Welcome to the another interview from the Fitness Spotlight series. Today, we have interviewed one of most popular fitness trainer Shreejith Nair from Bangalore. So without wasting much of your time, let’s take a look at things Shreejith has to say about FITNESS.
In your own words, define Fitness?
To me, fitness is, being the best version of yourself, both mentally and physically. Being able to do things that I would have never imagined that I could, before I discovered fitness.
Why and when did you decide to become a fitness trainer?
I decided to become a fitness trainer ever since I fell in love with the fit life, after being able to do things that I never imagined I could. Why? Because I want to turn my love for fitness into a career and share my knowledge with everybody and help them reach their individual goals! Not to mention, the joy I feel when someone says, “Brian, I hate you for putting me through that intense training session, but I love it! What time tomorrow?”
Are you CPR-certified? What other certifications do you hold?
Yes, I know CPR. I currently hold 2 certifications from the American Council on Exercise. I am a certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist and a certified Personal trainer.
How do you keep your fitness training knowledge up to date?
My fitness knowledge is ever growing as I follow multiple fitness trainers/coaches worldwide. And if there is anything that I don’t know from what I observe, I do a lot of research, using various sites such as ‘bodybuilding.com‘ ‘muscleandfitness.com‘ and many more until I understand the working of those workouts that I didn’t understand and also why they are done, what muscle fibres they recruit, what muscles are working during the movement and also if they can be used to rehabilitate people with injuries/ if people with injuries could perform those exercises.
Describe your typical day. What it looks like? How do you know when it’s productive?
My typical day starts with me visiting a client’s location for some one on one personal training at 4:00 am. Before I leave, I’d have a quick ‘oats’ breakfast for some energy and also a whey protein shake for the early morning fuel for my muscles. After I train the client from 4:00 am – 5:00 am, I’d head back home and I’d get started on viewing my clients’ progress on my app, see if they are following the instructions, if any of them need help with Motivation and also respond to queries and concerns if any, from my clients. I do this process for a few hours, until 10:00 am. I will have a meal because I’m usually hungry at this time. After this I’ll watch a few videos on YouTube, it could be motivational speeches anywhere from Bill Gates to Greg Plitt. This goes on until about 2:00 pm, then I’d take a nap or go to another client’s location if any of them have scheduled a session for the day. I spend time with my little cousin anywhere from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm depending on whether or not I have prior commitments. After 7, I go meet some friends/watch a movie and I’m back home for dinner and I’m off to bed by 10:00 pm
Last but not the least, I get in my workout at the gym at whatever time of day my schedule permits as I’m self-employed. Got to get that session in no matter what, because I love it!
When I’m satisfied with what I’ve done the entire day, for both my clients and myself, I’d call that a productive day.
What experience do you have with customer service? Describe how you handle customer service situations involving difficult fitness center members or prospective members.
Customer service, I’m a people person and I treat people, how I want to be treated. If there any difficult fitness center members, I’d hear them out, talk to them and see if I could get to the bottom of their issue, I’ll make sure that I listen to their concerns and not just stand there and ignore them, because there’s nothing more frustrating when no one wants to listen to what you have to say, especially when it’s a concern or issue that you have.
How important is nutrition to you in creating a client’s regimen?
Nutrition is very important, because, like the saying goes, ‘you can never out train a bad diet’. Also, nutrition is key to fuelling a workout and a person’s day, so that is something I am very particular about. I’m also not about following a strict diet regimen where you must eat exactly what I say you must, I follow flexible dieting aka IIFYM(If It Fits Your Macros) and under this flexible dieting system, one can eat whatever they want as long as they hit their macros ie. Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. But this does not mean that you must eat junk all day just to hit your numbers. You must eat whole foods.
What is the one habit you would recommend others develop? (Think lifestyle habits, productivity habits, or drinking some secret ninja tea made from a flower found only at the top of the mountain.)
