Walk the talk is the mantra of Lounge’s fitness writers. Our writers make sure they squeeze in a fair number of workouts and activities no matter how packed their week gets. The fitness section is full of intelligent and useful articles written from the perspective of first-hand experience. We don’t believe in received wisdom, and we’re always trying out new things and writing about them.
Working out is a very personal experiences, and as you will see, each of our writers choose exercises that work the best for them. As a result, you’ll find a wide variety of diverse exercises here, ranging from strength to mobility to conditioning workouts. Why don’t you try some of them out yourself?
Sohini Sen: Sen was already a runner for many years when she tried out CrossFit for the first time. She’s now a fan Her top fitness activities remain running and CrossFit. “I like the long easy paced runs the most to relax. Speed is not my strength, obviously. In CrossFit too, I like the long workout of the day (WOD) with several movements together. I am better at pacing myself through a workout, so longer workouts help me.” Her favourite workout is the 12 days of Christmas where one has to do 12 movements in ascending order. The first round is just one rep of the first exercise; the second is one rep of the first exercise, two of the second; third round has one rep of first exercise, two reps of second exercise and three reps of third exercise, so on and so forth till you reach 12 reps of the 12th exercise.
1Sumo Deadlift high-pull
3 Push press
4 Power cleans
5 Power snatch
6 Kettle-bell swings
8 Knees to elbows
9 Box jumps
12 Overhead walking lunges
Tip: Use very light weight and don’t try to rush through the workout.
Preeti Zachariah: Zachariah works with a coach who sends her training programmes every month and she tries to stay true to them. She has a back issue which doesn’t let her do any high impact exercise such as jumps, high intensity interval training or CrossFit. But she loves weights and sticks to the basic principle of including push and pull movements in her workout. She belongs to the group that hates leg days. “I love power lifting and playing around with weights, especially upper body workouts. If I am to pick out my favourite movement, it would be bench press,” she says.
4 supersets, with 90 seconds rest between supersets
15 Glute bridges
12 Goblet squats
12 Dumbbell bench press
12 Chest supported rows
12 Wide grip lat pulldowns
15 Reverse crunch
Tip: Use medium to medium heavy weights and transition quickly from one exercise to the next.
Bibek Bhattacharya: He is the trekking and hiking enthusiast who sticks to exercise just to be able to go on long hikes in the Himalaya and come back smiling from them instead of bruised, battered and tired. Bhattacharya follows a full week-long split, focused on strength and mobility, where he trains separate muscle groups on different days, with a day off for recovery after every three days of training. However, he has a favourite full-body HIIT workout which he tries to do once every week.
Bibek’s workout: 3 rounds of a full body HIIT workout, alternating between weights (Bhattacharya uses dumbbells) and bodyweight. 45 seconds for each exercise, with 15 seconds of rest.
Overhead shoulder press
Jog in spot
Dumbbell squat press
Tip: Before going through the whole set, make sure you practice each move till you have perfect form.
Pulasta Dhar: Apart from writing about fitness, Dhar also about football, and passionately so. Dhar’s day job is that of a football commentator, and he takes exercise seriously so that he can continue playing sports to the best of his abilities and remain injury-free. “I love playing all kinds of sports. If I have to name my favourite fitness activity or workout, it would have to be football and squash. Ask me to play any day and I’d be there. However, I do workout so that my muscles are strong enough to take the stresses of the high impact sports like squash and football,” says Dhar. Unlike Zachariah, Dhar doesn’t like weights any more, despite having lifted heavy weights in the past. At his strongest, Dhar used to deadlift 142kg when he weighed in at 52kg. “I am never doing heavy back squats or a heavy deadlift ever gain. I am done with those,” he says. Currently, he prefers body weight exercise routines, especially calisthenics.
Pulasta’s workout: 3 sets of each (First set for max reps. Second set for half of the max reps you manage. Third set for half the reps of the second set); 60-90 seconds rest between sets
Tricep dips (narrow grip)
Wide grip dips
Single leg Romanian deadlifts
Tip: Shake out your limbs between sets and use the rest to bring down your heart rate.
Shrenik Avlani: I started working out in 2006 so that I could handle my Bullet and then stuck to it so that I could run faster and longer. While experimenting with various routines, I stumbled across CrossFit in April 2012. That was also the last month that I worked in a full-time job. Since I enjoy the luxury of time, I can do long workouts, spend hours learning a new skill like handstand push-ups or muscle-ups and then I can even rest and sleep long hours to recover from the draining workouts. I still like running but I like to limit my runs to 10km or less. It remains the best way to explore a new place, second only to a cycling. I love playing football and try to get at least one game a week when I can. I continue to do CrossFit-like routines, even at home. I am trying my hand at calisthenics right now and have realised that my strict pull-ups aren’t exactly strict.
Shrenik’s workout: 20 minutes AMRAP (As many rounds as possible)
Tip: Start slow, maintain a steady pace so that you last the full 20 minutes.
Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.