Category Archives: General

Traveling Series: My way of staying healthy on the road

Many of you know I have been traveling for weeks away from home, eating out and staying in hotels. This can take a toll on the health, the diet and the waistline. It is so easy to give in to a moment of being on the high of being in a different place, on an expense account and amongst colleagues who love to eat nice meals. I have been there the last couple months. But if you want to preserve your healthy mind and body, you have to have the discipline to pick and choose the best you can. This series will chronicle different aspects of how I do this whilst on the road. I have had years of practice and a lot of help to be able to do this. I still have a lot of nutritional guidance.

Here I am now, in Europe, a vegetarian and trust me, it is not always easy (this week is already difficult and its only been a day or two!). My first step is always to have a plan. Start with planning out your meals. I know how to pick and choose on a menu the best thing I can eat, but in certain places, its been difficult when the salads are not the loaded American salads, but a plate of lettuce and tomatoes with a block of cheese. Not ideal to fill the stomach. So, for me, I am lucky to have a nutritionist friend who plans my diet charts keeping the location in mind. One thing I am still learning and coming to terms with is: to lose fat, you must eat fat. The right kind. Through the next 30 days, join me in learning how to pick the right foods off a menu, how to plan your meals and how can you workout during the long days of working and socializing.

If you have your own tricks, please do share with me! I always want to learn new things…one thing I refuse is to starve. I need to eat or I cannot function. Or sleep.  I will be posting my favorite go-to snacks and meals int he different countries I visit; my favorite workouts and how I fail and pick myself back up. It is never easy, but for me..the first step is planning out that I eat well. 80% of the battle is food. 20% is working out.  Stay tuned for videos, posts, tips and lots of fun in the coming days and weeks! I may not write posts every day but follow me on instagram: reshie2000  and you will see some of my fitness tricks I have been using to keep wellness on the top of my priority. With that, I say in German: Guten Tag!

youwillneverknow

 

 

 

 

Reza Katani- Katrina Kaif, Fitness and the basics of how you can keep your 2017 resolutions!

He is known through India as Katrina Kaif’s trainer. The man who changed the body of one of the sexiest women in India also has a gym in England, trains his clients there and has time to be with Katrina Kaif 24/7.

 

He recently also took care of the fitness needs of the entire Dream Team Tour in the USA. In an extremely candid interview on the most natural way to train your body, how to view fitness, and all things Katrina Kaif, Reza Katani talks to me on Christmas Eve to gear everyone up for their 2017 resolutions! Please listen to the audio interview in the link below:

 

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Reza training Katrina Kaif

Further details on Reza Katani:

Website: http://www.parkviewhealthclubs.com

Email: info@parkviewhealthclubs.com.

Twitter:  @RezaKatani

Instagram:rezaparkview

 

 

 

National Athlete and Competitor: Kristen Wueste

I met Kristen at the gym I workout in, Lifetime Fitness in Johns Creek, GA. My old trainer pointed her out to me telling me she competes in national level competitions. I was intrigued since then. I had a few training sessions with her and was so impressed with eh way she pushed me and kept the training sessions fun yet functional.  My travel schedule didn’t allow me to have a proper routine with her but my curiosity increased on how she works all day and finds time to compete in national level competitions and how she pushes herself to do her best time after time. I was so thrilled when she readily agreed to do the interview for my blog! Please be super inspired like me of Kristen’s journey and advice on fitness:

  1. What motivated you to take part in the national level competitions and how have you progressed over the years?

I grew up in a very athletic family and that has always been a way of life since I can remember.  Over the years I’ve done just about every sport, but have been drawn to endurance sports for the last 17 years, specifically running until an injury at 31.  I started cycling since the run injury needed 6 months lay off to heal.  My brother and father do triathlon and encouraged me to pick up the sport since I was cycling and soon would be running again.  My first year competing I was 32 and did very well on a regional level so I hired a coach after my first year and I’ve seen nothing but progress over the past 7 years.  As a fitness professional I understand the importance of having a smart progression plan.  Even moreso a knowledgable coach who can see things you as an athlete cannot or will not.  I also love the idea of having to perfect 3 sports.  I’m never bored and LOVE the challenge each training session brings.

2. What specifically goes behind training for the different competitions? Specifically, what changes in your diet (example plan?), training regimen and how you handle doing this around daily lifestyles (does this change during training periods?)  

The difference between someone who is just getting in shape for general fitness versus a competative athlete is quite different.  Our annual training plan is based on when we peak for our “A” race(s).  usually you can be in top form about 1-2 times a year.  Doesn’t mean you cannot perform well in other races, but to be in peak shape, the training plan is quite intense and there’s a lot of volume, especially the longer the distance. First and foremost, I eat from the ground 90% of the time.  I do enjoy chocolate and my wine, but I keep it in moderation.   My nutrition cycles around my training regiem.  At the end of the day, it’s important to be metabolically efficient and organic in my approach to food.  Metabolic Efficiency is paramount for anyone who is looking to improve the way their body functions, competative or not.

