Shyam Shrestha-Undefeated

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Around 7 decades in the history of bodybuilding is what we have in our nation. Many bodybuilders were born, many won and many were gone. Battling almost 23 years effortlessly in the bodybuilding games nationally and internationally is entirely challenging and to be applauded.

Never tired of training never worn out of diet, always stood as a champion on stage with hundreds of bodybuilders throughout his career. Muscles were improved game after game, posing sharpened in every call and music, the physique became more defined in another game were remarkably progressive in his bodybuilding career.

Never trembled a pace, never worried of losing, stood as high as the proud Sagarmatha. Many bodybuilders of the nation feared standing next to him throwing a “Front Double Biceps” and “The Most Muscular” poses.

He never let anyone reign under 65 Kg Weight Category whichever battle he took part in. He engraved his name for this weight for a long time where the other competitive bodybuilders had to stand with him without any choice.

Shyam Shrestha, Mr. Nepal Champion is the Emperor of 65 Kg weight category that crowned him the “Undefeated Champion”.

FN: How old were you when you get involved yourself in bodybuilding competition and how long have you been participating in bodybuilding competitions?

SHYAM: I was 19 years old when I stood on the first stage of bodybuilding and it’s already been more than 2 decades. Around 22-23 years I participated in bodybuilding competitions without a break.

FN: What attracted you towards bodybuilding in your early days?

SHYAM: There were very few gyms around Kathmandu and only few people used to hang out in the gym with iron in those days. The dream wasn’t that big, I say there was no dream at all. It was fun going to the gym, hit the iron and feel the heat in the blood was so good. I opted for gaining a little of muscles mass around the body but the effect of iron was so addictive that I couldn’t take myself out of it, I got drowned in the bodybuilding.

FN: Which was the first competition you participated in? In which year and what was your position?

SHYAM: I was just 19 years old when I first stood on the stage of bodybuilding. It was Man of Strong in the year 1992. I was a nervous guy in my first game and there were many senior bodybuilders competing on the same stage. I was just a beginner who came for a stage experience and never imagined that I would defeat many of the seniors achieving Third Position in this game. Man of Strong Contest was a remarkable achievement for me that boosted my confidence and appetite for more games in the future.

FN: In more than two decades of bodybuilding career, you must have some memorable moments. Can you share here?

SHYAM: I always took my game as a war and never undermined my fellow bodybuilders because you never know how hard people are preparing behind the four walls around the nation to get the victory in this war.

The best moment I got in my entire career was when I heard my name as Mr. Nepal Champion in 2005. I was the soldier who fought many battles and ultimately got my hands on that trophy. You can imagine how a soldier prospers after he gets victory over the war, I had the same feeling.

Another moment that I can’t forget in my life was the World Championship held in Benaras in 2010, in which I couldn’t participate.  This is the only competition I missed in my entire career due to some health issues. I felt like a ready-to-go soldier who couldn’t fight a war.

FN: Which was the worst memorised competition do you think of?

SHYAM: It was Mr. Sagarmatha Contest. I was well prepared and in the best condition. Being better than other bodybuilders too I had to be contented with the Runner Up title. It was a bitter moment of my bodybuilding life.

FN: You are popularly known as the Undefeated Champion of 60 Kg category. How do you feel on this compliment?

SHYAM: Who wouldn’t feel great to be called as the Undefeated Champion? I’ve competed in all the categories from 55 Kg to 80 Kg and have won in various weight groups. I competed plenty of games in 65 Kg and it became my signature weight category. I found myself competitive in this weight with a solid symmetry and muscular definition. I even achieved International Level Awards in 65. This became my Brand Category.

FN: What do you regard the highest success in the bodybuilding competition?

SHYAM: Before we reach the height of success in bodybuilding, I would like to elaborate bodybuilding here. A normal person comes out of the box, trains harder than anyone can imagine to build muscles, goes on the strictest diet, struggles every minute to cut off an ounce of fats to look as shredded as possible, spend hours in front of the mirror to practice crazy posing to expose the muscles, dehydrates for days to look dry and finally climbs up the stage to demonstrate all his hard works in front of couple of judges and hundreds of spectators for a couple of minutes. Thinking to become the best. In my opinion, all the bodybuilders who face the judges and spectators are the successful ones, winning and losing is just a natural part of the game.

Well, I’ll come to your question now. Nationally, the highest success in my bodybuilding career is to become Mr. Nepal twice in 2005 and 2013. Internationally, the achievement of Third Position, Bronze Medal in The World Championship in June 2010 has supplemented my height of success in my career.

FN: What kind of sports is bodybuilding and what is the situation of this game in the country?

