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Rupal’s Yogasthenics:The new revolution in Bollywood

Rupal’s Yogasthenics. The catchy phrase I saw in a media article regarding celebrity trainers caught my interest. I emailed Rupal, the owner of Rupal’s Yogasthenics in Mumbai and within an hour we had decided to do an interview together. I have not yet met her in person, but she is so easy to talk to, and we chat on Whatsapp like we know each other. She trains some of the biggest names in Bollywood: Anurag Kashyap, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan and many more. She has also trained Hollywood director of Shakespeare in Love,  Penny Madden. So let’s see what this custom workout is and how Rupal her self looks like a million bucks!

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With Shakespeare in Love director Penny Madden

  1. Tell us how you got into yoga and fitness and the transition into Bollywood ?

A: I was never too much into academics. When I was in school I saw my father doing yoga and how it helped him not only physically but mentally too. He introduced me to Yoga. And my mum pushed me to pursue it and said it’s the best way to channelize your energies and it was my ultimate, actually IT IS MY ULTIMATE AIM TO SEE EVERY PERSON PRACTICE YOGA AND UNDERSTAND ITS POWER. In the beginning I only practiced for myself. Later on I started training people to be teachers. Took up students. Went on a break for my wedding and again pursued yoga but this time with Functional Training. Yoga increased my performance and endurance so much. At the place where I worked out I met my first celebrity client and my all time favorite person, Anurag Kashyap. He asked me if I can train him and I readily agreed. On wards, I started training Zoya Akhtar and Harmeet Singh (Meet Bros fame) My best time was training Soha Ali Khan for Pre-Natal yoga and fitness. The results got me to Saif Ali Khan Pataudi and Kareena Kapoor Khan and then Riteish Deshmukh and Jackky Bhagnani.

And it just kept following…

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Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap

 

2. How do you come up with “Rupal’s Yogasthenics” and what is the concept include? 

A: After my wedding break, when I started training in Functional Training and yoga, the concept of calisthenics and yoga really caught my attention. It was the best thing that happened to me. The results for most cases became quicker and I started researching more on the subject and would prepare routines of Yoga With Calisthenics which was very effective. That got me the idea of RUPAL’S YOGASTHENICS. It bridges the gap between traditional and modern fitness training. This combination assured our bodies were supple and strong both at the same time.

I strongly believe:

You have to not consume limitations, you have to be obese in commitment, you have to be lean in self-doubt and you have to develop muscle in your soul. We are not a quick fix, it is a life long journey. Nothing will come easy.” 

This went perfectly well with what and how I teach. 

3. What type of yoga practice do you teach and what recommendations do you have (how many days per week, type of yoga etc) for weight loss? 

A: I teach multiple styles of yoga. Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga, Classical modified Ashtanga yoga and last but not the least RUPALS YOGASTHENICS, my brand of workouts. I train in Kettle bell and Flexibar too. These add to the practice and are a good rehab tool for people with injuries or ones prone to injury. Yoga is a way of life. It’s done 24×7. But physically, I’d recommend yoga 5 days a week. With breaks in between for the body to recover and it also depends on the persons background in yoga and fitness.. Three things I believe in during all my practices: STRETCH, SORE, ENDURE.

4. Surya namaskars are considered to be a full body workout. I have done many sessions with instructors from the Bharat Thakur yoga practice where the warm up is 108 surya namaskars in about 18 minutes. What are your thoughts on this and should this be done daily?

A: 108 suryanamaskars can be daunting to a yoga novice. But to many celebs and fitness enthusiasts, it’s an elixir for the mind and body.

Whether it’s a novice or a seasoned yoga practitioner, what’s important is getting rest in between sets of Suryanamaskars. I do not recommend this on a daily basis. Moderation is the key. If you overdo it, your body will start acting up. I believe that Suryanamaskars are the traditional version of a Burpee in functional training. Every yoga practice should compose of all sides of stretching to benefit better. Suryanamaskars are just one part of the vast yoga practice.

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Soha Ali Khan stayed fit throughout her pregnancy

5. How do you combine weight training,cardio and yoga for your clients to see Results?

A: It’s when I practiced and analyzed for a year and a half I realized it’s the deadliest combination of workouts. That’s how I came up with my brand of workouts, Rupal’s Yogasthenics. Yoga is a form of cardio, as well as weights. I modified the strength postures of yoga to weight training like how you do a weighted squat or a lunge with weights. It gives you strength, flexibility, focus, it’s a form or rehab too. Yoga and weights can be done together to call it Rupal’s Yogasthenics and sometimes separately done to maintain the purity and essence of its individuality. I do a lot of Yogasthenics exercises with both Anurag Kashyap and Saif Ali Khan. They also do both separately. To know how,  you’ll have to come and workout with me 😉

6. Let’s talk Bollywood! My absolute favorite who motivates me for years now to go workout is Kareena Kapoor Khan. Tell us how she got fit with you post pregnancy ? (Specifics or a weekly training split would be great info) 

A: Kareena Kapoor Khan is the most gracefully stylish and highly ambitious a woman. I’ve never known someone so down to earth in the industry. She is highly motivated. I started her training after I’m trained Soha Ali Khan for her pregnancy. And she’s truly a star in my class too. Never says never. I combined light weight training and Yoga with lots and lots of cardio/ running. I make her do yoga postures and cardio alternatively. Weights and cardio alternatively.

