Cure the Un-cureable | Sumair Bhasin
I have always rooted for the underdog and I love a comeback story! I’ve made a lifelong study of people who have persevered in the face of great adversity. Today I interview Sumair Bhasin, a Whole-istic Strength & Conditioning Coach out of Austin, TX. He literally used a strong mind and body to heal himself from a disease which the doctors could not cure. I don’t think we will ever know the full power of a passionately committed mind, but every now and then we catch a glimpse into what is possible. Let’s meet Sumair
Nothing in the World can Take the Place of Persistence and Determination
Sumair Bhasin was born in Dubai, U.A.E. and is currently the owner of TrainLifeFit Gym in Austin, TX. He is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and has a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Hi Sumair. Who are you, who do you help, and how do you help them?
I like to call myself a whole-istic strength and conditioning coach who helps people find stronger and healthier versions of themselves. The people that I serve are those wanting to take responsibility for how they want to look, feel, and what bad-ass things they can actually do.
I don’t see fitness and wellness as solely for the elite athlete, but rather a birthright for every human being. I don’t have your typical cookie-cutter approach of do 100 burpees, 10 pushups, 50 sprints, and then pray to the health gods for the best. Rather, I see quality as paramount as I seek to help optimize people’s movement, eating, and lifestyle habits.
This means understanding and practicing optimal positions, internal cues, and proper breathing. Then we can manipulate things like reps, sets, frequency, and intensity (AKA start to kick ass!). The same goes for nutrition. Before we hit macros, and all of that jazz, I simply help people add high quality nutrients into their dietary arsenal of awesomeness.
I like to see it as I am adding X or Y food to my body simply because I know it will make me feel amazing and perform better in and outside of the gym.
And last but not least, understanding the type of lifestyle habits you need to manage and maintain a feeling of wellness is FIRST. Forget everything else. From this foundation of wellness, then we are empowered to step up and transcend into stronger and healthier versions of ourselves.
How do you stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle?
I know that in order for me to serve as many people out there as possible, be an amazing boyfriend, make time for my family, and my friends my body needs to be in a state of optimal function. I constantly pursue a healthier version of myself because my dreams and aspirations hinge on it.
It’s personal development at its finest and it’s getting in touch with yourself in the most intimate and powerful way. From here, I’m no longer plagued with low energy, weakness, joint pain, inability to go and see things I’ve always wanted to, depression, and dis-ease.
What’s more: If I do slip into one of these states, I am equipped with the knowledge to pull myself out. That’s powerful.
With regard to weight loss / fat burning, what type of exercise has worked best for you?
I’d say I stick to your basic compound lifts: Deadlifts, All variations of squats (Loving the Front Squat as of late), bench press, bodybuilding accessory work, and a slew of conditioning tools (kettlebells, prowler sleds, sprints etc.)
I like to play around with Olympic lifting and gymnastics work for corrective exercise purposes as well. Strength is my foundation, so that when I do condition myself with HIIT (high intensity interval training) like training, I am less likely to hurt myself or default into bad positions.
What does your current diet consist of? Do you try to keep a strict diet?
I keep a flexible diet. However, it wasn’t always this way. As with everyone else out there, you have to find what’s best for you.
I went on a hunt from trying vegetarianism, to veganism, to strict paleo, to IIFYM (if it fits your macros) etc. Rather than hate on any of these methods, I simply pulled the best from each one.
Paleo is my foundation, but I throw in grains like brown rice and quinoa, and lots of healthy fats. My primary goal is first address any vitamin/mineral deficiencies that I might have. Typically a solid Multi-vitamin, a fish or krill oil, and green smoothies tend to do the trick.
Please take a second to share this inspirational story.
And for the protein of course, the cleanest sources of meat I can get my hands on.
I’ll play around with “not so healthy foods” but it’s more intermittent, rather than cheat days and that sort of thing. I only get really strict if I’m looking to get to 8 percent body fat, or compete in a powerlifting meet.
Who are your typical clients, do you offer online training, if so, how does the program work?
My clients typically are within the age demographic of 30-55 looking to improve the quality of their lives, change their physique, and improve their performance in the everyday and in sport.
I do have an online training business. The way it works is that I first have a client fill in an in depth questionnaire. The more I know about you, the more I gather up resources to help you.
I then have them sign up on Evernote (free account), where I create a notebook personalized to them. Your workouts (with instructional videos and cues), nutritional information, and lifestyle optimization tools will all be contained in this notebook.
However, instead of tackling it all at once, we will work on small habits we can implement each week that add up to big change. Clients get 3 90 minute skype/facetime sessions a month with me where we talk about how to navigate their notebooks/new habits. We track before/after pics, numbers going up in the gym, and of course how you feel inside and outside the gym.
What obstacles or setbacks have you had to overcome to achieve your desired physique?
I could write a whole book about it, but instead I will pull a snippet out of my blog:
I went from being an overweight kid, to suffering with a chronic painful skin condition call Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). Mouthful right. This is basically where your sweat glands underneath your armpits are blocked. As a result, the skin invaginates on itself (read more through my blog above), causes inflammations, swelling, and leakage of pus and blood. What followed was severe depression, and extreme insecurity issues. It took me hitting rock bottom to change my lifestyle habits, as it takes some people. Haha, there are some that just get it off the bat, and some that need to learn the hard way. I was in the latter group. I went on a tireless hunt for ways to heal myself, since the doctors I went to have no real solution other than to pump me with steroid injections and call it a day. I experimented with every diet in the book, tried all sorts of movement and breathing practices, and managed my stress with daily affirmations and Epsom salt baths. Over time, I found a protocol that best suited me and that was complete, whole-istic change. Wellness had to be my foundation, and it is from that place, I found my strength. And with my strength came to ability to change the way my body looked and felt. I have never been happier than right now in this moment.
Editor’s Note: You have got to go to Sumair’s blog and read this entire story and see the accompanying pics. It is amazing and a true story of destroying the barriers in our life.
Please take a second to share this inspirational story.
What encouragement do you have for the DFI readers?
If there is one thing I’d like to impart to anyone out there, it is that you don’t have to relinquish your power to the doctor, to your family, social media, or friends.
Take responsibility for your own mind and body. Immerse yourself into experiences, fall on your ass a few times if you have to (figuratively of course), but in the end you will succeed.
Even if it means that you have to fail and recommit. As long as you recommit to being the healthiest and strongest version of yourself, you can’t lose.
Fitness Bio: Sumair Bhasin
I like to call myself a whole-istic strength and conditioning coach who helps people find stronger and healthier versions of themselves. The people that I serve are those wanting to take responsibility for how they want to look, feel, and for what badass things they can actually do. I don’t see fitness and wellness as solely for the elite athlete, but rather a birthright for every human being.
If you are in the Austin, tx area be sure to check out Sumair’s Whole-istic Strength and Conditioning Gym. It will be opening very soon.
Daily Fitness Interview invites you to support finishing the build out of the gym via the Train Life Fit Crowdfunding Campaign.
Sumair and his team have already raised $2,107 dollars in a matter of 3 days!! All contributors will receive discounted deals on various TrainLifeFit services. Find out more by visiting https://www.locallift.com/