weighty: Celebrity fitness trainer Vinod Channa, the man behind Anant Ambani's transformation
Vinod Channa works with a slew of A-list celebrities such as, John Abraham, Genelia D’souza, Harshvardhan Rane, Aayushman Khurana and more. He’s the man behind Anant Ambani’s biggest transformation and also Shilpa Shetty’s post-pregnancy weight-loss. He has 20 years of experience in the industry and began his journey at the young age of 16. Why start so early?
"When I was young, I was very thin and underweight. All my friends and relatives used to call me sukhda. I was fed up with the criticism and that’s when I decided to work on my body. I began training from standard 12," says Vinod.
After facing discrimination and trauma in his childhood, he says working out makes him confident and communicative. He subsequently participated in many body-building competitions and started working with Talwalkars.
Impressed by his work, one of his clients suggested his name to Riteish Deshmukh for the movie Housefull. And he soon became the most sought out trainer in B-Town. The Ambanis, Birlas and many sportsmen are also his clients.
Vinod has also been named the "Best Trainer of the country" by Men’s Health India and has been nominated for another award by the government in the same category.
Speaking about his experience in transforming Anant Ambani, he says, "Seventy per cent of the credit goes to Anant. He was 208 kgs and he neither could walk nor stand properly. The problem with Anant was his eating habits and lack of exercise. But he was determined to reduce weight. That’s what anyone needs to get fit — determination. I helped him change his eating habits and included exercise into his daily schedule. We began very slowly — step-by-step and the results followed soon."
Vinod says that identifying the problem is the key when it comes to fitness. Medical history, genes, metabolism, are all important factors. Vinod, who’s been training John Abraham for his upcoming movie Dishoom, also says that youngsters shouldn’t set unrealistic fitness goals for themselves by blindly following celebrities
"It’s not as easy as it looks like. Every body is different, few gain muscle faster than the others. You must always consult a proper trainer and work out slowly; don’t directly aim for a six pack.
"I see so many youngsters who have great bodies, but they can’t even jog or jump for some time. They lack stamina. Strength, mobility and endurance are all a part of good workout." He suggests that a good one-hour-session will
Plan a high protein diet, keep reading about fitness, work hard, set smaller goals and don’t get demotivated easily, advises Vinod, who spends 16 hours in the gym, helping his various clients tone up.