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A-lister Kareena Kapoor Khan with Rupal

She does a class with me every single day and all the sessions are highly intense. But again, she never says never. She will give me a look but eventually she will do it all with equal interest and passion. An example of one of my classes with Kareena:

 

Start with 5 reps of Suryanamaskar A & B 

I start with 3 Variations of Squats 25x4sets

Ardhachandrasana 30secs hold -1min each side x 2sets 

Quick step -30 sec x 2 sets 

Utkatasana (all 3 variations) 30sec hold x 1set each 

Kettlebell swings single hand 30-30 each side. 

Garudasana – 30 sec hold each side x 2 sets

Samasthiti – 30 sec hold once

Ekpadpashchimmottanasana- 30sec-1min hold x1 set 

Quick step – 30 secs x 2 sets 

Natrajasana -30sec x 1 set 

Yogasthenics Variation plank setsx 10 sets

Back stretches (good spine health)

 

Relaxation in diaphragmatic Breathing. 

 7. The ever graceful Sharmila Tagore is a client of yours. Given  her age, what type of routine do you do for her and what benefits does that give her ? 

A: Sharmila Aunty has only been as graceful by the age. I do a lot of stretching keeping in mind limitations and a tad bit of strength training that’s required to maintain the required amount of muscles in the body. I do sukshma vyayam with her. The idea is maintaining functional independence. A regular workout that includes strength and balance and flexibility definitely helps achieving that. To work out every day for 30-45 mins  is what I aim for her when she’s in town and when we workout together. 

 

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Evergreen award winning actress Sharmila Tagore

8. Saif Ali Khan gained weight for the Netflix drama Sacred Games. Now he has an upcoming film Kaptaan which he has to lose weight for. As a male in his 40s how did he achieve that with you? How did you manage his outdoor  schedules ?

A: Yes, he totally did! You will see that in his upcoming movie. We started training when he was halfway through the movie Kaptaan. As a male in his 40s his dedication, discipline and patience was very much required. He was very enthusiastic the first time we met to train. He trained every single day with me. We did tons of yoga postures and stretches. He made sure to do cardio every day and strength training every alternate day in the beginning.

I was traveling with him for his outdoor schedules and we would train twice a day and go for runs on his free days in between. I would go on sets too. He has outdone himself with his dedication and time management and motivates me to do more.

 

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Sacred Games star Saif Ali Khan after a workout session

9. Every workout plan  comes with diet as the main ingredient. What kind of diet do your recommend your clients and does it align with the principles of yoga and Ayurveda? 

A: I follow the traditional diet and suggest everyone the same. The most nutritious yet cheap and the most simple yet tasty food comes from Indian kitchen. There are certain food habits I follow, two of my mains are:

  1. A tsp if ghee and oil is a must every day.
  2. Reduce the five whites in your diet; Sugar, Salt, Maida (White flour), White rice (Use brown rice instead), Milk.
  3. Have a minimum 8 glasses of water each day
  4. Consume 6-8 small meals instead of 4 large meals every day

Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. We do follow that in the yogic Sattvic diet.

Some commoners like eat only seasonal fruits and vegetables, consume your last meal three hours before you go to bed etc.

10.What is your personal workout and diet plan that makes you so fit and balanced? 

A: This is the nth time I’m asked this question.

My workouts are a variety of forms. I do my Rupal’s Yogasthenics Workouts and combine it every day with a 5km run in the nights... I’m also a flexi-bar and Kettlebell trainer. I have trained in Crossfit. I enjoy the best of both or you can say all worlds 😉

I never ever skip my yoga practice each time I do any form of workout. I suffer from sciatica so I do a lot of strengthening and stretching. When it comes to diet….

I eat everything from my kitchen and outside I indulge once a while in my favorite roadside Paani Puris and Pav Bhaji, you can call that my cheat meal.

I definitely watch my food when I’m at home.

I start my morning with a glass of water(sometimes warm) and a fruit or a soup and fennel tea.

Mid morning I have a nice Gujarati breakfast with Green tea or dry fruit tea or lemon tea. Late morning a juice or Coconut water. I carry lunch that consists of A portion of vegetable curry and rice and a portion of salad. Evening snacks consist of sandwiches, sometimes seasonal fruits. Dinner is salad or soup, and if I’m too hungry lentil curry Khichdi.

Well folks, how empowering was that? Yoga and Weight training combined is a way of life and Rupal definitely can get you to a whole new world!

