Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Sherin Poojari, by the age of 30, had made a name for himself as a celebrity trainer- having worked with stars such as Shilpa Shetty, Shamita Shetty, Celina Jaitley, Choreographer Ganesh Hedge, Industrialist Sanjeev Nanda and his family, and many more.
In conversation with this correspondent, Poojari shares about his journey in fitness training, trending fitness methods and tips for youngsters and elderly alike to stay healthy and fit.
What got you interested in fitness training?
I started Judo at age 9. By the time I was 16 I was a black belt and was competing at the national level. I was a very skinny boy and lacked the strength and conditioning to compete at that level with tougher opponents. Thus I began strength and conditioning with an elder friend and there began my journey in fitness.
Coming from a humble background, by age 19, I was looking for a job to make ends meet. A friend mentioned about an opening for a job vacancy as a fitness instructor in a gym, and thus began my journey as a professional in fitness training.
How has fitness training evolved over the years?
When I began my career way back in the year 2000, there were just local gyms around the corner. It is only later that multi national chains like gold’s gym and fitness first came into the market. Back then fitness training meant bodybuilding. Everyone – men, women, boys, girls, - everybody trained like a bodybuilder. Fitness was all about 6 pack abs, being ripped and losing weight. Weight training and hours and hours on the cardio machine was how everyone trained.
Today, the scenario is changing. Fitness is now also yoga, functional training with different types of equipment’s, free hand training, cross fit, mixed martial arts, calisthenics and lot more. Today fitness training is also a lot of education. Today everyone is on you tube and on social media educating themselves about diet, nutrition and training methods.
Thus, we are now at the transition where fitness has a very holistic and all round approach.
What are the new and trending fitness methods right now?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) definitely tops the chart. Reason being in today’s fast paced life, a short burst of intense training for 30 mins serves the purpose. Thus, workout methods like Tabata, Les mills performed in group setting are trending high.
Wearable technology is something everyone seems to be in to. You will see a lot more people these days wearing their smart watches during their workouts. In today’s day and age of technology where complex data is so easily available, everyone wants to see their accurate figures post an intense training session.
Yoga is high on everyone’s list. People from different walks of life hit the yoga class at least once a week. The high stress of a fast paced city life definitely has yoga trending.
How easy or difficult it is to train celebrities?
It is very easy, unless you make it difficult by being star struck yourself. They are as human as you are and you are a professional with them the way you are with others. If you understand this simple fact and work accordingly, it is just like training any other client who has a requirement and you as a professional are delivering upon it.
I have seen many trainers who walk over their other clients to cater to celebrities. If they request a time change, the trainer cancels another appointment and runs after the celebrity client. Remember, that they are celebrities because of their work, and they take their work very seriously. The day you start taking your work as seriously as they do, you too will become a celebrity.
Who is the easiest celebrity to work with? Why?
For me it was Shamita Shetty. She was my first client that I started my business with when I was just 23 years old. I then trained her for 7 years straight till the time I shut my business and started a full time education program.
Who is the most difficult celebrity to train with? Why?
I have been very lucky on this front. Every celebrity client I have trained has lasted with me for years together. What I have understood is, it is a choice you have to make. If your client is very fussy about time and expects you to always be there, then you should consider being a full time trainer just to that one celebrity. I know many trainers who do that and are very happy.
What are your five tips to youngsters who want to get into a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Never let a mirror be the judge of your health and fitness.
The day your looks, inches and muscularity starts to determine your physical state, your mental state of being will go for a toss. The moment somebody passes a single negative comment on your physique you will straight walk in to depression and start doing all kinds of things to make you look better.
Always focus on performance.
Strength, endurance, speed, flexibility and psychological abilities – These five parameters should determine your fitness levels. Once you have peaked them, you will definitely look amazing.
Explore your nutrition.
Fad diets will tell you eat this and don’t eat that. Nutrition doesn’t work that way. There is no good or bad foods. You are what you eat. You need to know what you want to become and eat accordingly. There will be food stuff that suit you and there will be some that don’t. Explore them and eat wisely.
Supplements – The name says it all!!!
If at any point of time you feel your regular food consumption is not able to keep up within your workout output, that is when you use products to supplement your diet. Do not make supplements your food and food your supplements.
Always practice a soft form.
This could be Yoga, Tai Chi or just simple meditation. The workouts you do is your hard form that stresses the physiological system. You must practice a soft form regularly to balance and relax yourself physically and mentally.
Five tips for seniors to stay fit?
Walk: here is a reason why they call it the best exercise. This will tax your system in an intensity that is best suited to your physiology and will bring in the required mobility in your body.
Retirement is the number one killer: When you have lived a life high on anxiety to fulfil your work commitments, it will surely come as a shock to your system when those hormones suddenly go missing. Find a purpose. It could be a fitness goal or a soft sport like golf, swimming or croquet that will keep the competitor in you going.
Beat loneliness: Join a group for your walking, a laughter club, a travel group or a group class for senior citizens. At any cost avoid loneliness to grip you.
Pay attention to your micro nutrients: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, Mineral content for bone health are the once that will come to haunt you. Make sure your diet is packed with anti-oxidant, vitamins and minerals.
Be very careful and avoid falls at all cost: Mat the bathroom, Make sure you have enough support near your bed to get up and lie down. Take all required precautions. Research has it that the number one cause of senior citizen health issues is fall. At this age the bones are very brittle. Even bones as strong as the Femur have cracked with a simple fall in a senior citizen. The healing is equally lengthy.