Category Archives: General
Royal Ballet Company to Bollywood’s Boot camp Master: Cindy Jourdain talks about dance, fitness and Bollywood!
Ballet. Muay Thai. Functional Training. HIIT…you name it, its all at Cindy’s Boot camp gym in Mumbai, India.
I have been following Cindy’s Instagram posts for a few months now and loved each and every workout she posted. I even borrowed some of her moves to incorporate in my routine.
When curiosity killed the cat, I did some research on this expat who was toning some of the hottest women in India….and I found another surprise.
Cindy is a ballet dancer who used to dance for the Royal Ballet Company for many years. A dancer–and as many of you know, dancing is my passion. I wondered..how did she get from a prima ballerina to a fitness coach…From Europe to India?
So I sent her a quick note asking her if she would be open to doing an interview. Within a day she and I had connected and in less than a week, she had responded to all my questions whole heatedly.
Please join me in getting to know the very talented Cindy Jourdain:
1. Tell us how you got to Mumbai from Europe and what inspired you to open Cindy’s Boot camp?
Katrina Kaif is the one who flew me over From London to Mumbai to look after her fitness regime. Mumbai was never on the map but I’m very grateful to Katrina for the opportunity it gave me. Cindy’s Bootcamp started materializing in my head after about one year of being one and off in Mumbai. I immersed myself in the culture as much as possible and did some thorough market research before taking the plunge and settling here full time.
2. Your background in dance, theater, direction and fitness is impressive! How do you incorporate all these artistic forms into being a trainer and the owner of a boot camp that is so popular now in Mumbai? What exercises do you recommend that is inspired from all these forms into your current routine?
My background has forged a very strong personality, it is my credibility and what makes me different from everyone else here.
I wanted to be true to myself and use the experiences I had as an athlete, a performer and a woman to create something unique that made complete sense to me instead of joining another renowned fitness establishment for example. I’m likely to recommend sequences of movement just like a choreography in dance or flow in yoga, it’s the grounded seamless and yet powerful quality I’m after most of the time.
3. What type of routines did you have when you were in ballet? Being a professional ballerina requires hours of training and a special diet from what we have known from movies like black swan or reading up on it. Tell us about your routines in diet and training during that time.
Ballet is an incredibly demanding profession. There’s no in between. It’s all heart and sacrifice. That’s how I was brought up through the professional ballet schooling system even if I feel I grew up quite a balanced young woman with a real need for normality and a strong outside life.
A typical day for a professional ballerina with the Royal Ballet Company is ballet class in the morning for 1h30 to prep your body for the rest of the day and continuously work on your technique. The afternoon can have 2 to 3 rehearsals scheduled depending on the productions and the roles you are dancing. These rehearsals can be 1,2,3 hours plus….. Then it’s shower & make up time for the show usually at 7.30pm, you try and fit some food somewhere in the middle but everyday is go go go really and soon enough food takes a back seat if you’re not careful! The show comes down at 10.30pm and it’s late before you’re home. I have done these days over and over again for 15 years professionally. There’s no time for much but ballet! When it comes to ultimate health and being able to avoid injuries as well as sustaining a lean yet strong physique it’s a fine balance really, the truth is there’s very little recovery time or extra time for a good strength and conditioning program (which is always prescribed in sports for athletes along with their specific training), ballerinas also can’t rehearse on a full stomach, there’s a lot of snacking involved and most of us really end up over training! Is it healthy in the long run probably not but the body adapts and the mind conquers so…I think there’s much more awareness now though and both artists and management are trying to make the right choices when it comes to schedule, fuel, recovery and training
4. Today, strength and fitness is coming before weight loss and looking painfully thin. If someone has limited strength and wants to get to being able to do a pullup or gain strength, how does one even start? Any specific recommendations on a weekly routine? Does this vary for men and women? How long would it take?
I’m glad it’s going this way even if I’m pretty sure we’ll see the skinny frame back into fashion soon with the same industries backing it up, It’s the way the cookie crumbles, the world is after constant recycling of the same thing repackaged differently, redesigned, revamped, re branded, you get my point. I never give generic advice in interviews, there isn’t one person the same but what I will say is that everyone can get their first pull up or back squat their own body weight if that’s what their goal is. You start by identifying your weaknesses and addressing your bad lifestyle habits then you put a plan together which has to be thought through with the person responsible for the plan and implemented until the end.
5. You have some popular faces coming to your boot camp classes in all ranges of age. The current talk of town Sara Ali Khan (Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s’s daughter making her debut shortly) has lost lots of weight and is a regular at your classes. How did she do it and how did you train her to lose all the extra weight to become fabulously fit? Any specific routines and eating plan she followed?
Sara joined the classes recently and enjoyed the group atmosphere. She was eager to do well in class but the weight loss is a result of what she did before she joined so you would have to ask her that question. At the camp I saw an improvement in her mental focus, her form and general conditioning. The celebs or top influencers who join my classes let go of their profile as soon as they step through the door for that hour and train hard just like me, just like you.
6. What type of diet do you recommend your celebrity or normal clients? The bootcamp classes are quite taxing on ones body…can you give a sample meal plan you recommend in India for vegetarians?
One diet never fits all. The idea is to find nutritious food that suit people’s body and an eating plan that fits their lifestyle. After my classes people have to rehydrate and make sure that fuel gets back in. There’s a recovery day in between classes and I talk about anti inflammatory food often to contribute towards optimal health. India has a lot of superfoods and Ayurvedic herbal remedies available such as wheatgrass, chia seeds, flaxseeds, moranga & triphala powder to name a few which are really soothing to the body and packed with anti oxidants, raw proteins, essential vitamins and minerals suitable for both veg& non veg. Grains and pulses such as Dahl, beans & quinoa for example contain a decent amount of proteins and will suit vegetarian requirements however it’s more macro ratio, quality, quantity, timing & frequency that will make a difference when it comes to fuelling for training
7. What is something you personally have learned and have achieved since moving to Mumbai from Europe? Has the way you eat changed since you are in India now and a fitness instructor vs a ballerina?
I’ve learned to be more patient, I’ve learned to be more present and in the moment, I know that I can survive and thrive on my own anywhere in the world and that’s a big one for me!
Regarding my own diet since changing industry and moving to India, I tend to eat more healthy fat and less refined carbohydrates. I stay away from dishes full of sauces and try and stick to my mind & body beautiful mantra as much as possible which involve sleeping 8hours, drinking plenty of water, staying away as much as possible from wheat & dairy, alcohol, no caffeine & no nicotine.
There you go folks…a winning combination of art and fitness along with the determination to be the best. I definitely learned a lot from her and will be in her class on my next trip to Mumbai for sure;-) See a taste of her class here:
For more information on training with Cindy, see her details below:
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!
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:
Further details on Reza Katani:
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:
- 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.
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:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
Address: 501 Sagar Sangeet
Dr AB Nair Road
(Near Juhu Post Office)
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:
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)
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?”)
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;
-60sec Mountain Climbers
-60sec High knee run
-60sec Squat jumps
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.
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.
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…!
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.
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.
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
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 hearing “I’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:
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.
So lets consider an intermediate client with no injuries.
Monday: upper body
Tuesday: lower body
Thursday: chest & back
Friday: shoulders arms & calves
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
(*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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Snack: We 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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
“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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
Website – www.balancedbody.in
FB – https://www.facebook.com/RadhikasBalancedBody
Twitter – @RadhikaKarle
Instagram – RadhKarle