We talked with Rishiraj Kapur in November, 2019.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Rishiraj Kapur (Rishi) and I am 40 years old. I live in Delhi, however, originally from Calcutta, India. I am married and blessed with a boy (12) and a girl (08). I work for AuthBridge Research Services (Hiring & Staffing industry) in Client services and Operations.
Aside from working by the day and training in the gym, I run a health, fitness and wellness blog by the name of Fit Dad Aesthetics and have a YouTube channel which goes by my name.
I have been featured on Love thyself Magazine (Kolkata) twice as an Active Calcuttan. It is a paperback magazine, which is aimed at building a community in Calcutta in the fields of Fitness-Sports-Nutrition-Wellness-Adventure Travel.
I have been training for the last 10 years. I was into sports in school and played District & Jr. state level in Basketball. As I got older and life hit me (started working/married/started a family), priorities changed and life took a turn for the worse.
Before I knew it, I was overweight and managed to go up to 220 Lbs. back in the day I was in the park playing with my kids on a Sunday afternoon and could barely keep up with them. That’s when I realized I need to make a change. My transformation story is documented on my blog.
Bodybuilding/Training is not just limited to the gym, it’s a lifestyle for me. The sport has helped me to cultivate a better environment not just for myself but for everyone attached to me. Weight training gave me purpose in life and this passion of mine distinguishes me from the crowd.
You often do things without a greater purpose and those things become habits and control and direct your actions. I train because it helps me satisfaction. I take care of my nutrition because it takes care of me.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I train five to six days a week with weights and drop in a cardio session on a Sunday. It varies between steady state running on the treadmill and HIIT sessions. (HIIT- burpees, mountain climbers, planks, sprints, light weight cleans for reps(till failure) followed by light weight deadlift for reps (till failure).The mix helps to keep my cardio session interesting.
I train two body parts a day and do heavy volume training (low rep range of six to eight on most occasions) I club this in with a light weight and high rep week session (20-30 reps) once every three to four weeks. This helps me to fully work the muscles and get the blood flowing nicely.
It’s the typical push pull split with a focus on multiple muscle groups (compound movements) and isolation exercises 5 days a week. The 6th day weight session training is 5 different compound movements performed on the heavier side with a 30-40 minutes cardio session.
I have followed other programs in the past, however, this one has given me the best results. I keep in shape year-round and monitor my nutrition closely. I haven’t competed much, aside from once in Bodypower India-Kolkata in the men’s physique division.
I do photo shoots for my blog and maintain a low body fat percentage of 9-11% year-round. I do a peak week prep before a photo shoot which usually consist of carbs, water and sodium manipulation.
I start dropping my carbs from 50-60 grams to 0 over a three-day window and increase my vegetable servings to ensue the body is getting enough fiber. During this course, my water intake goes up from a gallon to 1.5 to two gallons, which ensures the stored carbohydrates are getting washed out (no carbs and excess water will lead to glycogen depletion).
I reduce my salt from the 4th day until the shoot day and this helps me to get the dryness and vascularity required for the pictures. You can also take natural diuretics at this point (Dandelion root, two days before the shoot). This will further influence the depletion process and get you desired results.
It’s difficult to get this right the first time as it’s a lot to do with controlling your mind and understanding your body’s response. However, with time, your body tends to adapt, and respond accordingly.
I train at Empire of Fitness in Gurgaon. It’s one of the better gyms with a lot of good equipment. My gym bag consists of singlets/t-shirts and training tracks with different wrist bands.
I keep changing bands every day and it depends on my mood and what I am training on that particular day. Just a thing I have been doing for a while now.
My supplement stack: A good quality MuscleBlaze whey protein isolate, creatine, multivitamins and fish oil. I go off protein off and on, however continue with the rest of the supplements.
My favourite exercises are compound movements and the deadlift is my personal favourite.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I understood the value of physical training early on when I was a kid. No matter what goes on in other areas of my life, I don’t skip my training.
As I keep fit and practice the sport consistently, I am in better control when it comes to managing stress. My will power is more of a verb, it’s something I practice.
Training regularly is non-negotiable for me and the same is rooted within me. I have had a discussion on this with not just only my family, but also with everyone associated with me. This sets the expectation right and you’re in better control when it comes to managing this area of your life.
