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Swetha Subbiah on Magical Mornings: UnitePod- A Leading Podcast in MENA region

In this episode of Magical Mornings, we featured the founder of Sweat by Swetha. She goes by the name of Swetha. She has worked as a personal trainer and fitness coach for close to a decade now. Over the years she has worked with clients, to not just get into shape, but to fulfill personal fitness goals, however unattainable they seemed at the start. Her focus has always been to get clients to understand their body so that they steer clear of short-term fixes and focus only on lasting lifestyle changes.

Here’s the interview of Swetha Subbiah with UnitePod.

Q. You are an amazing Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer. Please tell us how your journey with fitness started?

Swetha: My love for sports is very firmly rooted from my childhood. I was a very active kid and I played every sport that I could get my hands on. Through school, I played various sports be it basketball, Hockey, Badminton. I represented sports either at school level or the club level. I took up hockey professionally and represented the state of Karnataka under 16 squad. I was forced to take a back seat unfortunately in 10th grades when I faced my board exams. And I think after that the decision was made to focus more on academic than in sport because it was hard to see a clear career path especially a lucrative one in sport especially being a woman in sport. After my basic schooling in India, I moved to Canada to pursue a under graduate degree in Economics. I spent about for and a half or five years there. It was during that time that I was introduced to gym. I visited the university gymnasium and started working out there. At that time I didn’t know what I was doing and what exercise to do and I was pretty much copying the person next to me. The reason that I didn’t continued to play sport at that time was I was in Canada, Toronto and it was cold most of the year, it snowed for six months of the year. So the gym was the best option where I could keep doing through the seasons and through the year. But to after I came back from Canada, I worked at Ernst & Young as an accountant or as a consultant for a couple of years after which I decided to move to fitness space.

Q. Has fitness always been something that you are passionate about?

Swetha: Absolutely. Like I said my love for fitness and sport were firmly rooted in my childhood. I was very active and outdoorsy kid. I used to play out with the boys only because I don’t used to see many girls playing at that time. I am happy to say that that seem to be changed a little bit over the years. But yeah, sport primarily as consequence fitness has always been a part of my life and something that I am very passionate about.

Q. How did it feel to start your own venture and reach to a point where you are today?

Swetha: Sweat by Swetha actually happened by accident. I was in between jobs. I was interviewing for the position of gym manger at a new health club and during my interview with the owner of the gym we got into a conversation and discussion about all the various things that were required to have a fully functioning health club space. As it turned out that the owner realised during the conversation that there was a lot of things that they haven’t thought of and they didn’t had the expertise. And that’s when they offered me the position of the consultant to set up the club from the scratch and mange it. So that’s when the opportunity properly set up and I quickly assembled a team together and incorporated Sweat by Swetha and started my fitness consulting business.

Q. Why according to you does a person need a Personal Trainer?

Swetha: A person need a personal trainer much like one would require a doctor if they have an issue. You wouldn’t assume to know how to solve your problem. You would go to a doctor. In the same way, a personal trainer is an individual who has studied and understood the science of training and understands how to design a program based on somebody’s goals, their exercise history and if they have any sort of medical issue one needs to be aware of. Especially if one is engaged in resistant based training, the risk could increase very high if form is incorrect or if you are dealing with an injury. In such a case, having a personal trainer guide you through the workout is always advisable. Also if you are training with a certain goal in mind which most of the people do and should perhaps to some extent, the personal trainer will be in the best position to design a program again taking in the consideration your current level, your exercise history and your medical history as well as your goals.

Q. Now that you have become fitness coach and reached your peak level of fitness, is there something you still want to achieve in terms of health and fitness?

Swetha: I certainly don’t think that I have reached my peak. In fact I am of the opinion that nobody is at their peak. People can continue to train and see progress over the period of time. And I am sure that I also can see progress over the time if I trained for it. Given where I am currently in my life, all the works that I am involved in and all my other responsibilities, I think that my goal as far as training is concerned is just to maintain my current fitness levels and to keep going.