To learn more about Rupal’s Yogasthenics Workouts visit:

Website: http://rupalsyogasthenics.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rupalsyogasthenics/

Instagram: @rupal_sidh

 

 

 

 

PhD Nutritionist Dr. Angie Kassabie talks how diet is not just eating and entering the high profile world of Politicians, Hollywood and Bollywood

 

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Angie Kassabie, Ph.D., is an internationally acclaimed expert in nutrition, health and fitness, image consultation, and personalized diet programs. As a self-proclaimed “food psychologist,” Dr. Kassabie specializes in emotional eating and the mind-body connection. She is at work on a book about nutrition and holistic health.
Dr Kassabie is the founder of AND Diet. AND Diet offers balanced nutrition and calorie intake, a unique selection of various international recipes, prepared with extra virgin olive oil and AND DIET herbs, to achieve goals.

She has worked with international celebrities Silvester Stallone, John Travolta, Britney Spears, Robert De Niro, Jean Claude Van Damme. She worked with European Celebrities like Azis, Anelia, Andrea, Stefan Danailov and Reni. Kassabie supervised the ex-minister of Bulgaria’s Diet and she currently supplements the European Bulgarian parliament from her kitchen. She has worked with the cast of 300, The Expendables and the Killing Season

1.How did you start off in the nutrition world and working for the politicians in Bulgaria?

It actually started off surprisingly, as I wanted to go into a different field. I finished school at a very early age and I wanted to get into show business, but I ended up working as the doctor working for everyone in the show business! I started off by giving diets to normal people and I had a patient who was very young with very serious psychological issues. She was seeing one of the other dieticians in Bulgaria. So this dietician told this girl that she was never going to lose weight and that she had the kind of issues that would make her fat all the time. This poor girl had a huge complex after that.  I was at the store one day and I saw this girl and met her and I ended up doing her diet for free. At this point, I was still a student. While I was helping her, I graduated. Turns out, the prime minister of Bulgaria was a client of her mother. Now he wanted to know how this girl lost so much weight as he also wanted to lose weight right before the elections.  So, he called me, and he had success in losing weight.  When he won the elections, people asked him how he lost so much weight and he told everyone that I had helped him. So that is how I started.

2. Tell us a bit about how you went from being a nutritionist for politicians to really famous celebrities in Hollywood? I am sure it was an exciting journey and our readers will want to know. 

 

Once the news was out I had helped the prime minister, I started working with the owner of Warner Brothers in Bulgaria. They heard about me and called me for an interview and then the first actor I saw was Stallone.   Then through Warner Brothers, I transitioned through them to Sylvester Stallone,  Eva Longoria, the cast of the Expendables, Gerald Butler, the cast of 300, Chuck Norris, Superman, Robert DeNiro. It all started off so surprisingly.

 

3.  How was it to work with action heroes like Stallone and Van Damme? These are already very fit men celebs – so what was their goals when they came to you? Share with us how you transformed them and some interesting experiences you had along the way.

For every movie, they have to get ready for the role they are playing. So they may need to drop weight, or gain weight or bulk up. My team and I took care of everything that has to do with their food, workouts, diet plans, skin. My whole team was on site working on each and every one of the stars. Stallone’s goal was that he wanted to stay fit.  He has always been fit and is a super professional but every professional has some weaknesses.  Having Italian roots, he loves pasta! He also loves the Lebanese Baklava and he sneaks in those food items! Those types of food from time to time makes you want more food.

 

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With Stallone

4. So what kind of diet was he prescribed?

Diet wise, he was more on lean proteins and refined carbs. He likes porridge/oatmeal in the morning, scrambled eggs, he likes desserts a lot! Because of that, wee normally give him the desserts low in calorie, high in protein and low in sugar. And they taste really really good. We make a high in protein chocolate fondant. That is one of the first things he tried and that is what made him start following our plans.

5. Interesting, so do you supply the foods to the actors working with you?

Yes, we supply all the foods for all the celebrities on set. We had a kitchen on set. So it was not just Stallone but all the actors on that set. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, etc.

6. Did they all have different nutrition plans or did they all eat what was made that day on set?

Of course they all had different nutrition plans. There are menus, and they have to choose off the menu and according to their nutritional status we send them the plan. Every one of them trains differently, so they all have completely different food plans and quantities.

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Angie Kassabie with Jean-Claude Van Damme

7. I noticed you created your own plan called the AND diet. Can you talk about what that is and how did you come up with it?

I came up with that because I say diet is not only food but a combination of things: Lifestyle AND, Workout AND movement AND the way you drink (water and drinks anything) AND the way you look at things. The core of everything comes before nutrition. That is what affects us psychologically by making us look better, making us feel better, improves self confidence and do better at work or school. When you feel good, you present that out everywhere. So that’s why I say AND because it is not only diet. It is about changing people’s life, the way they think. I change their character more than I change their weight. I work in person with each and every one of my clients, celebrity or not celebrity. And when you don’t see results, you stop wanting to follow that kind of plan. This gives you the yo-yo dieting effect where you start wanting more food, wanting to cheat more, etc. So I work on a daily basis with my clients. They take their weight every morning, I check on everything they eat, especially the first two weeks. I give them a food plan. I change their diets according to their tastes because I believe diet starts with pleasure. If there is no pleasure, there is no diet.
8. Let’s talk Britney Spears – am a personal fan of her. She went through lots of ups and downs in her personal life as well as career and it certainly showed in her body. How did you help her?

