Part 1/2: The Science of Training: Celebrity Trainer Santhosh educates on the science of building mucsles and how he keeps South India’s superstar in shape

Ivide, an Indian- Malayalam language crime drama film directed by national award winning director Shyam Prasad was being filmed in Atlanta in the late part of last year and beginning of this year. A very close friend of mine was working on the film  and told me superstar Prithviraj was in the movie and his trainer has accompanied him. I had not really seen a Prithviraj movie (SORRY!) , after a short date with google, i realized he really worked out for some of his roles.   My interest peaked up in wanting to train with Santhosh, however, that wasn’t possible while they were in the midst of a busy shooting schedule. Soon after, my friend Priya introduced me to Santhosh, Prithiviraj’s trainer, and I asked him if he would like to do an interview for my blog. He was just as excited as I was and gave a no bars interview that gets into the science of training your full body for optimal results. Here is what we spoke about:

1. Tell us how you got into training? What pushed you to do it as a profession?

My journey into the fitness world started from childhood and still continues at a good pace. I always loved everything related to sports, was an athlete and learned martial arts. My ambition was to become an Indian navy officer. I went to the Navy when I was 17 years old, but unfortunately I wasn’t selected because of color blindness. After that, I turned my career into fitness field! I did three major certifications related to fitness and I’m about to finish my sports nutrition course.

2. Give a detailed sample example for the following: a common man or woman have a busy life and don’t have 2/3 hours a day to workout. Some times eat on the go.  Might work long hours. What sample weekly workout and diet chart would you recommended in general (even tho everyone is different )

Let me start this question with one of the most famous transformation specialist Kris Gethin’s quotes:

I’m sick of hearingI’ve a harder job, I work longer hours, I don’t have time, I don’t have the money for a trainer, my genetics are sh#t, I’ve pain when I train
       Shut up already! I’ve seen taxi drivers, lawyers, mother of 5 with 3 jobs, actors who work 16-hours days with no weekends, builders who have to climbs ladders for days to accomplish amazing body transformations
   Why? because they wanted it. On the other hand I’ve seen others with easy jobs, all the money in the world, no family commitments, amazing genetics and access to the best gyms and looks the same year after year. Why? Because they make excuses day-in, day-out! If your are one of those people, either harden the f#ck up or get another past time.”

Let me make this clear: you don’t need all those happy hours, all those fancy ‘fitness studios’ packed with “entertainment” equipments like a bosu ball, swiss balls or colored dumbbells. You may put hours of “hard work” into training but it does not count if not done correctly.

If you have a strong mindset about what you want to be then its not a big thing to bring your fitness to the next level! I’m talking about the strong mindset! When you say ‘No I don’t have time to workout. My days are harder than you think!’ I would reply “shut the f#ck up!” There is always a way to train, to rise above, to conquer and crush obstacles. You will see big changes in your success when you have the right the mindset! Your body can achieve whatever your mind says!

OK! Let’s talk about that hour in your day.  Look at that hour like this:

Everyone have  24 hours each and every day. Never less, never more for any person. What you choose to do with that time is up to you, but every hour you let go by is one less hour you have on this earth. So why not take that one hour a day to better yourself in the gym?
I have seen many guys coming to the gym and posting on social media, texting, talking to the guy next to him, taking selfies and those guys are wasting that one hour in the gym. It does not count.
Let’s put your “busy” life first. The main problem with the people with this kind of excuse is, they don’t care about the way they look, the way they live, the way they eat, and the way they rest. When it comes to fitness, the first step is to understand your activity levels. If you are serious about your life changing then you need to rethink about your current activities including eating, drinking, sleeping, working, and everything you do within 24hours.
As you mentioned in the question everyone is different and everyone has different fitness goals. The workout plan that I suggest for a person may not work for others. Its depends on lots of factors like body fat levels, body type, workout history, injuries, Etc etc.
So lets consider an intermediate client with no injuries.

Monday: upper body
Tuesday: lower body
Wednesday: cardio
Thursday: chest & back
Friday: shoulders arms & calves
Saturday: legs
Sunday off

OR if you have time issues with your job and want to maintain your current fitness level or want to lose some extra fat, Then try this

Monday: Upper body
Tuesday: HIIT cardio*
Wednesday: lower body
Thursday: moderate intensity cardio**
Friday: Full body
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: HIIT

(*For example; Try 30sec intervals of fast cycle sprint @resistance 10 with >120RPM. Be cautious about your health conditions. Consult a doctor before you attempt HIIT

** Example; Incline walking on treadmill @your 55% – 75% MHR

I’m strictly against a diet plan that consist of only specific foods in a specific time intervals. That’s an old fashion theory and its not healthy. Eating the same foods everyday will make you nutrient deficient. Your diet somewhat should be flexible and it must comes with lots of healthy options rather than a “chicken and broccoli only” type diet. But it doesn’t mean eating crappy foods along with good food options.
I always prefer to make a lifestyle changes in my clients rather than simply educating them about diet and exercise. This way, they can find healthy ways to eat in all conditions. Remember, in my point of view, there are no foods in this world named as unhealthy but it only become unhealthy in the way you handle that food. Quantity and quality matters!  The main problem with a ‘paper prescribed’ type diet is, it won’t work for a long time. Trainees would easily derail from those type of diets. In an athletic perspective it is OK because those types of diets are created under scientific evidence and for maximal performance. Even those may only last as long as the end of the season.

