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‘Alia Bhatt is one of the nicest people I’ve met; she’s super dedicated and hardworking’: fitness trainer Sohrab Khushrushahi

In our quest to lead a fit and active lifestyle, we often try different workouts to find out, through trial and error, what works and what doesn’t. It can be a little confusing to know what type of exercise to do. For example, some people are comfortable doing yoga; others train in the gym. Some take their 10,000 daily steps in order, while others cycle every day. Sohrab Khushrushahi, the founder of SOHFIT, says fitness means different things to different people, but “movement in any form is good.”

“The idea is to constantly move because that’s what human beings were designed to do. We weren’t designed to sit on a desk and not move,” he adds.

Khushrushahi, personal trainer to celebrities like Alia Bhatt, Robin Uthappa and others, has had quite an interesting journey himself – from being a lawyer for nearly a decade to pivoting and following his passion for fitness. In a recent exclusive interaction with indianexpress.comhe talks about it more, breaks some fitness mythsshares her experience working with future mother Alia Bhatt, her collaboration with DaRulk – who has worked with celebrities like Chris Hemsworth and Josh Brolin, and with whom he presented his RFT India online fitness program – and his thoughts on weight loss from the fitness lens.


People started fitness activities during the pandemic when the focus was on health and immunity. But now many appear to have regressed as a sense of normalcy has prevailed. What do you have to say about fitness being a lasting trend?

For me, fitness has always been a lifestyle. It’s not a month-to-month thing, or marriage-to-marriage, or festival-to-festival. It’s something you need to incorporate into your life. Yes, during the pandemic everyone looked at fitness [because of Covid]. But it has to continue over a period of time because it only continues if it is part of your life.

What do you think daily fitness should look like? Some people try to take 10,000 steps every day…

Fitness is different for different people. I don’t think you can put it in one frame. For me, the most important thing is the movement. You have to move every day. The lives we all lead right now, we sit a lot, our jobs are desk jobs. Although we work from home, we rarely travel. So, movement in all its forms is good, it can be dancing, working out, Pilatesyoga, walking, whatever you want.

The idea is to constantly move because that’s what human beings were designed to do. We weren’t designed to sit on a desk. As for the number of steps, I think it’s subjective. Someone who is really active and works out regularly doesn’t need to take 10,000 steps. For example, someone who trains every day can take 5,000 steps. Is it bad? No it is not. It depends on your daily life. If walking is the only form of activity you’re going to get, then yes, take 10,000 steps.

During your journey, have you had to counter many myths about health and fitness?

Every day a new myth emerges when it comes to fitness. For me, fitness has always been about keeping it simple. Do the simple things right, work hard and smart, and don’t look for shortcuts. I think today’s myths that everyone hears are always about shortcuts, like how to get in shape as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort. Even the whole myth around “I need to lose weight so I’ll just run and keep running” – those things are done now. Or, “women should not lift weights because they will become bulky.”

What people are trying to do is they’re trying to sell fitness and that doesn’t make sense to me. I think all you have to do is let people train, move and train the way they want, and they will see the benefits for themselves.

You yourself have come a long way, from being a lawyer to following your passion for physical training. What made you switch?

Passion. I was obsessed with my health and helping people. It may seem far-fetched, but I wanted to make people fitter and the country fitter in every way possible. Ultimately, the goal was to always work with athletes and create a fitness culture for the country – that’s my passion.

You coached Alia Bhatt. What was the experience and how about the discipline of acting?

Alia is amazing. I have nothing to say except that she is amazing. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve met and she’s super dedicated and hardworking. She never shy away from anything and I absolutely adore her. I think she’s an amazing human being and a great friend too.

Is it difficult to train celebrities? From routines to consistency, how do you decide what would work best?

With fitness, I don’t think there is one size fits all. You have to keep experimenting and trying things. With actors, I think it’s about the role they’re playing, what’s required, the look they’re going for. There are a number of things that come into play. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a challenge for the actor, because he has to put in the time. Hats off to each of them because they take the time for that. Of the ones I’ve trained so far, no one has had tantrums, everyone is working very hard and they’ve gotten into the process, which for me is a very important thing.

You are also a sports trainer; how is it different from a regular workout? Tell us about your experience working with Robin Uthappa.

It’s very different. When you train someone for a sport, it’s specific to that sport. You are simply working to improve them. For an athlete, it’s more specific. In the case of the general population, it’s just a physical preparation that you want them to have. As far as Robin’s training goes, he’s become my family now. He’s someone I get along with very well. He’s a great guy to work with. We experiment, we try things; he literally lived with me for a month and we train twice a day together. We kind of did it all and it was just a pleasure. I call him my brother.

You also recently collaborated with DaRulk, who has worked with celebrities like Chris Hemsworth and Josh Brolin. What was the takeout?

I still talk to DaRulk every day. He was my mentor for years. Working with your mentor, what more could you ask for, right? I think it’s an amazing thing that happened. I learn a lot from him. I exchange notes with him. He is a fabulous guy who never hesitates to share his knowledge. He was a great help and I can’t wait to do RFT in India with him.

Many people get in shape to lose weight. In your opinion, should this be the only program?

No, that shouldn’t be on the agenda at all. If you focus too much on weight, you take away all the other benefits fitness brings to your life. So for me it would be more about working on fitness goals and your health in general; the weight will take care of itself if you do that. Anyone who trains regularly, eats well, is dedicated, consistent and hardworking, I don’t think they care about their weight. I don’t think weight even comes into the equation. Weight is just something that will take care of itself if you do everything else right.

Besides training, what should people keep in mind to be healthy?

To be healthy, you have to eat well, sleep well and be happy. What people need to understand is that training is one hour of your day. The other 23 hours matter a lot more. If I train 1 hour a day, I [also have to] taking care of my recovery, my sleep, my rest, my mental and physical stress – it all has to come together. It’s not more important, it’s as important as your training. Sleep, eat, hydrate and take care of your mental health. People ignore their mental health, which is also very important.

A celebrity, Indian or otherwise, who is truly disciplined and focused on fitness.

I don’t know them all. But in my experience, Robin and Alia are both super disciplined, focused and dedicated to what they have to do. As for people I’ve never worked with – all athletes – I’ve always looked up to Rafael Nadal. I think he’s brilliant. In the Indian context, Virat Kohli. I think what he’s done with his fitness, he’s transformed the way people in India see fitness because it’s second to none. Hat !

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