An Interrogation File.
Folks, I bring an engaging interrogation file to you. I interviewed our very own strong man, Sujay, which you can view now. I would like to thank Sujay for being patient and answering my questions. Read them thoroughly, as the answers are filled with gems of common sense.
Q:Can you provide a brief history of your training background? How it all started? Who was the source of your inspiration?
How it all started:
Well fitness has been a part of my life from a young age.
Have been a sprinter from age of 9 till the age 14
From then on been a football player I played for SAI(Sports Authority of India) till age of 23. Had to quit due to politics and no future for the sport in this country!! Had offers from clubs like Mahindra and Mahindra/ Mohammaden sporting but didnt want to take it after the dirty politics experience at SAI. Meanwhile i had got a corporate work offer and I chose that!!
From then in parallel I started the muscle journey!! It was not new to me as from age of 8 I was used to seeing my uncle workout in the traditional Gardi houses. Then after that I was used to weights at home because of my elder brother who also trains till date.
Brief history of my training background:
Once i got into the muscle building journey like most of them I began with bodybuilding routines!!
After a year and half into this journey I met a few sensible friends (i would say like minded and would thank Santhosh and Vignesh especially) and had one of our mentor Irfan who is now in Kashmir who introduced us to Mike Mentzer’s ways of training. This was the time frame we got used to one set to failure and set our mind sets to hoist heavier weights just for that set.
After Irfan left we were left in the dark and thats when we as a group started to look into different routines and scientific approaches rather than the most famous bodybuilders routine. We experimented and failed – relearned things and kept progressing.
From then hoisting heavier weight caught attention and it slowly made us look into powerlifting and here I am.
Source of Inspiration:
It was mainly at HOME:
My PARENTS: with a very strong mindset and both of them with a never say die attitude
My Brother: Man of few words but through his actions you can learn the never give up attitude and consistency. Also he was one of the main reasons for me to start my muscle building journey!!
Q: How did the powerlifting bug catch you? How has the progression been? Can you provide some numbers?
A: As mentioned earlier 1 set to failure slowly build this inner zeal to hoist as heavy as my limits permitted. Hence slowly the powerlifting interest just came along.
Initial days it was a learning curve (even today its a learning curve though) compared to the bodybuilding routines and changes required to get along with powerlifting and more of functional lifts. Got in quite a few inputs from like minded training friends/peers and also my own interest had led me to different inputs available over the internet/books.
The improvements has been linear so far (touch-wood) which I consider as being on the right path.
Well for example my bench press was 80kgs (bodybuilding routine) this was a couple of years ago before i trained to get into the PL mode.
Right now my PR is 120kgs. Well you may be wondering why is his bench weight so low compared to my DL and Squat –> overall my bench suffered due to a pectoralis major injury while doing inclined flyes 4 years ago (at that time my bench was 130kgs) but after the injury i had to take a sabbatical for 8 months and nothing great after i returned. I couldnt hold a 6kgs dumbbell for presses with my left arm. So it took time and consistency and the will to go through it!!
Deadlifts were – 180max with straps. So this was another game once I moved to the PL mode of training. No straps. So it was sort of a relearning process and the weight would just slip out. Callous formations/skin tear. But again consistency and hardwork paid off!! Slowly it began without straps from 130kgs (130kgs to 160kgs was quick progress). But progress from 160 to 200kgs took time and also had to deal with minor glitches like hamstring pull/strain. After almost a year and a half my PR without straps for Romanian DL is 250kgs.
Squat – not much of relearning. But included things like the hip drive/different stance which definitely helped a lot. Progressed from 160kgs slowly to 180kgs then to 200 and as of now the PR is at 250kgs.
Q: What next? Would you want to compete in powerlifting?
A: Keep learning/pushing and progressing.
I just want to compete once to get a feel and for the sheer enjoyment.
Also I have plans of joining hands with fellow members like minded friends/peers to start a competition for PL in Bangalore and do the best we could for the sport and spread knowledge.
Q: What is the single most important factor you would like to pinpoint to strength trainers?
A: Well “single point” is tough one!! It compromises of a few things together!! I will rather put it in simple combined words 🙂
Consistency/Will Power/Keep trying attitude/Eating right/Resting
Q:What is the stupidest thing you have ever done regarding training?
