For most of us gym is a place to get the perfect body that we have always dreamt of. But what if you already have the figure you want? Does that mean your body is completely fit and healthy? Many go to the gym to lose weight but what about those who want to gain some weight instead? To find answers these questions, The Week spoke to Rahul Mokhtan, one of the main instructors at Gymkhana Muay Thai, Maharajgunj. Here’s what he has to say.
Why should I gym if I am not overweight?
A healthy body is extremely important and you must go to the gym to remain fit. Just because you are not over or underweight does not mean your body is healthy. You may have the perfect figure but when you run up a flight of stairs, you will realize that you are breathing heavy, your back hurts and you are gasping for air. This means that your body lacks exercise. Fitness is not just about the aesthetics; you should be light on your feet and perform physical exercises without feeling burdened.
Will fitness exercises make me look too skinny?
Whenever someone goes to the gym, gym instructors first ask them what they want, instead of telling them what they are supposed to do. Many people who come to the gym want to maintain their weight and gain strength. So gym instructors program their exercises accordingly. Fitness exercises in the gym will not only make you skinny, but they will surely make you healthy.
What if I want to gain weight?
There are various ways through which you can gain or lose weight. You can increase your weight the wrong way by having sugar syrups that you get in the Indian sweets store. That way along with increasing your weight, you will also get diabetes and many other diseases. The right way to gain weight is by gaining more muscles than fats. The tricky part is to gain weight you will have to do the same exercises that people do to lose weight. The only difference will be your volume, intensity, and repetition of those exercises. The correct way to gain weight is by combining a healthy nutritional diet with a good fitness exercise. A good fitness instructor will be able to guide you through both.
Are diets that one must follow after going to the gym extremely expensive?
Traditionally, that was the case. Diet charts were extremely expensive. Things like salmons and avocados were not only expensive but impossible to find in our markets. These days, gyms don’t
tell you what to eat. We tell you what the right quantity of your daily diet should be. If your diet normally consists of traditional Nepali meal such as dal, rice and vegetables, we just tell you the right amount you must consume every day. Based on the quantity you eat, you can gain or lose weight. A good diet should definitely be followed by a good exercise.
Why is fitness important if my body is already in shape?
It is the biggest investment you will ever make in your life. What people don’t understand is one day we will all get old. Our fitness level now is going to determine what our old age is going to look like. Do you want to get old and be a burden to your family? Not have mobility and functioning? Everyone wants to be old yet fit. Nobody looks at fitness from that point of view. These days, people have confused body building for fitness. They do not belong to the same genre. Body building is extremely difficult but it is a sport and not a fitness exercise. A good fitness routine will help you build a strong core which body building cannot do.
What distinguishes fitness exercises from body building exercises?
There are two kinds of movements when you exercise, compound movements and isolated movements. Body building training mainly focuses more on isolated movements and fitness or functional training is more about compound movements. Body building training might strengthen your muscles but will not make you strong. Fitness exercises focus more on movements that have relevance in day-to-day functioning. A fitness routine does not have a repeated set of pattern. When there is a repeated pattern such as one day for legs and next day for back and stomach etc, your body gets used to the exercises, and this way your muscles will not gain any strength but they will surely get toned or sculpted. In functional trainings, what you do today will not be repeated for at least six months.
Is there a perfect body type?
Yes, the perfect body type that everyone must have is the body that you are most comfortable with. A perfect body type is not a ‘V’ shaped body or the one with six packs. None of these things actually matter if you are not fit. Your artificially made muscles will soon just be a burden for you to carry. A perfect body should simply make you comfortable and confident.