Cover Story

SACHIT PRADHAN: THE GURU

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HE MAY BE LOOKING TO GRACEFULLY BOW OUT FROM THE BODYBUILDING INDUSTRY SOON, BUT HE HAS ALREADY CREATED A LEGACY WHICH WILL BE TALKED ABOUT FOR YEARS TO COME.

You wouldn’t expect a man recognized for a body of a Greek god to be as pleasant and humble as he is. Come to think of it, you wouldn’t expect a Nepali man closing in on his 40s to look the way Sachit Pradhan does.

Unlike most 39 year old males, Sachit Pradhan is probably one of the well built figures in Nepal’s body building industry today and the best known trainers the country has ever witnessed. The man has the body that guys dream of having and through which he has collected several titles and medals under his belt. His achievements have rarely been replicated by anyone in our country, and he stands a head over the rest of the body building community today.

After delving into karate at a young age, the already athletic 16 year old Sachit Pradhan tried his hands at bodybuilding, and never looked back. When he started getting into the sport, bodybuilding was unrefined. Overtraining and lack of proper knowledge and nutrition was an issue, so practitioners were forced to learn the hard way. So, what Sachit Guru has learned throughout over the two decades is mostly through experience, and it has taught him well. Apart from bodybuilding, he has been a trainer for the past 15 years. He has been placed first in his weight category at the Dharmashree Competition continuously from 2004 to 2011. He bagged the gold medal at the South Asian Bodybuilding Competitions Gold Medal three times (2000, 2010 and 2012) and 3 Bronze Medals. On an international scale, he was placed 7th at the World Bodybuilding Championship held in Dubai.

Yet, his mild mannered nature would have you thinking he is just an average guy… that is until he gets into his element. While the TNM photography team set up the lights, Sachit Guru pumped up for the shoot, making his way around the oldest gym of Nepal: Byayam Mandir. The smiley faced cheery character who had been describing his achievements a few moments ago transformed into a menacing force moving from one machine to the other with sheer determination. The clink of iron dumbbells colliding interrupted the quiet of the night as the veins in his body slowly began surfacing.

It isn’t uncommon for competitive bodybuilders to slack on the nutrition and workouts until the games near. Sachit Guru, on the other hand, tends to try and stay on a controlled diet 365 days a year; for which his profession as a personal trainer may be to thank. Since he is inclined to not go completely off routine, he is pretty much always in shape.

Luckily, this has proved beneficial for him in the past. Recently in a competition in India, antibiotics to fight an illness had a toll on his body. The situation did not look good and most people did not feel that Sachit Pradhan had it in him to win the competition, not even himself. Not one to give in, Sachit Guru proved his reputation of being able to bring unbelievable changes to his body within a very short time span. Within a couple of weeks, the Guru’s dedication and sheer determination paid off and he won the competition.

In terms of nutrition, workout and expenses, bodybuilding has to stand out as the most strict and inflexible sport. To be able to stay on top of such a sport in a country without the best support is a gargantuan task. TNM sat down with the man who has been doing it for quite some time like no man’s business. Here is Sachit Pradhan, The Guru.

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1) In your opinion, what is fitness?

Fitness is much more than working out. Proper rest and nutrition are equally important. The key is to stay active throughout even though it’s just a simple morning walk or jog. Fitness is a way of life.

2) For most people staying motivated to stick to a routine or diet is impossible. How do you stay motivated to get into shape?

I believe motivation is the will to keep going at something. For different people the motivating factors may be different but for me when I see my body in perfect shape and physique, it automatically keeps me motivated. Adding on, when I work out, I feel energized and it keeps my mind fresh. So it’s not just about the physique fitness and working out; it keeps me mentally and physically fit. Furthermore, improving the current techniques and trying out several new routines over time and just that idea of constantly trying to better myself keeps me motivated throughout.

3) What do you need to become a bodybuilder?

To break it down, I’d say a strong will and the desire to succeed. Bodybuilding or getting the body you desire does not happen overnight or in few months, you really have to be patient and constantly stay focused on your goal. Let’s not forget the immense discipline required. A lot of people I’ve met so far fail because they lack discipline. So you really have to be disciplined. To sum it up, the three most important things that you really need to focus on to become a bodybuilder is: Exercise, Rest and Food.