As I stated earlier, I am a fitness professional so I am on my feet a lot during the day.  Finding a coach who understood my lifestyle was huge because your training is only going to be benefitial if you recover properly from it. Finding that balance between work, training, and performing to my abilities took a few years and several coaches till I found what worked.  Most weeks I’m training 8-10 hours a week, but when I start building towards my “A” race, it can increase to upwards of 13-15 hours a week.  And the intensity also increases.  The only change I make to my diet is I add more food as the duration, volume, and intensity goes up to make sure I’m not starving my body.

3. Once you have seen your ranking in a particular race, how do you change your training plans to place higher in the next set of competitions?

I don’t know my final rankings until the season is over.  I don’t really focus on that as the end goal because that can really take away from the reason I got into this sport to begin with; to have fun.  My main focus each race is to do the best I can.  If I get a personal record and I place 20th, I’m stoked.  My moto going into every race is this: You are already in a world of pain so dig deeper into the well and goin after a reward.

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4. How does one start from a novice to even begin thinking of doing a trialthon and/or a national level race?

Anyone can do a triathlon.  I think there is a misconception about the sport since most media coverage only shows Ironman which is the longest distance.  But a sprint distance takes around 60-90 minutes.  My recommendation is to hire a coach.  Get a good training plan set and then you can work on your weaknesses should you find yourself wanting to grow into the sport.  And age isn’t a limiter.  My father is 66 and does them.  

5. What  kind of strength training do you do to keep stamina and strength for these races?

This is an excellent question that I think a lot of endurance athletes don’t take serious enough.  It plays a big part.  In endurance sports, you are doing 1000’s of repetitions so it’s very important the the core and stabilizing muscles are strong and flexibilty good.  Without that, you run a higher risk of injury.  Each year I’ve tried different forms of strength training to see how my body responds.  This year, I found that a mix of pilates, yoga, and weights worked magic.  Beyond that I would say the resistance training I have in my cardio workouts preps me for the type of race I do.  So, for instance, if it’s a hilly bike course, I might add in lower gearing workouts or go ride hilly courses to build my leg strength.

6. You are one of the best personal trainers keeping your clients engaged with different exercises to build strength and lose weight or gain muscle. What are your top favorite routines that are different from the norm of going into a gym and just lifting weights?

Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say.  I don’t necessarily have a favorite per say.  I follow NASM guidelines for progression, but it’s all based on the body I’m working with.  I am very passionate about what I do so I like the challenge of working with all ages, genders, special needs, people with past/present injuries, etc.  If the person is motivated, I’m going to do my part as a professional to help them reach their goals.  And when that happens, help them identify new goals to keep them going.

7.What is the next goal for you? Olympics?

The next goal is prepping for Age Group Worlds for 2017. I am also really considering doing Off Road Triathlon next season.  I’ll keep doing this sport until I loose interest.  I hope that never happens, but if it does, you’ll still see me somewhere in the fitness relm.  

 

 

 

The Macrobiotic Diet– Celebrity Nutritionist SHONALI SABHERWAL talks about nutrients, macrobiotics and Katrina Kaif…

I was looking on the internet for something all natural to changemy diet and excercise routine up. I had gotten my test results back for a blood test and some of my nutrients were just not in line with what was healthy. So, I came across the concept of the Macrobiotic Diet and the biggest endorser of this in India is celebrity nutritionist and chef, Shonali Saberwal. She is responsible for the enviable flat abs of Jacqueline Fernandez and Katrina Kaif.  Just a few emails later, this very friendly lady had completed an interview for me to share the concepts with all you readers! Please note, Shonali is also an author of two books entitled: “The Love Diet” and “The Beauty Diet”.  Excerpts from the interview below:

Shonali

Shonali with her healthy meals

  1. How did you get into the nutrition industry and what is your background?

I was searching for an alternative cure with food to my dad’s prostate cancer in 1998; I came across Mona Schwartz, who was a Macrobiotic practitioner, I approached her and trained with her for 10 days.  But this wasn’t enough so I pursued a course in the US from 2006 to 2010 at The Kushi Institute Becket. That got me qualified to be a Macrobiotic Counsellor and Chef.

2.  What different types of nutrients do you look at for different body types or goals? Or is every diet you prescribe based on the same food sources? What is the core theory behind macrobiotics?

The Common core of Macrobiotic principles is to keep away from foods that are extreme to yang (anomal foods, saturated fats) and yin (sugars, simple carbs, and excessive fruits).  It is suggested to adopt a middle path whole grains, beans/legumes, sea vegetables, vegetables, good quality fermentation, some fruit, nuts/seeds, good fats diet. Avoid caffeine, sweeteners, processed and refined foods.

