Fitness is the cheapest drug you can get to feel good: Sohrab Khushrushahi
Imagine converting your stress buster into a full-time job! Cool, isn’t it? Well, that’s what Sohrab Khushrushahi has done. A lawyer with top firms, Sohrab was a few months away from being made partner at his firm when he embraced his love for staying fit and became a wellness coach. Today, the Mumbai boy is the go-to person for celebs, and when he describes fitness as “the cheapest drug you can get to feel good”, you know why.
The 37-year-old takes his gym regime seriously, as he guiltily admits that he may be the most hated person in his gym because he doesn’t stop to chit-chat. “Socialising is best over a drink, not the gym,” he says practically. A trait that works as his forte because he wants to help people and bust myths about fitness. And answering questions in his new bi-weekly column in HT Brunch will do just that.
Over to Sohrab for a glimpse of what’s in store in the weeks to follow....
You were a lawyer who left his job in his mid-30s and started coaching. What inspired you to take this step?
I was working with the top firms, but I was passionate about fitness – it was something I loved, something I could make a difference in my life by working with people and helping them! I was fed up with corporate law, which works absolutely differently outside India, so I wanted to do something I could call my own, something more than sitting on a desk 24x7. And today, I don’t feel like I’m working because I enjoy it too much.
Yes, I was scared because I was 35 when I made the switch, but I’m scared even today. But it’s a good kind of scare that makes me keep wanting to improve myself. I have been wanting to do this for eight years, but didn’t have the courage to do when I was single. And then I suddenly had the courage to do it when I had a child.
My family has been extremely supportive because they saw how miserable I was earlier. that there was no need to do the “right thing to do societally”. I wanted to create a niche for myself in what I wanted to do.
What would you say your brand of fitness is?
This pandemic has taught us that fitness is important. I wanted to break the stereotype whole thing about, “oh, you’re a trainer” which is just so derogatory. No, I’m a coach. And I wanted fitness and exercise to be cool. I love training – I used to take out time during my 20-hour workdays as a lawyer. Quality time, not quantity time.
What people also need to understand in a world where instant gratification is key and you binge-watch all your shows is that fitness isn’t a sprint and training isn’t a marathon. There’s a difference between having and wanting to train. Fitness is always holistic, nutritional, physical, mental and emotional and not about whether you have a six-pack or not.
You’ve trained so many celebrities including Alia Bhatt. What’s the biggest star challenge you’ve faced?
Luckily, none. Everyone has been down to earth. Alia is one of the nicest people I’ve met and works really hard. We’ve never had to randomly cancel sessions or change times, and she has never made me wait! Same with Karan Johar and Kiara (Advani). They are normal people with no tantrums and we train and talk rubbish too! It also helps that I’m not starstruck. I don’t look at it as training a ‘celeb’. My relationship with them has been that of a coach and trainee.
What’s the biggest mistake people make while working towards being fit?
The biggest mistake people make is when they think they can achieve a body they see on Instagram in a month without realising the hard work and dedication it takes. Also, giving into peer pressure.
A huge problem when it comes to understanding fitness in India is that it just means weight loss in India. That’s not a way to measure your fitness. You can’t go on a diet for one month and lose weight and say you’re fit. People also don’t understand that they need to eat a good, balanced meal and sustain it. You can’t just follow a diet and become fit. That’s just size zero, which isn’t worth your time.
Fitness is about sticking to a principle long enough. You cannot go from one plan to the next and if your basics are bad, you won’t get it right.
What are you looking forward to through your columns in HT Brunch?
Helping people and busting ridiculous myths such as ‘girls shouldn’t lift weights because they bulk up’. If I earned a rupee every time I heard a girl say that, I would be a millionaire! You don’t look broad by doing weights because you don’t have the adequate amount of testosterone for it!
Sohrab Khushrushahi’s new bi-weekly column in HT Brunch, where he will answer all your fitness-related queries, debuts on September 6. Reach out to HT social media handles to get in touch.
From HT Brunch, September 6, 2020
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