Sonam Kapoor embraced Pilates after a little coaxing from Radhika Karle and is the first one to credit Pilates for helping her flaunt that super-hot bikini body in Bewakoofian, Khoobsurat, and Dolly ki Doli. It was Sonam’s mother, Sunita Kapoor, who first came to train with Radhika. The vivacious, super fit trainer recalls, “Mrs. Kapoor had done Pilates in Los Angeles, and was looking to continue training in Mumbai; she happened to mention this to a friend of hers, who was already training with me, and recommended me. I think it was after two days of training with me that Mrs. Kapoor asked if I would train her daughter. I agreed and it has been a fantastic rollercoaster ride with Sonam for the past three years!”
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on the core muscles, the powerhouse of the body. These are four muscles located in the abdominal and lower back area of the body. The core incorporates all the muscles and works on flexibility and strength together. There is a strong connection between the mind and body, much like Yoga, and thus this mind-body relationship is the essence of the Pilates practice.
Some of the movement principles of Pilates are:
ACHIEVE BALANCE: Importance of uniformly developed muscles of the body in Pilates. BE EFFICIENT: Working towards efficiency helps to focus our energy where its most needed. SEEK HARMONY: Harmony of the mind, body, and soul which is the essence of Pilates.
There are misconceptions that Pilates is “for women” and not for the manly man, says Radhika. However, any athlete who has tried it has gone on record to say it’s actually harder than their normal trainings. “We have many male clients who, though they cringe (yes it is MUCH harder than the conventional weight training workout) realize it is very important to have a strong core and be flexible.” Radhika explains that the core is the powerhouse of the body so the stronger your core, the stronger your entire body. “I had the opportunity to train Fawad Khan while we were shooting for Khoobsurat. He sported a perfect 6-pack in the film all thanks to the hard core Pilates workouts he did on the Reformer!”
The ideal bikini body workout plan includes the following:
Pilates: Thrice a week. Its the best full body integration exercise and works to whittle ones torso.
Weight training: Focus on the large muscles of the body, that is, the back, chest, legs and abs
Interval training: We did a lot of this during Sonams shoot for Khoobsurat. Interval training helps to build stamina and endurance.
Cardio: The heart is the most important muscle of the body so 30-45 minutes of cardio at least twice a week is essential. Sonam loves swimming which makes for a great cardio workout.
Nutrition: This is an important part of training. To get the perfect bikini bod, its 70-80% about your diet and just 20% about training. “The meal plans I create at Radhika’s Balanced Body are all personalized meal plans based on the client’s lifestyle, fitness goals, and any pre-existing medical conditions.
Heres a sample of the meal plan Sonam Kapoor followed to her fabulous bikini-body.
We did an ovo-vegetarian diet plan (eggs for protein, no meat, no dairy) which worked very well for Sonam and allowed for some great inch loss.
- Pre-workout in the morning: Juicifix cold pressed Go Green juice + fruit + black coffee
- Breakfast: 2 eggs + 1 slice gluten-free bread
- Snack: 1 cup pomegranate + Green tea + ¼ cup mixed nuts
- Lunch: 2/3 cup cooked rice + ½ cup cooked lentils (dal) + ½ cup cooked vegetables (sabji) + ½ cup salad
- Snack: Juicifix cold pressed fruit juice + ½ apple with ½ Tbsp all natural peanut butter
- Snack: Grilled vegetable sandwich with Green chutney (mint, coriander)
- Dinner: 1 cup vegetable miso soup
When Sonam travels she doesnt have time to think about meals. So, its important to ensure she carries her snacks with her and gets her food on time. She also stays hydrated (air travel really dehydrates you), and obviously does her workouts!
Radhikas Balanced Body is a Pilates studio created by Radhika Karle. She holds a Masters degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Texas Womans University, Houston. She has also done a fellowship in Adolescent and Sports Medicine. She has over ten years of work experience in the field of fitness as a nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga and Pilates instructor.