3. Tell us about the biggest myths in the nutrition industry and what the reality behind the myths are?

  1. Carbs are bad is a myth – We need complex carbs to give us sustained sugars and good Macrobiotic Accessible fiber-which means foods that feed our gut bacteria.
  2. Sugar is a Superfood – Sugar will never be a super food as it leads to disturbances in insulin and also leaches minerals and calcium from bones
  3. Let’s switch to your celebrity clients. Jacqueline Fernandez and Katrina Kaif have gone through a huge transformation in their bodies. Talk to us about how this came about and the difference in how you prescribed the diet plans to suit their needs?

Katrina ate my food for 2 years and then I trained her cooks, just following the approaches above helped. Jacqueline still keeps coming back for her detoxes, etc.  They are very dedicated and stay true to what they practice and follow which has led to their success in having stellar bodies.

5. Hema Malini the dream girl, is a client of yours. She is in the elder generation compared to her daughter and Katrina, etc. How does that come into play when prescribing what to eat? Does age come into play?

The recommendations remains the same, except taking into account any condition they might individually have.

6. Tell us about the Soul Food delivery service. This is a great thing for working women/men and even your celeb customers. How does it work and how much are the common people adopting to ‘Soul Food’ delivery?

I have stopped my meals, and I am getting into health products (edibles to include in your day).  At present I do consults and workshops, and supply products to my own clients.

7. Let’s talk about your book “The Love Diet”(which I have yet not read but I have read “The Beauty Diet” Let’s talk about how you decided to write “The Love Diet”? give us a quick rundown on what it is and a sample “love diet”:)

Both books look at the core philosophy of Macrobiotics- The Beauty Diet is about the nuts and bolts of the philosophy and The Love Diet tackles Consciousness via food.

  1. Summer is a here and everyone is trying to get fit and fab for the beach. What are your recommendations for the common person who have to work, cook, and stay fit and fab?

Stay of dairy, sugar, white flour processed and refined foods

9. Can you give some advice to people who travel for work and how to eat out and still be on a macrobiotic diet?

Avoid dairy, sugar, white flour and minimize meat.  Include leafy greens and vegetables and have a whole grain once a day.

  1. Many people claim that cutting out all dairy and all wheat and grains is the best way to lose weight. Your thoughts/advice?

I don’t agree- DAIRY Yes of course, but we need whole grains like brown rice and millets, wheat is questionable based on who is intolerant to it.

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So folks, want to get in touch with Shonali to get on the macrobiotic diet? Pick up one of her books (she tells me the third is on its way!) or contact her at:

 

Follow me: 

https://www.facebook.com/ShonaliSabherwalSoulFood

Twiter: Sh_oulfood
 
Address: 501 Sagar Sangeet
Dr AB Nair Road
(Near Juhu Post Office)
Juhu
Bombay – 400 049

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

Sorry for the delay folks.  We found out from Santhosh in Part 1 of this interview how to start out training depending on your body type and the detailed science behind getting fit at any age.  We continue the interview with specifics and how Prithviraj stays in shape. For those of you that missed part 1 of the interview , please refer to:

https://reshie2000.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/part-12-the-science-of-training-celebrity-trainer-santhosh-educates-on-the-science-of-building-musles-and-how-he-keeps-south-indias-superstar-in-shape/?preview=true&preview_id=640&preview_nonce=a80e92d6bc

 

5. Abs- Why are they the hardest to tone and lose fat from? Does more cardio help with getting rid of the belly fat?

Toning of the abs is exactly like toning of any other muscle in our body. But the visibility of those toned abs is bit harder. You need to work hard to lose the fat layer covered above your six pack. You need to work smarter and harder and give 100℅ effort into it. Let me say one thing first, doing 100s of crunches everyday definitely won’t work for your abs!!! Unfortunately, no cream, massage, vibrating machine, injection, pill, whirlpool bath, rubber pants or other gimmick only help you to tone your wallet, not abs! The only help is general fat loss, with a sensible diet and periodized regular exercise.
 It depends lots of factors. Explaining each of those factors is beyond the scope of this interview. However, I can give you a rough idea about some magnitudes of a good body composition that leads to make jaw dropping Abs.

Nutrition plays an important role making bullet proof abs. When it comes in to nutrition it all starts with input and output of calories. The most important are:

*calories in & calories out.( calories you consume and calories you burn)
                   *Macro nutrient amounts(Carb, Protein, Fat)
                    *Nutrient timing
                    *Food composition
                     *supplementation
 You should consider these factors carefully without missing any single meal. Missing meals while your “busy” with life is  one of the biggest reason for low Basal Metabolic Rate. So never miss a meal. Prepare your meals in advance or go for a meal replacements options in case of ‘no time’ situations

Now let’s have a look at the Anatomy of our midsection (let me tell you one thing I hate anatomy classes. Really! I don’t think all those internal organs exist inside of my body as per my biology teacher’s information about human body. For example, my clients used to call me heartless when I train them hard:-) But I know some basics of our abdominal anatomy because 99℅ of our general population ask a fitness trainer almost the same question! “How can I reduce my abdominal fat?”)

