The Biology of a Wrestler

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The 22nd of May is celebrated as the birth anniversary of The Great Gama, popularly known as the Gama Pehlwan. With a wrestling career spanning over 52 years, he put under his belt the title of the undefeated champion of the world back in the early 1900s. Weighing at a glorious 113 kgs and standing at 1.71 m, great is definitely an appropriate word to describe him. But what made this world-renowned pehlwan able to lift a 1200 kg rock? And can we also have a body like the Great Gama? Let’s find out…

Well, first and foremost, it is all a part of science! As a thumb rule, diet and exercise take you a long way in achieving your fitness goals.

Gym Bros will swear by it, and GigaChads will be offended if you say otherwise. The right amount of exercise, coupled with a proper diet, is the key to building any kind of body you like. By regulating the amount of essential nutrients, most importantly protein, one can achieve the result they desire. Moreover, a consistent pattern of dieting and exercising has been proven to delay ageing, and improve physical and mental health. So, you’ll have to eat a lot of protein and vegetables, and lift till kingdom come! Don’t worry about lifting 1200 kgs right away; most people begin at, like, 5. The Gama, of course, knew the science behind this long before you read it in your textbooks! It is believed that his daily diet included 15 litres of milk, three kilograms of butter, nine kilograms of almonds, three baskets of fruits and a considerate amount of mutton. His training regimen featured doing 5000 sit-ups, 3,000 push-ups and wrestling with over 40 wrestlers. Yes, you read that right!

The second element (although you might not be able to control it) is genetics.

Genetics is the umbrella term for the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms. Remember, kids, you might not be able to control where you come from, but you can definitely control where you go! Genes are, in simple terms, your recipe. Heredity is what we are looking at when it comes to body structures and capacities. Many people come from a long line of tall people, so they are usually tall. You come from a line of ancestors. So, you are highly likely to be physically similar or in the same range as your ancestors; and if your father or his father, mother, or her mother, ever lifted and worked out to get yoked, bingo! This is because their bodies took a record of their recipe in their DNA and all of their ancestors’. In the words of Rocky Balboa, “one dumbbell in the family is enough.” Should you be demotivated if you don’t have such a history? Not at all! Although your genetics will give you a clear idea of your biological capabilities, reaching that potential and utilising it to the highest is on you! And although Gama wasn’t the only wrestler in his family, we remember him today for his hard work and greatness!

The last element is discipline and respect towards your own body.

We come in millions of different shapes and sizes, and all of us may not grow up to be 1.71 metres tall, but what we definitely can do is love our bodies and respect how they are constantly functioning on our whims. We certainly might not have the Gama’s body, but he certainly doesn’t have ours either! Loving your body is a choice beyond genes and heredity, and following a healthy diet and frequently exercising is the love letter to yourself! What we learn from the Great Gama is resilience, discipline, self-love and challenging our limits every day. After all, the planet is round, so we all come around; why not come around better?


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