rathore, and Sarita Devi all adding to the Indian female bodybuilders in the DESIblitz list, it is a positive time for women in the sport.
There are young, up and coming Indian women too, such as Bhumika Sharma. So, if you are serious about your bodybuilding ambitions, take the advice of these professionals.
Speaking exclusively to DESIblitz, Haryana’s ‘Iron Lady’, Yashmeen Chauhan, says: “I love to teach and train my clients.”
Remember, anything is possible if you put your mind, body and complete effort into it. If motivation is what you need, then the DESIblitz top Indian female bodybuilders are all available on social media.