Ekalavya awardee Shodhan Rai talks about eating right, his dad being his first coach and lots more

He was awarded the Ekalavya Award for sports in 2014 by the Government of Karnataka
In frame: Shodhan Rai
In frame: Shodhan Rai

One sport in India which doesn’t get the recognition it should, is probably bodybuilding. We have immense talent in India for bodybuilding and these athletes just need some proper guidance to prosper. One such athlete is Shodhan Rai from Bengaluru.

Being an internationally acclaimed bodybuilder, he was awarded the Ekalavya Award for sports in 2014 by the Government of Karnataka. But what also makes him so special is that he is a natural bodybuilder. We get chatty with Shodhan to know more about his bodybuilding career, what lifestyle one should follow to become a natural bodybuilder and lots more.

In frame: Shodhan Rai
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How did your journey as a natural bodybuilder begin?

It all started because of my father. He was an international bodybuilder, competing and representing Karnataka and India for 30 years. I grew up watching him compete. The whole idea of eating right and working out was always part of our household. My brother and I grew up in that atmosphere. I had the inclination of competing in tournaments and working out. It was a dream for me from my school days to represent India in natural bodybuilding and win medals for the country on the international stage.

Being a natural bodybuilder, nutrition is an important factor. What are some of the things that one should keep in mind when it comes to nutrition?

First of all, when you are bodybuilding naturally, you don’t have to bring in many changes compared to your regular lifestyle. We anyway have to eat right for a healthy living. The only thing is since you are doing weight training and you are active, your body needs more protein. When you are trying to gain muscle, you will have to balance your nutrition and protein intake. So, as long as you are not overdoing the nutrition and you are aware of what you are doing, there’s not too much out-of-the-box that you have to do.

In frame: Shodhan Rai
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What are the absolute things that one must avoid in nutrition for someone who is trying to get into natural bodybuilding?

Nutrition wise, as long as it’s an actual food source, there’s no restriction. The only thing is, when you are competing, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would put guidelines on what the banned substances are. As long as you are not consuming those and your food source doesn’t have any of these banned substances, you are good to take any of the natural foods and supplements.

What does your daily routine look like?

I am a fitness consultant, so my work starts early in the day. I start at around 6.30 in the morning, where I have a protein shake or a quick meal. Then I would plan my meals every four hours. My work would be for the first four or five hours, which is from 6.30 am to 10.30 am or 11.30 am. Then I take a break, get some rest and then focus on my workouts. I prep my meal for the next half of the day or for the next day and then get back to work by 3.30 in the afternoon. This routine only gets stricter if I am closer to a contest. When I have come back from a contest and there’s no contest close by, then I would go a bit easy on the food and venture out to restaurants around and try out different foods.

Email: alwin@newindianexpress.com

X: @al_ben_so

In frame: Shodhan Rai
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