Meet Personal Trainer Sharmila Regala
A trainer that balances mind, body and soul both in and out of the gym.
I understand you compete in fitness competitions. Why did you become involved in such a disciplined activity?
Initially, I started competing in fitness competitions to overcome my shyness. I’ve always participated in team activities such as basketball, volleyball, and track and field, but competing on stage was not something that I thought I could ever do. After my first competition, my confidence increased and I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed the experience. Three years later, I am still competing and enjoying the transformation and progress of my body. I am in the best shape of my life!
So tell us, how did you do in your most recent competition?
I am so excited because I actually placed 1st in my last competition and qualified for the provincial competition. This goes to show you that hard work and discipline can really pay off. My body has changed more than just physically.
From here I will compete against the best female fitness contestants in Ontario, in my height class (medium/tall figure).
How do you modify your eating habits when in competition training?
The diet is the most difficult part of the whole contest preparation process. It consists of a high, lean protein diet, good fats, fibre, and minimal low glycemic complex carbohydrates. Dairy and simple sugars, such as fruits are excluded and condiments are kept to a minimum. When I am not in contest preparation, I eat a well-balanced diet without restrictions.
What type of meal would you recommend for a client who wants to have more of a balanced diet?
A healthy diet consists of a combination of protein, fibre, and a low glycemic carbohydrate. Salmon (good fat and protein), with asparagus (fibre), and brown rice (low glycemic carb) are great examples.
Competing requires you to be on the road a lot. Can you describe a situation where fitness equipment wasn’t available and you had to “create” an innovative way to work out?
Being on the road a lot is part of the competition world. Besides going for a run or hiking, other examples of being innovative with my workouts include utilizing body weighted movements, such as push-ups, pull-ups, walking lunges, and tricep dips. Personally, I enjoy combining functional movements with weighted exercises. The summer is a great time to hit the beach and the sand provides that extra burn when I am running or walking.
What type of fitness activities do you enjoy outdoors?
Running hills is a great cardio and leg workout and burns a lot of calories. Sprinting intervals and plyometric drills at a local football field is also a great activity to do outdoors. As a busy trainer it’s difficult to get out and see friends all the time, so I enjoy putting leagues together so that we are all able to keep fit and have fun!
Some days I find it difficult to get motivated to go to the gym. On days like these what gets you up and going?
Setting goals and making a weekly schedule of when to train, what time and what body part motivates me to go to the gym. Being organized and planning ahead allows me to stay on track with my fitness goals. My theory is, if you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail. Our Medcan clients have busy schedules and planning in advance helps to make daily fitness a priority.
You’ve got an amazing mid-section, what’s your secret?
I train my mid-section 3 times a week with a combination of isolated core exercises such as planks, pilates inspired movements, and weight incorporated core exercises. Sometimes I mix it up with a circuit workout. Each movement I do is done in 4 sets and higher repetitions or until exhaustion.
Keep in mind your core is not just your abs, but it’s also your spinal cord, your obliques and lower back. Every area of the core has to be strengthened not only for aesthetics, but for proper body functioning, injury prevention, and training purposes as well.