How many of us, at some point in our lives, believed that success and greatness belong to the few gifted ones? That there are prerequisites to greatness some people are just born with. When you listen to the great ones though, you realise they were once ordinary. And perhaps, it is achievable, even for you, even against all the odds. You start to think - If they can do it, you can do it too.
Ever since I joined Näck, I’ve had the pleasure of diving into the world of fitness and wellness more in-depth than ever before. I meet inspirational fitness trainers and coaches now and then - some have the charisma of a stand-up comedian who turns universally hated burpees into a laugh-out-loud session; some are like fitness versions of Albert Einstein (only with solid abs), armed with a treasure trove of knowledge; some are simply so stunning, they make you want to cry and hit the gym at the same time. Regardless of what they specialise in, all of them seem to have this relentless drive that propels them forward in their quest for optimal health, and this ability to push their clients to be their best selves, physically and mentally.
I started to wonder, what is it that motivates fitness trainers? What inspires these workout wizards who inspire everyone they meet to be better versions of themselves? I spoke with some brilliant fitness trainers and coaches, whom we are proud to call members of our Näck community, to find out their secrets to unyielding commitment and boundless energy; let’s hear it from them, shall we?
Swetha Subbiah, Fitness trainer and co-founder, Sisters in Sweat
“The one thing I swear by is making exercise or sports such an integral part of your lifestyle that if you went too long without it, you’d feel in your mind and body that something is missing. I’ve programmed myself to need to move every single day in order to just feel happy and healthy. Just making sports and movement a daily habit is enough to win the battle.”
Sports has been an integral part of Swetha’s life since childhood. Her mother is a Sportswoman too. “Growing up, it was very important to my parents that sports is something we stay connected to.”, she says. She played field hockey in school and for the Karnataka under-16 team. After studying economics, and two years of a corporate job, Swetha figured that the corporate world wasn’t for her. Sports and fitness made her the happiest! She got her first certification in the UK and started her personal training career at a gym that she helped set up. Three years into it, she became a Nike athlete and there was no turning back. Today, Swetha is a fitness consultant and runs Sisters in Sweat, a Bangalore-based sports and fitness community, solely for women with over 5000 members!
Partha Varanashi, High performance coach and Poly Extreme Sports Enthusiast
“I wake up early and drink 1 spoon of cold pressed coconut oil which is rich in MCTs - multi chain triglycerides with 500ml of warm water. It tastes great and helps me keep my energy up till midday and to get my work done fast without any lag or jitter. This is a practice common amongst long distance athletes. I’m a man of science - a molecular biologist who now trains athletes, so everything I do is based on science. Lipid metabolism produces 120-130 ATPs, much higher than aerobic or anaerobic glycolysis, which is why cold pressed coconut oil works. ”
Partha is a molecular biologist, turned high-performance coach and an aspiring poly extreme sports athlete. His parents are professionals in the field of microbiology and molecular biology. In 2006, he went to study in Australia. There he worked as a swimming coach part-time, before landing a full time job and finally coming back to India after two years to start coaching here.
“It's important to train in different movements. Juggling, slacklining, parkour - sensory rich outdoors adventure sports that require integration of mind with body to improve human performance. I’ve taken a break every now and then to expand my knowledge.”
Suhail Mohammed , Instructor and co-founder, Academy of Strength
“I was overweight and unhealthy for more than half of my life and I didn’t like that feeling; my past is a constant reminder to keep my shit together in the present and future”. Suhail looks at training as a necessity in life and not a choice, just like brushing your teeth. “Motivated or not, you still brush your teeth everyday right?”
Suhail says he does nothing out of the box. He tries to meet his protein goal for the day and to not miss the veggies and fibre he needs. “Consuming water is very important. I never drink water out of plastic, instead carry a water bottle everywhere I go. Water first thing in the morning is so important.”
“I try to get some daily movement in. Even on the worst days, when I’m not actively training, I make sure I sit in a deep squat for my hip mobility, leaning back on a wall. The second most important thing I NEVER miss is at least a 2-minute dead hang. Sometimes, just something as simple as walking gets me through my routine.
Minal Sangatwani, Strength and Kettlebell Coach, Sohfit
Minal is a corporate lawyer turned fitness coach, with a niche in training with Kettlebells. She’s been an athlete since school and always knew she wanted to do something in Sports, either management or coaching. It was during the pandemic that she started strength training and enjoyed and loved it like nothing she’d ever done before.
She went ahead and did her personal trainer’s certification and joined Sohfit, where she works as a full-time coach now. She is also a Level 2 certified coach in (hardstyle) training with Kettlebells.
“What keeps me going is the willingness to learn, grow, push myself further and become a better version of myself. Above all, it’s about the joy and accomplishment I get after every workout.”
Minal feels that people don't give fitness enough time. The quote she lives by is “Trust the process”. She’s obsessed with the process of making progress. “Don’t run after instant gratification. It takes time. And don’t forget to have fun! Because it’s not sustainable if you don’t enjoy the journey!”
Anuj Srivastava, Founder and coach, Troop
Anuj is a strength and mobility coach, and founder of TroopFit based in Bangalore. He helps people get stronger and resilient so they can move well and perform better even outside of the gym.
“What keeps me motivated? It’s the end results that my clients achieve. Since I do rehab specific training as well, I take great pride in my work when my clients get pain free and live a better life.”
“A good warmup/ mobility routine is something I religiously follow whether I’m in the gym or out. I prioritise sleep. I believe in forever progressing my own journey and attend movement workshops even now to expand my knowledge. One thing which I swear by is to learn as much as possible from others around me. It makes me a better human being and a coach.”