Health and fitness have always played an integral part in life. Whether it be in a form of sport or recreation it has always challenged us to be a better version of ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically.
Hasitha Raymond, Co-Founder and Head Trainer of Kinetic Fitness, one of the country’s leading fitness and personal training fitness studios has taken the liberty of sharing his expertise on physical fitness and well-being during these trying times.
Q: Hasitha, give us a brief background about yourself?
I’m Hasitha Raymond. I’ve been in the fitness industry for about 5 years now, qualified by the International Sports Science Association as a personal trainer in strength and conditioning and as a group fitness instructor. But I’ve got over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. I run my own studio – Kinetic fitness on Horton Place Colombo 7. We specialize in group fitness, weight loss camps and personal training. I was training to be a pilot initially and working out was a passion, this was at the stage where I was figuring things out. I realized that if I could turn my passion into my career not only can I help people, I would feel like I wouldn’t have to work a day in my life.
Q: What are your interests and what do you do during your leisure time?
Most of my interests are related to fitness, either training my clients or spending hours in the gym with my friends. It’s a really social time for me where I get to hang with like-minded fitness enthusiasts and train at the same time. My wife gets annoyed by all the selfies and calls us gym rats! When I’m not training, I’m a real homebody. I love Netflixing it up and gaming. I used to go out a lot on the weekends but since I gave up drinking it’s all seems a bit boring now.
Q: Who are your fitness idols and how have they had an impact on your life?
There are a lot of fitness idols who have impacted my life. All the way from the bodybuilding community to the powerlifting community to the CrossFit community. I personally try to take in the positives of all these different fitness personalities and try to incorporate it into my own regime
Q: When did you realize that you had a passion for fitness and were there any special motivational factors?
I started my fitness journey when one of my best friends told me he was going to join a gym. I was super unfit, gangly and awkward at 17. A huge motivating factor was that when I first started a lady instructor made fun of me saying girls curl more than me. I was so devastated by what she said that it haunted me. I had to prove her wrong. After about a good 2 years of trial and error methods, it came to a point where fitness became a lifestyle
Q: Can anyone go on a fitness plan and what are the benefits of following one?
When it comes to choosing an online class that suits you it comes down to a combination of personal preference and goals. For example, if you are overweight and want to use this quarantine time to lose some lbs then joining a really slow-paced yoga class will not get you the desired effects. On the other hand, if you hate working out then choosing a high intensity class will not keep you consistent for very long. One size does not fit all.
Q: What are the basic elements when considering a fitness regime?
As I said earlier it’s all about your goals. Choose a program or online platform that is specifically tailored for what you are trying to achieve. One of our unique selling points has always been weight management. So, when people come to us it’s because they know we have a reputation for getting results in that area. Do your research and make your decision based on facts. Be careful with some of the Instagram hype. Speak to people you know who have had good experiences instead of looking at how many followers a trainer may have.
Q: What types of fitness programmes are out there and how can one select the most suitable programme?
There are a whole variety of methods to choose, from yoga to CrossFit, barre and HIIT classes. As I previously mentioned it’s about goals and preference.
Q: Is it possible to follow a fitness plan at your own residence?
Absolutely, this quarantine period has proved that to us more than ever. For us personally having been put into such a challenging situation without any prior warning forced us to have to think outside of the box. Most of our existing and new clients had no access to equipment so my wife and I had to very quickly access how we could continue to give our clients the same quality of training without access to our usual tools. It’s been an adventure experimenting with everyday household objects and implementing them into our workouts. We have been pleasantly surprised by our feedback.
Q: During trying times such as these how can one remain physically active?
This is the perfect time to get up and get fit his quarantine period has put a lot of people into a state of depression and lethargy. From our personal experience and the feedback from our clients, the classes that we have been providing have been a great source of motivation and comfort. It gives people something to look forward to every day including ourselves. Teaching these classes has been a form of therapy for us and our clients.
