Today I have an outstanding interview with none other than Shomo Das—a champion bodybuilder.
Shomo and I actually know each other from high school. We both went to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, where we weren’t the best or worst of friends.
I’ve since followed his fitness career for years and have always been impressed with the hustle and execution he brings to the table. This guy is the real deal in competitive bodybuilding.
What’s maybe most inspiring is Shomo hasn’t always been the most muscular dude on the block. As you’ll read in the interview below, he started his fitness journey from humble beginnings before he mastered his body and sport.
Let’s get to it. And after the interview, be sure to read my main takeaway from this interview with Shomo Das.
Brian: Who or what inspired you to be a competitive bodybuilder?
Shomo: Believe it or not, I entered high school weighing in at a whopping 85 pounds (no, I’m not kidding in the slightest). It was always rather difficult for me navigating through the social scene of a 1,600 member all boys private Catholic school.
My high school placed great pride upon the school’s elite athletic program, and being the backup for the backup for the backup for the backup of the cornerback for the football team did not exactly give me the chance to shine within this arena! I always remember wishing that I were a bit more muscular so that I could excel in sports.
One day, I was grocery shopping one day with my mom and walked past a section of magazines, where I saw Greg Plitt looking back at me from the front cover of a muscle magazine. I remember thinking to myself, “I want to look like that guy!”. His musculature looked incredible and I remember seeing picture after picture of him next to beautiful girls. This guy was living the life! As I thumbed through the magazine, I encountered guides that promised to help me increase the size of my chest, arms, shoulders, legs, everything! I went back home, scouring the Internet for more information. I was hooked.
The very next day my dad took me to a local gym to sign me up for my very first membership. When touring the free weights section, I remember only being able to curl the ten pound dumbbells. I immediately began following a good training program and a healthy diet. I quickly started to notice my physique changing in front of my eyes. I gained a great deal of confidence and, for the first time, realized that I had full control over my life! A simple hobby evolved into my biggest passion.
What I most loved about fitness was the fact that I had the opportunity to work on myself and improve every single day. So, I knew that, with consistent effort, I could become a competitive bodybuilder and pro fitness model. After 5 years of hard training flew by, and the next thing I knew, I was had won my first NPC bodybuilding show at the age of 19!
Brian: It’s easy for us to make the mistake of seeing your results now and thinking you were always successful. And I hate the words “overnight success” because it’s never true. So please let us in on the how much hard work and commitment it took from when you started in 2007 to today.
Shomo: A lot of the hard work goes on in the background, when nobody is watching. And for this reason, many bodybuilding fans do not get the opportunity to see what a competitive bodybuilder needs to do in order win championships and build a large brand in the industry.
Over the past decade, I have made daily commitment to prep/weigh my meals, train appropriately, travel all over the country for photo shoots, develop valuable content for the fitness community (blogs, posts, etc.), and network within the industry. And what I really want to communicate is that this is not even my full-time job!
When I first entered the bodybuilding scene, I was a student at Duke University, majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics. Since graduation, I have needed to hold all of these commitments while being a technology sales executive.
Has it been easy? Not at all. Has it been worth it? Absolutely. And it’s been a lot of fun too!
Brian: What do you honestly tell yourself (or what do you do) to get to the gym and eat healthy on those days when you don’t feel like it?
Shomo: With regards to going to the gym, the better question would be to ask me how I stay out of the gym on days that I am supposed to take off from weight training! I love lifting, and from the second that I leave the gym after a workout, I find myself already looking forward to the next session!
With regards to the diet, there certainly are more tests. When I’m getting ready for a photoshoot or a contest, my diet consists of meager portions of chicken, rice, almonds, and spinach, so it does take a bit more effort to not join the buddies for pizza and beer night!
But I always stay focused on my long-term objectives. And I certainly understand some of the short-term sacrifices that I must make to get to where I want to be in life.
It’s not a matter of whether it will be easy, sacrifices typically go hand-in-hand with some degree of difficulty, but it’s a matter of whether it will be worth it. And, in the context of my fitness journey, the answer to the latter question is nearly always a resounding “yes”!
Brian: You must share about your collaboration with Nike and how you made history.
