Mumbai based Junaid Kaliwala has created history by becoming the first ever Indian to get into IFBB Pro league in the Men’s Physique category.
After his 5th win at National Physique Committee (NPC), including the recent over-all title at NPC New York Grand Prix, he qualified to apply for his Pro card. Following all the official formalities, he filed his petition to the IFBB officials which got approved and created a historical moment for India. Now Junaid has become the first ever Indian to get an IFBB pro card.
About NPC and IFBB
NPC is a premier amateur physique organization in the world formed in the year 1982. In order to get a pro card and to graduate for the professional league, all the athletes first have to qualify the NPC championships. All the top athletes in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini and physique categories have started their careers from the prestigious stage of NPC.
International Federation Of Body Building and Fitness (IFBB) is the biggest federation that regulates world’s biggest bodybuilding championship; Mr. Olympia and a few others world-class shows across the globe. It is the parent federation that regulates most of the eminent fitness shows worldwide.
Junaid’s Journey So Far…
A fitness trainer professionally, Junaid moved to Mumbai as a teenager and instantly became hooked to the gym culture. He visited a gym for the first time in 2009. His intention of arriving in Mumbai was something that is quite common and something most of us can relate to. Hailing from the district of Bhiwandi in Maharashtra, he took the decision to migrate to Mumbai to become financially independent and in search of sustenance. When he announced his intention to take up bodybuilding as a career, he had to face nearly a decade of solid ridicule. Nevertheless, he stuck to his ambition. Despite financial troubles and the death of a parent, Junaid never let his focus waver.
In a conversation with Sportskeeda, Junaid said, “No one in my family actually even thought about being a bodybuilder, and being honest even I did. I was working out to look good and feel even better, that was my first main goal.”
“Within the first two years of bodybuilding, I knew this is something I want to get into for sure. My family wasn’t very supportive of this. My father passed away when I was young, so it was just me and my mother. She was completely against this and my elder brother even stopped talking to me for a while, when I told him.”
Junaid started his career with Sheru Classic, (World’s third biggest bodybuilding championship) in the year 2013. Since then, he has competed at various nationals and internationals championships representing India in the men’s physique category. He was also the first Indian men’s physique athlete to represent India at Arnold Classic, Ohio, the USA in March 2014.
His 5 wins that cemented his pro card are:
- NPC NY Grand Prix 1st Place + Overall Winner (2017)
- NPC East Coast USA 1st Place (2017)
- NPC Metropolitan Championship USA 1st Place (2016)
- NPC Easter USA 1st Place (2016)
- NPC East Coast USA 1st Place (2016)
“Bodybuilding in India has a lot of federation issues, there is infighting, there are clashes over which is the actual governing body, It’s there with every sport actually. Hence I decided it was time for me to move international,” Junaid says.
On 28th October 2017, he has been recognized with a Pro Status by IFBB that makes him eligible to represent India at world’s biggest bodybuilding championships around the world.