From tea plucking to bodybuilding bronze | Sunday Observer

From tea plucking to bodybuilding bronze

4 August, 2019
Madhavan Rajkumaran
Madhavan Rajkumaran

Looking at Madhavan Rajkumaran’ s toned six-pack and bulging biceps, it would be easy to assume a famous fitness star and Asian medal winner. Just a few years ago, the three-time junior national winner was working as a part time labourer plucking tea leaves on the estates from where his family hails while studying at a village school at Pussellawa.

Rajkumaran won a bronze medal in the Asian Bodybuilding championship concluded recently in China where seven builders represented Sri Lanka and he made Sri Lanka proud by winning a medal in the 60 kgs category at the age of just 22 years.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer Rajkumaran said that his biggest inspiration was Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I come from the estate sector but use to dream of becoming a bodybuilder,” said Rajkumaran

“I used to get up at four or five o’clock in the morning and start my workout before going to school during the early days. During vacations I used to go to the estate and do a job that gave me a daily wage.”

He was the junior and senior national champion on three consecutive occasions which were his biggest achievements and was selected for the South Asian Bodybuilding Championship where he won the gold medal last year. The army was then quick to enrol him in their bodybuilding team.

“Bodybuilding was never going to be my career. I was always quite self-conscious, but I really enjoyed training and I wanted to keep improving my confidence and sculpting my body.

“It was only later that I thought I was going to be dieting like a bodybuilder, just once. I won my first show and that was it, I’ve never looked back,” recalled Rajkumaran.

When he is preparing for a show, Rajkumaran says he puts his body through a strict training regimen to help maintain his bulging physique and avoid injury.

“I train twice-a-day. It’s a selfish sport, no matter how much you look at it. You have to put your food first, your training first and your sleep has to be on time.

“I must thank the Army as now I can manage my expenses but during the early days my parents helped me a lot with their limited earnings. I have qualified for the World Bodybuilding Championship which will be held in November in Dubai and I am confident of a medal,” said Rajkumaran.