What is 6pack or 8pack? (Distribution depends on what your parents gifted you)
The main fact you should know about abs is, both upper and and lower abs are the two ends of the same muscle. Both ends work together while you sneeze, laugh, crunch, leg raise etc. But the contraction rate would be slightly different in each end according to the activities you put in it. Some of us have a 6 pack while others have 8. Genetics determines the number whether its 6 or 8. The primary 6 pack muscle is the Rectus Abdominis. Its a vertical muscle that attaches the rib cage to the anterior portion of your pelvis bone. That means it can pull the pelvic up and it can pull the rib cage down or it can do both movements together. It can also stabilize all of these muscles by restricting movements, like when we do planks.

Now about the Ab muscle. The Ab muscle has two very close friends named External and Internal obliques. They exist on both sides of your 6 packs. As the name implies, internal obliques sit just below the external obliques.  All of them are working synergistically when you do an Ab workout The real hero exists below all of this.

Now, about the cardio connection.

You should include some cardio in your workout routines. But never exceed the limits. I’ve seen some guys running hours on the treadmill to get six packs! Doing excessive cardio definitely won’t give any health benefits even if it leads you to six packs (happens mostly in skinny guys) but eventually that will cause more harm than good in your body.

I’m a big fan of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It is very effective for fat loss and muscle gain and takes you into a whole new level of strength and conditioning. If you are a person with no health issues, then I would recommend you to feel the benefits of HIIT. But be cautious about your current health conditions(like High blood pressure, diabetes, joint related issues etc etc…) Check with your doctor before you going to attempt any HIIT activities.

   One of my favorite HIIT type cardio is sprint intervals. Especially on the beach as it is harder to move so this creates more metabolic stress than conventional track sprints. I would do a 100mtr sprint with 30-35sec rest 4-6 repetitions. For those who have lack of time to reach beach there are lots of options for you. For example; Try jumping over 2-3 steps into your apartment and repeat it 10-20times, horizontal jump over an obstacle separated by 1-1.5mtr distance. Try to jump 10-15 times at a stretch repeat 8-10times(easier one! You can use paper bundles or water cans as obstacles

 

The try it;
1minut Intervals
-60sec Mountain Climbers
  30sec rest
-60sec Burpees
  30sec rest
-60sec High knee run
  30sec rest
-60sec Squat jumps
  30sec rest

Repeat 3 more cycles and you’re done!
No need for any equipment, tracks or steps. Just a some space to stand and lay down!
6. Not many are aware but you are the personal trainer of South Super star Prithviraj. Tell us how you got to training him?
He was the first celebrity I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw him at Talwalkers Fitness Club in 2009. By the time I was hanging around in Cochin with my friend for first my Naval Army interview. I was very excited about seeing each and every gym with lots of equipments and heavy dumbbells. Four years later I got an opportunity to work in Gold’s Gym Cochin as a Personal Trainer.  My Gym manager Jaish George there, (awesome guy and good friend of mine) told me about Prithvi. By that time he was looking for a trainer, so I got to training him. Thanks Jaish George for giving me this wonderful opportunity!
7. How does his training change to change his body for different roles ? What changes does he make?
He is always careful about his diet and workout. I’ve noticed that when the production team hires a hotel for him, he always makes sure it is a hotel with a good gym or else a good gym is around the hotel..
     If he wants to shred for a particular role, then I would recommend a diet that is lower in carb intake  and maintain moderate fat and high protein. Carb sources are limited to oats, fibrous vegetables and fruits. All starchy type complex carbs will be given only around 2-3 hours prior to his workout time. Fat will be obtained from nuts, olives or ground nut oil. Whole eggs, chicken, fish, paneer or casien, blended whey and lentils are his main sources of protein. He hates red meat.  If he want to bulk it up, then we will slightly increase the amount of slow digesting starchy type (complex) carbs along with moderate fat and moderate protein intake. Simple carb sources are only utilized to bump his glycogen source right after his workout.
8. How do you deal with long shoots and travel? How do you and Prithviraj maintain his diet chart and exercise on the road and during shoots?

Yeah it is a bit difficult to track his nutritional strategies while he has long day/night shoots or is traveling. I always make sure he doesn’t miss a single meal. We have lots of meal replacement options for that. For example, almonds,whey shakes, whey along with peanut butter spreads in toasted multigrain breads, meal replacement protein bars etc. Whenever he is gone through a hypo caloric(caloric deficit) diet for fat loss, I would give him branch chain amino acid supplementation throughout the day to prevent muscle loss. That would be 20-30gms of BCAA powder diluted in 3-4 liters of water.
He has a pair of dumbbells, an additional barbell and weight plates in his personal trailer. That’s helpful for a ‘on the go’ workout or ‘quick pump’ for  fight specific scenes.

