98 lbs was my after-pregnancy weight. That was after my youngest daughter, the little one. Now my weight is 121 lbs.” That was Rupsikha Borah Deori, the recent winner of the Master’s Bikini Class Bodybuilding Championship at the Arnold Classic Amateur Championship held in Columbus, Ohio.
Deori said she had always been slim and trim until she got pregnant. After giving birth to two kids, she wanted to reduce her weight, which had shot by almost 70 lbs.
She recalled, “I started with what people normally do, so I cut my [food], and with that I lost like 22-25 lbs. But after losing that weight, I felt very weak with no energy at all.”
From a state of no energy and a weight of almost 175 lbs, Deori’s body is now a ripped and lean mass of muscle. She has competed in bodybuilding shows around the world, including in Dubai and Russia, and is providing nutrition and fitness lessons to clients around the world.
Deori credits her spouse Bhaben, who she met in high school, for the transformation.
“My husband was into fitness and was involved in bodybuilding shows and competitions from his college days,” she said. “He just pushed me and said, OK, now try another way. [I] changed my diet and started going to the gym.”
The high school sweethearts from Assam, India, who married in 2007, can now keep up with their daughters, Akshita, 12, and Ashrita, 7. Due to her husband Bhaben’s transferable job at Schlumberger, they have moved constantly, living in various parts of the world. After stints in Mumbai and Abu Dhabi, they moved to the US last August. They now live in Texas.
The first bodybuilding competition that Deori entered was the Dubai Muscle Show in 2019, just a few years after her second pregnancy.
“During the show I got to know what the bikini criteria needs, which meant I had to stop my functional workout. [It] requires a small waist size and when you do CrossFit functional, your waistline becomes big. So I totally changed my workout, focusing on specific body parts.”
She had not expected much from the competition but received encouraging feedback that made her decide to keep at it.
Changes in the workout pattern meant additional time at the gym. In 2016, when she was starting out, she worked out for 45 minutes to an hour each day. In 2022, she spends as much as four hours in the gym.
Deori breaks down the time spent working on her body. “Two-and-a-half hours of cardio plus an hour and a half of weight training,” she said. “I do one hour of cardio on an empty stomach in the morning. After my meal, I go to the gym then do my workout; in the second half, [I do] one and a half hour of cardio. It’s done whenever I get time, and is its spread throughout the day.” Twice a week she also takes a 45-minute drive to Cypress to work out with a professional bodybuilder on her glutes. The rigorous regime has had impressive results, evident in the videos and pictures she posts on social media.
With two schoolgoing kids, the days are packed for the muscled mom. Deori shares her exhausting daily routine, along with details of her side business.
“Typical day first of all, I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, then I do one hour cardio,” she said. “After that, I wake up my kids and get them ready for school, make their food, and drop them to the school bus. After that, I normally go to the gym. I come back and prepare my meals and my husband’s meals, because we have 5 to 6 meals a day. I also have a baking business. So every week I have a few orders. So I have to first plan and design a cake and make it ready. In the afternoon, I pick my kids take them basketball and volleyball classes. In the evening time, I make dinner, [put the kids to] sleep and then I complete my second half of cardio. That is pretty much my day.”
Before moving to the US, Deori lived in Abu Dhabi for four years and while there became a certified specialist in sports and nutrition and a Level 3 internationally certified personnel trainer, qualifying her to train clients from around the world. So, her her busy daily schedule includes sessions with clients.
How does she squeeze out time for that, too?
She explains, “I am doing freelance sessions with my clients, I give them the time according to my schedule, because I have to see to the kids also. I love baking which runs, again, according to my schedule.”
After winning the Master’s Bikini Class Bodybuilding Championship this March, her goal is to earn a Pro Card. This will enable her to enter professional bodybuilding shows. She is currently training for her next competition, the IFBB Pro League and NPC bodybuilding contest in New Jersey, where for the first time she will be competing together with her husband. The Pro Card will also open the door for Deori to take part in the Olympia, the top level of bodybuilding.
“My goal is to represent India in the Olympia,” she said. “It’s a long journey. So let’s see, one step at a time. First…, the Pro Card.”
MUSCLE MOM SUGGESTIONS FOR SIMPLE HOME WORKOUTS
Lie face down on the floor or mat with feet close together and arms shoulder width apart. Slowly draw your abs in, inhale and raise your body off the floor until your arms are straight.
Slowly lower yourself down to the ground, exhale until your chest almost touches the ground and you feel a stretch in your chest muscles. Hold for a count at the bottom position and then return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.
Grab the edge of a bench or a chair and extend your legs forward by bending at the waist. Lower your body using the elbows until your upper arm is 90 degrees or slightly lower than 90 degrees with the forearm. Perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. Go down slowly and come up slowly squeezing the triceps at the top of the movement.
Body Weight Squats
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned outside. Keep feet flat, back slightly arched, head upright and chest up. Inhale into the squat position slowly in a controlled manner, extending your knees and hips feeling a stretch in your thighs, glutes, and hamstrings.
Push the ground with the heels as you come up to the starting position. Repeat as many repetitions and sets as desired.
Position your feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned outside. Keep your abs tightly drawn and your upper body upright with shoulder blades pinched back. Take 2-3 steps forward by slowly lowering one knee down towards the ground and keeping the other knee bent at a 90-degree angle, maintaining the same upper body position. Hold the position for a count then return up to the starting position by pushing up through your heel.
Bent Knee Situps
Lie on your back, knees well bent. Place hands behind the neck. Imagine two points – one in between your chest and the other one the navel. Inhale and as you start the sit up, visualize
to connect these two points. Squeeze hard but do not arch your back or tuck your chin. The core should be driving the sit up. Slowly return to starting position in a controlled manner decompressing the core. Do as many reps and sets as desired.
Lying Leg Raises
Lie down on the floor and keep your hands on the side. Once in position, keep your feet together and slowly raise your legs up towards the ceiling squeezing your abs (visualize the same two points as in the above exercise). Pause and hold for a count at the top of the movement then slowly return to the starting position in a controlled manner.