Whether you’re a newbie at working out or an almost-pro, the goal is to get the most benefit out of how much (or little) you work out, eat right to aid your body in exercising and recovery. We spoke to Zoe Modgill, Founding Partner and Instructor at Studio 60 by Club Xcell, on moderate workouts and eating better, for beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers.
Well begun is half done: Beginners
“When you’re starting, it’s always important to be safe. The risk of injury is higher here, so go easy and don’t get carried away. Understand techniques and posture, and of course, take the time to understand your body and what it is capable of. Once the basics are mastered, then you can start to challenge yourself,” says Zoe. The goal at this stage is to get your body moving and used to working out.
Must-do exercises: Basic cardio like walking/running/spinning or dancing + strength training like pilates and yoga + using your own bodyweight, experiment with squats/pushups/lunges and planks. Frequency: “4-5 days a week is more than enough.” Beginners can give themselves a day of rest in between, or at the very least, try to alternate the workouts – one day cardio and the other, strength training. Remember that the body changes when it’s resting
Zoe is our goddess. She says, “Diets that cut out or stop certain things, aren’t the best solution to long-term healthy habits and weight maintenance. Treat your body with respect, with healthy choices that are going to leave it nourished and healthy.” And that of course, includes organic fruits and vegetables free of chemicals and pesticides.
What to eat: An all-round diet of protein, fats and carbs is a must. Remember to eat something light before a work out like a banana, and some protein after. What’s the secret? Portion control and balance. Try and eat often, small meals throughout the day.
Cheat Day: Treat yourself with your favourites time to time, this is what will keep cravings under control.
Power through the middle: Intermediate
Zoe says once you’ve mastered the basics and can work out well for about 30 minutes, comfortably, and you understand your breathing patterns, you’re in a zone where you have to start pushing yourself.
Must-do exercises: “Intensify squats/pushups/lunges and planks. Add weights, add plyometric (jump) movements and variations. Work on speed and duration of the exercise. Under supervision is always the best way.”
Level up: with weight training, different variations of intensity and duration. Now your goal should be to master a skill, so that exercising constantly remains a challenge and interesting; and doesn’t become a chore.
Eat Sheet “The harder you work your body, the more you need to ensure you fuel it right. Exercise increases the appetite.” And when you’re fueling up, ensure that you’re eating produce that’s free of adulterants and is full of natural nutrients. (Hint: it’s organic)
What to eat: “Make sure you consume enough protein for good muscle recovery and make sure you get good energy from sources like sweet potatoes, lots of veggies and fruits.” What’s the secret? Try and eat often, small meals throughout the day.
Cheat Day: As before.
The Power Zone: Advanced
“An advanced-level exerciser has honed certain skills and can boast of good stamina and endurance, and works out at a weight load capacity that still works you out. Exercise and challenging the body is a constant process, and the best thing to do is keep at it,” says Zoe. She goes on to add that keeping the body agile and strong is paramount.
Must-do exercises: “Weightlifting, high intensity training, functional running across long distances, yoga and kickboxing – in good amounts. At this point, you’ll know your weaknesses well, and overcoming or bettering them is the goal.”
What’s next: “Keep challenging yourself.” So like the Olympics – higher, stronger, faster.
Eat Sheet “At this point, people such as myself really do begin to pay more and more attention to fueling their body in order to look or perform a certain way.” Organic fruits and veggies are a big part of keeping your eating clean and healthy.
What to eat: “High protein diets are essential, and ensure fast muscle recovery and keep lean muscle intact. Carbs fuel us – so choosing them wisely is super important.” What’s the secret? “The more lean muscle you want to preserve, the more you need to think about your sugar and salt intake.”
I Say Organic Bonus!
Exercises everyone should be doing: “Cardio for 20 mins + squats/pushups/lunges and planks” Zoe’s easy portion control guide: Protein the size of your palm + carbs to fit a cupped handful + veggies to equal the size of your fist + fats the size of your thumb
About Zoe Modgill & Studio60 by Club X-cell Zoe Modgill, from New Delhi is armed with a degree in Graphic Design, a BA in Social & Ethical Advertising from Central St Martins and The London College of Communication as well as an instructor qualification for Les Mills Cxworx and Bodypump. She is an inspired artist, novel graphic designer and enthusiastic fitness instructor. Studio60, co-founded by Zoe in 2014 with her partner, Diya Roopchand Kaul, a fitness studio that celebrates inspiration, energy, good health and a peaceful mind. With a focus on the ‘Feel Good’ factor, they offer a range of customized workout sessions! From personal training to group fitness, from spinning to kickboxing, our studio offers a chance to laugh, joke and have fun, all while getting fit.