Since we’ve been spending most of our time at home lately, our physical activity has been pretty restricted. At times like these, it is even more important to find a way to get your body moving. A good workout routine is not only essential for your physical health, but it also helps with managing stress and maintaining overall well-being. To help you smooth out the process, keep that motivation going and help you reach your ultimate goals, we've spoken to fitness expert and coach Puneet Rao.
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Coach Puneet Rao’s fitness journey began after he quit his four-year long hotelier profession. However, fitness has always been his passion. While following an erratic sleep schedule due to odd shift timings, it was fitness that ultimately kept him sane, taught him discipline and gave him a confidence boost. He thus wanted to instil these qualities in many more individuals. “I wanted to inspire people to be better, to introduce them to a healthy lifestyle in the simplest way possible, to motivate at least one person a day to change for better and all the positives that come along with it,” he says.
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It also taught him a lot, personally and professionally. Rao says, “Fitness taught me four important things in life: The will to never give up, perseverance, patience and discipline.” Ahead, you’ll find easy tips, motivational advice and a 10-day workout routine from Puneet Rao that will help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

What according to you is an ideal workout plan?

PR: There is no miracle workout plan. A good workout plan is all about movement no matter what you do. It could be Zumba, yoga, Pilates, HIIT or a quick run. Most importantly, it should be something you love doing. If you love what you do you will stay disciplined and if you’re disciplined you will definitely see results.

What is your advice to a gym lover who has never done a home workout before?

I know how hard it is for a person who has always worked out in a gym to start with regular home workouts. But if you know how to do it right, the fear of losing your muscle strength will be out of your way. In fact, doing bodyweight workouts with a pair of dumbbells and resistance bands will not only help you preserve your already strong muscles but it may also help you to get more definition in your muscles with proper technique and variations. Also, always remember nutrition is the key. It is as important as your workout routine.

How can one keep their fitness motivation alive during a lockdown?

I do understand it can be quite tough to stay motivated all the time but let me put it this way, fitness is not about staying motivated, it’s about staying disciplined. It’s more about building small habits slowly and steadily. During this uncertain phase that we’re experiencing, we can use the bonus time on our hands to think about a long-term goal. I recommend putting in a little effort each day that will eventually help us stay disciplined in the future.

Coach Puneet Rao’s recommendation for a 10-day workout plan for newbies

I would say divide it into 4 days of HIIT, one day rest and 5 days of strength training. The 4 Day HIIT will involve multiple muscle groups at one go, 5-6 sets of each exercise with a minimum interval between each set. You can look up a Tabata workout to get a better idea. The 5 Day strength training will include controlled eccentric movements of different body parts.
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You can start off with the following:

  • Day 1 to Day 4: HIIT
  • Day 5: Rest Day
  • Day 6: Legs
  • Day 7: Back - Biceps
  • Day 8: Chest - Triceps
  • Day 9: Legs
  • Day 10: Arms and Abs
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