Updesh Saluja learnt to love himself by loving his body
“I see spirituality in fitness. Once you see it, you can see no better way”- Updesh Saluja
Fitness, gym, workouts, weight. A lot of us have a bittersweet relationship with most of the former things. For a few, workouts and fitness has changed their whole life, made them not just stronger physically but also mentally. They found a way to channelize everything they felt and learn to believe in themselves. Updesh Saluja’s story is also one of them. An extremely hardworking, dedicated, grounded and passionate to the core fitness trainer and athlete. His love for fitness led him to love himself and also find love.
“Fitness is my life. I swear by fitness every second of my life. Be it any issues, the gym would be my place to escape from the misery. This place means a lot to me. I have become a stronger and a wiser person by spending my 17 years in the gym. This profession has made me a man of steel.” Says Updesh.
Updesh had a tough time growing up but he always had the fire in his belly to do something big and become something. “I have been brought up in a very simple yet open-minded middle-class family. I have seen my grandfather working hard and that has been a driving force in my life. I started working from the age of 13 as my father couldn't sponsor me for my education. Once his situation got decent, I rejoined my school. That phase when I had to leave my school to save money was the most disturbing phase of my childhood.”
Stepping into the gym and seeing some well-built men in there made him feel like he belonged there. He wanted to become just like the people he saw at the gym. He was so naïve, he thought that if he came to the gym twice a day, he could become like them faster. This was the start of his transformation into who he has become today. One of the most sought-after trainers in the industry. The road of long and needed a lot of work but none of that was difficult for him. “I started working out also at the age of 13. I was inspired to see all the big built guys coming to the gym at that time. I wanted to become like them or maybe better than them. When I won the competition in Guwahati in 2003- Mr.Kamrup I knew this field, professionally was my real calling. Nothing was planned. I went where my heart and happiness lied. I have been serving the fitness industry for more than 10 years. I had studied a lot about training and fitness. I worked hard on my vocabulary and accent. As I grew in my work, I wanted to make it big in terms of being able to train successful people.”
When you are good at what you do and you do that with all your heart, success if just a byproduct. He not only his love for training, but also found the love of his life. Together, they set out to fulfil their dreams. Updesh is now working towards qualifying for a Pro Card in the Olympia stage.
“It was a struggle and it’s still a struggle. But the real struggle lies where you have to convince people to hire an educated trainer. I have studied a lot in terms of training. I left my house and have been financing myself since I was 17 years old. I have taken up jobs at call-centre to buy a box of protein powder. I have slept in gurdwaras for days to save house rent. I saved money for the right courses. I have been sleeping in my car to save on time and energy. I am still struggling to make a big mark. I am sure with hard work and more knowledge I will reach out to a bigger audience.”
Everything that he had to face in life, he took it to his stride. He worked on himself and made his mark. “My biggest achievement lies when my clients achieve their goals. This is called making a mark for me. Doing a good job and making your clients happy is a real success for me. Training is in my blood. Being able to inspire people gives me a sense of achievement.
I aspire to play bigger and international competitions in future. I have been working very hard to spread the right knowledge and training people and help them get in shape. This year I want to see myself on the stage playing as an athlete and for this, I am working even harder than before and make India proud of me.