Getting inspired by one’s own failure can be exercised only by those who are strong at will and can find bliss in the fire of pain. Facing injuries isn’t easy, but dominating it with the intensity of achieving goals is the art very few people possess. In a quick encounter with Swaraj Sur, we find out how he became his own critique and over- powered the fears of life. He faced a major accident, which set him back for two years, but his vision wasn’t dimmed by it. He got up and brought change for himself through determination and perseverance. A quick glimpse at his story of utter motivation as well as quest.
|Weight||83 Kg||74 Kg|
|Height||5′ 8″||Transformation period||3 Months|
|Body Fat||20-25%||Below 10%|
When and why did you choose to transform?
What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation?
My transformation was nothing because of any extreme reason. I just wanted to get in shape and that is why I decided to workout, to keep myself fit and going. I always was into fitness, in fact, I used to train myself before too. But due to a major accident, I had to leave my training for two years. During this period I once again gained weight. Although I was afraid to start again because of the injury I collected myself up and I hit the gym. Within a span of 12 weeks, I was again ready to go. All this weight loss and body fat I now have is all obtained in this time period. I was keen that I had to get back into shape.
What was your turning point?
Sometimes people have a turning point in their lives that led them to transform themselves, but for me it was another way round. It was the injury and setback was the turning point. I was injured during heavy weight training and so I had to leave my routine. I had to adopt my older regime and my will power helped me to do so.
Were there any unique challenges or difficulties you faced?
But yes it is true that I faced many challenges. More so because I did not opt for a mentor to train me. I always believe that nobody knows your body as well as you do. So I decided to be my own mentor. Even a mentor would take almost a month to understand your body type. He would use hit and trial method and will involve changes accordingly. I did that for myself. I took up a regime, tried it for three days if it suited me I followed it or else I tried a new regime. As I told you, I had to lose body fat from around 20-25% to get it below 10%, this was a very difficult task. Above that, I had no mentor, so it was a little more tricky for me.
Were there any circumstances when you had to face failures?
At times I faced failures and also criticism from people around, but I was keen that I had to bring the required changes in my body. Everything depends upon self-motivation. I was motivated and I knew that nothing could stop me.
What was your motivation when you had faced a failure?
My injury two years back was the biggest failure. But I am happy that I worked over it and today I stand here, all groomed and fit, achieving my goals. My self-motivation was the key.
How much did you workout in a day, how many days a week?
I was very focused when it came to my workout. As a routine, I work out for 6 days a week and Sunday is basically a rest day. But sometimes I push myself for extra running for around 1-1.5 hours, which mostly happens on Sunday. In a period of 15-20 days, I once choose long running as it boosts energy and stamina.
Split between cardio, weight training and other workouts like swimming, yoga, etc. What did you choose?
My training process involves HIIT, that is, High-Intensity Interval Training. This mainly works well for the muscles which have glycogen. So the training I go for helps in the depletion of an excess of glycogen while working finely for my muscles. It is good for maintaining a considerable body fat. Also as I told you, long running is good but only for building stamina and gaining energy. While to target body fat one should opt for sprints. These are short run ups for around 20-25 mins. I would also suggest that running on a treadmill is not a good option. Instead, go in a natural way and run on streets or park. That is more beneficial any day.
For weight training, how many body parts you train in a day, and if there is any special focus on any part?
I had divided days for each body part and my routine can be figured something like:
Monday & Thursday – chest, shoulder and triceps.
Tuesday & Friday – back triceps.
Wednesday & Saturday – thighs, calfs and abs.
Sunday – rest.
Did you face any challenged or injuries while working out, or if your forms were correct initially or did someone helped you correct it?
As I mentioned above that I faced failure when I injured myself badly two years back. I took time to recover myself, but all you need is a strong will power and nothing can stop you from gaining your goals. I did it and anyone can do it.
Diet and Supplement Plan
Any special diet plan?
My special diet is IIFM, that is If It Fits Your Macros. Therefore my diet has a goal. I have to reach a number of macros that my body needs, that is it. I eat everything healthy and my sole aim remains to meet the macros. Hitting the protein quotient is necessary. I take proteins in accordance with my body weight to hit the macros. I make sure that I take this and rest I eat all I wish like eating, but yes all of it remains healthy and nothing junk involved except the cheat diets.
