The difference between Bodybuilding and Fitness


Fitness and bodybuilding are the most commonly used terms around us these days. However, many people consider fitness and bodybuilding to be the same thing; but they are two extremely different approaches to fitness.
One set of people working out these days are looking at increasing muscle mass for aesthetic reasons/ increasing stamina. High muscle weight improves power and basis the workout chosen also improves agility and speed. On the other hand, majority gym goer’s priority is to stay in shape without bulking up by increasing muscle mass and body weight.

Bodybuilding Vs Fitness Workouts

Bodybuilding encompasses lifting heavy weights to develop strength and muscular size.
Those lifting for size usually work towards the ‘pump’. This technique helps bring oxygen and nutrients to your muscles via a strong blood flow. Bodybuilders look at creating microscopic tears in the muscles forcing the body to repair breakages and expand storage capacity, resulting in bigger muscle growth.

Strength training is primarily high weight – low reps, strengthening the muscles, reinforcing the joints, hardening the bones, while developing stronger connective tissue are some of the goals of many muscle-heightened workouts.

Training Differences
Bodybuilders do not indulge in cardiovascular exercises or reps with a low amount of weights. Their focus is to push their bodies to the maximum by lifting weights that push them to the limits by touching their breaking point that is the point where they literally cannot do another rep-round. During recovery time, the ‘failed’ muscles rebuild and become stronger.
Fitness enthusiasts generally aim to be healthy and in shape. Trainers are not overly concerned about having bigger muscles as long as they are looking their best in front of the camera or at competitions. Workout models spend more time crafting the major muscle groups across their bodies. They will craft a perfect six or eight pack abdominal and pay attention to the legs and glutes. Compared to bodybuilders, their workout routines are generally shorter and more intense. They spend half of their routine lifting weights and the other half doing cardio. To create phenomenally toned muscles, fitness buffs usually carry out a high number of reps with smaller weights.
Another main distinction between working out and bodybuilding is the amount of activity each athletic-type requires. While a bodybuilding session may last around two hours, a fitness session, on the other hand, lasts 45 minutes. The former usually demands constant hard work for a prolonged period – usually five to six times a week. A fitness workout, however, requires less exercise with lesser efforts and muscle pull.
Both ‘normal’ workout and bodybuilding stem from the basic human desire to push physical limits and reach the


ultimate fitness potential; thus making both of these athletic branches of exercise parts of the same tree. The only primary variance is the reason for training and the way trainings are carried out.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach.
He can be contacted at
or (+91) 8511333884


All you need to know about Crossfit

Crossfit is the buzzword in fitness circles these days. From gyms to dedicated crossfit studios this fitness regimen has come a long way. Unlike traditional workouts where emphasis is usually laid on either building muscle mass or improving stamina and flexibility, crossfit works upon increasing endurance, stamina and flexibility all at once – one reason why it is a rage amongst athletes and celebrities.



Crossfit is strength and conditioning progamme that primarily includes high intensity workout that incorporate multiple fitness regimes like aerobics, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), powerlifting, gymnastics etc into a single programme. A crossfit session usually consists of doing repetitions of the above workouts in a specific time.

Crossfit exercises include running, sprint, lunges, burpees, pushups, pull-ups, situps, deadlift, barbell squats, kettle bell swings etc. Warm-up sessions called dynamic warm-up usually include jumping jacks, jumps, jump ropes and sprints. These are to be done with increasing intensity. Strength training includes muscle workouts like squats, push-ups, deadlifts etc, which look at increasing power and endurance. Another feature of crossfit called WOD (Workout of the Day) includes doing a fixed number of repetitions of specific workouts in the shortest time possible / within a fixed time limit.
Cindy is a beginner’s crossfit 20 minute AMRAP (“as many rounds as possible”) routine which consists of:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats
Within 20 minutes one must complete AMRAPs of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. There is no scheduled rest in between rounds – as soon as you finish your 15 squats you start on the pull ups again.
Crossfit workouts are high intensity but not dangerous. However, if someone decides to throw caution to the wind or decides to get a little adventurous / over enthusiastic, chances of an injury are much higher.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach.
He can be contact at or (+91) 8511333884


Following are some other variations:

AMRAP 20min AMRAP 12min AMRAP 12min AMRAP 10min
3 Pull ups 5 Pull ups 1 Pull ups 1 Pull ups
6 Pushups 10 Pull ups 4 Pull ups 4 Pull ups
9 Squats 15 Pull ups 7 Pull ups 7 Pull ups

Guide to basic Gym Etiquettes

With the onset of winter and the New Year resolution season just round the corner, many of you would be planning to start off a new fitness regime soon. Following is a basic checklist of things to be followed / done while at the gym.



