Gym instructor and personal trainer, Sayali Rajpathak has been a sports person, right from school. She was in the athletics team and also played kabbadi. This continued through her college years as well. “When I was in my second year, I got into weight-lifting. I turned to weight-lifting for strength building up and also participated in various competitions. That's the time I also started training in gymnasium. And, then I decided to get into this deeper, to learn more about nutrition and fitness. So I did a short course. At that point, I wanted to work on my body's physical and mental strength. All this came in handy when I took up this as a profession,” informs Rajpathak.
She works as a personal trainer at a city gym, training her clients mostly in the morning hours, from 5.30 to 10.30 am. “I train each client for about 45-50 minutes. And, then I work on my body. I train for five days a week. I do weight-training, cardio, floor exercises and then stretching exercises. I also do some exercises for body and mind co-ordination. Or functional training like kick-boxing,” Rajpathak explains.
She preaches what she practises. And, follows the same principles of training that she advises her clients. “I tell my clients and I also follow this too — your body requires full 24 hours for complete recovery. So each day we follow a different routine. For instance, if you do chest today, then you should concentrate on your back the next day. You should follow one fitness routine for atleast three months before it starts showing results. It takes at least one month of training for you to get your posture and stance correct. In the second month, your strength starts to increase. After three months, you start seeing the effect on your body. This is followed by the plateau stage, when your weight neither increases, nor goes down. This is when you should make changes to your diet or your workout,” she adds.
Diet is as important as exercise. Earlier, the nutrition and exercise ratio was 70:20. Now, Rajpathak says, it stands at 80:20. “That is 80 per cent correct nutrition and 20 percent exercise will make you fitter. The proper combination of this two will give you good results,” says she.
There have been quite a few trends and studies as far as nutrition is concerned. For instance, a couple of years ago, it was recommended that you eat every two hours. Now there are studies which says that if you eat after 16 hour break, it works for your body. “Basically, this is a throw-back to the Indian society of the past. There weren't too many eating options then. Many people look up the researches online and follow them without having a proper knowledge of what works for their body. Ideally, your diet should comprise of carbs, proteins and fats. You can’t avoid fats completely. Some fats like homemade toop (ghee) are good for your body,” says Rajpathak.
Since many women are her clients, Rajpathak says that they often approach her, saying, “'We get our exercise running after kids, or doing household chores. Do we really need to workout?' I reply with an emphatic 'yes'. A proper workout or strength training regime helps you in strengthening bones, preventing early degeneration, and increases muscle strength. Regular exercising also minimises the impact of hormonal changes in women. You also stay fresh, agile and feel lighter,” she concludes.