I would recommend ‘stop over thinking‘ as a habit that others should develop, because, in life, in the gym, at work, anywhere, overthinking spells disaster and stops you from doing what you want to. It also leads to making excuses which stops you from finishing a project at work/hitting the gym for a workout.
Describe how you handle a client who is unhappy with your work, or a client who doesn’t achieve her goals, when you know the problem is with her level of motivation.
If a client is unhappy with my work for whatever reason, I’ll talk to them and listen to their concerns and see if we could arrive at a solution. If a client of mine doesn’t achieve his/her goals due to her lack of motivation, I’d do whatever is possible from my side to up her motivation levels, such as give her some links to good motivational songs or speeches and suggest that she get a workout a partner because that boosts motivation, also to analyse what the root cause is for her low level of motivation. If it can be fixed, I’ll be satisfied and happy once she achieves her goals, if not, I’ll let her know what the situation is in a polite manner and that it would be a waste of her time and money to continue this if she’s not able to find the motivation.
What are your thoughts about organic food? What are your thoughts on a vegan diet? When you encounter a client or prospective fitness club member who is committed to a diet that differs from your own, how do you remain objective?
I think that if you like organic food and are particular about it, that’s good. But, in my opinion, all food is the same, because what we consume is broken down by the body and the body doesn’t differentiate between organic food and any other type of food. Sticking to whole and natural foods as much as possible is the best way forward. When I encounter a client or prospective fitness club member who is committed to a diet that differs from my own, I’ll understand and respect their diet and I will only tell them how to improve or what foods they could add to their diet that would enrich it. I will never push my beliefs or my diet onto someone else. Also, everybody is different and one diet cannot work for everyone.
Give me an overview of a training program you would set up for a client strictly looking for weight loss and toning? What do you tell clients who are looking for instant results?
A training program for a client strictly looking for weight loss, I’d set up a 5 day training program split by 2 days each of push and pull exercises ending with LISS and 1 day dedicated to HIIT. To clients who are looking for instant results: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, you will definitely reach your goals as long as you are consistent with your diet and training.”
Do you have fitness goals for yourself? If so, what are they?
Yes, I do have fitness goals for myself. I want to be able to do the human flag exercise! It’s been a real hard journey, due to my accident and injured shoulder and the fact that I am really heavy and it’s really hard to support my weight using my left shoulder because of the nerve damage.
If you could only recommend one book for our community to read, what would it be and why?
I would recommend ‘Intuition’ by Osho, because that book really helped me understand my inner self. This book literally changed my life. I was, for the first time taken aback after reading a book.
Where does your personal motivation and inspiration to be successful come from?
My personal motivation and inspiration to be successful comes from my memory of when I was a little boy, because every time I feel like giving up/quitting, I look back at how far I’ve come and think of why I started. Whatever the reason was, doesn’t matter so much as the fact that it made me stick to my decision to get into this lifestyle and keep moving forward.
Give me three essential exercises you suggest for all clients? Why are these in your top three?
Ok, top three, in no specific order…
Deadlifts: lifting the dead weight off the floor is a feat of strength in itself. Additionally, it also strengthens and uses almost all the muscles in your body. A great exercise which should be in everyone’s training arsenal.
Planks: An essential core exercise. This also strengthens every other exercise that you perform, just like Deadlifts because your back and your core are very important in pretty much every other exercise and they help in maintaining your form and posture too.
Squats: Squats are a very essential exercise, barbell squats to be specific as this exercise strengthens your legs and is one of the big three, alongside barbell bench presses and Deadlifts. It creates a lot of testosterone which is important for building muscle and also, the more muscle a person has, the more calories the muscle will burn just to sustain itself. This is also good for people looking to burn fat.
These are in my top three because they’re my personal favorites, also, I’ve mentioned the benefits of each!
How should people connect with you? E.g.: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, email, website, etc.
People can connect me on my social media links below :
Where are you located? Please include city + state + country (if outside the US).
I am located in Bangalore, India.