She had to change the way she thinks about food. She got back in shape without too much effort. She did not really have to go to extremes. What she was eating was the big issue. There was no nutritional value in what she was consuming. We basically started off getting her back on track. The first 10 days, we focused on regulating her meals. And then after that we got into starting off the full plan. She dropped a lot of weight starting from the first month. Close to 10kg!

9. You also helped both Alia Bhatt and Mouni Roy from India with their diets in Bulgaria. Let’s start with Alia who is a vegetarian. What were her challenges and what recommendations did you give her for her diet chart? 

Bollywood started off Hollywood  I was working at the Warner Brothers Bulgaria studios where they are now shooting the movie Brahmastra with Alia Bhatt and Mouni Roy and many other big stars.  Warner Brothers referred me to Alia. She had some nutritional issues, so we started off there.  She had some problems with the food she was eating.  We started taking care of her meals and she got into a very good shape during her shoot. We had a certain diet to cut off the bloating, all the refined carbs, the gluten. We got her on my special detox that cleanses her body of all the toxins.  It gets rid of all the cellulite in the body I gave her some of my supplements and we got her back on track and released some of the bloating and annoying feeling. Keep in mind she is shooting for long hours every day. She works out a lot but because she is a vegetarian she was not getting enough protein. She gets it from plants but it was not enough.

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With Bollywood A-lister Alia Bhatt

10. Mouni Roy has lost a ton of weight!! Everyone wants to know what her diet and workout was. Can you share some specifics?

Mouni is my favorite person.I love her. She is so humble, so down to earth and she has a great personality and she has a great body and she puts in a lot of effort to keep it that way.

She has a very thin structure with tiny bones. She is not one of those people where even if they are skinny, they still look big.  She worked out, got into yoga. I gave her our special coffee we provide and that managed her appetite a certain level and we got her on track with her meals. She does not usually have so many meals but instead a lot of snacks. She showed me some of the Indian snacks which are very good but very fattening. She is also a vegetarian and barely has eggs. From all the celebs I have trained from Hollywood to Bollywood, Mouni has a very special place in my heart.

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Mouni Roy, with Angie for her upcoming movie Brahmastra

11. What kind of diets do you recommend men who are trying to build muscle and lose fat?

They have to have enough consumption of protein and carbohydrates. To build a mass of muscle you need 1/3 of your plate to be carbs. Decrease the amount of dairy and sugar to the minimum. And if you keep the sugar level low, the body does not produce any fat. So we balance the insulin through the refined carbs like brown rice, potatoes. We barely have pastas and no bread because bread has sugar.

12. Many women travel and work and have less time to cook at home yet want to stay fit or get fit. As someone like you who travels quite a bit,  How can that be achieved with eating out ? 

I will tell you how I do that. I believe there is nothing called diet. I don’t believe in anything that is low calorie and low in carbs, unless there is a goal behind it. I want all the people to live a happy, normal life with pleasure. I do not want people to be stuck in trouble and worrying about what they will eat and not be able to socialize with friends. The most important thing is calculating the amount of food they are intaking. It is important to focus on having regularity in your meals, as if you have regular meals, you have smaller quantities.

In terms of eating out, it is absolutely fine to eat out. For example, in Lebanese cuisine, we do not order big plates like American or Italian food like a burger with fries or a big portion of pasta, etc. We order a bunch of small plates and go from there. We need to figure out what are we eating? So you take portions of each dish on your own plate so you can see the quantity of food you are eating. And that is how you can balance the meals.

Going into extreme diets is not healthy. You will drop a lot of weight and muscle mass and muscle does not come back. It turns into fat.

 

13. Indian diets have a myth of being unhealthy and high in carbs yet if we look at the traditional meal it is very balanced. What Indian foods are recommended in a healthy diet and what should be considered “once in a while cheat meals”? 
Indian food is balanced and spicy. From one perspective spicy food is very healthy as the chilli boosts your metabolism and very high in antioxidants. But that makes you want to eat more. When I look at Indian food, I do not see it as unhealthy with the exception of the fried bread. Even with friend bread I don’t say don’t eat it, limit it. Bread that is fried or the ones with sugar and milk, when it has that sweet taste and melts in your mouth, it makes you want to eat more like croissants. I do not believe Indian food is not allowed in the diet. The Indian way of eating is wrong. Most Indians, (not everyone but the ones I have worked with), they snack a lot. It is the snacks and nibbles all day that contributes to the weight gain. You never gain weight from breathing the air.

