Soni Shrestha is abold model and you could call her a fitness junky. A familiar face that has graced many renowned magazines, she has been working out for three years now. But somewhere along the way, her workout sessions were not consistent as she got into modeling. But now that she’s joined Gym khana, she has been continuously working out for the past year. Shrestha started beat cycling which is an intense 1 hour workout session, burning 700 calories per hour and has got seriously into it.She says, “It’s like listening to music and having fun. Gym khana hada 3 day workshop of beat cycling which I joined and thoroughly enjoyed.”
Now a trainer at Gym khana, taking classes for various fitness exercises, Shrestha explains, “I have always been skinny and it has been very hard for me to gain weight. There is a misconception that a trainer should have a built up body and strong muscles which I wanted to change. As Gym khana approached me to train people and I was always interested in fitness, I immediately took up the offer.”
Soni has been a stunning model who was featured inmost of the magazines, but all that has changed and she now does very few modeling projects,mostly for close friends; she is now dedicated to fitness. Her love for fitness is evident when she says, “The most fun part of working out is when I sweat and have sore muscles, it makes me happy,” Exercise is so important to her that if she doesn’t work out for just a day, she feels guilty. She tries to take in as many calories and protein as possible since her metabolism is very fast which makes it hard for her to gain muscles. She eats three heavy meals and three small meals a day, trying to maintaina two hour gap between meals. Shrestha explains, “Everyone has a different body type, requiring different kinds of meals but the myth that starving yourself makes you skinny is wrong. One has to eat enough food; when you don’t eat enough food,your body starts to store fat and you get fatter and for skinny people like me,you have to make sure you eat enough food to stay healthy.”
Shrestha teaches beat cycling at Gym khana and is currently training ten clients,one hour intense workout sessions, four days a week. As a trainer, she says beat cycling is good for weight loss, building stamina and good for heart related problems.Apart from that, Shrestha has also been a personal trainer for the past two months. After training hard under her own coaches and doing internet research she trains other clients as a personal trainer.
A word of advice from Soni Shrestha:“To all the beginners who want to work out and have a good physique, just start going to the gym overcoming the ‘Oh I’ll go tomorrow’ feeling; because when you start working out you will start seeing changes in your body and feel motivated to do more.” Being skinny most of her life, Shrestha endured bullying and lack of self-esteem, but when she finally started working on her fitness, she felt good about herself, her body and now has a different level of confidence.
These days, too much attention is being given to how we look rather than on how healthy we are. Our exercise routines can so often be about burning calories in the gym with no thought given to whether it’s doing us any good. ShovaGurung, Managing Director of Next Step Fitness is here to change all that. Twenty-two years in the industry, Gurung has made her mark as one of the female fitness trainers in the city. She was also one of the first female head trainers in Nepal while at Jasmine Fitness Club and initiated Nepal’s very first Zumba party. Gurung talks about her life, work and fitness.
Gurung is very charismatic, makes you feel at home and is passionate about fitness. She opened a fitness center known as GenNext, which focuses on training people without the use of equipment. “We want to let people know that one doesn’t need equipment to get fit, to be strong, capable and healthy,” says Gurung. “I started my fitness journey after my second child. Let’s just say it was meant to be; it was my destiny. I had applied for an Aerobic Instructor Course which eventually led to my fitness journey. Before Next Step came along, I was a certified trainer in Singapore. After completing the course I went on to become an Aqua instructor, a personal trainer, a fitball instructor and a Master Trainer at FISAF, before I came to Nepal.”
The client and Trainer Link
Talking about her clients, Shova says, “Sometimes there are clients with a fixed mind-set who come to you with a specific exercise and don’t want to do any other exercise. Sometimes what you want and what your body needs are two different things. 99 percent of the time we are successful in convincing them but some can’t change their mind. In such cases we let them do what they want as long as they don’t harm themselves. Fitness is not only about physical strength, it’s also about mental health; and as long as they are happy that’s great. About the 99 percent, we use different methods to convince them. Counseling is one and the other is letting them learn from their mistakes. Clients have different goals; if you want to increase the volume of your muscles, we focus on strength training rather than cardio. A simple formula is to lift heavy in small repetitions and let the muscle recover. There are also clients who want to do strength training along with cardio, which has totally opposite results and in the end ‘no muscle growth’. They workout 2-3 hours a day, but they don’t realize they are doing a completely opposing sets of exercises. So we let them workout for a few days and when they don’t get any muscle growth, they come to us for advice. Basically, we let them learn.”
Myth: the sorer you are, the more you have to workout
There are a lot of theories regarding this topic but sometimes it also depends on the client. Through my personal experiences, most of my lady clients want to grow muscles on their lower part. They do a lot of exercise and don’t give the muscles any rest. When we say ‘give the muscles recovery time’ it doesn’t mean “Go home and take complete rest”. Rest in terms of fitness means ‘to train other muscles’. The more you have moved your muscles, the more soreness you feel or a muscle tear in your body. So, if you don’t move your muscles, the more sore it will get. You have to do light exercises only and train your other body muscles too. For example, if I do strength training today, I will do cardio or other light exercises. So I don’t think it’s a myth. Peoples’ needs differ from person to person. Fitness is a science, it’s not a formula. But in my twenty-two years of experience in the industry, each client’s body reacts in a different way. So we suggest workouts only after careful observation.
Do you recommend your female clients whey protein?
I have never used whey protein or any supplements along with exercise and I also personally don’t recommend them. I believe in the natural process. But sometimes some clients need whey proteins when they are training heavily and especially if females are doing heavy weightlifting. But personally, I don’t recommend any unnatural supplements for anyone.
ShovaGurung is now recognized as a Master Fitness Trainer; meaning she just doesn’t provide personal training but also does workshops and group training sessions for younger trainers to become the next generation of personal trainers.