Q: How often should a workout plan be followed?
Once again it depends on your goals if you were already fit and want to do some maintenance work then 3 times a week is sufficient. If you are trying to make some significant changes then we recommend 5 days a week.
Q: As a leading trainer and Co-Founder of Kinetic Fitness how do you find time to manage between maintaining your physique and coping with work?
The good thing about my job is that we see parts of the day that are extremely busy eg: early mornings and late afternoons. Thankfully this allows me to dictate my own schedule for the rest of the day. I rarely take on clients between 12 pm and 4 pm. This is the time I dedicate to my own training regime and post training meal at my mom’s Monday to Friday
Q: How do you conduct your classes during the curfew period?
Everything that we do at the moment is online. We have also seen the global benefits of operating on an online platform. News about our classes have spread all over and we have numerous new clients tuning in from all parts of the world including New York, London, Paris and Oslo. It’s been really cool being able to have an impact on people from all over the world and really encouraging for us when they tell us that our classes have been some of the best they have ever experienced.
Q: Being one half of a renowned fitness celebrity couple how would you & Tanuja differentiate yourselves from the clutter?
We like to think of ourselves as pioneers. We have never followed the herd and have always tried to be ahead of the game when it comes to concepts. Everything from being the first to introduce physical training into Colombo fashion week and beauty pageants. more recently bringing the concept of comprehensive 12-week weight loss programs to Sri Lanka where we also provide the meals with our sister company KINDRED FOOD. Our ethos is not just about lifting weights but about wellness on the whole and all the aspects that contribute to achieving it.
Q: How did the two of you meet? What’s the experience like working with your wife?
Well, I was stalking her haha. Fellas don’t give up on your dreams you too could end up marrying the girl that you stalk. Well, my wife was the one who encouraged me to get my certification and become a legitimate trainer 5 years ago. I respect her experience and the vision that she has for the type of brand she wants to create. She was the one who first taught me how to conduct group fitness classes but she always says that I have taken her ideas to another level. We are very much a team she likes to be behind the scenes conceptualizing whereas I am the day to day operations person.
Q: Who’s the hardest worker out of the two of you and why?
We both work hard and bring different things to the table. Tanuja is more of the ideas person she brings in a lot of knowledge and different concepts based on her experience in London and New York but I’m the one who implements our programs on a day to day basis. That’s why we make a great team
Q: Could you elaborate on the difference between Weight Training and Cross-Fit?
The two concepts of training are completely different in my opinion. CrossFit is a brand who has a daily workout sent out to all their followers. Weight training is about personal goals and steady progression.
Q: What type of programme would you recommend for our audience?
Any program that fits your goals doesn’t require you to have to purchase unnecessary equipment and also something that fits your budget
Q: Could you share some basic workout tips and exercises which could be done at home?
Some of the basic exercises you can do are Squats, Pushups, Rows, Military press and Plank. Even doing these 5 basic exercises in your home will work your entire body.
Q: When considering muscle building as one’s main goal how long does it actually take to visibly notice changes in the body?
If you follow a workout and nutrition plan properly you can expect to see results in 3-6 months.
Q: How important are supplements such as protein shakes, branch chain amino acids and pre- workouts for training and are they essential?
It totally depends on your workout and nutrition plan. Supplements are used only when necessary nutrients are not met with food.
Q: Are there any words of encouragement you could impart for those whose lifestyles have been hindered due to this viral outbreak?
I think we’re all in the same boat right now especially here in Sri Lanka everybody’s life has been impacted by the current situation. The important thing to remember is you are not suffering alone and that globally people are going through the same human experience. We’re actually quite lucky in Sri Lanka that our cases have been minimal and our government has acted so swiftly to ensure our safety.
Remember health is wealth and if you are safe and healthy in your home you are better off than so many who are suffering around the world. Use this time to connect with yourself and build up a strong immunity and mind. Workout daily, eat well, sleep well and use this opportunity for self-love.
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