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On set with the cast of ‘300’

14. Women who have just delivered a baby and trying to lose the post pregnancy weight. What do you recommend for them ? 
Due to the hormones, we try to cut all processed foods. If you want to drop weight fast, you get off sugar, dairy which makes you retain more water and the main issue with pregnant women is the water weight. I try to get them to eat clean especially the first 60 days post-delivery.  Until the time you get your first menstrual period post pregnancy, your body is not the same internally. After the 60th day, everything starts to get back on track but getting into a certain diet plan is difficult.

15. Anyone looking at you would say you are very fit and totally hot! What’s your own personal diet and workout regimen that is sustainable?

Diet is 70% of your weight loss. Being fit is totally different. Some people are born fit and lucky, but most of us are not so we have to work hard to build that beautiful body. If you want that model look you see in pictures, you have to work out a certain way.  Some of the ways when you start working out with heavy weights, especially if you are a woman, it may not be good for that person. Some people already have bulkiness in their legs, so adding more weight to that is not going to give you that look. But that 30% is a huge result when you add it in with the right diet.  I don’t recommend doing only cardio. I recommend having some cardio and a weight program where you are doing lighter weights and an intensive workout with very short breaks in between. This will boost their metabolism and count as a cardio as well.

16. Anything else you want to add in?

Anyone can drop the weight they want but they have to have consistency. It is all about consistency and changing the way you think and accepting that life is not easy. But life is beautiful when you think about it in the right way. You can’t say I can’t live on fruits and not eat them. Fruits are very good. Fruits are delicious, but you cannot live only on fruits, or only on veggies. You have to have a little bit of everything. Elegancy starts from your plate. When your plate is elegant, you are going to look elegant yourself.

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Kassabie with Antonio Bandaras

 

Contact information

Twiitter: @angiekassabie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AngieKassabieOfficial/about/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angiekassabie/?hl=en

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.

 

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With Bollywood superstar Katrina Kaif; Cindy’s first Bollywood client

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.

 

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Cindy Jourdain; Ballet

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.

 

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Training Sara Ali Khan in her bootcamp class (2nd from right)

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:

 

 

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.  

 

 

 

Tripti Gupta Interview Part 2: Tripti talks about Kangana Ranaut, macros and how to eat for Thyroid, Diabetes, PCOD

5. What do you suggest in terms of macros for foods for people not on a regimented diet but want to eat healthy? What should we be looking for in terms of:

a) Total Daily macros

Total daily macros should comprise of up to 75% good quality carbs which could be in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, legumes and high fiber cereals.

b) Nutritional Content

One must stay away from artificial colors, preservative agents and foods high in trans fats. When we check the nutritional composition of any food, the fiber content in that meal plays the utmost importance.  It’s the quality here which matters more than the item or quantity. For example,  good quality fats such as olive oil or rice bran oil is better than a small fraction of fat Similarly, more of carbs in a particular food item in the form of jowar (Indian flour to make rotis) is better than less of carbs but in the form of maida (Another flour). Protein again plays a vital role whether it is healthy trans fat free protein such as chicken, eggs or is it sausages, salami and cold cuts which are rich in trans fats.

c) Protein vs Fat vs Carbs?

15% protein vs 10% fats vs 75% carbs is the best combination for person with ideal body weight. It is also essential to ensure each of these are trans fat free and wholesome fresh meals… which is the need of a healthy, active body. Choose Grade A proteins such as dairy, egg whites, fish over pulses & legumes. Choose desi ghee, olive / rice bran /ground nut oil over vanaspati, butter, margarine and processed fats. Choose high fiber whole grains such as oats, jowar, wheat and brown rice over white rice, maida and starchy cereals.

6.You worked with Kangana Ranaut to help her get into her character as a top supermodel in the movie “Fashion”. Talk in detail to us about the transformation she had to go through and what exact diets and exercise she followed to get that look? Were there any roadblocks?

Kangna was already waif thin when she met me for Fashion. But most people are not aware that for a thin person to lose weight is as difficult or even more difficult  than having an overweight person to lose weight. Getting a slim waistline to a flab free, chiseled one was in itself a challenge.  Our aim was to get the chiseled flat abs of a supermodel as well as flawless skin. In fact, it was with Kangana that the journey of “Eating Right for not only a fabulous body but also flawless skin” began for me. Getting the coffee & chocolate loving Kangana to eat fruits, fresh veggie juices and green tea was a challenge. We worked on a diet together which would help her shed inches, achieve flawless skin and keep her energy levels high and the beautiful actress did a great job. She was determined and always wanted to carry a body of international standards. Working with Kangana was a delight, her loving, child like warmth, down to earth attitude and devoted hard work is simply amazing. Even today in Bollywood, she is one of the very few Bollywood actresses who stands out on any international platform for her work & performance as well as a fabulous body. I would still call “Fashion” as the movie where she had the best body and skin she ever carried in any film.