9. What are your thoughts on this new trend of cleanses ? Do you recommend them once in a while to kick start fat/weight loss?

I don’t think the new trend of cleanses or detoxes can help to reduce your fat or weight. But it may refresh your body. Yes, I do recommend some cleansing method in your daily routines.  I wouldn’t recommend any kind of supplements or medicines for detox. That will make you even more toxic. Any kind of products or services that are called cleanses or a detox is only effective to cleanse your wallet not your body. I’m serious…!

Eating lots of veggies, fruits and less processed foods is reasonable dietary advice for everyone. It won’t make any toxins in your body and it fights against inflammation and free radicals. To increase the effectiveness of the detoxification process, you should consider some points such as: how healthy your gut is, how much water do you drink and how alkaline you are.

Probiotic foods like yogurt and fibrous vegetables are the best options for gut health. Avoid eating processed and fast foods. Too many medications are also detrimental for your gut because it kills gut bacteria. Drink lots of water. I would suggest to drink 250-400ml of water when you get up in the morning. Its all about elimination. Or drink a cup of hot lemon water. Lemon has in increasing alkalinity nature.

10.  Do you think men or woman can get flat abs if they are vegan? How would they manage their diet? Give us a sample day.

Why not? I love vegans because their skin is far better than non vegans and they are always have lower health risks induced by bad eating habits compared to non vegans. They have rich antioxidant sources than non vegans. The problem for a vegan diet, (not a big problem if you are serious about muscle building) is protein selection. Again, it depends upon what type of vegan you are. Lacto-vegetarian and Lacto-Ovo vegetarians have wide variety of protein sources.

Pure Vegans have limited source of complete protein sources. So protein recommendation for vegans are slightly higher due to decreased availability of protein sources. Therefore an increase in protein intake is recommend for vegans. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can easily derive adequate protein from dairy products and eggs. Plant proteins such as soy, chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa, tofu, spirulina and pumpkin seeds are rich sources of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) that aid in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and promote muscle protein synthesis.  Also whey protein supplementation seems to be very very effective for vegetarians. Not only whey, but also creatine monohydrates. Because muscle creatine stores are lower in vegans than in non vegans. Also there is chance of vitamin and mineral deficiency. Everyone should understand one thing about dieting regardless of their fitness goals. ‘Dieting is not about eating only protein’. You should include proper amount of carbohydrates. Eat good sources of dietary fat. Eat fat to lose fat. Fat has a huge role in your hormone production. So vegans should concentrate on meal planning carefully to avoid nutrients deficiencies. Because nutrition is the foundation of leanness and leanness is the foundation of an ultra lean 6 pack.
There you have it guys. A very detailed and informative interview on training your body to eat right and exercise right with the science behind the hows and whys.  Thank you Santhosh for taking so much time to do this!

 

 

 

 

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.

King of Six Packs in Bollywood: Prashant Sawant celebrity trainer talks about Shah Rukh Khan, the common man & all things fitness

He was Bollywood’s answer to 6 packs for the number one super star of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan.  Today, he has transformed Shah Rukh’s 49 year old body to an 8 pack of abs, trains the new heart throb of Bollywood Varun Dhawan and helps our own Singham Ajay Devgn maintain his buffed up look. How does Bollywood’s top stars stay so fit through age? Read on to find out from the trainer himself., Prashant Sawant.

Tell us how you got into training Bollywood celebrities. Your background includes working hard to get where you are. Tell us how you broke into Bollywood ? I worked at a gym in Bandra and used to train there. Eventually, one day Shah Rukh Khan happened to drop by at our gym and I trained him. He liked my way of training and we got along. He then asked me to accompany him on shoots and that got us started and paved my way into Bollywood.

Prashant training Shah Rukh Khan

Prashant training Shah Rukh Khan

A common busy man who has a good percentage of body fat, works 8-9 hours a day, has a family and travels for work. How can the common man as such go from unfit to fit ? What can they do to go from fit to 6 pack? (In general as everyone is different and custom. Please give a week’s specific workout and sample diet) A Six pack is the ultimate level of fitness, first start from going from unfit to fit and then strive your way to a six pack. Six packs are visible when your body fat is around 6-7% Fitness requires minor to major steps depending on your current status of fitness. A healthy diet and increased physical activity are the key to getting fit. I suggest you start with baby steps: start taking the staircase instead of the elevator, walk a stop to your work, move in the office whenever possible, do stuff on your own rather than ordering someone to do it for you. You can also start with the basic home workout , I also have the 8 minute workout planned which you can easily incorporate in your daily life.  

