Just try not to break it, okay? If he does… Do we have insurance? We have insurance. Okay, okay. We’re going to try this today. Even his thumbs are strong! It’s over. I’m sorry… It’s done. Welcome again to Cotton King Presents Ready to Lead #JagaatBhariMarathi. Every 31st December, I resolve to go to the gym the next day- on 1st January. Then the next day comes… And I am in such a condition that I can’t even get to my living room from my bedroom in the morning. Then 2nd January comes, then 3rd, then 4th… I plan to go on 5th. That is how the entire year goes by. And I still cannot manage to go to the gym. 90% of the viewers must have experienced this. But there are some who take great care of their bodies. They don’t just take care of it, but they make a great career out of it. Our guest for today is the same kind- he’s a well-known bodybuilder. He’s made a name for himself and for the country from this career. He has won Mr. Maharashtra five times. He has won Mr. India six times. And he has won the World Championship twice. He’s also launched gyms and encouraged many people to lead healthy lives. The Mr. India we all love… Let’s welcome Maharashtra’s favourite bodybuilder Sangram Chougule! -Hi Sangram! -Hi! -Welcome! When we bought this chair, we thought… it’s a great big chair for great people. But the chair looks tiny now that you’re sitting in it. It’s my first time to be sitting in such a chair. I have a couple of weird- not weird, they’re genuine questions. These are my personal questions, not technical like these. I’ve been hearing from my childhood that if you want to build your body, you should have 40 eggs… 20 eggs… drink 6 litres of milk… Someone eats this, someone eats that… How many eggs do you eat every day? I don’t eat a lot of eggs; because I got sick of eggs. No, actually… Indians blindly follow others. Like, even I used to blindly follow them. -I’d eat 40 eggs at the beginning. -Forty! I was copying others. Others would eat 50-60 eggs; I thought I should at least have 40. -It wasn’t specified for me. -Right. -Everyone has a different requirement. -Depends on your own body. -Right. What’s your weight? What’s your muscle mass? That determines your diet. I studied that: why should I eat this? And what does my body need? -Right. -Education was the main reason. If you are educated, you can think about it and you can implement. So let’s go on to our first section. The first section is called ‘Early Signs’. Were you inclined towards this in your childhood? To take the words literally, when you were a baby… Did you start working your abs while in your crib? When did you develop your core? How did it happen? I had abs since I was in 5th or 6th grade, because I was a runner. I used to run. My abs were visible. Everyone had abs; but mine were more visible. -My fitness level was good. It is not related to the body. -Right. Muscles and fitness are different things. Muscles are for showing off, for bodybuilding. -Fitness is for life. -Right. Like everyone else, even I didn’t have abs in my childhood. -When do your abs contract? When you do those activities. -Right. We run when we’re young. What happens is we’re given a lot of sugar to eat at home. -There’s sugar in the milk. There’s sometimes sugar in rice. -Right. These things are… You need energy. When you’re young, you need energy, not muscles. So what happens then is: Your muscles aren’t developing, but strength is increasing. It didn’t happen with me. I wasn’t consuming sugar in my childhood. I’d have a normal meal. But I did a lot of activities. So compared to other kids, my abdominal muscles were trained early. Another question that we always ask everyone. We get asked this in school too when we’re kids: ‘What do you want to be?’ What were your aspirations in childhood? What did you want to become? Or did you always want to do this: get into exercising or into sports? I wanted to join the army. Inspiration. Because people in the army serve the country. -I was attracted to that uniform. -Okay. So I wanted to join the army. Kids don’t know what they want to do. We ask them what they want to become. The role model they have in front of them is what they answer. Whichever model they see that day- it changes every day. -My goal was to join the army. -Right. I directly wanted to become an officer. But that wasn’t easy to do. So that’s how it happened. -I think you were pursuing aeronautical engineering before, right? -Yes. You left that to join this field. Many of our viewers are in the age group of 18-24. They must be wondering what they should do if they want to take an offbeat path. And mainly, did you face any resistance from your family? If you want to take an offbeat path, you’ve to be ready to take the beating. Because if you want to do something against the stream -you have to be that strong. -Right. Or you need a strong vision behind doing it. It can only be achieved if you can explain that vision. If you really want to do something different, you’ve to think about why you’re doing it. Do it if you really have that passion, not because others are doing it… -Passion should be your profession. Then you can do