Flexing Like A Pro: Bhuvan Chauhan
India has had a fascination with bodybuilding that goes back more than a century. This unique profession is practised informally by millions of men and even some women in our country. Yet in all that time and amongst all those people, there wasn’t a single one who reached out and touched the title for themselves, until there was one. The title is the prestigious IFBB Pro and the man is Bhuvan Chauhan. He is not only the first Indian to win an IFBB Pro show, but has also achieved the distinction of being the first one to qualify for the legendary Mr Olympia competition. In addition to all the titles, he also juggles the life of a professional trainer who helps other people and athletes achieve their own goals through dogged determination. With such accolades under his belt and a humble head on his shoulders, we caught up with Mr Chauhan at the UFC Gym, to learn what makes him stand out from the rest.
Every man is a bodybuilding enthusiast to some degree. Tell us what led you to this turning point of being a professional from an enthusiast?
I was always an enthusiast, but it took me some time to turn it from a hobby into a profession. Once I delved into learning about what goes into building a good physique, I just fell in love with the entire process. My first win gave me the confidence that I do have the genetics for it, and if I work hard enough, I could one day turn my passion into my profession.
Being an IFBB pro is the goal of every person who considers themselves a bodybuilder, but you were the first Indian to achieve it. How does it feel?
It feels great when you are the first to achieve such a big achievement. It feels great to know that you are setting the bar for every other athlete that follows. Becoming an IFBB pro was my goal, and I feel great that I can motivate and inspire others to reach their goals as well. My next goal is to become Mr Olympia and that’s what I am going to focus on next.
Fitness athletes are known for their extreme dedication and regimented schedules. Tell us something about a regular day in the life of a Mr Olympia trainer?
As a professional Olympian & an athlete my day starts with morning cardio. I do some abs training and some stretching because of my injury. After that, I work on my client programmes for three to four hours and then take a nap. Following that, I go to the gym for a full training session, after which I work for another two to three hours. I get a chance to read a book or watch some TV before I have to go for cardio again. This is my third and last trip to the gym, after which I eat my dinner and watch some more TV before going to bed.
Bodybuilders often spend more time feeding than they do in the gym. Give us an idea of what kind of diet it takes to build a Mr Olympia worthy physique? Are there any foods that you are fed up of eating? What is the one thing you wish you could eat all the time but can’t?
For a professional athlete diet is the most important thing, and I like to eat clean foods such as chicken, egg whites, fish, and whey protein for protein intake. For carbs, I stick to rice, oats and also some bread. For fats, I prefer avocadoes, nuts and peanut butter. Since I enjoy eating clean, my favourite cheat meal is sushi because it is still a clean food while also being a good change from my regular diet.
You have a company that provides coaching to upcoming bodybuilders. How has your view on fitness evolved after making the transition from athlete to coach?
I enjoy mentoring and coaching other athletes and regular people as well. My position allows me to motivate others and help them transform their body. There is no better and his physique. It gives them confidence and makes me happy as well, since I am doing something for others and in a way making their life better.
You recently signed on with Mon Ethos Pro. How do the company and their goals fit into your bodybuilding plans?
Mon Ethos Pro is an athlete management company, which I recently signed up with. They are helping me develop a coaching app, as well as with managing everything because so far I have been a one-man army. It is getting to the point where it is too much to handle everything, so they will be handling my sponsorship and also my plans.
Who inspires you to keep going in this field? Have you gotten the chance to meet any of your idols so far? If so, what was the experience like?
I am a self-motivated individual, and I try not to rely on others to inspire me or keep me motivated. However, I still have some idols. My biggest idol is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I haven’t gotten a chance to meet him yet but it is my hope that it will happen someday, as he has been my inspiration since before I started bodybuilding.