Silchar girl Sravani Sinha making a mark in national bodybuilding
26-year-old Sravani Sinha, a female bodybuilding prodigy from Silchar is setting some serious benchmarks in the world of Indian bodybuilding.
Fitness, to some of us, might be just another new year’s resolution, we never take too seriously. But for Sravani it is a ‘way of life’. The Silchar girl, who is also a fitness consultant, made her presence felt in the fitness circuit when she won the title of ‘Jerai Miss Bikini Diva (South) 2016’ in her maiden bodybuilding event. Post that, she participated in two other national level bodybuilding contests where she was placed among the top 10 contestants.
In an exclusive interaction with BarakBulletin.com, Sravani Sinha gave us an insight into her journey and the hardships she’s had to face in her way.
Q: What were your initial motivations heading into a career in bodybuilding?
A: It started out as a hobby. I was an athletic kid and also a district level swimmer. I bagged the first position in the under-19 category in the year 2007. My alma mater Holy Cross School, Silchar had always promoted sports and my teachers have a big role to play in my success. Bodybuilding came to me as a very natural transition and I wish to set an example for young girls all over the country.
Q: When and why did you move out of Silchar?
A: I did my 10th standard from Assam Valley School, Tezpur where I was also an NCC cadet. Later on, I moved to Bangalore to study journalism.
Q: When exactly did you decide to take bodybuilding seriously?
A: I used to work out at local gyms before but was never too regular. After I moved to Bangalore, I got into a wrong company. I saw myself eating more junk food and partying late nights. I knew that this was leading me nowhere so I got myself a gym membership and my life changed ever since.
Q: What do you do professionally?
A: I am a fitness consultant. I train clients online as well as in person.
Q: What is Jerai and what led you into the competition?
A: Jerai is an independent bodybuilding federation based in India. I got to know about it from Shweta Mehta of Roadies fame, who is a fitness athlete and also my fellow gym partner. One day while training, she came up to me and recommended me to participate in the contest, so I did, without knowing what to expect. That was my first bodybuilding competition in which I won the title of ‘Miss Bikini Diva (South) 2016’.
Q: Was your family supportive of your decision?
A: Initially, no. I hail from a conservative family and my mother was worried about what my brothers and uncles would think if I were to compete in bikini outfits. I told her about my first show only after I had won it. Things have changed a lot since then and my family is more supportive of my decision now.
Q: How was life after the contest?
A: It was overwhelming. People began recognizing me more often in the fitness circuit. I became quite a popular face in the field. It is always nice to see people appreciate you for your hard work. Ever since then, I participated in the Jerai Finals in 2017 as well as in the Boss Classic 2018 national level competitions. I was placed among the Top 10 in both these contests.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Currently I am training under Harry Sandhu who is a popular fitness trainer and my mentor. I want to win the Olympia Amateur India contest in 2019. I am willing to go all out to attain the pro-card using which I can compete on international platforms.
Q: Who are your inspirations in the fitness industry?
A: I think I was heavily inspired by Shweta Mehta in the initial days. Apart from her, I also look up to Ashley Kaltwasser, Anllela Sagra, Courtney King, Casey Samsel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jeremy Buendia and Sadik Hadzovic.
Q: How do you maintain your diet?
A: I try to cook smart. I use either refined oil or coconut oil in my meals. I also measure my calorie intake. I do, however, have one cheat meal every week.
Q: Have you ever been injured?
A: Yes, due to lack of proper guidance I injured my wrists and hamstrings while training back in the year 2016. I have recovered totally now.
Q: Have you ever been criticized for your body shape?
A: Yes, several times. I want to break this stereotype that women cannot excel in bodybuilding. I do not react to such criticism because I am laser-focused on my dreams.
Q: How has bodybuilding changed your life?
A: It has made a huge difference in the way I approach my life. I have become more focused and disciplined. It has also improved my endurance and boosted my mental strength and willpower.
Q: Apart from bodybuilding, what are your hobbies?
A: I like to go creative with new fitness recipes. I also love watching documentaries and reading biographies.
Q: What is the future of bodybuilding in Silchar?
A: I think a lot has changed over the years. People are finally beginning to take fitness seriously and this is a very welcome change. But despite that, bodybuilders here need more exposure and we need to organise more competitions. These competitions should be beginner friendly.
Q: Do you have some advice for aspiring bodybuilders?
A: My only advice to them would be to ignore the naysayers and be with people who share the same vision and goal as theirs.