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Kangana Ranaut looking like a super model for her role in Fashion

 

7. There are a ton of supplements and “weight loss” aids out there such as Raspberry Ketone. Do these help in weight loss or metabolism boosting or are they complete myths? What supplements do you recommend and what do they do to contribute to weight loss? What about green tea?

 

Anything that cannot be sustained lifelong is temporary. Ketone diets were originally created for Epileptic patients to meet their medical needs and limitations in food. Using these tools for a normal, healthy individual is not advisable, in fact one should feel truly blessed of possessing a completely healthy body and not abuse it. Instead nurture it, take care of it and don’t do anything to spoil it. The only supplements that support weight loss are exercise and rest. I would call these your lifelong supplements of health. Food and water has to be supported with rest and activity for life to enjoy a healthy, happy and fit body.

Green Tea is great substitute to other hot beverages. Lower in calories & caffeine, high on antioxidants and a natural diuretic, green tea also acts as a  digestive drink and promotes weight loss when consumed regularly instead of milk tea.

 

8. What foods should people with each of these common health issues use to naturally cure these issues:

 

a) Thyroid issue:

Weight management meals, Fat soluble Vitamins such as Vitamin A D,E,K rich foods to ensure healthy hormones and a Omega 3 rich diet. One must stay away from foods containing goitrogens such as raw cabbage, cauliflower, soyabean, broccoli, etc.

 

b) Diabetes:

Fenugreek seeds, Green tea, Dark green vegetable juices, low glycemic index foods, small portions sizes, high fiber meals, Omega 3 rich foods and Weight management meals

 

c) High Cholesterol:

Onion juice, garlic, Omega3 rich nuts such as Flaxseeds, Chiaseeds, deep sea fish, high fiber foods, fenugreek seeds, ensuring balance of fat soluble vitamins, green  & white tea.

 

d) PCOD:

Weight management is the common factor here, consuming low fat, high fibre, omega 3 rich foods combined with an active lifestyle can be the best cure for the above issues naturally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. In the celebrities you worked with or the beauty pageant contestants, have you encountered a situation where you thought “this is going to be a challenge” and got the desired results and how?

 

There have been many challenges in dealing with public figures, supermodels and Beauty Pageant contestants. One such challenge I recently faced with a Femina Miss India 2016 finalist was being under weight. She, being extremely tall for an Indian model with a height of 6.1ft., had lost a tremendous amount of weight which resulted in getting a highly disproportionate figure despite of having all the other promising qualities. As a judge for the Miss Perfect Body sub contest, we noticed this. Her body became her drawback and hence she lost her opportunity of reaching the top. It was a challenge to get her to eat the right proportion of carbs, protein and fat such that she would only gain healthy muscle weight proportioning out her body We worked on her diet and eating patterns in such a way that her body has regained the right balance of proportion with strength, health and glowing skin. Under my consultation and guidance she has achieved her dream body and will be again contesting the coming year.

 

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Tripti educating the Miss India contestants

 

10. We know celebrities work hard on their bodies and workout 2-3 hours a day and eat a very strict diet. How does one get the enviable Katrina Kaif abs in terms of diet and exercise? Please advise!

The key word is here is DISCIPLINE and not overly strict. One can never achieve the perfect body or perfect abs without their perfect plan. A good body is a plan which has to be created, followed and then maintained with will power, determination and a lot of effort. One need not be strict, but one should not get bored and complacent with the ideal plan which is the real challenge. A whole lot of celebrities go carb free, but that’s not always the requirement. One needs to plan their eating techniques well backed up with the right exercise to manage an overall daily total caloric intake.

Loading on fresh vegetables and running are the most successful tools in beginning your journey towards the impeccable Katrina Kaif Abs 😉

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Kangana’s perfect supermodel body in the movie Fashion which won her a National Award.

There you have it folks…Tripit Gupta has told us exactly how to look at food, plan our perfect diets and told us how to get those perfect abs! Tripti’s contact info is below….I would strongly advise you to work with her if you are looking for the right plan to help get you back on track or look good for an event….Call Tripti and her team!

Tripti Gupta Contact info:

Andheri | Bandra | Chowpatty | Online

Website: www.ipink.in

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/TriptiGuptaiPinkTheColorofHealth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tripti_Gupta_

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ipink_by_triptigupta/

Call: + 91 7498841414 | 9967978589

 

