When people see the six packs abs of Shahrukh and Aamir Khan all are fascinated towards it and even a few try to get similar abs. But to get those abs and muscles is not anyone game and for professional body builders to maintain a good physique is utmost important.
Meet Sunil N Aptekar who is now working with the Indian Railways, who in a span of 18 years of his active body building career participated in more than 150 competitions and won almost all.
Sunil was Mr.India on THREE occasions, the only one from Karnataka. He was also Mr.Asia and has received Karnataka’s prestigious EKALAVYA AWARD amongst many other glittering trophies and medals to his name.
The great bodybuilder who now works with the Railways is very upset with the Government and the treatment he has got. A plot was alloted to him by the Corporation but till date same has not been alloted to him. Speaking to AAB, he said, “ I am very displeased with the Government and its machinery and its approach towards sports. I now plan to auction all my medals and lets see how much I can raise from there”
People close to Sunil and his family as well would not have ever thought that Sunil would be a body builder. Sunil until the age of 17 was very weak and sleek, Even then he decided to go in for the Indian Air force selection and as he was a son of a service man he had some concessions in the physical attributes, but even with those concessions he was not able to make it to the IAF as his chest was not upto the standards. Sunil was so disgusted with himself and to top it his father for the first time yelled on him. This was the day that changed his life entirely.
The very next day he went to the Corporation Gymnasium near Shivaji Garden and started his training without knowing that one day he would be Mr.Asia. Zeal, determination to overcome that humiliation he had got in the IAF selection made him work hard day after day.
He was born in Udhampur (J&K) and his father was in the Army and he did his schooling from Benyon Smith and then he did his ITI in electrical.
He was a National Body Building Judge and also a member selection committee member for IBBF. Vice President South India Body Building & Fitness Federation, General secretary Belgaum District body Building Association & E.C member of Karnataka State Body Building Association were some of his positions held where he even tried to do good for the sport.
Even tough the government did not support him, did not even allot the plot alloted to him by a resolution of the corporation, people like Suresh Hundre and sports clubs helped him reach his goal.
Uday of AAB caught up with the ace body builder who now in his late 40’s is still tough as he was in his teens. An excerpt of the interview with Sunil Aptekar:
Would you like to tell us about your early days and family?
Sunil Aptekar ————> My father was in the Army and I was born in Udhampur in J&K. I dont remember much of that but do remember some days spent in Sangrur. After a few postings my father kept us at Belgaum only. Our financial position was not very good and after my dad service from the army he started to work as an auto driver. Sunil recalls days when the family could not get to eat for day, but even then they all stayed together and came over the difficulties of life. I was doing my BA but I lost my brother in an accident and then I had to leave the course and I took up ITI.
When did you decide to get into bodybuilding and why?
Sunil Aptekar ————> My entry to Bodybuilding was not planned. I could not get selected in the Indian Airfoce and hence my father had shouted on me. I was very weak where as my father was quite build and strong. I never had the confidence in me. After that incident I decided to build my body and stated to go to the corporation Gymnasium. There was no trainer nor coach, I just started to work out and I had decided may anything happen I will work hard and make my body. Then one day I was asked to participate in the bodybuilding competition in which I won and my first tittle which got me name was the Dasara Shree at Mysore.
What was your parent’s reaction on your decision of joining gym?
Sunil Aptekar ————> There was no reaction at all. My father thought he is going to the gym let him go atleast he will have some good health if nothing else. But when I won the Dasara Shree and I was interviewed and my photos were published in the new papers my dad proudly said, “You have made me proud.”My father then took keen interest in my training and saw to it that I get the good diet and I also exercise the correct way.
Sunil Aptekar ————> Body building is the mother of all sports I believe. Always health is more than wealth. If one has good body, here I mean healthy body the mind automatically is fresh and fit. One gets the inner confidence when one is fit. Only bodybuilding does not mean taking supplements and growing ones muscles. This is an art of keeping the body fit with a good mental balance and good diet. Once I got the confidence I loved this and opted that I would try to make a career in it.
