Interview of Rahul Tiwari by Praveen PA
How did you get started with fitness?
First of all, thank you for this interview.I appreciate anyone who is keen to provide educational information to help others get healthy.
In school days I was in the Football and Basketball teams. As a team, we use to train very hard for National Competitions. I started going to the Gym during a break from playing Basketball while completing my undergraduate Science degree (B.Sc. Mathematics from St. Xavier’s College). Once I visited the College Gym (Fell Gymkhana) with my friend Wilson and I saw him working out. Since then, I got addicted to my College gym. After attending the last lecture of the day, I use to workout in the gym thrice a week.
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from my dad. He was in the Indian Navy for 30 years. He is very motivated towards his fitness. Even now, at the age of 55years, he gets up everyday at 5:30am and goes for his Running and Yoga. I remember that when I was 10 year old, I use to run and train with him every morning. Those days were my learning days.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I have found that as an athlete, the frequency of training matters most, not how heavy I lift or how much I damage the tissue. What I mean is trying to train underdeveloped muscle groups multiple times each week. That is arguably the best piece of advice I could give any beginner bodybuilder or aspiring fitness model! Want a big upper chest? Calves? Quads? Train them more than once every 6-7 days! I play Sports and hit the Gym 5 times a week. An din the gym I usually spend lots of time in Warm up and then H.I.I.T for 40min, followed by stretches.
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
Leg Press: The intensity is unmatched when it comes to pure tension applied to all parts of the quadriceps. That is, if your goal is growth. Not as functional as squat variations, but for size, it is hands down the best.
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press: Very underrated with aspiring fitness models. That large chest you see in print is UPPER development, never forget it!
Standing calf raise on DUAL Smith Machine: Hard to fine, but I use a dual action smith machine to train my calves. The bar moves in two planes and forces you to stabilize with the large with on your shoulders most guys would use on a single action smith. Bonus? Core activation, ankle, knee joint stabilization and more calories burnt while training a small muscle group. Who would have thought?
What do you do when you are not working, during your “off season” or holidays?
I haven’t had an “off season” in years. I am an actor and I have to constantly attend theatre workshops and personality development courses. I have to constantly audition for various media production houses. I have to workout regularly to remain fit and to look fresh and my best.
Infact, whenever I have gone for trekking with my friends, I end up doing Squats or Push ups or Ab crunches or Yoga, during the trek. Hence I would say Fitness is work and holiday, both for me. I love Adventure sports and traveling. Whenever I am traveling to a new place, I search for a nearby Gym. Workout in the gym and then just relax and enjoy the new place. Once again, I always focus on my Diet even during a holiday. Nutrition is everything.
What type of cardio do you use? High intensity, Low intensity, or interval cardio?
Truth be told I do very little cardio. I go for running every Sunday for an hour. I play Basketball (High intensity cardio) every Wednesday evening. Thats the only cardio I do.
I spend more time in the gym. In the Gym I make my own High Intensity Interval training routine. If weight training is functional, incorporates multiple joints and has strict rest periods than you can enjoy the anaerobic benefits of weight combined with the aerobic benefits of a sustained elevated heart rate. You also burn more than enough calories to shed fat at any age.
What do you eat?
Nutrition is the most important part of being fit. Its the food that you eat, that will build and nurture your body. I eat a very balanced diet which consists of lots of fruits in the morning. Then workout in the gym, followed by Supplements. Then I eat heavy breakfast and milk. During lunch I eat cereals, grains, vegetables and meat. Then I have a snack in the afternoon which consists of Spinach juice and Chicken sandwich. Dinner is very less in quantity but highly nutritious, it consists of green leafy vegetables and good salad. I keep on taking water and fruit juices at regular intervals. I take 5 small meals in a day. And this diet has worked for me.
Nutrition is very complex and varies person to person. Some people need more carbs, some less. Do not be afraid to try varying ratios on yourself to find what works best, there is no golden rule, remember that.
What supplements do you use?
-calcium + vitamin D
-zinc, magnesium, fish oil
That’s it! Your best “supplements” aren’t supplements at all, consistent eating, clean nutrition with whole foods is the way to go, especially to have longevity as a fitness model.
What do you have to say about Drug taking Bodybuilders?
I truly believe that drugs are not necessary to achieve an elite physique and one of my mandates is to ensure I help others see this natural potential within their bodies.
I am a Drug Free athlete. I don’t think it is important to take drugs to build a bulky physique. If a person starts developing his body slowly and steadily, with improving his diet, he will have results that will last him for a long period of time. Nowadays I see youngsters taking drugs to pump up their body, but it doesn’t last for long and in the long run it damages your muscle tissue. The real side-effects of drug use can be seen when you grow old.
Infact, why to do it, when you can get the same physique by good workout and good nutrition.
(Interview to be continued…)