Exercise is like pooja: Madhukar Talwalkar

The Talwalkars Classique of Bodybuilding concluded at Y B Chavan hall in Matunga on Wednesday night, featuring the country’s top bodybuilders. The three-day event (the last day featured an anti-doping seminar) was held to mark Madhukar Talwalkar’s 80th birthday, which fell yesterday.

Madhukar Talwalkar. Pic/Suresh KK

When Madhukar Talwalkar announced this competition a couple of weeks ago, he did not look like a man pushing 80 years. Years of exercise had obviously stopped the clock. Madhukar Talwalkar began his first Talwalkars gym in 1962, taking forward what his father, Vishnu Ramkrishna Talwalkar started in 1932 under the name ‘New Physical Culture’. Three decades later, it was re-christened as Talwalkars.

Says Talwalkar, “In our time, we didn’t have supplements and steroids, neither was there any modern equipment to work out on. Also, there was no trend of using drugs to boost performances so we never had doping tests. We used to follow correct techniques and work hard. A lot has changed now. Science has brought in a lot of positives but there are negative aspects as well.”

Talwalkar belies his age. Talking about how the years sit so lightly on him, he says, “I eat five to six times in a day but each intake is less in quantity. I don’t have any addictions. I don’t consume liquor, I don’t smoke and I have never had tea or coffee in my entire life. I have a gym in my house where I exercise regularly and religiously. For me, exercise is just like performing pooja.” 

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