anything. -Absolutely. Let’s go to the next section now. The next section is ‘Screw Failure’. If you really want to achieve a leading position, if you want to show the path to others, the first thing you need to learn is to leave failures behind and continue ahead. But of course, it’s a part of our journey. It’s the most important part of any success story. -Did you face failure initially? -‘Screw Failure’ is actually my thing. Because I’ve reached here only after having failures. -Okay. -I haven’t won a lot of competitions yet. -Okay. But the ones I lost were the ones that made me famous. Because there are two things… -The crowd on the stage- your colleagues… -Right. They never get close to the winner. They want to get to the rivals. You can notice it onstage- they always crowd near the runner up. “It was your title, man. But they gave it to him!” These things mattered. Many times, the title got snatched from me by someone else. It made me stronger. Then I didn’t give importance to winning and losing. I think you should not worry about success or failure. Preparation is what’s in your hands. You can control what you do. You cannot predict the results. But you faced another blow in your career when you got injured onstage. I’d heard of this. What was that? That was the turning point of my life. -Because I am the first Maharashtrian to win the World Championship. In Bangkok. -Right. After that, I went to MP in 2013. So, there… I used to do a good split… legs. So my adductor magnus- the muscle that connects the two legs- it tore on the stage. I was sitting there flat. But as they say, the show must go on. I told the coach what happened. The public did not get to know. I continued the show. What happened that time was: I actually understood the failure that you mentioned. -Right. -That was my failure onstage. -I had, just before, been at a high point. -Right. I returned home. I couldn’t work out for four months. Then I realized the reality was that people knew me because of my body. And my body won’t not last long-term. My name will last longer- that is more important. -That was when I first launched my brand Physc. -Nice. Many of my friends helped me in that condition. I’d enter competitions, and someone stayed behind to handle the business. They looked after it, and I kept going ahead with this. -Unless you come together… Because teamwork is the best work. -Absolutely. I’ve come this far only with teamwork. That’s excellent! One thing… You just mentioned your friends supported you and looked after your business. Every episode, we get a message for our guest from one of their closest people. So, we had contacted someone and that person has sent a message for you. -Let’s hear the message. -Sure. Can we play the message? Hi you rhino, how are you? I’ll have to do some thinking if I want to talk about you. Because we talk less and fight more, don’t we? -Jokes apart, everyone knows that Sangram Chougule is a great bodybuilder and successful businessman. -It’s Varsha, right? But very few people know that he is very emotional. And he’s ready to do anything for his friends- anything, anytime, anywhere. He does everything with such devotion and dedication! That’s why he always succeeds. There’s a lot that I can say, but the time won’t be enough. Hope you get all the best things in the world. One of the best things you already have is your wife. Snehal is really a very, very nice girl. And she… I think she has contributed to your success. So… I wish you guys always stay together and stay happy all your life. That’s all I wish for. Alright, bye! How did you find her? Her name is Varsha, but we never called her that. We call her ‘Varshi’. I never thought you’d contact her. I don’t even know who could have… Because we all separated in 2001… After the diploma course. We reunited in 2018. She was the one who formed the group. I was continuously working. I was not in touch with anyone. Suddenly, she added me to the group. And especially with her, it was like… I used to love tea. All we wanted to do was go to the ladies’ hostel and have tea. Because girls used to make tea in the hostel. Outside, we’d get a small tea for 5 rupees. If we went to the hostel, we’d get a mugful of tea. So that’s why we used to always go there. Snehal is my wife. She’s now closer to her than I am. She was my best friend. But now those two are best friends and they unite against me. We had actually contacted your wife and… She must have told you about her. Yes. She said if you want someone special to speak, contact Varsha. She is like the mediator for everyone. She’s suffering from an illness. We all wish for her to recover from it. -We and our viewers also wish that she gets better soon. -She will, for sure. And we wish your friendship lasts forever. So, let’s go to the next section. This section is called ‘Commitment, Commitment, Commitment’. There’s a point in our life when we commit to something. Before that, we have an interest or a passion. While pursuing that, it ends up becoming our thing. So what was the point in your life when you decided that bodybuilding was your career? I never made a career choice of