How many meals in a day?
I take around 4-5 meals in a day. None of them is a big diet, in fact, all of them involve medium diet. It is important to take small bites in between. A lot of gaps can be harmful to our body. It is, therefore, healthy to take 4-5 meals with a good amount of food.
Split of carbs, protein and fats?
As far as my split of carbs, protein and fats are considered I do not focus so much on it. That is I don’t write it up somewhere like many people do it. But I make sure that I intake everything in a considerable amount. If I have to roughly sketch it I can suggest that I take around 40gm of carbs, 40gm of protein and 20gm of fat. But I more so focus on eating healthy that suits my body, instead of following a particular pattern.
Number of cheat meals in a week/ month and it impacts?
I also allow myself cheat meals, once in two to three weeks. When I feel that I haven’t allowed myself anything of that sort I treat myself with it. And that too only on Sundays. Also, if I allow myself cheat meals I also make sure that I burn it by doing a little extra workout the other day. So that it balances in a good way. This is what is important. One will have to take care of everything in a systematic manner, then only we will be successful in reaching what we started.
Did do you take any supplements, if yes, please list?
It is surprising that I do not use any supplements. There are many people who use pre exercise supplement and post exercise supplement but I do not believe much in them and therefore I do not take any of them. I only go for protein. I intake a spoon of it after my workout and it helps me do great work.
Advice for others
What someone should not be doing and should be doing to achieve their goals?
If I had to advise others I would give them some basic points.
- Vision – one must be clear of what he wants. Consider that if you have to gain weight, study well and focus on that. Similarly, the other way round, if you want to lose your weight, work accordingly. Set your targets and work on hitting them right.
- Approach – now once decided, you need to approach your goals. For this, create a plan. It is again important to understand that nobody understands your body as you do. You can do the best for it. Therefore, figure out how to train yourself and how to feed yourself.
- Follow the plan – making the plan is easy, but it will remain of no use if you do not follow it right. Thus, follow the plan in the way you designed it.
- Distraction – keep yourself from all sorts of distractions. Do not talk or make friends when in the gym or working out. It happens that many people spend time talking while they hardly work out. It is a waste of time and is a huge distraction in gaining your target.
- Analysis – once you get back home from the gym, sit back and analyse your workout of the day. See what you did, and if it was done right or you need some changes or improvement. Initially, I used to write all this. It actually helps you to increase your calibre. If you started with 10 push ups, go on doing 12 the next day. Initially, write and do this. Now that I have made a habit so I can do it mechanically in my mind. This actually helps and is important.
Importance of trainer/ mentor or dietitian in transformation?
As I mentioned earlier that I do not have a mentor, I am my own mentor. Everyone has a body type. Any mentor will take the time to understand your body. Even he would use the hit and trial method, so why can’t you do that for the own body. And this is a great time. We have the internet and we can basically google anything. Read one or two good blogs and get yourself versed about it. Google can provide great knowledge and then practice accordingly as it fits your body. But yes, if you are going for a competition, I would say, a mentor is of great importance, in that case, otherwise, I feel that one can do it on their own.
Importance and side effects of diet and supplement which you had?
I haven’t taken supplements too, so I do not have side effects or any knowledge about it.
Cheat Sheet for Diet and Workout.
First of all, I will do a body analysis. I would check how they are naturally and will make changes accordingly. My next step would be to cut junk from their diet. People eat a lot of junk nowadays because it’s easy but it isn’t healthy, so it will have to be cut out. Next, I can’t suggest them boiled food all of a sudden, or else they will not feel comfortable and will obviously leave my training session and will opt for another trainer. So what will I do is, I will slowly change their diet so that they get used to it. A lot of sacrifices are required to transform yourself and slowly we can achieve this with little changes here and there.
Again I will first go for a body analysis. I would wish to see how they naturally work. I would want to check their natural stamina and energy. It is important to understand your client. I will ask them to perform push ups or pull ups, and there I will study if they are above average or below average. According to how they perform, I will draft a regime for them. Building stamina and endurance is important. I will start with little push ups, moving on to build cardio, also I will involve cycling. I will keep this plan for one to two weeks and then I will start with weight training. And further changes.
Swaraj concludes with a message for his mother,
“At last I want to conclude by saying, I am very thankful to my mother because all of this would not have ever been possible without her support.”