50 Shades of Fitness Kickoff and Days 1-3

Welcome to 50 shades of fitness! A fun and interactive way of keeping me on my health and fitness journey. In the last few years I have spent a lot of times trying to get fit, back to my original way of living life in a healthy and fun way of fitness. Unfortunately, the motivation factor disappeared, the same ole gym routine got bored and I was gaining weight and my fat percentage was too high. Everyone told me, “You look fine” which maybe I did, but there were a few who kept me in reality. After trying almost just deciding that I didn’t care as much and trying to lose that weight was not as important to me, two tings struck me hard. I had my cholesterol tested in an annual physical and my triglycerides came out way too high. Yes, a hereditary problem, but If I was fair to look at it, my lifestyle of eating patterns contributed to it too. The doctor gave me 3 months to get it in check naturally without any medication. That scared me because within that week, I kept hearing of people in their 40s,50s and early 60s who would go to sleep and not wake up. People I knew. Either a stroke or heart condition was the issue. I had just found some path in life where I felt at peace and I wanted to see that through, not be on a ticking time clock! Second was my dear granny…she came to visit and then gently put to me that although I looked great, she was worried because I clearly had gained weight that needed to be lost. She said it was my choice…something my own mom had been telling me for a year.  So with those 2 truths under my belt, and the guidelines the doc gave me to get my cholesterol down, my mindset got very hard. I ate wholesome healthy foods every 3 hours. I played mind games with myself saying that I was under training for an important event (which at that time there was nothing) and I needed to “look the part”. Fruits, vegetables and yoghurt were my friends. Wine, cheese, fried foods were things of the past. In 1.5 months, I concentrated just on what I was eating, how much I ate out and I lost 13 lbs!  All my life I had easily been at a set weight and I was determined to get back to that because that was where my fitness level made me feel my best. This is where I also learned 90% of losing weight is diet. I didn’t frequent the gym much. I just went for evening walks and moderated the amount of calories and foods I ate. Due to the cholesterol, my foods had to be prepared very smartly and with less oil, ghee and condiments.  Every now and then I would frequent something new that I had started loving which helped me mediate and clear my mind which was swimming. I saw my levels of energy coming back and being able to swim more laps in the same amount of time as I grew stronger. However, to stress….the level of fitness activity I did was very less up to this point.  I focused on diet and whole some foods.

In the last one month, I have allowed myself to be normal for some time and I ate whatever I want but in moderation. Believe it or not, in about 1.5 months, I have not gained a single pound. Now comes the last stretch. Now I do have a real reason to want to get back the stamina and look better and stronger as I have my brother’s wedding coming up. So comes the 50 shades of fitness. The shades in the title reflects how fitness can be implemented at many different levels..it’s not just going to the gym and working out for 2 hours and being frustrated on not seeing results. Results also come in different forms…when I am not focused on losing weight, I use different benchmarks on how fit I am. For example, I ran a 10K couple years back. With my back and knee issues, I stopped running as much and today I will probably struggle to do a 5k. My goal is to get that back. I love yoga…I go to yoga once a week..maybe I up that in the coming weeks, because that not only helps the toning but helps calm my active mind. Whatever makes you feel good.  A good friend of mine called me yesterday and said she finally ran 1.5 miles without stopping and felt so amazing about it and how running helped her FEEL good mentally. That is the key. That is the point. Set your personal goal and strive to it.  The other big thing I learned is to not depend on the weighing scale. My weight can fluctuate by a few pound daily based on water retention or what I had done the day before. No more than once e a week of not every 10 days. My other trick is to find a pair of jeans you want to fit into and use that as a benchmark. I was able to fit into a pair of jeans which I had not worn in 3 years! I kept it…now I have more jeans I kept that I am striving towards getting into. I know it is not a bad goal because I fit into those jeans once upon a time so it means I am striving to get back to my original form.

 

So, in 50 shades of fitness, I am going to build my stamina in the gym this time around as well as eat perfectly well as the cholesterol check is coming up soon for 50 days. We are all human so we have to keep some room for some “cheating” but the key is this: The days you have ONE cheat meal a week or every 10 days, those are the days you just don’t skip your workout. The days you don’t workout, are the days you make sure you eat as healthy as you can. I also plan what I eat for the week in advance so there’s no question about what my nest meal is. I just know and don’t reach for the wrong thing in the heat of the moment of being hungry. Also, hydrate hydrate hydrate. If you are on also embarking on this journey with me, I would be happy to have you follow along, keep me accountable and ask questions or give suggestions! I will be doing articles on superfoods I have discovered and the health benefits of these natural foods, interviews with fitness professionals, and I am even open to guest bloggers to share their journey or experience or difficulty to their story! The goal is to motivate as many people as you can.

 

So to ensure you don’t fall off the wagon and make many huge changes at the same time, I always like to start with one change. The first 3 days I am only focusing on eating clean and may add in a few walks as I see fit. As we get to the weekend, the gym will take its start and I will post some workouts I like to do. Some of the rules I live by:

 

  1. Don’t get goals you cannot keep. Be mindful of what is realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself.
  2. Get rid of anything in a can or a bag and alcohol. This is key. A glass of wine maybe every 10 days is fine but anything more can push back seeing results
  3. Eat wholesome healthy foods. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables in season. Color on your plate is key and fun to look at!
  4. Go grain free or close to grain free. It helps balance the body’s hormones and you may even find out your body functions more energetically without grains (Like I noticed I did!)
  5. Measure out your portions and log everything you eat or drink. I love to use myfitnesspal which is an app I put on my phone and log my workouts and what I eat and drink. This shows me where I go wrong or where I need to add more protein, carbs or fat.
  6. Have fun and have a strong mindset!
  7. Water is your best friend. Sometimes I feel hunger pangs and I drink some water and feel really full and realize I just was a bit dehydrated. I try for at the minimum 3 Litres/day.