Shah Rukh Khan was with you a few years back for his film Om Shanti Om (2008) and achieved a six pack. Last year he achieved even better (an 8 pack) for his film Happy New Year. This is impressive for someone very close to 50. What do you think is the change in him between his OSO days and HNY training? What sets him Apart to get this done at this age without “photo shop” as was speculated? Do you incorporate any yoga or Pilates ? Is cardio important? When we trained for “Om Shanti Om: it was something new for us, as SRK was very hesitant in showing off his body so that was something holding us back When we trained for HNY we knew exactly what we were looking for as we had to set a benchmark from Om Shanti Om and the goal was to get a better body than the previous one. We strategically planned his workout and even after all his injuries we kept it consistent and worked towards it. The diet too was planned to help him achieve the look. We only do hardcore weight training, functional training coupled with cardio.

Left: Shah Rukh Khan for Om Shaanti Om; Right: Shah Rukh Khan Happy New Year

Left: Shah Rukh Khan for Om Shanti Om; Right: Shah Rukh Khan Happy New Year

Varun Dhawan is the new kid on the block. We all know he is hard working and works out early morning. What is his diet chart that makes him have flat abs? Does he do any yoga or Pilates ? Varun follows his workout and diet very religiously and that’s the key of his flat abs and chiseled body. He also does a lot of dancing so yoga or pilates is not really a part of his regime. His diet keeps changing depending on his physical activity and also the kind of look he wants.

Varun Dhawan training with Prashant

Varun Dhawan training with Prashant

Mostly we keep his meals in a predetermined ratio of carb, protein and fat depending on his needs. For example:

Breakfast : its more energy dense to help him kick start his day eggs and oats or bread along with a glass of juice SnackWe make sure that the protein isn’t compensated so as to not lose the muscle mass green tea + a fruit + protein shake/bar

Lunch: it’s a whole meal chicken and brown rice /quinoa along with vegetables

Snack: some essential fats along with protein to accompany protein shake with flaxseeds

Dinner: high protein low in carb to keep the hunger pangs away to avoid late night binging chicken/fish and salad and vegetables.

What is the difference in training a Varun in his 20s and a Srk or Ajay in their late 40s? What do you do differently between the two ages? (It’s harder with age) Age is no bar to achieve fitness; the determination and dedication is what matters. I plan the workout personally for my clients and I see no equal results. VARUN is more energetic but SRK and AJAY DEVGAN are no less; so it all depends on the kind of workout and diet you do to achieve your goal and how dedicated you are.

Ajay Devgn still very fit in his late 40s

Ajay Devgn still very fit in his late 40s

Both Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan are self-admitted chain smokers. How does this impact training? I have been training them for years and frankly (though I don’t recommend smoking due to its obvious health hazards) neither of them haven given me a reason to complain given their physique and the results needed

What do you think about these new fad cleanses? There are the smoothie cleanses, aloe Vera cleanses, lemonade detoxes where you eat very little and survive on different liquids and supplements. Do they help? You need to have a holistic approach to health. Correct nutrition involves eating adequate and healthy; the fad cleanses may work for some and it may not for others but it isn’t something that you can rely on for achieving fitness and the long term goals you have set for yourself. Proper workout, diet and supplementation is what will help you in the long run.

Sonal Chauhan at Body Sculptor Gym, Juhu

Sonal Chauhan at Body Sculptor Gym, Juhu

Becoming Vegan is more and more popular now. Can you become muscular and get a six pack on a natural no meat/no eggs /no protein shakes diet? Yes, you definitely can, but it make take time. . Also with the now available vegan protein supplements and the natural permissible protein, you can achieve the look you desire. A correct workout too is a must along with the diet.

I know as a woman, for me, my stomach fat is the biggest issue. How do you target this? Can you drink alcohol and still get results ? So you train any woman celebrities in Bollywood ? How do they achieve results (give sample diet please) The metabolic rate is different in every individual, also the testosterone level is low in women but with correct eating and a proper workout you too can achieve flat abs. You just have to follow the rule of correct eating and a proper workout to reduce the fat If you indulge in alcohol you have to make sure you compensate for the additional calories and workout accordingly We’ve trained PRIYANKA CHOPRA for her film “Mary Kom” where she trained to be a boxer and also ALIA BHATT, SHRADHHA KAPOOR AND SONAL CHAUHAN. They too follow the same rule of diet and workout to achieve the look

Bollywood actress and model Sonal Chauhan

Bollywood actress and model Sonal Chauhan

Priyank Chopra working out for her boxer look in Mary Kom

Priyank Chopra working out for her boxer look in Mary Kom

What celebrity in Bollywood would you like to train if you could and why? I’d like to train everyone. Whom ever needs my help I’ll be happy to cater to them.

