First things first! Lifting weights will not make you bulky and masculine, girls. If anything, it will make you stronger, sexier, help you build that peach booty, and take you closer to your body goals than ever before. If that isn’t enough for you, it will also help improve your bone density, joint mobility, and relieve anxiety.
Whether you need to amp up your lifting journey or need to shed your apprehensions before starting out, these badass Instagram role models from India, and across the world, will inspire you to get under that barbell. Read on to hear their pro tips for heavy weight training and get that iron pumping.
1. Shweta Rathore
Born in Jaipur, Shweta Rathore broke all gender stereotypes to become one of the most celebrated physique athletes in India and the first Indian to win Miss World Fitness Champion.
Her story, which started from hearing taunts on her interest in training to hearing praises nationally and internationally, is an inspiration for sure.
Pro Tip: Her advice is to match the hard work of lifting weights with discipline in the kitchen. She eats a protein-rich diet which speeds up recovery time. Her meals also include natural carbohydrates like oats and multigrain bread.
Strong is the new sexy? Oh yes!
2. Marisa Inda
This 41-year-old strong mama of two can give any 20 something a run for their money. The Mexican beauty has been training for over two decades and has some great tips for girls who want to lift.
Pro Tip: She swears by massage therapy. You heard it right! Massage is an integral part of training and recovery. It has also been proven to improve performance, prevent injury, and speed up recovery time. While a Swedish massage is a great relaxer, a deep tissue massage is what she recommends for those who want to reap the benefits.
Check out some of her kickass routines on her popular Insta page.
3. Bani J
Popularly known as VJ Bani from MTV, Gurbani Judge, who looks like a sculpted goddess, often shares her weight lifting routines on Instagram. She has often come out strongly against stereotyping girls who lift weights.
Pro Tip: Bani follows a strict six meal plan a day and hits the gym once she has had her first three meals. She does not shy away from carbs and gets her fill from sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oats. When training, she emphasizes on the importance of form and how professional guidance is imperative, especially when you are starting out.
Check out the bold and beautiful reality star’s pro lifts online.
4. Navreet Josan
This 31-year-old mercilessly rips apart all stereotypes around pumping iron and femininity. An Adidas promoted athlete and a make-up artist, she effortlessly swings between badass training tips and glamorous make-up lessons.
Pro Tip: Her tip for effective training is to keep your muscles guessing and growing. She swears by changing the order of exercises, trying new ones, increasing reps or sets, and adding new variations like supersets and dropsets.
Check out her Instagram page for your ultimate fitspo.
5. Sonali Swami
If Sonali Swami’s journey doesn’t inspire you to get your hands on that barbell, we don’t know what will. A Bangalore-based supermom of two, Sonali started training only at 37 and went on to win a Bronze medal at the Asian Bodybuilding Championship in 2016. She strikes the perfect balance between training and family and can also teach you some fun Zumba moves.
Pro Tip: She stresses on challenging your body consistently and with progressing resistance. Her advice is to stick to one routine for 8-12 weeks and thereafter, increase each workout volume by adding sets, reps, or by adding weights. Feeling the burn while manipulating rest periods is essential, she says.
It isn’t a surprise that every single Instagram post of hers screams inspiration. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.
6. Aroosha Nikonam
This 27-year-old Scottish fitness instructor and bodybuilder beat anorexia before she began her fitness journey. She can now lift double her body weight and kick some serious ass.
Pro Tip: Her secret is to focus on progress and not perfection. “Just because someone can lift heavier than you, doesn’t make your effort invalid. Don’t compare your progress to theirs, be the best version of you,” she says. “Also, eating healthy is very important if you want to progress to heavier weights”.
We couldn’t agree more.
7. Deepika Chowdhury
It isn’t every day that you come across someone who is a molecular biologist and an international level bodybuilding champion. Meet Pune-based Deepika Chowdhury, the country’s first figure athlete to hold an IFBB (International Federation of Body Building) pro card. For someone who went to the gym only to let her work frustration out, she has surely come a long way.
Pro Tip: This 37-year-old’s training schedule is a mix of strength training with cardio for 30 minutes every day and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) twice a week so she can gorge on all the food that she loves.
PS: Her in-laws still don’t know she competes as a bodybuilder.
8. Yashmeen Chauhan
She is often called the Iron Woman of India. She is a mean machine and loves to powerlift. Winner of umpteen international awards, this beauty with brawn is on top of her heavy lifting game.
Pro Tip: Yashmeen emphasizes the importance of breathing techniques while lifting. She says she swears by the Valsalva maneuver.
Already thinking about giving it a shot? We bet you are.
That’s some major inspiration to pump iron, ladies. Go lift and kill it!