What are your favorite and least favorite exercises?
Sunil Aptekar ————> My favorite exercises are chest exercises, dumbbell press. I never liked the calf exercises.
How was your early experience in the world of bodybuilding? Would you like to share your first achievement?
Sunil Aptekar ————> I was taking part in the local championships but when I won the Dasara shree I got a good name and from then one I never looked back. In a competition the TOP 6 Mr.India’s were participating and I participated in it and and that boosted my confidence a lot as I was appreciated by all.
With no trainer/coach all I did was experimented and learned. Then there was no internet where I could have searched for information. It was all trail and error.
What are your tips for the beginner, intermediate and advanced bodybuilder?
Sunil Aptekar ————> What tips can I give? Work hard and there is no substitute for hard work in body building. One should be very disciplined in the diet which helps the body to grow to atleast 70% and 30% is exercises. Too much is always bad. In our times there were no supplements available like the ones now, one should be very careful when using them. Many leave this sport in the middle and then complain of leg pain etc . But the fault is ours. When you are not working out, your diet intake should also be reduced in that proportion.
What is the toughest part about bodybuilding for you?
Sunil Aptekar ————> 70% diet is responsible for the body. Your digestive system should be the best and if it isnt you wont be a good body builder. It is not only that one should look fit but one should feel fit from the within. Even today I do dumbbell press everyday, stretching exercises, running and even at 47 now I feel young enough.
Who’s your favorite bodybuilder?
Sunil Aptekar ————> Arnold Schwarzenegger has been my first and top favorite. His approach is what I liked most and even today I like him the most.
You got a job in the railways, how was this?
Sunil Aptekar ————> Well the current job is not my first job. The first job I did was in Hindustan Latex, then South Central Railway, CISF I worked for 3 years- but I was not promoted and then the South Railway coach saw me and asked me whether I would like to join the railways, from then I am in the Railways.
Do you think that the sport of bodybuilding has future in India?
Sunil Aptekar ————> The future of body building is very good now and we have very god trainers and fitness level and the craze of bodybuilding will take it higher. But the glamor part as in cricket is not there in this port which hurts me a lot. This sport requires a lot of money and hard work. Most of the money goes off into the diet, so if there are sponsors who take care of it one can easily concentrate on the training part.
Any Support from the government?
Sunil Aptekar ————> Literally nothing. I was the First person from Karnataka to be representing at the Mr. Asia tournament and I also won it but the government never supported me. In 1992 there were blasts next to my house and the victims were given 2 lakhs in compensation but no one ever thought of asking us what had happened to us.
In 1997 the city corporation had passed a resolution for allotment of a plot to you, what happened to that?
Sunil Aptekar ————> Yes, on 30 August, 1997 I was alloted a plot by resolution No.130/131 done by the City Corporation and the said resolution was passed unanimously by all the members. But even till date I havent been alloted the plot.
In the middle I was alloted a BUDA plot as any other citizen for which I paid money by taking loans but as I had no money left to build the house the said plot was re acquired by BUDA.
I have been in numerous times to the MLAs for support and allotment of that plot but no one has done it. Even after the resolution being passed I dont get he plot and now its is 14 years ago, how will more people want to join this sport after this kind of treatment.
Now I feel the time has come for me to sell all my medals I had won over the years. Lets see if I can raise some money from that at least.
What is the best thing about Belgaum you like?
Sunil Aptekar ————> There is something magical in this place which I cant express in words. When I had won awards I was felicitated in Sangli, where they had asked me to come and settle in Sangli, but I did not go, Now I repent sometimes if I had gone there may the story would have been different, But Belgaum is heaven on earth for sure.
What are your thoughts on this website?
I have just recently seen this site and the amount of information is great, My best wishes to the site and I will make it a point from now on to see the site regularly.