SRK iwith Prashant

SRK with Prashant

If you had to pick one strength training exercise that is the most effective what would that be and why? No specific exercise is more effective than the other, it’s just the combination of various exercises depending on which body part you are working on that will help you. Well, there you have it. The secret to the common man’s flat abs revealed by Prashant Sawant. Now if we can all just follow the routine and diet! For more information on Prashant, please visit his web site for his gym Body Sculptor: http://bodysculptor.in/ Thank you for such a candid interview Prashant!

A Real Life Yummy Mummy : Sandhya Ayyar

I met Sandhya when she asked to join the 66 challenge group just a few months back….she sent me a friend request as well and while I accepted I did not know how I knew her. After some exchanges I realized she was an avid fitness buff as well and was working out to become fitter.  After looking at her pics on Facebook, i “assumed” she was either single still and looking to get married or married yet no kids. Well, you know what they say when you “ass-u-me” 🙂   Through time, I found out she has two kids, a 9 year old and 5 year old. She looked FANTASTIC. Well, apparently she dedicated last year to really becoming fit for herself..and her kids. Check out how she did it and how she motivated herself after having a husband and 2 kids! Sandhya lives in Houston, Texas.

Sandhya Ayyar

“I’ve worked out for a couple of years, but my weight stayed stubbornly in the 130’s. Over the last three months, I decided to get really serious about losing those extra pounds and taking my fitness to the next level.

Here’s what I did.

Exercise routine: I worked out 6 days a week at the gym, doing total conditioning (strength training) classes, circuit training classes, and running. Initially I would often do two classes a day, until I did a metabolic assessment and received the advice to cut the classes down to a maximum of one a day — because otherwise I would not be allowing my muscle to rebuild. I also got into running outside, initially once a week. Now I run three times a week, usually between 3 and 5 miles, and go to classes the other four days.

Diet: Over time I’ve come to eat more protein, particularly after workouts. That builds muscle and controls my appetite. I enjoy cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and homemade fruit smoothies. I also cut out Nutella, which I realized I was eating way too often, and have cut down my rice intake. Otherwise I eat reasonably and it seems to work.

At a certain point the diet and exercise have gotten really enjoyable and now I can’t imagine going back. I love my new level of fitness, and though it’s been challenging, the process has also been very rewarding.”

I saw her pics and I wanted to hide in shame at my lack of looking fit compared to this mother of 2 kids! Check it out!

Sandhya in the gym last week!

Sandhya in the gym last week!

Definitely one YUMMY MUMMY!!!!!

Interview: Radhika Karle: Nutritionist and Trainer to the very “Khoobsurat” superstar Sonam Kapoor and Model Turned Actress Esha Gupta

I had the thought at 3pm January 6, 2015 to interview this American educated celebrity trainer in Bollywood. At 7 pm EST, I sent her an email requesting an interview for my blog. At 9:30 pm EST (morning in India) she responded right away that she would be happy to do it. By 4 am EST, I had her answers filled out and ready to post!

Here is a trainer that trains one of the best bodies in Bollywood: Sonam A. Kapoor along with Esha Gupta,the very handsome Fawad Khan and other B-town celebs.  I expected a long drawn out wait for a response and then maybe a few days to wait until she completed the interview. This amazing, down to earth nutritionist made my week by being THE fastest and easiest interview for my blog SO FAR. I can go on and on with praises..so before I bore any of you with my own #FanGirl Moment, please meet Radhika Karle– Bollywood’s celebrity nutritionist and trainer.

Radhika Karle’s Bio

Radhika holds a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Texas Woman’s University, Houston. She has also done a fellowship in Adolescent and Sports Medicine which allowed her to work with professional and division 1 college-level athletes. She returned to India 8 years ago and started Radhika’s Balanced Body, Creating Healthy Minds and Bodies, her nutrition clinic, Pilates studio, and personal training center in Mumbai.

Radhika has 14 years of work experience in the field of wellness as a nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga and Pilates instructor. She currently is working with clients on a one-on-one basis for nutritional counseling and Reformer Pilates workouts. Radhika loves to travel and be outdoors and a grocery store run is always a must at a new city to check out the local fare!

Interview with Radhika:

1. Your background is a variety of education and you also have a Masters Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Texas Woman’s University, Houston as well as a fellowship in Adolescent and Sports Medicine which allowed her to work with professional and college-level athletes. What were the reasons you decided to start your business in India rather than the USA?

Most of my family was back in India so I was ready to go home. 🙂  However the decision to start my own wellness studio was because I saw a serious need for that in India. Looking good is one thing however feeling good and being fit is an entirely different concept which I felt was lacking in India. I wanted to bring my concept of wellness and fitness which is what is practiced in the West to India.

2. You are the brains behind Sonam Kapoor’s super hot bikini body for Bewakoofiyaan and Khoobsurat. Talk to us about this. How did Sonam find you?