Do’s: Carry a gym bag with an extra t-shirt, towel, deodorant and a separate pair of gym shoes, and water bottle exclusively for the gym.
If you tend to sweat a bit too much, changing t-shirts in between workout would ensure you feel fresher while completing your sets. A separate pair of shoes for the gym is advisable as many of the workouts done could require additional traction / support which used sports shoes may not be able to provide effectively.

Dont’s: Avoid too much of deo
While applying a bit of deo prior to a workout is fine, do not use excess of deodorant’s before or in the middle of a workout. Being a closed environment the strong smell of the deo could be an irritant for many without you being aware of it.

Do’s: Taking a break between sets.
It’s advisable to take small breaks of 20-30 seconds between sets as suggested by your trainer. Many a time people rush through their workouts without paying emphasis on proper form or motion.

Dont’s: Too long breaks and wasting time.
While brief breaks are advisable, taking too long breaks tends to cool your body down and leads to loss of momentum and focus on workouts. Many people tend to get on their phones or get busy chit chatting which should be completely avoided while at the gym.

Do’s: Using equipment correctly and rotating sets
Always consult your trainer before using any gym equipment. Only when you’re completely confident of the correct posture and form should you venture out on your own. Place the dumbbells and other gym equipment at its relevant place after you’re done with your workout. Share your sets with others who are waiting to finish their sets.
While these are some pointers, I am sure that as you go along, you’ll discover -many of the points to be followed on your own.


Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach.
He can be contact at or (+91) 8511333884

How to achieve your fitness goals

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” These words by professional American basketball player Michael Jordan stands true for fitness as much as they do for life


Fitness by definition stands for being physically fit and healthy. However, most people hitting the gym today are either people wanting / wishing for results to happen.
In their quest for chiselled, well-toned bodies many people end up doing a lot of bizarre things – fad diets, overtraining to usage of supplements without expert advice are just few examples.
The root cause of this lies in the incorrect perception about fitness and setting fitness goals that are unrealistic or illogical. Instead of ‘making’ it happen, people expect overnight results or are looking at shortcuts to reach their fitness goals.
One has to sweat it out, beat the pain, stick to discipline, sacrifice on their lifestyle and habits, and most importantly enjoy the process to be able to get the results and sustain it. Everything else is a recipe for disaster as results gained through other methods do not last long or has long term side effects.

The first rule of any fitness regime is to set measurable, achievable goals. Getting a six pack in 3 months, losing x kgs in x days, gaining y weight in y days – these do not classify as goals.
The first step is to understand your body type and give your trainer a complete rundown about your body – medical conditions / injuries/accidents etc before starting a programme.
Ask your trainer for an analysis of your BMR, BMI, body fat, muscle mass etc and to keep track of readings, as many people tend to get into the worry mode or end up focusing on these readings excessively than on their workouts.
The initial plan given by your trainer based on this analysis is a realistic goal. Once you start achieving goals, feel and look better, your confidence and enthusiasm quotient would move up several notches and allow your trainer to set higher goals for you.


Having a fitness journal is a small but vital step that will help you reach your goals faster. Notes on your food intake, cheat days etc are particularly important. It inculcates discipline and forces you to pay attention to everything that’s been put into your body.

It also gives you an insight on foods from a calorie / nutrition value perspective with an idea on the amount of protein, carbs, fibre, fat, etc that your body received.

Hence a fitness journal basically keeps a check on the mind games that your food cravings play with you. The idea is not to deprive yourself of what you want, the trick is to be aware and in control without drifting off your daily meal plan significantly.

I know it’s easier said than done, but with time and 2-3 months into maintaining a journal you would be able to do it. I have had clients who showed great progress with their journal, but for some reason stopped maintaining it and had to go through the gruelling process of losing all the extra weight again which they had lost initially.


