For Mr Goa Viju, bodybuilding is an art

Cuncolim-based Viju Desai was introduced to the gymnasium by his friend Vinay Desai when the iron bug hit him and hit him hard.

Six years ago Vinay had no clue that Viju would turn into eight-time Mr Goa in the sport of bodybuilding when he started working out at the age of 21.

Viju, aged 27 now, has just returned with all smiles on his face after winning the 3rd place in the 75 kg category at the national bodybuilding competition held at Belgaum on September 22. He put in a month’s preparation for this competition by working hard, maintaining strict diet and staying focused to grow more definition in his physique.

"My experience in Belgaum was fantastic as I won the 3rd place, representing Goa and I got to learn and improve by talking to other body builders from other states," says Viju. He feels that to keep up at national level, the Goan bodybuilders need to take the sport more seriously and for that to happen the government should provide the bodybuilders with good facilities as well as employment opportunities.

Becoming a champion bodybuilder comes at a cost. There is a lot that goes into just shaping yourself. Diet is the key feature and not everyone can afford the best. Viju comes from a low middle class family that makes it even difficult when it comes to diet, but thanks to his mother Anupama Yesso Desai who is his role model and has supported him in his education and sports along with his father Yesso Krishna Desai. Viju is a multiple degree holder and has to his name a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Law and Legislative, Physical Education and even a Diploma in Computer Education and Tally 7.2.

His first title was a gold medal at inter-collegiate competition in the year 2007 when he was pursuing Law at Kare College, Margao. And the first shot at Mr Goa in 2012 is one of his happiest days, reveals Viju. After this triumph he tried even harder and went on to win Mr Goa crown on an incredible seven occasions. He is also proud to represent Goa for bodybuilding nationals on several occasions.

In spite of all these achievements Viju still hunts for a good job which is the saddest part. But despite of all the hardships in life, one thing Viju never learnt is to give up. He currently works as a fitness trainer at the Fitness Centre in Cuncolim where he trains on his own two hours daily, six times a week. His diet include nutritious foods like chicken, egg whites, boiled potato, fruits, vegetables, juices. Drinking a lot of water is another key to his health which most of us ignore. Well these are his simple secrets to his not 6 but 8 packs which are his best feature.

"Over the years I worked on my body by taking one step at a time, carving myself as an artist. I should now concentrate more on my thighs," says Viju, who’s keen on applying for the PSI’s post. Listening to music and spending time with his mother gives Viju immense joy.

His tips for the beginners would be – be regular to the gym, take training from a certified trainer, keep proper diet and stay away from tobacco and alcohol. He would advise the elderly to walk at least half an hour daily to maintain good healthy lifestyle.

Viju has no time to rest as he prepares on the next task ahead, participating in the all Goa bodybuilding competition to be held at Margao on September 29 and later for the Nationals in Gokak in November as he dreams his way to become the next Mr India. [NT]