Anand Arnold is a name that has made India proud on more than just one occasion. Known as Indian Arnold, he is India’s first and only wheelchair bound bodybuilder. Anand proved it to the world that no handicap can keep you away from your dreams. Inspite of being paralyzed from waist down, Anand decided to hit the gym and make bodybuilding his profession. With his tireless determination Anand emerged as the winner of Mr. World 2016. While many switch to unethical ways of bodybuilding to gain quick results, Anand prefers being natural. He strongly condemns usage of steroids and urges the youngsters to refrain from it. We bring you to our conversation with the legend, he brings forth his views on steroids and also shares his diet to go natural.
1) What does your natural diet on any typical day constitute of?
First thing after waking up I have 5 eggs followed by almonds. I then have my breakfast which constitutes of either chicken or mutton. After 2 hours, I again have eggs again. My lunch too constitutes of chicken or mutton. Before working out I have a cup of black coffee without any sugar. My day ahead too is similar with non-veg being an integral part of my diet.
2) Do you take care of your protein requirements ?
Yes, I take protein supplements. I am using 100 percent hydrolyzed Whey.I take it 3 to 4 times throughout the day.
3) How does your diet differ before competition and in the off season?
During off season, I increase my carbs intake. While, during preparation and before competition I start taking more of proteins and vitamins and cut my carb intake.
4) What inspires you to take an all natural diet?
There are athletes who start taking steroids 3 months before an event and get an impressive muscle mass. However, they lose the charm on their face. Steroids take away the natural glow of your face. All they have is just muscles. It looks artificial. I do not want that. I want to keep the glow on my face intact it will help me in my acting career as well. Secondly, I want to protect my internal organs from steroid abuse.
5) What are the important food items that you primarily focus upon?
For me, non-veg is very important. My diet plan revolves around non-veg as it is a rich source of protein. If you are non-vegetarian, then should have meat and eggs. If you are a vegetarian, then go for curd. It is a very rich source of protein and so are daals.
When we make curd, there is a greenish liquid that is left behind. That is pure whey. After workout, we need protein for repair and growth of muscles. You should have this green liquid to get a rich dose of protein.
6) What role has your coach Ravi Parashar played in putting down your ‘all natural’ diet plans?
He has guided me with my workout routines as well as diet plans however things are very different for me. It is difficult for a person on the wheelchair to follow a regular diet. I can’t digest food fast as I am always on a wheelchair or bed. I have laid down my own diet plan after understanding my body. I take rich proteins in small amounts so that I can digest it efficiently.
7) Who is your coach now?
Currently, I do not have any coach. I plan my own diet as well as work out routines. I am my own coach. I do not follow others nor do I Google stuff to know about someone else’s diet and work out plans. It took me 10 to 15 years but now I understand my body completely and based on that I put down my plans.
8) What at are the side effects of steroid on health?
People these days need bulky muscles, it is a trend now. Steroids do give you big muscles but your bones, ligaments and joints get weak. See Arnold Schwarzenegger and take a look at Ronnie Coleman. There is a vast difference in their ages but look at their muscles. Muscle size has increased in such a short time because of extended steroid cycles. Ronnie has relied on steroid cycles to get that muscle size and he has suffered consequences for it.
Look at our Dara Singh. He was 90 and he still did not crumble. These are the things I look at and keep in mind.
9) People think that with natural diet they will not get quick results. What do you have to say about that?
Firstly, people need to understand that bodybuilding is a journey with no shortcuts. You have to change your entire lifestyle and give this profession your whole life inorder to have a successful career ahead. People who rely on shortcuts often have short lived careers as well.
10) What would you like to tell your fans?
I would urge my fans to stop going onto Google for everything. The problem is that people look at proficient well established athletes who have been in this field for 10-15 years. They look at those mature muscles and try to copy them without knowing about the time and efforts that has gone into creating those muscles. I would say, do not follow anyone blindly. You do not need to go to someone else to understand what your body needs. You understand your own body in the best way.
For example, there are some people who are allergic to milk and there are some who can drink liters of it but show no progress at all owing to the fact that their body cannot digest milk. Understand your body first and then decide the rest.
I would just like to emphasize on one thing – increase your carbs and calories during off season and increase proteins, vitamins and fibers during the season. Also, never use shortcuts if you want long term goals. This is very important.
11) What are your plans ahead?
I was supposed to participate in Arnold Classic going to be held in March in USA but unfortunately I fell sick. I have got bed sores and have been advised to rest for 20 days. Once I am healed, I will start working out again. I am trying to participate in Arnold Classic scheduled for May in South Africa.
Also, in the next 2 to 3 years, my fans will see me in 3 Bollywood movies. In one movie I have a short role but in the next I am a main character. The third movie is actually my biopic and I will be starring as ‘me’. It is being directed by Mohan Das. This movie will show the audience how a man who was bed ridden and dependent on his family members for food and even sanitation, gets determined to touch the sky.
I want to inspire and motivate people with my life. I mean, there are 1000s that audition for a movie and here I am, I get offers sitting at home. I choose which script I want to work on. Also, Mr. Allen Woodman has written a book on my life titled ‘Weightless – A true story of courage and inspiration’. There is nothing that is impossible. You can do anything if you are determined.
We are truly amazed and impressed with Anand Arnold’s passion and enthusiasm. It is very rare in this profession to come across an athlete on a competitive level to put down his own diet and workout plans. His honesty and humility deserve a bow. We are waiting anxiously for Anand to hit the silver screen. We are sure he will emerge as a true winner even there. We wish him a speedy recovery and all the luck for future his endeavors.