If you are avidly following some of Instagram’s most famous fitness gurus, chances are, Shivoham aka Dheepesh Bhatt is at the top of your list. This fiery trainer, whose TransformwithShiv 21-day challenge went viral in the lockdown, focuses on CrossFit training, reflecting the best aspects of gymnastics, weights, running and rowing, as well as cardio, core, and freehand workouts.
We caught up with him to talk about how one can toe the line between festive revelry and fitness, this season.
During the festive season, is it possible to both enjoy and maintain one’s fitness regime? Any tips?
You are asking me the most contradictory question, but I will try to answer it. For many people, their Diwali parties become a priority, while for others, their fitness routine continues to take precedence. But here’s some advice from me. If you’re going to drink, instead of having a few, why not make one, add more ice and water, and keep sipping it through the night? So you don’t over-indulge in alcohol but get that fix of enjoyment.
Even when it comes to food, you can control the portion size. If you are going to be up till late at night, you will end up eating, but it is something you can control. My recommendation is to try to stick to your normal meal times and control the portion size as much as possible. Eat slowly and drink even more slowly, so you don’t end up filling yourself. Also, what I’ve noticed these days is that there are many healthy options for mithais and cakes, like those made with almond flour, coconut flour, and without sugar. Choose those.
What about squeezing in workouts during this party season?
Try and get your gym or fitness routine out of the way in the morning, rather than waiting till evening, because something or the other will come up towards the end of the day. Please do not skip your workouts. Try and get a little more cardio in to burn off those calories. Stick to your weights and all, but fit in a bit more cardio. Do a bit more free-hand routines and add volume to your workouts.
Any rule of thumb to follow this season?
Firstly, get your mind in control. Once you’ve got that sorted, you can automatically do the right exercise. The right diet and lifestyle will follow. Then you will follow a training programme, which suits your temperament. You will know how much weight to push and how much intensity to take on.
You have two programmes: ShivFit Body and ShivFit Mind. Can you tell us about this philosophy of looking after one’s body and mind simultaneously, as an overall fitness goal?
I look after the physical aspect of training, which is the body aspect. Vrinda, my wife, looks after the mental aspect of fitness. She educates people that at the end of the day, it is the mind that comes first and that as long as you can control your emotions and what you are thinking of, you can achieve anything.
Your success story is also partly due to your popular online sessions. Is this trend here to stay?
Absolutely! For most people, COVID or no COVID, this was a space they had never considered. Now, when you think of it, people have tried out online fitness sessions and seen results. Instead of spending large sums of money on a gym, if you buy some basic things like dumbbells, a squat rack, a bench, and some bands, there’s nothing better. In the comfort of your home, you end up saving so much time. It has made life easier for those people who consider it a big task to go to the gym, because of work hours and family life. The workout equation has now been completely redefined.
For anyone who wants to start a basic workout routine at home, what equipment do you recommend?
A yoga mat followed by some resistance bands and a couple of sets of dumbbells, one light, maybe one heavy, depending on what kind of exercises you have been doing and your final goal. After you get these, the idea is to choose an online programme that you can connect with.
When you are doing an online workout, the ability to communicate is very important. Ensure that the person on your screen is able to see your form and correct you accordingly. It is important for your coach to communicate with you in crystal clear instructions so that it doesn’t confuse you when you are trying to do something. In all probability, you would try out two or three different coaches before you end up sticking to one.
Any lifestyle advice?
Remember that you spend one hour working out and 23 hours outside. What happens outside your gym actually defines how fit you really are in the long run.