MINUS 60 KG
Tell us the story of your transformation.
I was a 9 pound baby. At the age of 8 when most of my class weighed around 25-35 kgs (which is the average range weight of a healthy 8-9 year old boy), I was touching 70, and by the time I reached puberty I weighed more than 90 kgs. My weight further increased to 125 kgs by the time I was in my second year of college.
I was always very athletic, but overweight kid – I represented my school in cricket and football. My father always pushed me to run throughout my childhood – he was worried about my weight. It certainly rubbed off on me and when the sports stopped which it always does for everyone after you’ve graduated from college, I took to the gym, but did not get results for years.
In September 2009, I met Prasad Hedge (former Mr. India) and he changed my life – he gave me the knowledge of training and taught me the purpose and science behind it.
You have lost 60 kg for the sake of music. Why does music need a ripped body?
It shouldn’t but it does. Being a purist I did not understand this at first either, nor did I want to believe it. I went to Musicians Institute in LA to study Music Business Management and Law to learn more about the music industry and how it functions and it was a reality check. It made me understand that it’s a business – you need to be investment-worthy and it’s not purely about the music.
Music is not just about capturing your audiences through audio anymore (as oxymoronic it sounds) – the birth of MTV being the reason behind it.
My reason for losing weight was to look good fronting my band. That’s how it started but it’s more about a lifestyle, not a specific targeted aim/goal that you reach; because once you get there, then what? Leading a healthy lifestyle will only benefit you in every way.
What according to you is the most difficult thing for a 100 kg + person to overcome when starting a weight loss program? How did you overcome it?
You are what you eat and it’s most difficult to break the pattern of your food habits (and we have horrible traditional food habits). Working out is the easy part – anyone can do that, but the ones who get the results watch what they eat and when. Knowledge of nutrition and the understanding of the diet are most important for results, knowledge which people do not unfortunately have access to or have fabricated knowledge of. You need to justify what you eat. I started getting results when I began to cook for myself.
How long did your transformation take? What was the routine in terms of workout and diet?
My transformation took a good 7 years. It was frustrating because I would be yo-yoing on the weighing scale without proper understanding of what to eat or how my body will respond to training. Meeting Prasad sir is what changed everything for me. Before I met him my workouts were far more than what I did later which got me results – my training prior to meeting Prasad sir involved cardio and weights with preference to cardio. I would do cardio first for hours because it made the weighing scale show less (water) weight, then I would not have too much water because I, like most people, was obsessed with the weighing scale. When it was time to do weights, I did not have much energy to get any benefit out of it. The real change began when I cut down on my cardio from everyday to 3 times a week and concentrated more on the weight training.
Typically I do push-pull movements (combining back and chest, biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings on the same day) and my workouts never exceed 75 minutes as compared to earlier when I was practically a resident at the gym working out for 2 sometimes 3 hrs without results.
Monday: Chest and Back
Tuesday: Cardio and Functional Training
Wednesday: Shoulders and Abs
Thursday:Light Cardio and Legs
Friday: Arms (biceps and triceps)
Saturday: Cardio and Abs
What supplements do you take?
I take a combination of a blended and whey protein after my weight training days, and B-complex and fish oils at least 3-4 times a week.
If you look back at your days when you were overweight, what were some of the common mistakes you made? What advice would you like to give our readers?
Most overweight people are obsessed with the weighing scale, hence doing more cardio because sweating makes your scale tip lower than what you did prior. This is the biggest blunder one can make and is the reason for stagnation and resistance. The human body is intelligent and it adapts to your routine, so if you’re in a habit of doing cardio every day, it most likely that your body is storing your carbs for just that. Your body is only working out for the duration of time you are on the machine doing cardio, after that it’s at rest and burns nothing and starts storing for your next cardio session. Weight training on the other hand has a thermic effect (your body’s metabolism is always at a high because your body is repairing the muscle worked upon for up to 24-36 hours).
Tell us about your musical story. What kind of music do you make and how do you plan to take it forward?
My love and affinity for the stage came pretty early – I started out doing plays as a kid and my father was a part of a Kiss cover band back in his college days. I had a lot of Beatles, Hollies, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, Bread, Deep Purple cassettes around my house that I would listen to and after the sports died out, my love for music took centre stage. I sing for an alternate metal/rock band called “Rabbit is Rich”. We actively played for a year and half, took a break and now we are ready for big things. We aim to raise the entertainment standards and be a benchmark, a standard, and represent India internationally just like Indian Ocean and Parikrama.
You’re also interested in the martial arts. Tell us about that.
I love the discipline it teaches. I grew up idolising Bruce Lee and Jean Claude Van Damme and would emulate my dad doing katas. I did Seido Karate and got banged up pretty bad in most bouts since your opponent has to be the same weight as you! I had to fight opponents who were much older than I was due to my size, but that handicap turned out to be good for me and what martial arts has taught me will always remain with me .
What’s your favourite body building myth?
“I don’t lift because I don’t want a heavy body/ to look like a man.” I wish that it were true but unfortunately it is not. It’ll help you get leaner and tighter instead of big and bulky.
Another one is “convert fat into muscle”. That’s not true, an apple can’t become an orange – they are separate entities. Muscle grows and fat is burned, neither can be converted into the other.
Women’s fitness is on the rise in India. What do you think of women with ripped muscles and 6 pack abs?
Having a 6 pack is not going to end-all, but if it’s there I’d admire your work ethic. Yes, I think I find women who work out very attractive – it shows she can take care of herself and that’s sexy.