For example, a bodybuilder’s in-season diet may have a huge calorie deficit to cut down extra body fat. And when the post season comes they will start eating normal again.

3. Realistically how quickly can one Lose weight/fat? What are the differences in this between men and women?

Fat loss happens in each and every individual at different rates depending on their hard work and dedication towards exercise and diet. But it won’t be “quickly” as you mentioned in the question. It takes time, effort and consistency. Remember, please be patient because perfection takes time. No matter what, do not get derailed from your path that leads to your goals. There is a theoretical limit to how much fat can be released from the fat stores in a single day and this is inversely proportionate to how lean we are. If we go over this limit, we will lose muscle mass, regardless of whether we keep our protein intake high. This is very important.
Fat loss also varies according to the gender difference as far as the exercise is concerned. Men tend to use more energy from carbs during the period of exercise while women rely more on fat source for energy during the period of exercise. In other words, men burn more fat at rest and women burn more carbs at rest That’s why I recommend women must exercise! Regardless of gender differences, stress has a huge impact on human metabolism which can inhibit fat loss. For women, there will be weight variations according to their periods and hormonal changes.
I wouldn’t recommend any rapid fat loss program at all.  Check any rapid fat loss program details,  they don’t provide information on how you are losing weight.  You know weight loss happens in these ways: Pure fat loss, lean muscle loss, dehydration. I’m dead sure that they won’t tell you which weight you are losing. Pure fat loss is the tricky part.

If you look at the science, the maximum rate of fat loss that can realistically be achieved for most people is around 1-1.8 lbs (2.5 may be 3.5lbs) of fat per “week”. There is also some special cases, If you are already lean or even average body fat level then you cannot lose fat that quickly. Because you cannot create that much of a caloric deficit without sacrificing  muscle mass. So don’t do it. I’ve seen some programs claiming ” A pound a day” or “7days 7kilos”  BS programs. Never ever fall for them. There is no science to support claims that extremely fast fat loss on a scale with a huuuge pound or even a kilo of fat per day is possible for anyone but extremely overweight subjects.

4. To get good Muscle definition in the upper body, what are the best exercises for shoulders biceps triceps ? Does it differ if it’s a man or woman ?

Everyone wishes to have broad shoulders with rounded deltoids and peak rounded biceps on the upper arms with horseshoe like triceps on the other side. How does one get this “God-like” muscle definition? Doing only isolation exercises like lateral raises, preacher curls or triceps push downs alone won’t do much more for this musculature. Most people have been doing the same isolation movements for years and years and eventually get bored and stop working out for this reason. For good muscle definition in the upper body, you MUST learn and practice how to do COMPOUND EXERCISES like squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, rows etc. I know some of you are dumbfounded “Squats for upper body?? What the heck is that??? How does this effect the definition of your upper body muscles???” Yes it does!!! One must understand how different exercises affect body composition.
I’ll explain to you in short about this. Basically, compound exercises like squat, dead or bench whatever it is, create massive changes in three parameters of muscle hypertrophy:
1) Mechanical Tension
2) Metabolic Stress
3) Muscle Damage than any isolation exercises.
     For attaining good muscle definition the best bet is to incorporate isolation exercise with compound lifts. For example when you do bench press, prime mover is chest muscles and your anterior deltoid and triceps are the assisting muscles. So in your chest day you could hit deltoid and triceps. Same as like back and biceps.
Whenever you consider isolation exercises for a muscle make sure its in a 3 Dimensional manner, meaning it hits that muscles in all angles to get proper definition.
Let’s consider deltoid muscles, as I said, in your chest day its very easy to hit them because its already pre-exhausted. While doing a bench press, most of the deltoid muscles’ anterior portions work. Then for the next 2-3 sets of Dumbbell or cable front raises is enough to bring the true failure for the anterior portion. Then the medial portion of deltoids:  hit them with dumbbell lateral raises or cable lateral raises. Remember not to swing while you raise your hand. Its called Cheating! Stand firm and slowly complete your reps. Cable lateral raises gives you continuous tension on each point of the Range Of Motion. At that point, the posterior portion of the deltoid. Bent over lateral raises, Inclined bench lateral raises in pronated position or standing cable face pull work well for posterior deltoids.
For biceps I would prefer the do POF -position of flexion training. Start with incline bench curl then preacher curl and end with Zotman curls. A great way to hit all  portions of biceps. You should always concentrate on the form. Never cheat.   I quote a famous sentence: ”cheat on girls but not on curls.”   Never compromise your form for more weight. The person standing next to you may use more weight on the bar than you. Leave your ego at the entrance of your gym. This is not a game of egos.
Next, triceps one of my favorite after legs. Remember, if you want to maximize your arm size your concentration should be more on triceps rather than biceps. Look at your upper arms it should be like this:  70% triceps and 30% biceps. Close grip bench press hits all the three heads of  the triceps. other exercises include: cable push down and over head dumbbell extension are my next favorites. Hit them hard.

About reshie2000

Just a regular working girl who likes health and fitness!

Posted on June 3, 2015, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is an amazing interview.Would have been more happy if Santhosh would have shared some fat loss tips. I am happy that I found your blog. Why don’t you launch a website , many would benefit.

  2. where can we get “fatless” diet beer?

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