Inspiration From Uma Shankar
By Vishwanthar on Health, Inspiration, Training
September 4, 2018
This is Uma Shankar. He looks vibrantly healthy after losing the excess baggage around his midriff–a potbelly is never healthy. Doctors warn that possessing a potbelly poses a greater risk of death from heart problems than does being obese. Interestingly, most of my gym clients who lose weight look healthy, but some of them look pale and emaciated. When you lose weight, if you predominantly lose muscle you can look bleached. Although I tell my clients to consume ample amounts of protein and to lift weights to lose fat, which is one of the healthiest ways, a few don’t listen to my advice. They falter by committing themselves to a short-lived fad diet or cardio program, which usually result in excessive muscle loss. A quick fix never yields long-term results. Uma is an exception, for he looks much younger and healthier.
A few years ago he frequented my gym for several days. He wasn’t serious about committing himself to coming to the gym regularly. Newcomers sometimes find it difficult to persist in coming to the gym. Making it second nature can be a daunting task for them. However, Uma again showed up this year in the month of April. Unfortunately, he had injured his lower back and looked dejected. He had herniated his lumbar disc (L5-S1) and was plagued with cervical spondylosis. He also told me that before joining the gym he had seldom jogged on the ground. The herniation wouldn’t allow him to perform any exercise, as the disability was exceedingly debilitating and depressing.
Somehow, he had mustered the courage and had come to the gym in the hope to get fit and losing fat. Luckily, during that time my colleague in the gym was certified as an Animal Flow level 1 trainer. This had prompted us to start conducting a few batches of animal flow movements in the gym. We also realized that these movements, though they looked insignificant, would enormously help my gym clients get fit and strong. This was an intense form of exercise. We soon realized that it would be a true blessing.
Since Uma didn’t want to risk injury he was keen on hiring me as his personal trainer. I was convinced that animal flow movements would tremendously help him strengthen his weak lower back muscles. I personally had executed those movements, as my colleague had taught me some basic ones. I had realized that these unique movements could in fact significantly help individuals who had lower back ailments. They had helped me strengthen my core in no time. (Possessing a strong core is essential for individuals with lower back ailments.)
My colleague and I outlined a program for Uma. It included performing three days of animal flow movements and three days of strength training a week. Uma Shankar is now a great proponent of animal flow. He vociferously praises animal flow, as he says, “It’s a boon for a person like me with a major back ailment. I feel my core strength to have shot up, and I also see a great improvement in my flexibility. It is truly holistic. Earlier, sitting for long hours in the office, desk job, would cause continued discomfort and pain. Driving my car would also hurt my lower back. Not anymore! Overall, I am feeling strong, young and truly alive. It feels that I have turned younger.” Moreover, he weighed 103 kilograms when he had joined the gym. He now weighs 86.5 kilograms. He has lost more than 15 kilograms within a short span of time. The changes he has achieved in losing fat may not sound great. But he looks much younger and moves with finesse while he is performing animal flow movements. Its heartening to see him effortlessly perform these humble movements.
Assisting individuals in losing their excess baggage is enormously satisfying. However, helping an individual achieve their optimal level of fitness and strengthen their weak and injured areas is immensely gratifying.