Fit for all

Sushmita Jha
Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Ms Fitness India is a different pageant — it tests your strength and also allows you to feel like a star on the ramp. Here’s more about the contest being held in Pune this weekend

Being fit and healthy should be the first priority, especially for women, who are multitaskers by nature. Taking this idea ahead, Fitness and Sports Sciences Association (FSSA) came up with a unique concept of a fitness pageant. After achieving great success in the last three editions, FSSA is all set to present the fourth edition of Ms Fitness India 2018. The three-day programme starting from September 7, will see the final round being held in Hyatt Regency on Sunday.

Gurnit Singh, head of FSSA, came up with this idea back in 2015 when he was judging a pageant. “I was judging a pageant and frankly speaking, it was an epiphany. I thought why not try and mix actual fitness contest with a pageant? Within 30 minutes of this thought striking me, I had penned down the flow and scoring criteria. Today, the pageant has become one of the most sought after, premium and credible platform for women to showcase their strength, grit and determination,” he says. 

There are several fitness related events happening across the country and the world, so what makes this pageant different from others? Singh explains, “For starters, it is NOT a bodybuilding /bikini/figure contest. All of these require to show your body. Here, we test the real fitness.” 

The contest is divided into following rounds: Push-ups, bench press, deadlift, sit-ups, elbow plank, flexibility, introduction and stage presence. “After sweating it out for 1.5 days, these women too get to dress up, get their hair and makeup done and feel like stars in the grand finale, which is usually held at a 4/5 star property, this time it being Hyatt Regency, Pune,” Singh informs.

Due to its out-of-the box format, the pageant has effortlessly gained a huge response from women. “Women across India have been very enthusiastic about the pageant and every year it surprises them with its brilliant work in the area of women’s health. We have never found it difficult to get participants. Due to a certain format, we cannot take more than 35 women participants and each year, we fill this number easily,” says Singh.

The previous editions of this programme had taken place in Gurugram, but this time FSSA wanted to try out the event in a different city. “Organising Ms Fitness India 2018 in Pune was purely a new business strategy. We wanted to try a new territory and Pune is filled with enthusiastic people who want to try out new things. We successfully completed three years in Gurugram, and after doing it in Pune this year, we will return to Gurugram,” Singh says.

Compared to men, many women tend to face health issues early in life, hence a concrete health awareness to keep their body healthy is of utmost importance and Singh feels that this pageant can help spread that awareness in the most appropriate way. “Ms Fitness India is all about an ideal lady with strength which is proportionate to her body. The best part is that age is no limit to build strength, nor to take part in this contest. This contest has been designed to empower women. They have performed feats at this platform that they thought they would never be able to. The entire journey — from preparing for the competition till the three days of the event, has a great impact on every individual woman and all the hard work and determination makes each one of them a stronger and a better person to go out there and inspire more women like themselves,” he informs.

But not many women feel very confident about taking up such strenuous challenges, safety being their main concern. Singh, however, says that the format of this contest is known to all from the beginning, so the participants, prepare themselves accordingly. “My team and I are in constant touch with all the participants throughout the year to motivate them and guide them if they need any assistance with preparations. We place a lot of emphasis on correct biomechanics and posture while they attempt lifting heavy weights. In fact, all these women are also given videos of each round which emphasises on the correct posture,” he says.

Talking about the safety measures that are available just in case anything goes wrong, he adds, “We have our team to ensure no one picks up weight in a wrong manner. If in case there is an injury, we have a first-aid box on the premises. There is also a  doctor (MPT) and an ambulance on standby.”

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