Geeta Phogat is the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics. She is also the first female wrestler from India who won India’s first ever gold medal in women’s wrestling in 55kg freestyle category at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Geeta was born on December 15, 1988, in Balali village in Bhiwani district, Haryana to a wrestler Mahavir Singh. She along with her now Commonwealth medalist sisters started training very young under the guidance of their father.
Geeta tells, “It’s not possible to forget those initial 5-6 years of my training. Those were the most difficult years. We had to work really hard be it scorching heat or cold winters. My father used to wake up at 3:30 in the morning and we had to practice in the akhada for three hours. Post which we went to school and on returning in the evening, we had to train again for 2-3 hours. The akhada and our father were the only two things we saw in our lives at that point.”
“We used to train with my cousins as there were no girls in this profession back then. There were a lot of times when we ended up fighting with the boys from our village. Around that time, my father felt even his daughters could be menacing wrestlers,” she adds
When the girls began training, they were ridiculed by the community but it didn’t deter the spirit of Mahavir Phogat who kept on dreaming for the Gold.
Geeta Phogat Workout :
The Phogat sisters wake up before Sunrise at 4 am. They train for a total of 6 hours where they selflessly dedicate 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening.
Their training sessions consist of a mix of Cardio, High-Intensity Interval Training in combination with weight training and wrestling techniques in the end.
The Cardio exercises give you strength, agility and flexibility which are key features of wrestling. Geeta runs to keep improving their stamina till the time they would exhaust out. Her dedication to running is extreme.
High-Intensity Interval Training:
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is an anaerobic form of exercise meant to increase the heartbeat and provide quick blood flow to the body, strengthening the muscles, building endurance and increasing the overall performance of athletes. It is practised either solely or with a combination of other exercise forms. Examples of HIIT are burpees, deadlifts and push-ups.
Weight Training is a basic part of her training to give strength to the arms, legs and core which is required for the defence.
Geeta Phogat Workout Videos:
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Geeta Phogat Diet:
Geeta starts her day with a glass of water. Early morning she drinks juices/smoothies/ shakes along with nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pista.
Geeta Phogat Breakfast:
For breakfast, she has 200 g fruits, 150 g vegetables (seasonal), sprouts, 1 full glass of milk. Sometimes she also eats aalo ka paratha along with curd. Later she has an energy bar/ fruit/ shake.
Geeta Phogat Lunch:
Her lunch consists of 100 g salad, 200 g chicken/paneer, 50 g pulse, 100 g vegetable, 4-5 rotis and curd. In the evening she drinks a milkshake/ lassi along with fresh fruits.
Geeta Phogat Dinner:
For Dinner, she has 100 g salad, 200 g chicken, 50 g pulse, 100 g vegetable, 4-5 rotis or 1 full bowl of brown rice. While going to bed Geeta takes 1 small glass of milk along with turmeric/ saffron/ cardamom.
Her pre-workout diet includes seasonal fruits and milk while her post-workout diet consists of soy protein, fruits and water.
Geeta Phogat Fitness Tips:
“Everyone in my family, including me avoids fatty, oily and spicy foods, “ she tells. Would you believe that Geeta hasn’t had junk food in the last 15 years?
She tries to include maximum protein in her diet by consuming nuts and sprouts. Her liquid intake is also high to keep her hydrated throughout her training sessions.
Geeta is a gymholic. She loves all kinds of workouts but she loves her mat practice the most.
She says, “Pressure is good, it motivates a player. With proper training and hard work you can tackle any pressure.”
Geeta Phogat Interview:
“The 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games is my most satisfying achievement because it came in front of the home crowd. I know competition in the World Wrestling Championship is stiffer than Commonwealth Games, but winning in your own backyard is special,” she tells Sportskeeda.
Speaking about how we shouldn’t think of what will the people say, Geeta says, “Things are not going to change until Indian women, and their parents, stop being afraid of what society will say. Fear is the single biggest obstacle. The fear of what people will say and how this will shame their parents means that women are paralysed. My father, once he has decided on something, doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks. All the men in our family swore at him for training us. His parents said he was mad. But he didn’t listen.”
“My father gave us inner confidence. He taught us, as young girls, never to be scared. I feel that Indian women are too frightened. They all say, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that.’ Worse, their families don’t support them.” she adds
“Our parents faced more hardship than us. They didn’t stop us from training despite hearing the taunts from the people in the village. We were fortunate to have parents like them,” says Geeta.
Geeta urge girls to not just participate in sports but opt sports as a career. She says,” When you represent your country in front of the world, the happiness is priceless.”
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