Published On: January 25, 2019 06:13 PM NPT By: Shusma Barali

Female bodybuilding champions

Female bodybuilding champions

Traditionally there was a mindset that only males go to a gym and work out to be a bodybuilder. But now females are also participating in such activities and representing Nepal at various international bodybuilding championships.

33-year-old, Ninita Maharjan, from Kirtipur was a homemaker. She began working out since 2014. Now she is a professional bodybuilder. She won the National Level Bodybuilding Championship in 2016 and in the same year, she bagged bronze medal in World Bodybuilding Championship organized in Thailand.

According to her, after noticing the difference between international and national championships, she started her preparation for international championships watching different YouTube videos on bodybuilding. “Most of the people are not supported by their family. However, I feel incredibly blessed for the love, care and support I have received from my family and friends,” she said.

There are various things that one should consider while working out. Apart from physical strength, diet plan, discipline, and mental strength are equally important.  Ninita said that females are still unknown about body building competitions. This is a major challenge for the development of these sports.

Likewise, 38-year-old Nirmala Maharjan from Lazimpat has set an example that women are capable of accomplishing anything they wish to. Speaking about her initial days in bodybuilding, she shared, “There was a gym nearby my house and I observed people working out on a daily basis. Acknowledging their transformation, I fantasized on hitting the gym and transforming my body like theirs.” one day, while she was coming home from school, the gym’s coach approached her and asked her to join the gym. “Despite my interest in working out, I could not say ‘Yes’ to him. I then told him that I will have to ask my parents first. I was extremely happy and I told my parents about the offer to join gym. My father instinctively refused and said ‘It’s not made for girls’.”

She was just 16 when Top Gear Gym Center’s coach approached her. The gym center had glass walls and one could clearly see what’s going on inside. She stood still and looked at others training. Now she is a fitness trainer and has participated in various national and international competitions. Speaking about the conservative mindset of people in the society, she recalled, “Women flaunting their body in two piece attire was not common at that time. Lot of people misjudged me. But I ignored all the negative comments and focused on my dream.”

Nirmala is the first Nepali woman to represent Nepal in World Bodybuilding Championship held in Bangkok in 2015. She expressed that though bodybuilding could be a good career in Nepal, lack of platforms and unavailability of required materials for this sport have made things more than just difficult for those who want to professionally pursue a career in bodybuilding.

Ninita and Nirmala are just two examples who are inspiring the females to be in this sport. Nirmala shared, “We still lack female bodybuilders who can represent Nepal in international competitions. There are ample of opportunities for women who want to pursue their career in building.

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