#KetchupTalks: Chitharesh Naresan shares some valuable insights on body building

Piyush Singh
Jul 11, 2023 13:04 IST
New Update
#KetchupTalks: Chitharesh Naresan shares some valuable insights on body building

We had an interesting conversation with Chitharesh Natesan also known as the Indian Monster where he shared some valuable body building tips with us.

The concept of body building has been here for a while but nowadays, the craze of it is more than ever and knowing the right things is crucial. One needs expert opinions for a positive impact on their progress. Hard work is one thing, but if you pair it up with a planned routine, consistency and healthy diet, you can do wonders. Chitharesh Natesan, widely recognised as the Indian Monster, exemplifies the significance of the same. By acknowledging such important factors, he has been able to maintain a remarkable physique as he is well-aware of the effectiveness of understanding the intricacies of muscle development. We had a brisk chat with Chitharesh Naresan over the same.

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Scroll down to read the whole conversation!

What inspired you to be a body builder and where did it all start?

I was inspired to become a bodybuilder by the environment and experiences I encountered during my daily visits to the gym. Seeing fellow like-minded gym-goers who are dedicated to building muscle and competing in bodybuilding competitions ignited a fire within me. Witnessing their commitment, hard work, and transformations motivated me to embark on my own bodybuilding journey. The desire to win big championships and be acknowledged as a top athlete also played a significant role in my decision to pursue bodybuilding seriously. The thought of standing on stage, showcasing my physique, and being recognized as a champion fueled my determination to push myself to new heights. Every day, as I observed the dedication, discipline, and perseverance of other bodybuilders around me, I felt inspired to embark on a path of self-improvement and physical excellence. I found immense fulfilment and purpose in the process of sculpting my body, building muscle, and constantly pushing my limits. As I progressed in my bodybuilding journey, my aspirations grew, and I set my sights on winning significant championships and gaining recognition on national and international platforms.

Can you share your daily exercise routine and how it has evolved over time to help you achieve your current physique?

Initially, when I began training in Delhi, especially in preparation for bodybuilding championships, my daily exercise routine consisted of two workout sessions. In the early morning, around 5 a.m., I would start my day with cardio exercises to get my heart rate up and burn calories. This allowed me to complete my workout before heading to work. Then, in the evening, around 7 p.m., after returning from work, I would dedicate my time to strength training with heavy weights. This routine of morning cardio and evening weight training became my norm during that period.

As time went on and I delved deeper into bodybuilding after competitions, my training routine evolved. When I transitioned to providing online training while residing in the US, there was more flexibility in my schedule giving me the opportunity to increase the frequency of my training sessions. I began training three times a day and focusing on different aspects of my fitness journey. In the early morning, I continued with cardio exercises to improve cardiovascular health and maintain overall fitness. In the afternoon, I dedicated a session solely to weight training, focusing on building strength and muscle mass. Finally, in the evening, I engaged in another weight training session, focusing on specific muscle groups and refining my physique. This increased training frequency helped me push my boundaries and make significant progress towards my goals. It's important to note that before competitions, my training became even more intensive. To ensure proper preparations and achieve the desired physique, I dedicated a minimum of 8 to 9 months of focused training. This extended timeline allowed me to fine-tune my body, optimize my nutrition, and make the necessary adjustments to bring my best package on stage.

What are some key exercises you focus on to build muscle and maintain your body shape? Could you provide some details about your sets, reps, and any specific techniques or variations you incorporate?

During the off-season, after competitions, my workout frequency is reduced to five days a week instead of six. For each exercise, I typically perform three sets, but some exercises may require only two sets. The focus during this period is on targeting and improving my weak areas. In terms of repetitions, I vary the range depending on the exercise and my specific goals. For exercises aimed at increasing strength, such as heavy compound lifts, I typically perform 6 to 8 repetitions per set. This lower rep range helps to build strength and power.

On the other hand, exercises aimed at maintaining muscle mass involve higher repetitions, usually ranging from 12 to 15 per set. This higher rep range helps to stimulate muscle growth and enhance muscular endurance. In terms of diet, during the off-season, I increase my caloric intake to support muscle growth and recovery. This involves consuming more overall calories, with a focus on carbohydrates. I adjust my protein intake to match my body weight, aiming for around 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, with a body weight of 90 kg, I would consume approximately 180 to 200 grams of protein per day. Maintaining a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is also crucial for optimal muscle growth and maintenance. By strategically adjusting my training sets, repetitions, and nutrition during the off-season, I ensure that I am giving my body the necessary fuel and stimulus to build and maintain muscle mass while also addressing any areas that require improvement.

How do you structure your workout split throughout the week to ensure you're targeting all muscle groups effectively?

To ensure effective targeting of all muscle groups, I structure my workout split throughout the week by following a specific routine. When I have three workout sessions in a day, I focus on cardio in the morning. In the afternoon, I prioritize training big muscle groups like the chest, while in the evening, I dedicate the session to smaller muscle groups like the triceps and calves. On some days, I also incorporate exercises for the back, including the lats and biceps. Shoulders have a dedicated day, and I add an extra session for arms and abs on that day during the off-season. For legs, I have a separate day for quads and another day for hamstrings and glutes. This way, I ensure that each muscle group is targeted effectively and receives ample attention throughout the week. As I approach competition time, I increase the frequency to two sessions per muscle group, training all muscles twice a day. This structured workout split allows me to optimize my training and ensure the comprehensive development of all muscle groups.