SHYAM: Bodybuilding is entirely different than other sports. I relate bodybuilding to a pottery, making pots of clay. It has to undergo various strict processes to produce the pots of various shapes and sizes that we use daily in our households. We too have to undergo various strict processes to build our bodies to look better on the stage during the showdown and definitely, it’s not a short period process. We have to train properly throughout the year, watch our foods, rest and our social life as well. It’s very challenging to balance the physiological and psychological stages that we have to face during bodybuilding preparations.

Well, bodybuilding has transformed into a sport in recent years and we’ve waved our flags in various international arenas. Undoubtedly bodybuilding will become a glorious sport in our nation. The most important thing for the bodybuilders is the competition. There is hardly one big national game a year has been observed. Without a proper competition, bodybuilders are locked behind the walls full of iron and we do not exist as bodybuilders. There should be proper and bigger platforms every year to improve bodybuilding in the nation.

“Quality comes after quantity”. When there are various games in a year, lots of bodybuilders will be emerged and the quality of bodybuilders will also increase progressively. Also, the bodybuilders representing the nation supple with various facilities and services as per the necessities of this game will definitely work harder to take this nation into international level of bodybuilding. The actual pride is not taking one bodybuilder to international level and wins, it’s a pride to take dozens at once and the team wins.

FN: There are lots of youths who are interested to come into this sport. What advice would you like to give them?

SHYAM: I sat bodybuilding is a very beautiful game. Have you ever noticed the trophies we are being presented in every game, a wooden or metal sculpture of a bodybuilder? The sculptor chisels the wood into the finest shape of a bodybuilder but we have to work very hard to turn that prototype into a real us, a very chiseled body of ourselves.

Thus, makes the strictest and disciplined game. Lots of youths are rushing to build bigger bodies rather than better bodies. If you are a beginner, take your time to learn all the basics of exercises, proper nutrition and other ingredients of bodybuilding.

Get guidance from professionals as much as you can.

FN: How would you view your early days of bodybuilding? In other words, how do you feel when you look back? What changes do you observe in Nepali Bodybuilding?

SHYAM: Sighs…..Very tough. Nutrition was the hardest part in the early days. We didn’t have such supplements back in those days like we have now. We had to rely on natural foods for the nutritional sources. I used to be fortunate quite sometimes that my friends and families sent me some supplements from overseas.

Another part was training. There were very few bodybuilders in the gyms to discuss the training matters. I had gone through many trial and error methods to build my own physique. Well, there were always friends to spot me when I nearly failed.

I want to add one more thing on the changes in bodybuilding in Nepal. Back in 1996 in 32nd World Championship, Nepal couldn’t get into the top 10 either but in 2010, we were successful to get into top 5 and win the Bronze. This reveals the remarkable improvement in our bodybuilding.

FN: After participating in various international competitions and receiving prestigious trophies, you have glorified the national image of this nation in the international arena. Now, what do you think about the current position of our nation in this field?

SHYAM: In my opinion, the muscles quality of our few bodybuilders has changed nearly to an international standard but not all. However, we have become competitive in the international standard but not yet in the Champion’s edge. We still need to work much harder to enter that stage. If there is an adequate and progressive support from the authorities, I am confident that all the bodybuilders of our nation will sacrifice their lives to win the Champion’s Title on the international stage.

We need to build our foundation in the first place, a continuous and couple of standard games annually. Bodybuilders are not like dummies standing in front of the clothing store to be ready whenever you call. If there is no fixed calendar of the game, how can you prepare for the game? And what for? One national game is called just 3 months before the game. How can an organizer think that bodybuilders are preparing for nothing throughout the year? The system of calendar has to be fixed for the game. This is the biggest issue I see in bodybuilding of Nepal.

FN: Would you like to deliver any message to the readers of Fitness Nepal?

SHYAM: In our early days, we didn’t have internet, no google to search about bodybuilding like these days. Everything is handy now. We had to rely on the magazines, which were rarely available in the bookstores of Kathmandu. This shows that how far we were behind.  My friends and families used to send me the bodybuilding magazines from overseas. Personally, I had learnt a lot from the magazine.

We are moving forward in the fitness industry but we don’t have proper informative media to educate people about proper fitness. Fitness Nepal magazine has become a milestone for all the fitness lovers and bodybuilders as they have took a giant step to promote fitness in Nepal with the Nepalese fitness and bodybuilding professionals. Fitness Nepal has been sharing information since 2006 through the website www.fitnessnepal.com. What I feel proud about Fitness Nepal is that they have untiringly working to promote Nepalese fitness professionals and bodybuilders every way possible.

This is not only an opportunity for the professionals but for the general people, beginners and those who are in need of motivations to stay fit. Ultimately, fitness in the key to better health. I have no doubt; with this spirit, Fitness Nepal will make Nepal a Fitter Place one day.

 

-Sanjit Shrestha
Fitness Nepal
www.sanjeetshrestha.com

Note: This article was published in Fitness Nepal magazine in 2014 and it's re-written.