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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!

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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”

SunilPic

— 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!

66

Another week, more training, new plan….interesting observation

As many of you already know, I am training for a 10K and am trying to stay on the straight and narrow for that. The run is coming up in 2 weeks and a couple days now.

I noticed some interesting things in my training the last few weeks. Last month, I got to a point where I seriously had noticed some results and feeling fit and toned. Then came a couple down weeks and last week I started training and eating better. However, I ended up trying something different than the past weeks. ..just because of how I felt (in other words, I had not really planned how I was going to complete my workouts, just that I would complete a workout daily). And I feel this new way of training did not help me much….even though I did more days…it did not feel as effective. I had a pretty social week last week.

So, let me talk about the 2 slightly different ways I did the workouts. Work out 1 is the one I felt did me more justice (and I had more fun I think with that one):

Workout 1:

Original Intention for the week: The weekly goal was to get in 5 days of working out a week, including Yoga, Strength training, 2-3 running sessions in varied mileage, cardio 5 days a week for at least 35-40 minutes. And BANG on with my diet chart (outlined in my earlier post).

What really happened?: I ended up doing only about 4 days due to soreness+ 1 day just walking, but the workouts seemed more intense (not sure if they really were more intense or not). Here is what I did:

2 strength training workouts with my trainer (about 30-40 min) and then 45 min of the elliptical at a medium to low resistance

Couple yoga workouts to ease the mind (Hot vinyasa or ashtanga yoga)

Cardio Days: I did 1-2 classes at the gym that were intense like Cardio Kickboxing and Triple Cardio (which ended up including body weight exercises too). Those were 60 minutes. I also went for a couple walks in the evening, which included a lot of steep hills and flat ground. (that ranged from 60-75 min).

I only got in about 2 days of running, if not just one day. (ranging from 30-50 minutes) and then stretched.

Average workout time/day (not including my walks): 75-80 minutes.

Workout 2:

Original Intention for the week: Get in 6 days of working out for the week, not necessarily care about yoga. Strength, running.

What really happened?: I did 6 days of gym, but I was not very sore until probably day 5. That was when I started feeling maybe I was not doing as much, but I convinced myself it was OK because I was going to complete 3 runs. I did indeed complete 3 runs.( 2 miles, 3.5 miles, 4.5 miles), which was different. But then I was starving and craving food at night at the wrong times! Of course the more you run, the more your metabolism boosts needing more calories, which is fine, but it was getting me to crave wrong foods.

2 strength training workouts and 1 reformer Pilates session(about 30-40 min) : no cardio on these days at all

Cardio Days: I only did 3 days of cardio, all running days. And it got somewhat stressful on my knees and joints.

Average workout time/day (not including my walks): 40-45 minutes.

So at the end of the week after Workout 2, I didn’t feel like I had made any progress by working out 6 days a week of moderate intensity workouts. I think this is a great example of how individual body types and structures respond to different types of workouts. I experimented a little and figured out what is best and what is working for me. That and some mental determination in eating healthy, clean food most of the time.

So this week, I will go back to trying out Option 1. However, due to my 10K being SOO close, Rashi and Kim (my trainer, who gives me stuff for the road) have asked me to cut down on sugar, alchohol and processed foods and ensure I get my workouts. My stamina has definitely increased.

My longest run this week is supposed to be 5 miles, but I think I will do 5.25-5.5 miles if possible. This will get me ready to run 6 miles next week so when I do the 10K, I have been pretty close to having done one.

Rashi got me onto a new diet chart for the next 2 weeks, including my weekend home options and also the options for on the road (I have gotten a request to detail out how to find the right things on the road; It will be a blog topic!). This time, I gave her the liberty of almost giving me everything she wants with no input from me other than if it is do-able. Except—I refused a protein shake as my meal 1. I knew I would always try and skip that!

15 days Diet Chart:

Meal 1 (within 10 min of rising): 12 almonds and 6 prunes (B complex and B6)

Meal 2 (10am): 1 whole avocado with salt/pepper and seasonings

Meal 3 (12:30pm): 6 Tablespoons rice + 3 cups dal (Indian lentil soup) + subzi or Cheese sandwich+ veges (Omega 3 and 6)

Meal 4: (4pm): 2 cups of steamed veggies with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (carbs)

Meal 5 (7pm, post workout): 1 scoop protein powder with water

Meal 6 (Dinner): 1 chapati (roti) + paneer or 1 slice of whole wheat bread + minestrone soup.

Bed time- Calcium Citrate

Important: Water: 3 lts/day

What am I bad at? Taking my vitamins! It is a must now. My goal for the next two weeks!

So..that is the weekly update. Next week, stay tuned for workouts and eating on the road. Plus, hopefully a very special interview session.

I thank all my new followers as in the last 10 days, I have gotten a lot of new followers on my blog. Also, it looks like readers from Bahrain are really hitting the site! If you are reading this and from Bahrain, I would be very interested to know where you found my blog from and any feedback/comments.

I am very excited for the upcoming weeks, cuz as soon as the 10K is over, we will talk more about new ways of working out as I am going to kick up my running shoes for something new!

Until then…the show must go on…at the gym!