RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Dilesh Sheth won first place in the Steve Karr Bodybuilding Classic 2019 that was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nov.2 at the Texas Station Casino.

The contest, run by The National Physique Committee, is one of the premier amateur physique organizations in the world, according to a press release. Since 1982, the top athletes in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini and physique have started their careers in the NPC.

Sheth, who is 55 years old, says it was sheer determination that won him the trophy. “I decided my age would not hold me back and I took a leap and entered my first NPC Men’s Physique competition at age 55. I needed to lose 16 pounds in 16 weeks while maintaining muscle mass for the competition,” the Indian American said.

His effort was fueled by his own dreams too. “I grew up watching Hollywood and Bollywood heroes with extraordinary physiques and six-pack abs. I always wanted the physique and six-pack abs (the look) in my 20s, 30s, and 40s but never could achieve it.”

Another factor could have been his wife, Shilpa Sheth, who, he told India-West, “is a fanatic about John Abraham and his physique. Deep down inside she always wanted her own John Abraham!”

Dilesh Sheth credits Elite Fitness Training and its owner, head trainer, and coach Jarrod Weymar for creating an exercise and nutrition program that allowed the transformation to begin.

“The key is that I set a self-perpetuated goal for myself. Once I set this goal, I let everyone know about my decision to compete and there was no turning back. I needed to cut down my daily caloric intake below 1,500 and increase my protein intake to over 160 grams while keeping on a low carb and low-fat diet. I used to have a couple of social drinks per week and I stopped that completely,” said Sheth.

Success didn't come easy. It was physically and mentally challenging. He recalls, “I had lost body fat and I was so depleted I didn’t have energy and I was hungry all the time because I had cut down my caloric intake below 1,400.”

For the contest, his wife, son, daughter and in-laws traveled to Las Vegas showing support. “Shirtless on stage, posing, flexing muscles in front of strangers was completely out of my comfort zone but I completely stepped out of my comfort zone to gain bragging rights forever,” Sheth told India-West.

For those who want to get healthy or follow in his footsteps, the advice he dishes out is practical. “Focus 80% of your effort on your diet, be honest with yourself, and 20% on weight training. Start your diet and exercise today and don’t wait for tomorrow or Monday.”

His final reminder, “Abs are made in the kitchen.”

Going forward, Sheth says he may consider participating in a local physique competition but hopes to also help and encourage others in the community

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