Ashwini Waskar - Bodybuilder from India

Ashwini: It all started with my sedentary job for 4 years after completing my post graduation in Fisheries Science. It was getting difficult to even climb four floors in a go. Feeling shameful I decided to hit gym with a typical woman’s goal, that is, to get stamina, get 4-5 kg weight loss and little bit inch loss on tummy. That’s it. A month later a freelancing trainer told me about personal training courses and said that I should give a try because not many females are in field of personal training.

While learning there I got my love for heavy lifting and PRs. Slowly with trials and errors I corrected my diets. This made my body better. After almost a year later I went to watch a male bodybuilding competition where they announced first time national level female bodybuilding competition will be held after fifteen days. I decided to give a try and asked my parents. I am a middle class family person from India. So wearing two piece clothing required by the sport is not something general. Therefore I was not sure. But my father said that it’s a reputed sport and all fellow female athletes will be wearing same thing. So go ahead. This inspired me most and I entered into bodybuilding.

I love carb food (Who doesn’t? LOL). So in off season I seriously don’t think much. Post workout protein and then rest meals are Indian food. (I know being athlete I shouldn’t be doing that. ;-) ). While I am left for 2 months pre-contest I get myself strict and start visioning myself on stage. How I want to look on stage, how ripped. And then I get off carb, especially simple carbs. White rice, wheat, bakery products, sweets are expelled totally.

Meals are taken every three hours intervals which include chicken/ fish with salads, curd, milk. With heavy weight training, more protein food with complex carbs and less of simple carbs give best results of more muscles and less body fat. Supplementation with whey protein, BCAA and glutamines are must in competition days. I don’t count calories, but I go for grams. 2.5-3 grams of protein per kg body weight are ingested per day during competition preparation days. Vitamins supplements and fish oils are also necessary not only for vitality of internal system but also for skin and hair.

Failed diet: Yes, during initial competitions I did mistakes in diets. When you are first timers everyone starts giving opinions. Avoiding carbs completely was a major mistake for first two competitions. That gave me ripped look but I was thin/skinny. I was only on whey protein and randomly chicken which caused muscle loss. In later competitions I incorporated carbs in few meals and volumes of chicken and panner (Cottage cheese) which made me look more muscular along with ripped. Another mistake was with fish oil. Following someone blindly I started eating excess fish oil which get my digestive system off guard and after that I lost my digestibility of eggs. It was a time when I used to eat 10 eggs per day, now I can barely digest 1-2 eggs. Now I know that before following someone blindly I should check pros and cons of that suggestion.

My initial competitions were lacking confidence, that’s what I got feedback from my well wishers. Now while getting on stage I always imagine the crowd in front of the stage. Most of them are fat. So I decide to flaunt my body to them like “I was like you and I did this, you too can”. I flex each and every muscle which I work in gymnasium hard and show it to judges. Smile is most energetic thing we can do on stage to grow confidence and to hide stage fear.

I do hardcore weight training. Leg day, chest day, back day, shoulder day, arms day, cardio. I rarely go for abs workout. All exercises include 6-8 repetition training and going for higher weights until failure. Stretching is one of the most important parts of fitness. After completing workout minimum 20-30 minutes of stretching is a must. Unlike regular “Sunday is a cheat day”, I prefer “Heavy lift day as cheat day”. It's smart to eat cheat food when we create demand in body. So if I want to have a little of cheat diet (Which is mostly white rice or ice cream), I prefer leg day or deadlift day.

Many new aspiring girls come with well prepared body under male trainer who teaches them the seven compulsory poses of bodybuilding. Most of them don’t know how to pose for modeling. Backstage when I ask if anybody want to learn posing, the girls get surprised and happy. Giving simple but unique posing techniques and little bit confidence with “Go ahead, you are awesome!” makes them (and me too) feel great. After finishing stage round, the cheerful smiles and gratitude is a real prize I get. This is what I feel inspiring instead of just putting few pics and videos on social media.

I believe in present. I decide and I do. Someone told me fewer girls go for graduation in Fisheries science, so I did it. Some other told me that fewer girls go for personal training field, I did it. Bodybuilding and fitness competitions, I again went. Only Almighty knows future. I just keep doing whatever He pushes me towards.

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Interview with Ashwini Waskar: India's first female bodybuilder -
Ashwini Waskar, India's First Female Competitive Bodybuilder Breaks Barriers -

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