How you can work 18 hours a day and still be fit — Gurbaksh Chahal
'If I wanted to be successful in my professional life, I need to make it a priority to take care of my health,' says Gurbaksh Chahal
The 4:30 am Start: The Routine, Diet, and Exercise.
As most people know, being a CEO is a tough job, especially when you're building a company from scratch. Business is the toughest sport you can play as an athlete. You need the endurance to deal with the highs and lows, the stamina to handle the rejection, and the courage to master the art of sacrifice. Discipline becomes your biggest strength and time your biggest enemy.
Doing all this while maintaining your health becomes challenging. But, like anything in life, we can do it — we just have to put in the effort by showing up and increasing our tolerance for pain.
Many have asked what my diet, routine, and workout regimen is like. So, here's what I do:
Weight is irrelevant, BMR is everything
Get your Body Fat percentage checked immediately. Weight as a number is irrelevant. If you are able to get your starting body fat percentage, you can now begin to determine how long it will take you to realise your fitness goals. You also will get a reading of your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
BMR is the amount of energy expended while at rest (also known as the calories you need to consume just to maintain your current weight).
One general rule of thumb (if you are doing everything right) you can only lose 1 to 1.3% of body fat per week. In my case, at 26 weeks I lost an average of 1.18% body fat per week.
Input calories = How many calories I consume through food.
Output calories = My BMR + Exercise.
Weight Loss = A Caloric Deficit
Get a routine going
It’s necessary to have a routine every day. This is mine.
4.30 am: Wake Up
4.30 am-5.30 am: 1 Hour Steady-State Cardio (Incline Jog, 4.0mph with an 8.0 incline)
5.30am- 7 pm: Work
7 pm-8 pm: 1 Hour Strength Workout (Weights)
8 pm-8.15 pm: 2 Mile Evening Run
8.15 pm-12.15 am: Finish Work
1 am-4.30 am: Sleep
Sunday is my only rest day for Strength Training. However, I still do cardio (steady-state cardio + evening run) every day on repeat. I also don’t consume any alcohol. However, I drink 2-3 gallons of water per day.
Here are 5 workouts laid out by my personal trainer, Victor Tsui, to help build muscle. You can simply adjust the weight based on your starting point but the goal is to hit the big muscle groups twice a week while increasing your weight over time. Do 3-4 sets of each exercise.
• Morning Steady-State Cardio for 1 hour. 4.0mph with 8.0 incline on the treadmill.
• 15 minute, 2 miles run in the evening. Also, helps me unwind mentally for the day.
Workout #1: Legs Shoulder
A1) Walking Lunges 16kgs x 12 reps
A2) Dumbbell Shoulder Press 26kgs x 12 reps
B1) Goblet Squat 28kgs x 12 reps
B2) Arnold Press 16 kgs x 12 reps
C1) Single Leg Step Ups 16 kgs x 12 each leg
C2) Side Raises 8 kgs x 12-15 reps
D1) Kettlebell Swing 16kgs x 1min
D2) Plate Hold (in front of the body) 10kgs x 1 min
Workout #2: Chest Biceps
A1) Push Ups 15 reps
B1) Flat Dumbbell Press 30kgs x 10 reps
Or Flat Smith Machine Bench Press 60kgs x 10 reps
B2) Standing Bicep Curls 14kgs x 12 reps
C1) Incline Dumbbell Press 24kgs x 10reps
C2) Hammer Curls 12kgs x 15 reps
D1) Flat Dumbbell Flyes 14kgs x 15 reps
D2) Incline Bicep Curls 14kgs x 12 reps
Workout #3: Back Triceps
A1) Dumbbell Row 30kgs x 10-12reps
A2) Skull Crushers 10 kgs x 10-12reps
B1) Chest Supported Row 18kgs x 12 reps
B2) Cable Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown 17.5kgs x 10-12 reps
C1) Seated Single Arm Cable Rows 17.5kgs x 12 reps
C2) Tricep Bench Dips (20kg plate on lap) x 12 reps
D1) Lat Pulldown 40kgs x 12reps
D2) Alternating Single Arm Tricep Extension 7.5kgs x 15 reps
Workout #4: Shoulder Core
A1) Smith Machine Barbell Shoulder Press 45kgs x 12 reps
A2) Plank 1min
B1) Arnold Press 16kgs x 10-12 reps
B2) Reverse Crunch 1min
C1) Side Shoulder Raises 8 kgs x 12 reps
C2) Russian Twist 12kg kettlebell 1min
D1) Front Shoulder Raises 10kgs x 12 reps
D2) Plate Crunch 20kg x 15 reps
Workout #5: Full body (minus shoulder)
A1) Smith Machine Incline Chest Bench Press 20kgs (each side) x 12 reps
A2) Bent over Dumbbell Row 22kgs x 12 reps
A3) Heel Tap 60 reps (each side)
B1) Cable Chest flyes 12.5 kgs x 12 reps
B2) Walking Lunges 16kgs
B3) Mountain Climbers 1 min
C1) Decline Push-ups 15 reps
C2) Chest Supported Row 18kgs x 12 reps
C3) Reverse crunch 1 min
You make muscles at the gym and abs in the kitchen.
Your Diet is essential to any fitness goal you set. It’s your “input” of calories. To make my life easier, I do meal preps as I find this to be crucial to know how much I am consuming. Many times when we don’t measure our meals - we end up eating way more calories & servings that we don’t account for.
My Diet consists of Low Carb, Medium Fat, High Protein. On the weekends, I opt for a similar breakfast but for lunch and dinner, I eat extra chicken with salad. I also love Quest Hero Protein Bars, make at least 1 Protein Shake, and eat 2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter after dinner.
Everyone’s results will vary
To me, this was a personal decision to get back into my normal shape and make health a priority again. If I wanted to be successful in my professional life, I need to make it a priority to take care of my health.
Remember to take everything one day at a time. It can be done and you can do it. I’m rooting for you. It takes 45 days to create behaviour into a habit. Memorise yours: routine, diet, and exercise.
For more of my fitness posts, you can follow me on Instagram @gchahal