It was Sonam’s mother, Sunita Kapoor, who first came to train with me for Pilates. She had done Pilates in Los Angeles and was looking to continue in Bombay. She mentioned this to Ayesha Shroff, who was already training with me, and recommended me to Mrs. Kapoor. I think it was after 2 days of training with me that Mrs. Kapoor asked if I would train her daughter. I agreed and it has been a fantastic roller coaster ride with Sonam for the past 3 years!

(Radhika with Sonam Kapoor during Yash Raj Film's shooting of Bewakoofian)

(Radhika with Sonam Kapoor during Yash Raj Film’s shooting of Bewakoofian)

3. You traveled with her to places during shoots out of Mumbai in order to ensure she is regimented. What was her weekly regime to get that flat bikini body? How did traveling with her help?

Yes, I have been traveling with Sonam for the past 6 films. We are currently going into our third schedule with Salman Khan for Sooraj Barjatya’s next film. When Sonam travels she does not have time to think about meals. I ensure snacks are carried, she gets her food on time, she stays hydrated (air travel really dehydrates you), and obviously we workout.There really is no weekly regime as travel for shoots, events, and promotions are VERY hectic. However Sonam’s routine incorporates the following:

  • Pilates – 3 times per week; it is the best fully body integration exercise and works to whittle Sonam’s torso.
  • Weight training – I usually break it up to upper body and lower body; this is Sonam’s favourite exercise.
  • Interval training – We did a lot of this during Sonam’s shoot for Khoobsurat as it helped keep  Sonam’s stamina at an all time high which was needed for her quirky character in the film.
  • Cardio – Sonam and I both love swimming which makes for a great cardio workout.

4. What was a sample diet chart for Sonam while she was trying to lose more weight?

We recently did an ovo-vegetarian diet plan (eggs for protein, no meat, no dairy)which worked very well for Sonam and allowed for some great inch loss.

  • Pre morning workout – Juicifix cold pressed Go Green juice + fruit + black coffee
  • Breakfast – 2 eggs + 1 slice gluten-free bread
  • Snack – 1 cup pomegranate + Green tea
  • Lunch – 2/3 cup cooked rice + ½ cup cooked lentils (dal) + ½ cup cooked vegetables (sabji) + ½ cup salad
  • Snack – Juicifix cold pressed fruit juice + ½ fruit – apple/orange/ or 1 cup watermelon
  • Snack – Grilled vegetable sandwich with Green chutney (mint, coriander)
  • Dinner – 1 cup vegetable soup

5. You have a strong base in Mumbai in teaching Pilates. What made makes Pilates the ideal supplement to training? What drew you towards it?

Full body integration, core strengthening, and flexibility – Pilates offers all 3 of these and much more and that is what drew me to make Pilates a part of my wellness regime.

(Radhika doing a Back Extension on the Ladder Barrel)

(Radhika doing a Back Extension on the Ladder Barrel)

6. There are misconceptions that Pilates is “for women” and not for the manly man, however any athlete who has tried it has gone on record to say it is harder than their normal training routine.  Do you have many male clients that incorporate Pilates into their program? What is the purpose?

We have many male clients who, though they cringe (yes it is MUCH harder than the conventional weight training workout) when it is their Pilates workout day, realize it is very important to have a strong core and be flexible. The core is the powerhouse of your body so the stronger your core, the stronger your entire body.

Radhika on the Pilates Reformer

Radhika on the Pilates Reformer

7. Nutrition is an important part of training. Some say its 70-80% diet and only about 20% training. What are the differences in diet charts you plan between women clients and males client? Can you give a sample one that you would prescribe your male clients trying to look fitter and stronger?

The meal plans I create at Radhika’s Balanced Body are all personalized meal plans based on the client’s lifestyle, fitness goals, and any medical conditions.

8. Do you train any other celebrities other than Sonam? If so, who and how do their training regime differ from one another?

Esha Gupta trains in our studio. The husband-wife dynamic duo of musician Sangeet Haldipur and playback singer Anusha Mani train at our studio too. And male celebrity clients who have done nutrition with me are Fawad Khan, Rajkumar Rao, and Ali Fazal. I also had the opportunity to train Fawad Khan while we were shooting for Khoobsurat. 🙂

9. In your opinion, what is the difference between losing weight to look like size 0 and being fit?

Losing weight is just that – it does not matter if you are losing body fat, water weight, or good lean muscle mass. It may not necessarily be healthy or even done in a way that is sustainable, meaning the weight would come back on.

Being fit is about eating healthy and nutritious meals and snacks, exercising regularly, having an ideal body fat percentage and muscle mass, and living pain-free!

Well folks..there you have it! Hopefully I will have the pleasure with meeting with Radhika in person soon. Below are links of how to follow/contact Radhika:

Radhika’s Balanced Body social media links:

Websitewww.balancedbody.in

FB – https://www.facebook.com/RadhikasBalancedBody

Twitter – @RadhikaKarle

Instagram – RadhKarle

2014 in review

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Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.