Changing workout routines is the next step towards achieving your goals. Your body gets used to and adapts to the type of workouts that you do. Hence in order to keep your metabolism pepped up throughout the course of your programme, it is important to mix workouts from time to time.
Crossfit, trx, functional training, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and cardio are some of the popular variations. Follow a cyclical plan that involves switching between 2-3 variations in a month, broken down to weekly / daily basis.
This way your workouts will not get monotonous and you will avoid hitting plateaus (in fitness, plateau is a point from where your results improve slowly / halt temporarily).
Look at increasing weights gradually rather than increasing them all of a sudden. While it may feel good to lift heavy and do higher reps, incorrect posture could lead to fatal injuries. The actual focus should be on correct posture, contraction of muscles and improving endurance, which will ensure you achieve results in the shortest time.

Jack LaLanne, the world famous bodybuilder who was called the Godfather of Fitness, had once said: “Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen”. Fitness is a lifestyle and calls for an overall change in the way you eat, how much you eat, when you eat. Your diet is the make or break factor that will decide whether you achieve your goals or not. Set diet rules for yourself and follow them with complete sincerity.
Remember, the idea is not to deprive yourself of what you like; it is to realise what is necessary for your body and if that particular food will support your fitness goals or not.

Identify foods that do not impede or take you off your fitness goals and replace them with what you crave for.


Stick to natural stuff instead of processed foods as much as possible. Having 5-6 meals everyday (breakfast – lunch – dinner and a fruit/nuts / salads in between) is advisable.
Fruits should be consumed on an empty stomach before breakfast or at least a couple of hours after. Try and have food around the same time every day; this will regulate your irregular diet patterns and will ensure that your metabolism keeps humming all day long.

Rest and recovery are required for your body to repair damaged tissues / muscles.

If you’ve been overtraining or feel tired, take a day off for rest. There’s no point doing a workout if you cannot give your 100%.
In the end, always remember that everyone has a different body type; what some achieve in a few months may take a year or more for you. What’s important is not lose focus of your fitness goals and your plans. Shut down those self-defeating thoughts and ideas in your mind. If something stands between you and your success, move it, never be denied. All the best.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach.
He can be contact at or (+91) 8511333884

Diet & workout the key to health

“What should I do for a workout?” is a question one tends to ask before planning to enrol in a gym.
After all, many people are interested in getting started with strength training and want to know what exactly is a workout routine at the gym.
There are many factors worth considering like a person’s biology, age, goals, diet, free time availability and chronic illnesses or heart problems.
Then there is the question of diet. Do I eat hard boiled food and green salad the whole year when exercising? Perish the thought. None can diet round the year. Food intake needs to be balanced and proper or it can impact motivation. Enjoy workout or you won’t sustain it for long. It should be 5 days a week. Be sure to work out on Mondays to start the week well. Never go on 3 days flow without workout nor push too hard at gym to get that V-Taper which body builders have. Things don’t happen overnight. A 45 minute is enough for an average person to spend at gym.
Pre-workout carb is most essential as it acts as fuel. Banana, oats, wholegrain bread, fruit & yogurt are pre-carb stuff.

Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates which are fuel and combined with potassium protect nerve and muscle function.
Oats also good source of fuel being rich in fibre, which means there is a slow release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream for a longer workout. Similarly, wholegrain bread is rich in carbohydrates. For those hitting the gym during lunch break, wholegrain bread taken 45 minutes before leaving for gym is a good idea. Post-workout carb is for replenishment after a workout. Human body deals with nutrients differently at different times, depending on type of activity.
What is consumed before, during, and especially after workout assumes great importance. Muscle protein synthesis increases slightly (or remains unchanged) after resistance workouts, while protein breakdown increases dramatically. Since there is lot more breaking-down than building-up the relationship between “rate of muscle protein synthesis” and “muscle protein breakdown” represents metabolic basis for muscle growth.
Given the fast depletion of glycogen post-workout, carbs are vital to replenish burnt muscle glycogen which are main fuel resources during training.

