Even when he was a commercial pilot, Thakur Anoop Singh had a physique that would turn heads. It was that tapered body—with good looks to match—that caught the attention of Indian television producers.

Soon, Singh was cast in the role of King Dhritarashtra in the 2013 television retelling of the Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. Then, Singh got a role portraying a 125-year-old man. Since, presumably, few men that age would have a beach bod like his, Singh had to bulk up. Afterward, Singh completely stopped acting and spent a year in intense strength training to rebuild his original form. Now he's back, and Bollywood keeps calling.

A Journey from Pilot to Actor to Bodybuilder

Singh started his professional career as a commercial pilot after completing his aviation studies, but lost his job in 2008 due to the global economic slowdown. With few pilot positions available, Singh turned to modeling and acting. But, after he had sacrificed his V-taper for the old-man role, he realized that his first passion was bodybuilding. He'd been working out and flaunting his chiseled physique since he was a teenager. Now he was, well…pudgy!

A Journey from Pilot to Actor to Bodybuilder

So, in 2014, Singh decided to take a one-year break from acting and devote all his energy to his passion. He left his budding acting career to follow his dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder. In that one year, Singh shrunk his waistline from 34 inches to 28 inches, regained his V-taper, and started hitting the bodybuilding competition circuit.

Storming the Asian Bodybuilding Scene in 2015

Singh began 2015 by competing in Fit Factor India, winning silver in the Mr. India men's fitness physique category, and taking bronze in Men's Fitness at the 49th Asian Championship in Uzbekistan.

Energized by his success, he next set his sights on bringing home a gold medal in the fitness physique category at the WBPF World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. With a large crowd cheering "Anoop," Singh took the stage with a flawless physique, ripped and dry. Leveraging his acting experience, he put together a 90-second routine that included posing, dancing, and a back flip. He won the hearts of the crowd and judges—and then he won the gold.

Energized by his success, he next set his sights on bringing home a gold medal in the fitness physique category at the WBPF World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

Bollywood Calls

After winning the gold, Singh, like Arnold Schwarzenegger before him, leveraged his success in bodybuilding into success in the movies. A skilled martial arts practitioner, he soon played prominent roles in the action films "Commando 2," "Winner," and "Rogue."

Singh started making a name for himself not only for his film work, but as a motivational speaker, encouraging young people to follow a healthy lifestyle and take up bodybuilding, not just as a passion, but as a career.

Singh started making a name for himself not only for his film work, but as a motivational speaker, encouraging young people to follow a healthy lifestyle and take up bodybuilding, not just as a passion, but as a career.

Now a successful actor, Singh is still closely associated with the bodybuilding community in India. He endorses fitness brands and is seen at almost all major bodybuilding events in India. Despite his demanding career, he continues a grueling training schedule, hitting twice-a-days seven days a week. He's determined this time around to maintain both his box office career and his V-taper.

About the Author

Anuj Tyagi, ACE-CPT

Anuj Tyagi, ACE-CPT

A native of New Delhi, India, Anuj Tyagi has been closely associated with the fitness industry for over 10 years. After completing his master's in accounting, Tyagi decided to pursue...

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