"The individualization needs to be there" says fitness trainer Anwar Wahhab
Anwar Wahhab is a fitness trainer who is the founder owner of AWE Fitness Academy in Kolkata. He is also training Ramit Tandon who is set to participate in the 2018 Asian Games. He has also received training inputs from the legendary Charles Poliquin.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Anwar talks about his career as a fitness trainer and also emphasizes upon the problems which is often faced by a trainer.
How would you like to describe your entire coaching life?
Anwar: Well I have not retired as yet and am still writing my story. I feel I have just begun and I'm fresh with so many training ideas. I have been working for 20+ years now but I still feel the excitement when I walk into the gym every morning- the power of passion. When you truly love something you can keep going.
I would say instead of the title of a Coach, the better word would be that of a Manager. My job entails is how to program the players training plan off and in season and put together personal training prescription, coordinate with their sports coach, manage the recovery and rest time and I have to be on the same page with player’s hometown trainers.
I have to give advice on their diet and etc. In a way, I have to think for players when they need to concentrate more on the team and the game.
I work with a simple philosophy for the team or individual it has to be a nice harmony and humour.T he individualization needs to be there, but the value and importance of how to steer that group is something that really needs to be emphasized.
You have been trained by the legendary coach Charles Poliquin who has raised more than 800 Olympic athletes. How did his inputs help you in making you a better trainer?
Anwar: The knowledge I have gained in Charles Poliquin Class far outweighs anything I ever learned through any other courses and a lot of stuff I learned formally simply was not applicable to achieving real-world results as a coach. His methods are simple, practical and effective and made lots of sense to me.
Also, I praise his fantastic invention of Bioprint and now Metabolic Analytic which is about the relationship of hormones to body fat distribution came together into a system. I could use to bring about drastic changes for my athletes and clients by this invention. I am more confident about achieving positive results.
You are the founder-owner of the AWE Fitness Academy in Kolkata. What special ingredient of this gym makes it different from others?
Anwar: I personally create exercises prescription based on your fitness goals as well as any orthopaedic and medical conditions. These exercise programs are updated regularly to progress the individual along with their fitness journey.
There are always fitness professionals keeping an eye on your forms whether you take a personal trainer or not. There is never a wait to use machines at AWE Fitness. If something's not available, there is always someone to modify your exercise.
We maintain like a family. Everyone is always friendly, cheering you on and looking out for each other. There is also no pressure if you are a novice to exercise and there are no grunting “meatheads” to scare you away. Besides this, we are a knowledge-based workout station.
There are various people who wish to increase their fitness. However, they often neglect the diet which has to be undertaken in order to reach their goals. What is the importance of a balanced diet in order to make a person fit?
Anwar: Without a balanced diet, your body defence mechanic goes for a toss and it leads to poor performance, fatigue, heart disease, cancer etc. Also if your training and nutrition are perfect but if you do not sleep enough, you won’t get any result. Get your 7-9 hours sleep every night! Do what a cat does.
You have been coaching Ramit Tandon for quite a while now. Do you see him as a Gold Medal prospect at the Asian Games 2018?
Anwar: He has been working really hard physically and also he's more mentally prepared this time for the Games and he has tremendous eagerness to win and self-confidence and knows how to control of his nerves. I do not doubt why he shouldn’t do wonder.
What are the problems which are often faced by a fitness trainer while preparing athletes for important competitions?
Anwar: No infrastructure here for a competitive athlete. I am fortunate to have my own small boutique gym which is a combination of general population training. It's in line for me to open up all sports athlete gym indoor and outdoor green, swimming pool with proper sports doctors, physios, health food restaurant if only I get Government help.
Big gyms most of the time do not allow outside coach to take his athlete and train as their policy doesn’t allow this to happen. It's hard to find a park to train as its always packed and sometimes authority does not allow to use props etc. At times, I find it very funny when we are not allowed to train at all.
Besides this, finance is another issue as most athletes cannot afford to bear the cost of gym and coaches.
What are your goals as a fitness trainer in this remaining year?
Anwar: My topmost priority is Ramit as of now as I have taken over in his strength and conditioning coaching profession. Though I had been training him since he and his brother Rishi was 11 years old if I recall correctly. I have a few assignments lined up abroad as well.
What was your experience training the Hollywood actor, Dev Patel?
Anwar: I have trained Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire for his role in LION. He had to bulk up and had to eat like a glutton– downing the protein shakes.
He is a very humble actor and a superb human being. I never felt like I had been training a Hollywood actor as he will show up in time and would follow instructions without any hesitations and would always praise my style of training. Sometimes it also felt as if he is motivating me.
That few hours with him was amazing and had kept on saying he would need my service when he is abroad.