 

So the first few days will focus on food. I call is my “detox” because getting from eating yummy processed foods and eating out after a long vacation out of the country makes it harder to get back to wholesome foods, but in some ways it is easy because I am sick of eating out! I have to thank the next celebrity nutritionist interview (where I will explain and talk about how her plan helped me buckle down and keep myself in track) for planning this detox for me and ensuring every single day via whatsapp that I am in line with my goals.  Back to taking a hard look at what is going to stabilize my triglycerides and build my stamina! I was telling a friend today, its not easy at all to be this strict, but when it is for ensuring you live a long healthy life, what is a few weeks of being strict with your mindset to get yourself to that point!? And who says this can’t be fun!?

What are your fitness goals?

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!

 

 

 

 

Success of the 66 Challenge: Testimonials from the group

6 months back we started the 66 challenge group on Facebook. It started with my friend Sunil and some of his friends and some of mine.  6 months later, not only have I gotten off my butt and started to actually workout, but I have made friends from this group that I never would have met unless they were also part of this group.  Whilst we all agreed no one really (except maybe one member we swear has gotten the packs) made a 6 pack, its great to see how much knowledge we all shared with each other and motivation everyone got from this group.  We have decided to extend this 6 pack in 6 months challenge to 3 more months, or as Sunil called it “the 69 challenge” 😉

Below are the testimonials from people who participated in the group that shared their progress of their fitness journey:

“Given my hectic travels, constant business lunches and dinners, my goal was consistency!! It’s been a long journey of almost 14 years for me from 250 lbs to 185 lbs, from a 44″ waist to a 36″ waist! I am just glad that I have been able to hover around that 185 mark for nearly 2+ years now. Thanks to all of you, I continue to push towards my ultimate goal of 175 lbs weight and a 30″ waist. What worked best for me was never rapid diets or protein diets or any of that. Rather the same everyday food in controlled proportions. Always trying to keep myself around the 2100 calories a day of food consumption. You guys all rock!! Seeing the success stories that all of you have shared is truly inspirational.” 

— Ajay S. Moorjani

“My fitness journey started several years ago when I decided to take control of my cholesterol and turn around my lifestyle. But in the past 6 months, with you all as my motivational factor.. I put in a lot of discipline and effort to take this to a new level. Of course 6 packs is a nice to have and surely an aspirational goal for all of us but I always wanted to have a really good set of arms. I did some research on techniques, effective workouts and a few months back had posted a routine for triceps.. This is the rest of those workouts and of course thanks to all the positive energy and motivation coming from this group”

— Sunil Pereira

“My challenge was my baby belly and even now just two pack barely may be lol but ate everything in small proportions only if it was cheat food I Zumba-Ed dropped to expected body weight then now into low weights training with the Dumbbells I have now started body sculpting my arms use to be very flabby but now I feel some tone and dropped body fat gained in muscle. I incorporated squatting routines too”

Shabz1Shabz2

Shabz Haque

” I had gained about 20 lbs in the last 2 years with absolutely no motivation to keep consistent with a workout plan. I had an amazing nutritionist (Rashi) who would try her best to motivate me to eat better, but to no avail.  I was frustrated because I was the person who would be at some gym or yoga studio at least 5 times a week and eat pretty well. Eventually, I realized I was mentally frustrated with life in general and it was spilling over to my lack of motivation to go to the gym. I thought to myself  “What’s the point?”. This group was helpful because I had started this group, yet here I was watching so many people post their progress and watching them workout, and I was sitting around reading the posts. I started feeling embarrassed. Come October, I started training with Yasmin Karachiwala, one of the BEST trainers and gyms I have ever worked with in my life. Thanks to the 66 challenge and the group of people, I lost 7 lbs in 1.5 months and decided to start training for a half marathon. I have the best group of seasoned runners in this group who are giving me the best advice every time i ask for it.”

–Reshma Radia

“I know I am late for this bit I owe it to you people. My journey started 2 and half years back when I came across Reshma’s blog. I got motivated and started eating right and exercising 4 or 5 times a week and lost lots of fats and dropped 3 sizes. It came to hault when I got pregnant. And started eating all junks and sweets. When Reshma started this group I requested her to let me be in even though I was pregnant. Since then I am eating right. And from mid October sterted hitting gym. After 2 months I lost 3 kgs and 2 percents of fats. All thanks to you people and special thanks to Reshma Radia. She is the best. Always ready to help”

–Smita Tijo

For all of you who want to join a similar group..stay tuned…I am thinking of starting a “Challenge for Mom’s New and Old”.

We women don’t always give time to ourselves after having kids!

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