In 2015, we launched our first ever magazine issue with Kris Gethin, transformation specialist and global fitness icon on the cover. He sat down to talk to us about his experiences and motivating others to get fit and chase their dreams. Here’s what we learnt.
MM: Tell us about your early life, before you got into the fitness industry, and how you transitioned towards being a fitness icon.
Kris: I’m a simple country lad, I come from a farm, from wales, I used to race motocross, and while I was Living in wales I decided to do a course in international health and sports therapy, I left in 1999, moved to Australia, had a gym over there, went to LA to become a full time writer for several publications, later became the editor of Bodybuilding.com, put out videos, transformation e-book until that led me to India, after Hrithik Roshan had read my book so I became a staple part of India for the last several years, helping people transform their lives over here.
How did you start your journey towards getting fit?
It was based on injury, it was never something that I thought I’d be a part of, but the funny thing is I always used to buy bodybuilding magazines even as a little kid. So that was like my comic books, I’d just look at the pictures of these real cartoonist people and it fascinated me even though I didn’t weight train. But then, when I was racing motocross, I’d succumbed to a lot of injuries, I used to go to the massage therapist, and nothing worked until I actually started rehabbing through weight training. I was alleviated of pain, I was alleviated of the compression associated with the pain so I became dependent on weight training and I haven’t stopped since. It helps make me feel better and it’s very therapeutic.
What are the most important aspects of training and dieting?
For the workout it’s the mental capacity. I believe that the mental part of anybody’s workout should be of utmost importance that can be the person’s differentiator between having a crappy physique and a great physique, regardless of that person’s potential or genetics. So I always say, if you want to take steroids, it’s already in your head you just need to tap into it. So the mental application is always the utmost important when it comes to training. When it comes to diet, it’s not what I eat, it’s the preparation. So here at the expo, I have my food with me, I will not leave the house until I’ve got at least 5 meals with me so I always say preparation is key.
Can you share some of your secrets to being so successful in the fitness industry?
There isn’t so much of a secret actually, people always ask me, and I find bodybuilding, transformation, any kind of success story, mental or physical isn’t technical, it’s very simple. It always comes down to hard work. So that secret is consistency and work ethic. You can come up with an excuse or you can come up with a commitment. You can get controlled by your environment such as an expo, such as the Mumbai traffic, or you can be prepared and know that this journey is going to take 4-5 hours.
Let’s talk about some of the celebrities you’ve trained and how your experience has been with them.
If we’re talking of Indian celebs, Hrithik was very easy to work with. It was hard in the sense that he had a lot of injuries so we had to really warm that guy up and be careful with the exercises we choose. He made it very easy for me because he’s a very smart guy, he’s very intuitive to his body. So if want to start off with 5 sets of bent over rows, he would tell me “nah this isn’t feeling right” so I was able to come up with an alternative exercise. So its very important to get feedback from your client, the right feedback, so I was able to do that.
The way he made it easy for me was, he’s got little tiny joints, which is bad for injury and inflammation, but a little bit of muscle on him looked like a huge amount of muscle. So he maybe only 70 kilos but in person he would look like he’s 80 odd kilos, because he has really full round muscle bellies very small waist.
With John Abraham, John is just a workhorse, he’s very strong, it doesn’t matter if he’s had 2 hours sleep that night or 3 hours sleep or he’s been working 3 days straight, he would never complain, he would go to the gym he may be dragging ass, but he’d do it regardless. I would ask him maybe we should take an extra day off so you can go and recover, he’d say no we’ll go and do it so it so he is very easy to work with in that regard, but very hard because I couldn’t get the guy to go to bed.
Bonus: Kris Gethin prepares chest, shoulder and leg workouts exclusively for Muscle Manual readers! Get it for free in the May issue Muscle Manual magazine here.