My work involves shuffling between two different cities and each time I am home; I try to spend maximum time with my kids/family. For some reason, I can get away with very little sleep (sometimes as less as four hours on hectic days).
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I want to spread awareness on health and fitness and communicate to as many people as possible through my blog and YouTube channel. The message comes from a regular guy who manages work, family and his health.
My life doesn’t revolve around eat, train and sleep. A real guy who deals in the real world. I like to call myself a working athlete and someone with a lot of passion for doing things with one hundred percent commitment whether that’s professional or personal.
If there is one thing I could change from when I started it would be learning to be patient. Back in the day, I had this burning desire to change and I wanted to do it in the least amount of time possible. This led to a lot of mistakes from a training and nutrition standpoint.
I have come to realize that dropping a whole lot of calories and doing the same movements for days on end will not help you sustain your body. It’s a lifestyle. You need to live it every single day let it take over you subconsciously. Something which needs to get done without being triggered.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I maintain my weight and have been following a combination of intermittent fasting with a low carb diet for the longest time now. I do re-feeds once every seven to 10 days. This helps me to manage my insulin and metabolism better. Something I did not have an idea about early on when I started. You tend to get injured more often than not and it is a part of the process.
Also, I am not as young as I used to be. I have started focusing a lot on mobility lately and it helps me to better control my movements and prevents me from getting injured.
I have been training for some time now and since I like to do lot of heavy compound movements, (multiple muscle recruitment) the same can cause stress overtime. The focus of my mobility is to ensure the blood flow increases around these muscles which helps me to prevent injuries and recover faster between workouts.
I do a lot of stretching. Movements include, spine foam rolls, hip flexor stretches in a lunge position, rotator cuff exercises done with a lightweight plate and resistance bands. Lower back stretches, etc.
I play different sports in between (swim, basketball, badminton, etc.) This helps me to cut-loose and mange my neurological self-better. My regular sleep is not more than six hours. If I am travelling and don’t have access to a gym or a health club, I tend to go for a run.
I eat clean year-round with occasional re-feeds (a combination of complex and simple carbs. Otherwise, my carbs are as low as 50 grams a day). What I do is more like a modified keto induced by different forms of intermittent fasting. I do take a massage every once in a while.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Intermittent fasting combined with a low carb diet. I used to track my nutrition when I started but not anymore. I understand my macros better and have learnt how to eyeball my portions over the years.
I consume between 1800-2200 calories depending on what I am training that day. I have been able to manage my insulin better and hence don’t have hunger pangs. I love eggs in every form and just can’t get enough of it. I consume different kinds of protein bars (I go for the low sugar and no or low carb ones)
My body gives me a signal if I am feeling low and don’t have a lot of energy. I realize it’s time to re-feed and I consume large amounts of carbs and keep my fats low to bare minimum on such days.
I like to consume my coffee black and sometimes I tend to go overboard with it. I drink occasionally and stick to good old scotch. I drop calories from my meals the day I indulge in alcohol.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I got my hands on the Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding and the Pumping Iron back when I was a kid. Arnold was a popular and the only name synonymous with the sport on myside of the world. I was hugely motivated by his story and struggles as a kid and how he went to do something totally unconventional and became successful doing it.
I like to listen to a mix of grunge and heavy metal. I am fond of 2 wheels more than cars and have a saying… “you must never trust a man who doesn’t ride” riding aside from weight training helps let-off steam.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
More than the form and pattern of training, it’s the consistency and the ability to continue training over 2-4-7-10 years. You will encounter setbacks and problems. My mantra is build a strong value system. Obsession, persistence, belief and self-discipline are the quarter set of cardinal virtues that will help you succeed in anything you practice.
A lot of people just pick up a program and drop way too many calories to get in shape. They then take a sabbatical and get back on their old routine and gain twice the amount of weight and struggle to get back in shape. It’s all about a lifestyle change and leaning how to stay consistent.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I don’t have the liberty of time, so I write programs for a select few and provide limited coaching. I do churn articles and videos on health & fitness frequently on my blog.
I often get asked how I do manage to stay in shape year-round at this age and with so much going in my life. My answer is always the same.
I am very passionate about what I do and unless I am physically incapable of training on a particular day (gym/sports or whatever that might be) I don’t skip my workouts.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My website: fitdadaesthetics.com
YouTube: @Rishiraj Kapur