By Vighnesh Nathan , Founder & Head Coach, Reign MMA , Bengaluru.
Every person has a New Year resolution or a quarterly revelation of getting fit. Someone wants to lose weight and look good in the office event and someone else wants six pack abs to match their favorite Bollywood actor. The reasons are a plenty. The goal just one – get fit.
I have been in the fitness industry for more than a decade, been an athlete at the highest level and a coach to some of the top professionals in India. I have got to say – I’ve seen it all. Trends that come and go, goals as varied as the people who think of them.
For any person, whether they are an athlete or just a person trying to get fit, motivation is a big factor towards being successful. After all, who wants to go to the same gym (of which they have seen a thousand iterations in every corner?), do the same dreadful exercises which makes them feel like the hulk is going to burst out of them at any time, or the worst – go on that damn treadmill and walk/run to nowhere?
We as human beings were meant to do one thing above all – move. That’s what our workouts should also comprise of. 90% of jobs make you do one thing – Sit on your butt. To counter that, we need workouts that will make us mobile and agile. Workouts that will be functional yet lead you to your goals.
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of it. You want to get fit, what’s required?
3 things –
- Strength Training
- Cardio-vascular Training
And believe me, these can be way more fun than what we are used to.
Let’s get one thing clear, especially for the ladies, lifting weights does not make you big. The kind of lifting you do and the kind of diet you follow does.
Strength training is essential for two reasons – It burns way more calories than even using a treadmill for the same amount of time. And you need to lift weight to preserve your muscles, after all when it comes to being fit, you want to look toned and not like a skeleton.
There are a huge variety of exercise equipment you can use. When it comes to strength training, stick to the basics like Barbells, Dumbbells, Kettlebells and bodyweight exercises. That’s all you need to be fit and athletic.
My special recommendation – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You might have heard of this sport. It has my backing for a variety of reasons. It’s a sport so first of all, you are learning a new skill, and hence, it’s interesting. You want to work on your strength, flexibility and mobility? Check. It’s got it all. Have a look at the top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors from across the world and you can see the kind of athleticism and body structure they possess. Also, apart from mine, it has recommendation from a lot of celebrities across Hollywood.
Ah, “cardio”. It’s a dreaded term, associated with monotony. But that is if you let it be so. It can also be a lot of fun. Cardio exercise is important to keep your heart and lungs healthy. Burning calories is just as added advantage. You can try a variety of offbeat cardio activities like Zumba, Dancing, Cycling and trekking. Or in the gym itself, do some circuit workouts utilizing lighter weights and higher repetition without breaks between the exercises. That will get your heart pumping.
My recommendation – Kickboxing. Burn a ton of calories (600 to 800 per hour) and get to punch and kick away your frustrations. Plus again it’s a skill, so you are going to be keeping your mind engaged, and being a team sport you’ll end up knowing like-minded people too.
The hardest part of staying healthy is always following a diet. People will try everything from a crash diet to a juice cleanse to the latest celebrity fad. But how about doing one simple thing – Eat freshly cooked home food. The moment you cut out the crap you can buy in terms of junk and processed food, you will see the results almost immediately. Teach yourself to be disciplined. Eat home food, use less oil, less sugar and avoid junk food. That’s all diet really is.
Knowing and doing are two different things. Now you know, time to go and do it.