Abraham Nikhil torments people with a smile. It is not that he’s a well-formed masochist, but the established fitness coach and founder of Phyzique does take pride in what he does, and he does with a hefty dose of charm, usable advices, and good laughs. Ask Ford Models Supermodel Of The World Singapore 2011 winner Povaneswari Shanmugam, who Nikhil helped whip to shape; or the other regular fitness-goers at his bootcamp and one-on-one sessions. Not only does his clients leave home stretched and conditioned, they also take away high-spirits that’s rare in the today’s fitness industry. ActuallyMag speaks to the ever optimistic coach on all things fitness.
What got you into fitness?
I started going to gym and would workout with my friends. It was in secondary school that my love for fitness began.
You’ve been a fitness trainer for years, how do you thing the public’s response to the profession has grown?
People are more accepting of guidance now than ever before as they have struggled for years with achieving their goals and maintaining a healthy well rounded lifestyle. They are more open to seek out help in areas they are not familiar with.
Share with us how your company, Phyzique came about.
When I came into the industry, I worked for Fitness First at Paragon. I learnt a lot from the company and was very blessed to have been taught by many of the senior trainers there. After a few years of being with the club, I realised I needed to progress and grow as a trainer. I wanted to venture into working outdoors and running bootcamps. I also wanted to offer to my clients the flexibility a freelance trainer could offer. That was when I decided to start Phyzique.
You seem to specialize in a lot of nu-aged routines.
The body moves most efficiently as a unit. Meaning for us to move better, we need to utilize the whole body as a package. We need to change our focus from the common goals of weight loss, muscle gaining, and aesthetics. Instead we should focus on how well our bodies move. For example how fast I can run, how well I can lift, how easily my body can learn and perform tasks it needs to do.
When we focus on how our body performs, all sorts of benefits will follow. We teach our clients to move better by slowly but steadily progressing them from isolated exercises to full body movements.
What do you think is the most important aspect of fitness?
By getting an all rounded training program which includes cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Nutrition and the mind-body aspects are equally important. We want to have a sound body and mind. One cannot efficiently work independently without each other.
What are some of the training that you do for yourself?
One thing we always do at Phyzique is that we practice what we preach. Whatever routines or exercises we give our athletes, we do ourselves in our own training. I believe in doing a bit of everything as life situations are always changing and so my training should reflect that.
There are many different kinds of trainers, what kind of trainer do you see yourself as?
An understanding but firm trainer that educates people to help themselves, empowering them to live life to its fullest.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about the profession and why do you think this is so?
That someone who looks fit must know what they are talking about. That is not always the case. It is knowledge they have and how they apply it that is essential. A good athlete does not necessarily make a good coach.
Share with us some trade secrets to maintaining a fitter self.
There are no secrets that are not already well known. Just apply all of those aspects in the right amounts.
You have always had a positive outlook towards everything you do, what are some beliefs and principles that you adhere to?
Live in the NOW. Enjoy life to its fullest. Do all things with a passion if not don’t do them at all.
Everyone has their place and is important. We learn when we make mistakes, it is okay. Always strive to be a better person for myself and for the people around me.
Fitness to you is…
Being able to do what I want, when I want to do it, and being able to do it when I least expect it.
- Zul Andra