A: Basic things like pushed on not paying heed to what the body had to tell me and later repented and was forced to take a break!!
I have learnt some valuable lessons due to such scenarios.These lessons have helped me to make my decisions when it comes to training and it has shown positive results.
Q:Another 10 years from now, where do you see yourself? Do you have any dream with regard to training?
A: I will still be training and giving it my best!!
Q: In a nutshell – what is your training philosophy?
A: Well there are quite a few things to mention!! But in short i would say “KEEP IT SIMPLE”..and time to time keep checking to make sure your efforts are taking you on the right track be it what ever sport you are training for!!
Q: What tips could you add of your own?
A: Mindset is a very important factor when it comes to training. If you have got it right then there are few hiccups for you!!
But as i have been quoting through out consistency/keep going attitude along with the right mindset will take you there!!
So take a few minutes at home or gym before you start your training for the day and just go through it and mentally be geared for it.
Practice this and you will not regret it!!
Q:Do you study the field a lot? Who do you go to for training advice?
A: Indeed yes. Seniors in the field (be it a renowned athlete or an athlete within our country/state/city) and also i refer to a lot of books and theory as well.
Q:What are your thoughts on nutrition for the typical diet? For gaining strength?
A: Well again this depends on person to person how they respond to training/ what body type are they/ do they easily put on weight by eating less or never put on weight no matter how much they eat.
Basic principal is good amount of complex carbohydrates/protein/fibers/essential fats for every meal. It would be good to add a multi-vitamin, antioxidant, omega3/flaxseed also to ones daily diet.
Q: What is your take on supplements? Which ones are necessary?
A: Well I support them very much not only for people who are training but for people who do not as well.
There is a lot of confusion over supplements and steroids amongst people. I have seen and discussed this ample amount of time.
Common question is do they have side effects? – NO. Its not drugs its extracted from wholesome food.
Also many of them are mislead by the so called gym instructors. I have personally seen this within Bangalore. Please be aware that not all the gym instructors are aware of sport nutrition. Most of them are experts in exercises so stick to them for exercise/workout routines/exercise form.
A sports nutritionist is the right person to check about diet and supplements. Please note I marked sports nutritionist in bold because they are aware of requirements of a sports person or a person who is training. But there are general nutritionist as well and most people end up talking to them either because of the doctors or institutions they are tied up with or some articles along the lines of newspapers. The problem with them is not many of them would have trained/worked out in their entire life but they would have done this as a part of their education system and they suggest the diets based on very basic needs. This does not work for people who are training or in the sporting field. Just for example they will never understand when you tell them you are training under the principles of HIT and would require a diet based on that.
Gauri Murthy is one of the best sports nutritionist I have come across and I always discuss with her regarding my supplement intake.
Well again which one is necessary depends on the persons activity level/requirement/age/gender/fitness goal.
In general considering eating habits such as 5-6meals a day with good balance of complex carbohydrates/protein one is bound to include supplements given the hectic schedule now a days!!
Apart from the above macro nutrients its good to include a “multivitamin, antioxidant, omeage3/flaxseed oil as a part of your daily eating habits.
Q:What specific problems do you see that women have with their own training?
A: Well most of them shy away or are scared about weight training thinking its only for men!!
Once again they get mislead by information like only aerobics/walking activities to stay fit or cut down weight and where as weight training will lead them to add muscle like guys!!
But again I would again have to blame some fitness centers across and some stupid trainers for misleading people who go to them for guidance based on their so called trainer designation or a well known fitness center.
Its simple weight training has benefits be it man or woman.
So training with weights will not make women look muscular like men. This would have been mentioned in numerous weight training sources/experts.
I am just repeating what they have to say “One of thing that make muscles grow is the male hormone testosterone. Which again is naturally very low in women and hence they cannot put on muscles like men do”. Even for men with higher level of natural testosterone available it takes years and years of workouts to put on muscle. So women please do not hesitate when it comes to training with weights!!
Another example: weight training strengthens bones be it man or woman. But this bone strengthening plays a significant role in woman helping them fight the bone density issues (Osteoporosis).
Q:Anything else you would like to mention?
A: Havent i spoken so much already :-))
ah thanks for your questions Vishwa..hope it helps/motivates people to realize that even they can do things if they really want to!!
PS: More information on Gauri Murthy, sports nutrionist, can be viewed at http://gaurimurthy.com/.