Shomo: Being very passionate about the fitness/bodybuilding industry, I have always scoured the Internet, shopping for the best fits of bodybuilding apparel, seeking out the coolest designs, brainstorming ideas of my own.
So naturally, when I teamed up with Nike in 2015, I quickly noticed that the #1 athletic brand in the world did not make bodybuilding-specific gym wear! I pitched a few ideas to a few members of the Nike marketing team and was pleasantly surprised to see an extremely positive response.
Before I knew it, we were collaborating on designs and sending skus out for manufacturing! Bang Bang Athletics Apparel was born. I am very humbled and proud to bring to the fitness community the first ever bodybuilding/gym wear clothing line ever produced off of Nike fabric! The most exciting part is that we are just getting started. Stay tuned.
Brian: What does it mean to you that all your hard work is paying off in a monumental way through winning titles, sponsorships, and major collaborations?
Shomo: It means that I am now in a position to build on my successes to date to pursue bigger goals and dreams. It means that I can now inspire, reach out to, and collaborate with more people than I ever have before. It has added fuel to my fire!
Brian: What’s one piece of advice you have for the average guy or girl, who doesn’t want to go to the extreme of being a competitive bodybuilder, but just wants to get in a consistent habit of eating right and going to the gym?
Shomo: The word habit is key here. First, sit down and figure out what your goals are. Want to lose ten pounds? Want to get 25% stronger? Want to gain 15 pounds of lean mass? These are all great goals to have. But you need to figure out what success actually looks like to you in the context of fitness.
From there, sit down and figure out how much activity level it will take for you to get there. Perhaps it is 10 hours of training per week combined with strict dieting that will require you to cook 30 minutes per day. Perhaps it is 20 hours of training that will require you to follow a less strict diet. Perhaps, it will take far less time, or perhaps it will take much more time!
But level set expectations, and then create healthy habits that will get you closer to your goals. It may be hard to stick to your new program for the first few weeks, but I can promise you that if you stick it out, it will become more natural from that point onwards.
If you want to connect and leverage my expertise in developing your personal plan, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Brian: What is the one book (on any topic, you choose) you suggest to Take Your Success readers? And why?
Shomo: I love reading! I would definitely suggest that Take Your Success readers check out The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
“Oh my gosh! Somebody on a website about success recommended that I read a fictional novel, and not a self-development book! Is the world coming to an end?”
Fortunately, the world is not coming to an end, I am definitely not saying that self-development books are not helpful; I usually read at least one per month. However, I do believe that adults should indulge in fiction more than they currently do.
When we’re young, we are encouraged to use our imaginations. But for some reason, this stops once we grow up. I think that it’s crucial to continue to spark our creativity and imagination while we pursue success, whatever that picture may look like for each of us. It’s more fun that way.
Brian: Lastly, where can this community go to connect with you, buy your gear, and follow you on your journey?
Shomo: The online shop at www.shomoshotime.com contains all of my personalized online training/diet programs as well as Bang Bang Athletics Apparel! In addition, Take Your Success readers can continue to follow my journey on social media:
YouTube: Shomo Shotime Das
Thank you in advance for your support everyone! And if there is anything I can do to help you on your journey, please feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.
After doing this interview, I’m most impressed with Shomo’s intentionality. This guy is the opposite of someone going through the motions with no purpose or direction.
Shomo is a man with a plan. And why I believe this is so crucial to his (and your) success is it’s all but impossible to fall into some great achievement. Heck, it’s still not easy to accomplish something when you have a clear goal.
But with direction, you certainly set yourself up for future success and you can enjoy the process because you know each step is helping you climb that mountain. That’s what makes it easier (but still not easy).
It’s the difference between doing something just because, where effort may fail because your mind isn’t convinced. Or doing something with a strong why behind it that pushes you to do more.
In Shomo’s case, his intentionality produces results in the gym, bodybuilding competition, and the marketplace.
So what’s the why behind what you do? Are you living an intentional life? Do you know what your passion and dreams are, and are you pursuing them?
If you’re not, I’m sorry to say that you’re missing out on one of the pleasures of life. But it’s never too late to start now.
And you don’t have to have all the answers. It comes with time.
So make it a goal to seek and live an intentional life. You’ll be happy about how it turns out.