Glycogen is stored form of glucose. Some post workout carbs are egg omelette, wholegrain toast, sweet potato, yogurt, banana, berries, and granola.
Pre-workout carbs helps to train more strenuously in the gym without feeling lazy or drowsy while post workout carbs keep the body healthy.
During heavy workout glycogen chain is broken and should be replenished to generate ATP, which is source of energy for every cell in the body.
ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the biochemical way of storing and using energy.
Coming to training part. Eat in short intervals without overloading the stomach.
Avoid big meal and instead break it up into 5-7 meals a day. Drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout.
There is a misconception eating less is more beneficial. For daily regimen at the gym the body needs more food to burn and recover unlike someone sitting at desk all day.
Cardio after weights is a better option than before weights. Cardio exercises like running, brisk walking, swimming, biking, or aerobics are endurance exercises that help burn fat faster.


For those interested in quick results it is HIIT or Hight Intensity Interval Training. It is a technique of building stamina through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training keeps heart rate up and burns more fat in lesser time.
But the simple mantra for staying fit is to do simple exercises daily like brisk walking or yoga. Drink enough water, breathe fresh air, get daily dose of sunshine, avoid stress by learning to relax, eat fruits & vegetables and don’t delay going to bed on time.

(Shaad Amin, a BBA student and a fitness online coach can be contacted at

Lifestyle and diet

People having sedentary lifestyle are those who are not fully aware of it. Not enough physical activity is the main cause which leads to poor health since muscles are not stimulated enough causing poor blood circulation.


Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live a healthier and happier life.
A recent study found that four bad habits – smoking, alcohol consumption, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies – can rush you to an early grave, and in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.
Eat a balanced diet combining the right amount of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre in order to obtain all of the nutrients you need for good health.
By eating the correct combination, and not too much or too little of anything, you will give your body the right fuel to grow, replenish, repair and strengthen. Avoid excessive oil and deep-fried foods.

Avoid large meals, especially in the later phase of the day. Try to make mid-day meal your main one
Eat fruits and vegetables to maintain level of minerals and sugar in body
To summarise: Focus on fitness and diet.
When it comes to one’s diet, it should contain 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 30% fats.
The protein containing foods are eggs, almonds, broccoli, oats, milk, yogurt, quinoa, sprouts and peanuts.
Carbohydrates can be obtained from brown rice, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, wheat bread, wheat pasta, beans, blueberries, pineapples and lentils.
Healthy fatty foods are avocado, walnuts, olives, clarified butter. Oranges and carrots are very good for maintaining fibres in the body. Last but not the least, minimum of 4-6 litres of water level should be maintained in the body.


Stress is the main culprit in the modern generation. You might not realise but it is like a slow poison. Stress can gradually affect the body, thoughts, feelings and behaviour along with affecting the mental stability and metabolism of the body. You can, however, avoid such a situation by practicing meditation few minutes every day, preferably in the morning. It includes deep breathing which counters the effect of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
Meditation allows you to focus on your senses, release tension and calm down. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress.

About 20 minutes of minimum workout is required for healthy living. Nowadays people are doing exercise for many purposes like weight reduction, weight gain, muscle building and so on. All this leads to a better future if done correctly and within a certain limit.
Exercise boosts oxygen level in the body leading to increased energy level. It balances your mood, combats adverse health conditions and even promotes good sleep.
For an overweight condition: cardio, abdomen and some cross-fit exercises are recommended. For an underweight condition: lifting heavy weights and floor training is recommended. For maintaining the weight: cardio and weight training both are recommended.


Excess weight and obesity have been found to aggravate a number of problems including heart diseases. Many health issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure can be caused due to overweight.
Weight of the body can be decided based on the Body Mass Index (BMI). Waist size of 36 inch for men and 32 for women is the ideal size for all aged people. Many people have the perfect weight but the problem lies with their stomach/tummy.
The best way to get rid of tummy fat is by doing squats and crunches along with consumption of lots of water with restricted or no oily and junk food at all.

A good sleep enhances immunity and prevents illness. An average person requires at least seven hours of sleep. After supper (one eaten before calling it a day) avoid going to bed immediately. Keep a gap of two hours. If convenient go for a walk as the adage goes “After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile.” Dinner during day is a heavy meal and some rest needed soon after, while supper a light meal and a walk would do soul of good to improve digestion.

Dhrumil Shah is a fitness coach.
He can be contacted at or
(+91) 84603 05084