Nutrition plays a crucial role in bodybuilding. Could you outline your typical diet plan and discuss the importance of macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your regimen?

Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of bodybuilding and overall fitness, benefiting not only competitive athletes but also individuals striving for optimal health and well-being. A balanced diet is essential, serving as a preventative measure against various health conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol. Achieving this balance involves incorporating the three macronutrients—carbohydrates, fats, and proteins—in appropriate proportions within each meal. However, it’s important to note that individual dietary needs may vary, and some foods may not suit everyone.

In such cases, it’s advisable to find suitable substitutes. Personalization is key when it comes to nutrition. I pay close attention to my diet, measuring my intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. I ensure that I consume an adequate amount of protein to support muscle growth and repair. Additionally, I keep track of my calorie intake, making adjustments as needed to maintain my physique throughout the year.

Besides exercise and diet, what other lifestyle factors do you consider important for maintaining a healthy body shape?

In addition to exercise and diet, several lifestyle factors contribute to maintaining a healthy body shape. Sleep is crucial as it allows for proper recovery and muscle growth. Adequate restful sleep promotes hormonal balance and supports overall well-being. Stress management is also vital, as excessive stress can lead to weight gain and hinder progress. Implementing stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or engaging in hobbies can positively impact body composition. Supplementation can play a role, but it should be approached with caution. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist to determine the appropriate supplements that complement individual needs. Finally, hydration is often overlooked but highly important for maintaining optimal body function. Staying properly hydrated supports digestion, metabolism, and overall health, ultimately contributing to a healthy body shape.

Do you follow any specific dietary restrictions or practices, such as counting calories or tracking macros? If so, how do these help you maintain your body shape?

Yes, I do follow specific dietary restrictions and practices to maintain my body shape. I track my calorie intake and closely monitor my macronutrient ratios, including proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Counting calories helps me maintain a balance between energy intake and expenditure, ensuring I don’t consume excessive calories that could lead to weight gain. Tracking macros allows me to optimize my nutrient intake, ensuring an adequate protein intake for muscle growth and repair, appropriate carbohydrate levels for energy, and healthy fats for various bodily functions. These practices help me stay disciplined, make informed food choices, and maintain a healthy body composition that supports my fitness goals.

What are your go-to pre-workout and post-workout meals or snacks? How do they support your training and recovery?

My go-to pre-workout meal is sweet potato and egg whites, which I have about one and a half hours before hitting the gym. The sweet potato provides me with sustained energy throughout my workout. I prefer to rely on natural foods for my pre-workout energy rather than using supplements. After my workout, I consume two scoops of isolated protein powder to support muscle recovery. This helps to replenish my muscles quickly and effectively. About an hour later, I have a well-balanced meal consisting of either brown rice or white rice with chicken or fish. This meal provides me with the necessary nutrients for muscle growth and repair. Importantly, I follow a meal schedule of eating every two to three hours, which ensures that I maintain a constant supply of nutrients to support muscle recovery and gain. This approach allows me to optimize my training and achieve my desired results.

What are some common misconceptions or myths about bodybuilding and maintaining a body shape that you would like to debunk?

There are several common misconceptions and myths surrounding bodybuilding and maintaining a body shape that I would like to debunk. One of the misconceptions is that bodybuilding is dangerous because it involves lifting heavy weights, which can supposedly harm your bones. However, weightlifting, when done with proper form and technique, actually strengthens bones and improves bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Another myth is that weightlifting can stunt your growth, especially in young individuals. This is not true, as weightlifting does not have any adverse effects on height or growth. Additionally, some people believe that once you stop weight training, your muscles will turn into fat or sag. In reality, muscle and fat are two different types of tissues, and one cannot be converted into the other. Lastly, there is a misconception that weightlifting, particularly heavy lifting, can lead to injuries in the back, spine, or knees, especially for individuals over 40. While it is essential to use proper form and gradually increase weights, weight training, when performed correctly, can actually improve the strength and stability of these areas, reducing the risk of injuries. Weight training is a valuable tool for strengthening muscles, improving posture, and maintaining overall health, debunking the notion that it is harmful or detrimental.

As an influencer, you inspire many people to stay fit. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a bodybuilding journey but doesn't know where to begin?

If someone wants to start a bodybuilding journey but doesn’t know where to begin, my advice would be to start with a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding. It’s important to educate yourself about the principles of bodybuilding, including proper nutrition, training techniques, and rest and recovery. You can find valuable resources such as books, articles, and reputable fitness websites that can provide you with the necessary information. It’s also beneficial to seek guidance from a qualified fitness professional or a personal trainer who can design a customized workout program and help you learn proper form and technique. In addition to gaining knowledge, consistency is key. Develop a consistent workout routine and stick to it. Be committed and dedicated to your training, understanding that results take time and effort. Remember that progress may be gradual, but every small step forward is still a step in the right direction. Nutrition plays a crucial role in bodybuilding, so focus on adopting a balanced and nutrient-dense diet. Prioritize lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to support muscle growth and recovery. Stay hydrated and fuel your body with the right nutrients before and after workouts. Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of rest and recovery. Allow your body time to rest and repair through adequate sleep and rest days. Overtraining can hinder progress and increase the risk of injury, so listen to your body and give it the rest it needs. 

What kind of routine do you follow to keep yourself fit?

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