Fitness

Nike’s only male ambassador from India, Kunal Rajput on his fitness journey

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The 26-year-old fitness trainer based in Mumbai sees the kettlebell as a versatile tool for achieving physical and mental strength

Swings, snatches, cleans and jerks — the kettlebell is a versatile equipment in the sphere of fitness. And for Kunal Rajput, a fitness trainer based in Mumbai, it is a tool for achieving physical and mental strength. In the city to conduct a workshop on basic and intermediate-level kettlebell workouts in collaboration with F45 Neelankarai, the country’s only male Nike trainer opens up about what wellness means to him.

The 26-year-old’s journey began over five years ago, when he realised that his conventional bodybuilding routine at the gym was redundant. He found that kettlebell workouts were fun and reminded him of the sports he used to play as a child. Kunal explains, “Kettlebells are used to perform many types of exercises and combine mobility, muscular endurance and coordination into one movement. They help discard dead weight from the body, leaving one lean and strong.”

The athlete signed up to be a certified coach from EKFA (Energy Kettlebell Fitness Academy) in 2016. Numerous competitions later, Kunal was picked to participate in a three-day bootcamp by the Nike Training Club. He aced a rigorous selection process, was chosen as the third trainer in the country to get certified as Nike’s Brand Ambassador of Fitness, and is currently the only male trainer among the four in India.

He now heads workshops and sessions for the Nike Training Club (NTC), and says, “As a brand that is a personification of sports, NTC is primarily aimed at empowering women to enter the field of fitness. Apart from free sessions in Mumbai and Delhi curated by Nike, the app suggests fun and effective workouts which can be personalised.”

To each his own

Kunal in 2017 developed The Movement, a six-day fitness regimen that combines workout routines like powerlifting, crossfit, calisthenics and bodyweight training.

“We bring in exercises from different verticals such as power, agility, endurance and strength, so that people can choose according to their comfort.” Combining scientific methods while placing safety at the core, the studio also offers football training and internship programmes at two locations in Mumbai. The athlete also turned author with the ebook Fitness Simplified, a guide that delves into aspects like nutrition, strength and conditioning, soon to be published by Synergy Books.

Kunal believes that fitness is a mental journey as much as a physical one. He has big plans for the future. Having worked with celebrities such as Rohan Joshi, Raveena Taurani and Priya Banerjee, he says, “My fitness philosophy is that all bodies are different and this makes the end goal very relative. There is no definitive rule that one must follow. I believe that people should keep experimenting, as every movement has something to offer.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:53:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/nikes-only-male-ambassador-from-india-kunal-rajput-on-his-journey-with-fitness/article29618765.ece

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