Located in the heart of the city is Mumbai’s Palladium Hotel, where an entire floor of the hotel is dedicated to fitness and wellness. Complete with a state-of-the-art gym, steam, sauna and Jacuzzi facilities, the hotel allows non-resident members to use their health club, spa and pool via monthly or yearly memberships. Justin Wright—the newest addition to their health programme is currently creating customised fitness routines that keep up with international trends and standards. With the party season on its way, we’re sure you’re in the mood for some fabulous fitness tips and direction. Read and see what the expert himself has to say about customising your routine, eating right and the focus areas you need to be concentrating on in order to feel great and look even better.

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Why is it important to personalise a workout?

Purely because everybody is different, everybody responds differently to different diets, climates and food and the same applies to exercise. Also, people’s personalities and body types are different; people have different staminas and goals and hence, keeping all the above factors in mind, it’s essential that a customised workout routine is created for every individual.

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What factors do you take into consideration while customising a workout for a client?

All of the above factors, plus blood type along with age and lifestyle. I make it a point to spend an ample amount of time with my clients so that I understand their temperaments along with their daily routines. I need to be able to create a workout that suits them instead of the other way around – that’s the secret to a successful routine.

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Can you recommend a workout for the BB Girl?

Most women seem to be obsessed with the idea of being thin instead of being healthy. Hence, a common observation has been women focusing on losing weight with maximum cardiovascular exercises without understanding and being educated on the importance of developing a strong muscular foundation. Weight training is, if not more, equally important for women, as it strengthens the core, improves posture and also aids in weight loss. So for someone who finds it difficult to take the time, I would recommend anywhere between 30 – 60 minutes of a combination of core strengthening, weight training and cardio exercise. It could start with something as simple as planks, skipping, swimming, jogging and so on.

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What mind-set should one have while working out?

A relaxed and focused mind-set. I have interacted with people with different temperaments – some put too much on pressure on themselves and hence, might not enjoy the workout session. It’s important to have fun while working out, as it leads to more consistency in routine.

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How do you break an anti-exercise frame of mind and encourage people to hit the gym or exercise on a regular basis?

The key is to start, not to wait by saying to yourself, “I will start next month,” or “I will start after the weekend.” Start now! Start slow. Start by taking a brisk walk or just sitting up and dancing around the house. Get your heartbeat up and rolling. Break into a sweat. It’s also important to understand and educate oneself about the human body and its functioning. I find that people who understand the effects of exercise and the exact advantages are able to motivate themselves a lot more than those who simply exercise to lose weight. It’s important to make exercise a lifestyle – a bit like eating three meals and going to work. It’s important to make time for exercise.

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As the wedding season is here, a lot of girls start crash-dieting – what would you recommend as a healthier option with as effective results?

It’s all about balance. Cut down on junk food and stay away from fried food. Eat 4 -6 small meals a day that are high in protein and fibre. Make wise choices, for example, if you have a sweet tooth, try to indulge in dates and other natural sweeteners. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

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How does one overcome the dreaded plateau stage whilst training?

Take a break; change your workout, make things fun by engaging in dance exercises like Zumba and so on.

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Is it true that you should switch up your workout rather than following the same routine in order to boost productivity?

It’s true. Like everything else, the mind and body get bored and hence, it’s important to mix things up as the body gets stronger with increased stamina.

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How much time does one need to spend working-out in a day/week/month?

The key here is consistency. I know people who work out 7 days a week, but I personally advise my clients to work out 5 days a week and take a 2 day break.

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Do people tend to put on more weight than their originally started out with when they stop working out? What is the cause for this?

In my experience, it’s not the break that leads to weight gain; rather it’s good to take a break.  It’s more the mind shift that leads to a poor diet involving high fat and junk food content that leads to the weight gain.

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Finally, any tips for runners as marathon season approaches?

Eat a healthy diet of protein, build up resistance slowly yet steadily, record your weekly achievements and set targets. Don’t forget to invest in a good pair of shoes that offer support to your knees. Weight train and strengthen your core. Do some yoga to increase stamina and also do breathing exercises.