In fitness, an 'all or nothing' mentality is a mistake: Rishabh Telang

Rishabh Telang

Rishabh Telang


Fitness should be an everyday habit, and going too far too soon while starting out can hurt the consistency of your routine, says Rishabh Telang, Fitness Expert, The fitness coach asks

Fitness should be an everyday habit, and going too far too soon while starting out can hurt the consistency of your routine, says Rishabh Telang, Fitness Expert, The fitness coach asks: "Since we didnt really show up doing side planks in the crib, why should you jump to lifting heavy weights at the gym without having a strong foundation of mobility and stability followed by functional movement patterns?'

With more than 8 years of experience in strength and conditioning, Telang has devised training programs to suit training requirements for various fitness goals and requirements and focuses on a strong foundation in the beginning. He has also worked with Hrithik Roshan to create a three-week beginner-friendly program 'Kickstart with HRX' targeted at amateurs which may include those who have never exercised before, those restarting after a year or more, those resuming exercising post-childbirth or an injury.

What is the hardest part about getting started with fitness? How do trainers and coaches like you help tide over them?

The right answer is that it depends. For some people, the hard part is getting started, while for others it's hard to stay consistent. I believe people get better at what they do with consistency and for that, it's important to make them feel successful each day. The answer lies in the right programming for individuals, with built-in progressions in a very systematic fashion, so that they can see growth without really getting overwhelmed with excessive muscle soreness or fatigue.

What are some common mistakes a beginner/re-starter is likely to make during their fitness routine? What could they do instead?

The biggest mistake in my opinion is the 'all or nothing' mentality. People end up going too far too soon and that hurts the consistency. It would be best to start with the building blocks of fitness, such as mobility and stability while building the aerobic base via low-intensity cardio and slightly progressing to more advanced movements week over week. That way the body will be able to adapt and grow at a sustainable pace.

How can beginners not let themselves slide down the motivation scale?

The thing about motivation is that it's not reliable. You can be highly motivated today, and not so motivated tomorrow. That's pretty much the reason why a lot of people sign up for gym memberships during the new year season and quite a bit of them find it hard to stick. So this is what I'd suggest, start with something really simple and slow.

A very interesting method that I have spoken about in my workout series is 'Make Time and Take a Five Minute Action' and that's because action creates momentum. So if you look at your larger and intimidating tasks with the lens of tiny behaviors, you will be more likely to adhere. This method has been proven to create lifelong habits. Another really good way to build consistency is to exercise every day at the same time. Research shows that people who train at the same time every day are the ones who can keep their fitness with them for the long run. These are some good and easy ways to override the motivation wave and more importantly take more control of your health & fitness.

How was it like when you started? How far would you say you have come?

I have actually spoken about my fitness journey during the sessions, hoping it inspires people. I just started as a lover of sport & a terribly underweight kid. I started lifting weights at an early age, it helped me play basketball better because of the muscle mass I built. I am glad that I took movement really seriously and made this a full-time profession, glad to have been given the opportunity to work with Hrithik Roshan.

I'd say weight lifting has probably been the most enriching experience over more than 15 years for me, it just teaches you a lot, patience/persistence/ ability to accept failure and the joy of breaking your own personal best. That being said, I am still a work in progress, learning new things every day and enjoying my journey as a coach.

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