A national-level swimmer in school, celebrity personal trainer Shivoham was always inclined towards fitness. While he was introduced to the world of boxing with Sylvester Stallone's Rocky (1976), he was not allowed to enter a gym until he was 18. A born sports person, Shivoham continued with his fitness endeavours throughout college. But like any successful story, he too drifted from his path and moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in animation — which he did only for a year.
“I used to stay right opposite the beach and would see people surfing, swimming and doing all sorts of physical activities. It just didn't feel right sitting in front of the computer. It was not the kind of life I wanted to live,” reminisces the 35-year-old. After he quit the course, he did odd jobs like cleaning dishes and floors, telemarketing and selling gym membership for a Melbourne-based gym Fitness First.
A year of doing that and Shivoham was asked to look after the gym’s India franchise. Instead, he expressed his desire to become a trainer and was sent for a personal training course by the gym. Soon after the course he knew this is what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
In order to further enhance his skill sets, a random search on the Internet gave him cross-fit and he went on to do a certification course in the same. Taking his expertise and certification he moved back to Mumbai in 2009 to open India's first cross-fit gym. Now along with his wife Vrinda Mehta, who looks into the mental aspect, the couple runs Shivfit — the spirit of fitness.
It was in 2010 that Shivoham got his first celebrity client — Jackky Bhagnani. “He came to me through a common friend. I was told there is a guy who wants to become an actor and needs someone to look after his physical training aspect. That is how I got into training celebrities," says the personal trainer. Since then there has been no looking back. From Abhishek Bachchan, Jacquline Fernandes, Ranveer Singh, Kangana Ranaut, Sonakshi Sinha, Aamir Khan to Tamannaah Bhatia, he has trained them all.
“Aamir Khan is fantastic, he is called perfectionist for a reason. I trained him during Talaash where he had to look like a cop. Also, he didn't know how to swim at that time and he had to learn it, as there are scenes of him jumping in the river. So, I taught him swimming as well from the scratch,” says the fitness expert.
Currently in Jaipur training Arjun Kapoor for Panipat, Shivoham is all praise for the actor. “I had trained Arjun during Ishaqzaade and he knows for a fact that fitness is very important when it comes to an actor's lifestyle. Before the movie, he was on the bulkier side but because he is playing a Maratha warrior in the movie, he has to be a bit leaner. Besides, there are two-three body shots that will happen towards the end of May. The transformation process for which has already started and he is doing absolutely amazing,” says the trainer and adds that training the super energetic Ranveer has always been fun.
“I know him since college days as my brother and he was in the same year. I started training him when he signed his first film Band Baaja Baaraat and then for some part during Lootera. The highly energetic Ranveer that you see on screen is no different off screen," he laughs.
Always on the go, the couple likes to relax and visit temples. “Our life is a holiday, it takes us places. Since we train the client in the morning, evening or depending on their schedule, we have a lot of free time in our hand. So, we make it a point to visit temples wherever we go. In Jaipur, we plan to visit the Salasar Balaji temple that is more than 250 years old," says the trainer.
However, the couple makes sure to run away to the mountains at least once a year. From trekking for 12 days at the Annapurna Base Camp to camping at Everest Base Camp, the couple believes in never stopping....