Q. Can you share some tips and advice to remain constant in our fitness and diet for all the people listening out there?

Swetha: I am of the opinion that the people tend to yo-yo and binge because of the nature of the diet. Most of the diet tends to be extremely restrictive and exclude important food groups for example the noble carbs diet was not so popular and definitely show results in short run because if at the end of the day, you cut calories you will end up losing weight by virtue of that but also cutting out major food groups and a micro nutrients like carbs has quite devastating impact on human body in the long run. So whenever you are being too restrictive, it always have a rebound effect of just letting go one day and not being able to hold on to the diet and going rather extreme. So by virtue, I am also quiet against of dieting. I, in fact, believe that one need to figure out how to have healthy relationship with food and have nutritious meals. However, it is true that in certain cased, certain people do need to restrict their calorie intake or intake of certain types of food. But this is only if advised by a certified nutritionist or a doctor based on their assessment of that individual. Other than that, I think if anybody tries to look up to the internet for a diet and try it out, they are setting themselves for failure in the long run at least. So develop a healthy relationship with food and you won’t see that yoyo pattern repeating itself.

Q. In your opinion, did the 2020 lockdown quarantine make or break people with their fitness journeys?

Swetha: I think, 2020 for the most part, for most people was a good year as far as their fitness was concerned. The reason being that everyone was forced to pause for a bit and things slowed down especially as far as work was concerned for most people. And this really gave them time to focus on other important things fitness being a part of it. For those who were already very engaged in and active, I believe that perhaps for that group alone maybe their fitness took a backseat because they didn’t have the access to the grounds to play sports or heavy up lifting weights. But I think for most people, they compromised and found some sort of way in between. So I think for majority of the population, at least from my understanding and from what I saw, 2020 was a good year for fitness.

Q. How often according to you should a person train when it comes to fitness?

Swetha: According to me, there isn’t any specific schedule that one should follow. It really depends on your lifestyle. If you are a very busy person with many responsibilities, it might be hard to train for four or five or six times a week. And maybe three times a week is what is possible. But for the rest of the week you are already up on your feet and active doing other things. If you are not an active person or your job doesn’t require a lot of activity and you have the time, then of course you could even train seven days a week. So this is quite a subjective one and I would come back to the fact that it really depends on your current lifestyle and if your lifestyle can accommodate for it, in some cases, obviously we need to make the time. But working out shouldn’t be an added stress but be something that alleviate your stress. And if you are an extremely busy person and making time five or six days a week might not be possible, in which case two or three times a week to do a focused fitness activity might be more than sufficient.

Q. If you could step into my shoes, what would you have asked yourself that I didn’t?

Swetha: I think that you have covered everything quite well with your question. But if there is one additional question which is a very common question which I get asked is what the best time to train is. And the answer to that simply is the best time to train is when you are the most consistent. I could tell you that first thing in the morning is the best time to train but if you are an individual who just doesn’t like mornings and have a hard time getting out of the bed or you have a child in the house that you need to tend in the morning or perhaps the first thing in the morning you are rushed to work or you can’t wake up much earlier because you had a late night then that isn’t the best time for you. So finding a time when you are most consistent is going to be the best time to train.

Q. What message do you have for our listeners and where can they connect with you?

Swetha: One quick message is hard for me to find because I always have so much to say. But yeah make fitness your lifestyle and I know that this has been said to death but it is true that it’s not about the results but it really should be about progress. Don’t be disheartened just because you had a bad week or a bad month even. The pint is to just be at it because this is something that you need to do for yourself for the rest of your life. So find your healthy balance as much people tell you what to do and when to do. You need to figure out in context of your life what works for you. Find a training program that is fun for you because if you do something that you absolutely loathe for example if I tell you to wake up and run 3 kilometers every morning and you hated running, chances are that you are not going to stick to it. So change it up and try different activities, find something that you enjoy and you can do consistently and do it as often as you can. And there might come a time when even that might get boring and you might have to change again. That’s what keeps it fun and interesting that there is always something to look forward to. So make it a part of your lifestyle. Nobody who has incorporated fitness as their lifestyle has regretted it. That’s good news. So good luck with everything. If you want to get in touch with me, the best way to do that is through my instagram account which is Swethasubbiah. I hope you enjoyed this podcast and I look forward to hearing from you guys.

This leads me towards the end of the podcast. Thank you so much Swetha for sharing your inspiration and thoughts in world of fitness. Thank you so much for coming to this podcast.

Swetha: Thank you for having me. It was great to be a part of this podcast.

That’s a wrap of another episode of Magical Mornings featuring Swetha Subbiah who worked towards her passion from the very childhood and started her own fitness consultancy company which goes by the name Sweat By Swetha.

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