Home fitness has become a new reality for millions of people around the world and it will remain so, according to fitness experts like Shwetambari Shetty, one of the fittest Indian women and trainers. The Cult.fit expert says she saw people lose weight, lose fat, gain muscle, look lean and strong, and become the best version of themselves with workouts at home.

Shwetambari Shetty in conversation:

As a trainer, how do you think the pandemic has affected India’s fitness levels?

To me it looks like India is finally ready to make exercise a necessity and a lifestyle. So far it has been a luxury. People understand that regular exercise and exercise help to get fit and healthy. Maintaining good health also means having good immunity, which makes one overall stronger to fight against certain diseases and conditions. So yes, people are now more aware of why exercise and fitness are so important in everyday life. It is no longer “I have a special occasion and need to lose a few pounds”. People make exercise and fitness part of their daily routine.

Online fitness sessions and classes have seen a boom. Do you find them as effective as sweating in a gym or physical group class?

I’ve seen people lose weight, lose fat, gain muscle, look lean and strong, and become the best version of themselves by exercising at home. We never knew that this could be possible without this pandemic. So while we love the adrenaline that comes with taking a group class at the gym, the bottom line is that home training can be just as effective as a gym.

Many beginners who would otherwise be intimidated into entering the gym for many reasons, including body shaming, have resorted to home training because they feel that it is a “no judgment zone”. You have lost weight, gained confidence, gained good health and high energy. There is no risk of injury if a beginner starts slowly and steadily as a beginner, follows all the instructions of the trainer and trains with a qualified fitness trainer. In order to help all of our beginners, we have ensured through the offer of cult.live that we offer several beginner-friendly workouts across all formats and age groups.

How did you personally train during the COVID era?

At home! I gave birth to a baby in July 2020, at the height of the first wave of COVID, and started exercising a month later. I lost over 10 kg that I gained from pregnancy by exercising at home. Now I’ve started going to Cult.fit. I did my Dance.Fitness for cardio and then got dumbbells for my strength training and did yoga twice a week.

What are most people doing wrong when it comes to achieving fitness goals, say fat loss or stomach burning or toning the body?

Consistency! People are not consistent and not regular with their workouts. Once a goal is achieved, people take a break. Do we stop eating? Do we stop sleeping? NO! We don’t because our bodies need it every day to function properly. Likewise, our bodies need exercise and exercise on a daily basis to function well and keep unwanted fat in check.

Your three most important fitness tips would be …

Take a deep breath and think positively. Your mind has a powerful influence on your body. Second, exercise regularly and eat nutritious food. Consistency is the key here. Three, exercise often and sleep well. Stay active, but make sure you get a good rest.

What is the one fitness trend that the industry could see in a big way in the coming period?

The training itself will be trendy. People will prefer a barbell to a bar. Since being and staying healthy is so important for each of us, the biggest trend coming is just the need to exercise and incorporate it into your lifestyle. That being said, a healthy mind and body is also an important trend that has emerged and will continue to gain momentum.

You are a trainer at Cult.Fit and your 4-week Belly Burn course is very well received. What do you think is the reason for this targeted preference?

Everyone I know wants a flat stomach, washboard abs, or six pack abs. While it is perfectly possible, it takes a lot of effort and hard work. The Belly Burn program therefore does not promote stain reduction as this is not possible. It helps in building a strong core and when we train for a strong core a lot of belly fat will go away. The program also promotes HIIT – these are workouts that alternate between high and low intensity. The powerful bursts of energy use more fat than fuel and the rest periods in between help flush waste products from the muscles. In a program like this, we have the perfect combination of burning all body fat and strengthening the core. And people who saw it on the first run did just that. We had over 30,000 people attending and actively engaging with us to get fitter with the workouts, meal plans, and group discussions. We believe that the success of such targeted preference lies in getting many people to have specific goals in mind – like losing fat, improving strength, increasing flexibility, etc. – and they want an organized and guided approach to achieving them.

What do you advise students to do?

My advice would be to be consistent. Don’t give up in the middle of trying to achieve your goal. If it gets difficult, take a deep breath and come back. Take it at your own pace. You can also actively engage with fellow members who are signing up to make sure you stay motivated.