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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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, about the cardio connection.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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