Being a bodybuilder is a lifestyle and is a continuous process.

Most people did not feel that Sachit Pradhan had it in him to win the competition, not even himself. Not one to give in, Sachit Guru proved his reputation of being able to bring unbelievable changes to his body within a very short time span.

4) Getting into shape for competitions is not for the average person. Tell us your routine before the games.

There are four basic parts which you have to strictly maintain before competition: the workout, diet, supplements and the sleeping schedule.

The Workout: Right before the games I spend a lot of time working out, which is a minimum of 3 hours weight training in the morning and 1.5hours in the evening on cardio and. While getting ready for the competition I work out 6 days a week and on Saturday I focus on cardio and posing.

The Diet: I try to squeeze in 7-8 meals a day between 2.5 hour

gaps which generally involves a heavy breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, I have oats, egg whites and skimmed milk. The rest of my diet consists mainly of green vegetables at lunch and dinner along with chicken breast, fish, nuts and other healthy goodies.

The Supplements: If it’s for a competition I make sure that I am getting all the high end supplements. Mostly my supplements consist of fish oil, multivitamin, whey protein, fat burners etc.

The Sleeping Schedules: I get minimum 7 hours of sleep. Generally I sleep around 10 and get up around 6. In the afternoon, I get a 1 hour nap whenever possible.

A mistake in the week prior to the competition and you waste a year worth of hard work.

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5) How would you put bodybuilding as a career in Nepal?

It isn’t as extravagant as our body looks (hahaha). Being a personal

trainer and an instructor will help you get through but bodybuilding competitions alone don’t really get you there financially. I think this is probably one of the most expensive and time consuming sports ever, and it is very difficult to stay up to par. If you start saving on the cash, you lose out on the body and to maintain (or create) the proper physique, you will have to loosen the purse strings a lot.

From personal experiences, I’d say the more you learn the more expensive it gets. All the food and the supplements are really expensive. You need to invest in the right food and the right supplements which are very expensive but when you see the transformation the expenses are worth it.

Personal training, and being a trainer in FLEX and HARDIK has been enough so far to keep up with the expenses. Also, the club members have really supported me throughout so I’m really thankful to have known and been associated with them. However, I think if you’re young and still haven’t accomplished much in the bodybuilding community, finances will be a major burden. Winning all the competitions doesn’t really do all that justice to our finances. For me, it is more about name and recognition rather than just the money.

6) Tell us your routine when you’re not preparing for competition.

I do Weight training 5 days a week, a day of running and I work out my abdominal muscles twice a week. Diet maintenance is also crucial. Apart for 1 cheat day per week (when I eat anything I want), I maintain a similar diet to the one during competition, but slightly more flexible.

7) You are now approaching 39 years, how long do you plan on staying in the game?

I think a couple more years for the competitions and then I’d probably retire. But I am going to stick to working out for the rest of my life. For me it’s become a lifestyle and not just fitness. Working out for me is as essential to me as breathing, anything I do relate with fitness and comprehend its effects on my body.

You need have to the right food and the right supplements which are very expensive but when you see the transformation the expenses are worth it.

8) As a trainer, what are the most common fitness myths you have come across and what are your views on them?

  1. People think that you can lose weight in a very short span of time, you cannot. If you plan on doing so, there are high chances of injury. Even if you lose weight, you are bound to gain that weight back really quickly as well. Proper fitness is a long process, you cannot take shortcuts.
  1. Eating meat does not directly lead to weight gain. If you eat the right portions you won’t gain weight, in fact it could build your overall fitness.
  2. You need rice in your diet. You have to eat rice to gain energy; once again it’s about portion controls.
  3. Abs or abdominal muscles are similar to other muscle parts of your body and the same rules apply as well. You do not need to work on your abs 5-6 days a week. Just settle for twice a week.

The men and women making their way to a more fit life at the Hardic Gym and Flex look up to him as their teacher, while big burly men going into competition look up to him for inspiration. He has been recognized for his profession and is the best at what he does, but he has not let it get to his head. He remains the modest man with an extreme passion for what he does and is a pleasant person to be around.

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Photographer: Shashank Pradhan

Wardrobe by: Reebok, Durbar Marg

Location: Byayam Mandir, Jamal

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