bodybuilding. I got my first title in 2006, in Pune. -‘The Great Maratha Shri’. -Right. Then there was ‘Pune Shri’, which I didn’t get. It went away. After Pune Shri, I quickly got the next title. Pune Shri was a huge honour; I wasn’t winning that. It used to go to members of a particular gym. I decided in 2008 that I had to win it. I got married in 2007. My career started after marriage. My wife is the backbone of that. Many people stop bodybuilding after marriage; but I began after marriage. Your home front is important. After 2008… I won Pune Shri in 2008. I won that title when we were pregnant with Shourya. -In 2013, I won the World Championship while Shriya was on the way. -Right. My commitment was… I was determined to do something great in life. If I want to enter bodybuilding, I have to get to the top of the field. -That’s all I knew. -Right. Because I fought to leave engineering and enter here. Family was against it; they had barely managed to pay my fees. So you had to prove yourself. For this, I’m thankful to our director Anshul Sharma. Because he supported me for sponsorships. I went to him directly and said, “I want to do bodybuilding, not engineering.” I don’t know how I managed to see him. He said, “Sangram, okay. You want to do bodybuilding- you can do it.” “But if you’re leaving this thing to get into that, you’ve to top there.” I came out. Kuldeep Patil sir from admin was there. He asked me why I had come there. I told him. He said, “Fine. The college will pay for your mess.” What more do you need for bodybuilding? Food was done. I got money for other expenses. And Vijay Dudhane, who was a gym owner, had given me his flat to stay. It was on the gym floor. So I was provided for. So all I had to do was work out, diet and compete. Commitment was most important here! Others might have merely taken advantage of this. Commitment was that I was getting paid. That was huge. For 3 years, I only went to college to collect my sponsorship fees. And I used to do BA. That’s where I met Snehal. So that’s how I became Mr. India first in 2010. Then I was sure that I could do something here. After winning so many competitions, after winning titles in Pune, when he got Mr. India, he decided that this was his career. So we might take time to know what we want to do in life. Being aimless now does not mean you won’t do anything in life. Keep searching for your path and you’ll find something. -You have to be consistent. -Absolutely. My commitment at this stage is… Bodybuilding has given me so much! What I’ve committed to myself is: I have to give back to bodybuilding. So, thank you! Our main question-answer session is over. Our guys had screwed with me. I was told… All our directors are jerks. They said that the fun activity was going to be arm wrestling. I said, I don;t even have a visible arm. So, at least, let’s do one thing. If you’re okay with it, let’s play a thumb-wrestling match. -Have you played before? Must have -No. So, basically, you have to grab the thumb. Yes. Just try not to break it, okay? If he does… Do we have insurance? We have insurance. Okay, okay. We’re going to try this here today. Even his thumbs are strong! It’s over. I’m sorry… It’s done. Sorry. Thank you for coming and inspiring us. Before you go, we do something… Because this is your show. I’m only here to ask questions. And the tagline by Cotton King is ‘Ready to Lead’. Cotton King always supports such leaders. And this show aims to create more leaders. Before leaving; for those who want to make a career in bodybuilding or fitness… if you could give them a small piece of advice, what would you say? I’d only like to say that your life is first. Your life comes first and then the other things. People use a lot of shortcuts in bodybuilding these days. They chase muscles. But preserve your life before muscles. If you live, you can always develop your muscles. There’s no limit to develop the muscles. No limit on growing muscles. But if you restrict your life, you can’t do anything later. So, don’t use any shortcuts. Winning is not the only thing. A person doesn’t become great only by winning. I grew only after losing many competitions. Set a target for yourself of what you want to do. I don’t think only winning means success. Sometimes, you can use those who have won. And you can succeed. So, please take care of your life. So, be safe. Be fit to live fit. Thank you for such wonderful answers. After all, it’s your show- a leaders’ show. -We usually gift the leaders something from Cotton King. -Thank you so much! This is your gift- there’s a hamper inside. Hopefully, you’ll like the gift. Do tell us in the comments how you liked today’s episode. And if you ask them to subscribe to BhaDiPa, your followers… Definitely! I’m sitting here for an hour, I enjoyed a lot. If you want to hear about life-changing things from more people like me, please like, subscribe and follow BhaDiPa. Yes, and subscribe because it’s free. Doesn’t cost a thing. Secondly, if you want to check out my clothes or the clothes we gift, please follow Cotton King on Instagram. All of these shirts are available, you’ll find them there. Thank you!