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What's your workout: Shiva Rallapalli

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Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine:

I have a diverse workout routine that I follow during the week. I do CrossFit and functional training twice a week, which includes aerobics and strength training; run one to two times per week and do yoga and Pilates one to two times per week.

What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?

Both of my parents were doctors and, as a result, I was both health-conscious and a fitness enthusiast right from childhood. I had a good fitness routine through college and regularly played a variety of sports, including tennis, cricket, soccer and racquetball.

A couple of injuries, a change in lifestyle after entering the workforce and work pressure forced me into a rut for a few years. I was able to motivate myself out of the rut to not only get back into the fitness levels I was previously at, but also exceed them. My personal trainers, Ian McGriff and Sarah Fried, were instrumental in my fitness journey and inspire me every day to push my limits. 

Why is it something you have stuck with?

I consider my fitness routine an investment toward my overall health and well-being. I am healthier and have more energy because of this investment. That has translated into a better quality of life and time spent with family and friends, more productivity and success at work. I feel good knowing that I am making an investment for the future of my health and well-being.

How do you make time to work out?

I would have to thank my wife for that. She is amazing and takes care of a lot of things at home so that I can go and work out through the week.

Have you lost or gained muscle mass through working out? How much?

I have gained muscle mass through working out, but I have never measured the gain.

What’s your favorite exercise?

I equally like all my exercise routines as each one of them impacts my body in a different way. I wish I could spend more time doing Pilates, but my work and commute prevent me from going to the group classes during weekdays.

Any exercises you dread but do anyway? Why?

I do find some exercises tougher than others but do not dread any of them. Ian’s motivation and guidance helps me push to overcome the tough ones.

Do you listen to music while you work out? What’s on your playlist?

Listening to music while working out distracts me because I start analyzing the song. But I listen to some fast-paced music while running longer than five miles, as it tends to get boring otherwise.

Do you follow a special diet? If so, describe it briefly. Do you “cheat” much?

I would not call it a diet, but I do eat healthy from Monday to Friday. I give myself the weekend to splurge and indulge. I eat smaller portions with a higher frequency every day. I make sure to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean meat and avoid foods with high caloric and low nutritional value.

Do you have a favorite fitness moment, for example, when you reached a tough fitness goal or overcame a plateau?

I played in a Louisville cricket league last summer. I felt really good when I noticed that I was outperforming guys who were five to seven years younger than I when it came to fitness levels and stamina.

What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?

I have different tricks up my sleeve to push myself when I get lazy, but I think having a great trainer helps me a lot.

What advice would you give some one who wants to start working out?

Have a clear goal and purpose about why you want to work out. Start out small and take incremental steps in pushing yourself. You will know it’s time to increase the intensity of your workouts when things become easy. Mix things up with different workouts and routines, but be disciplined and consistent with the frequency. Do not expect miracles overnight and eating healthy is as important as the workouts themselves. Above all, respect and listen to your body.

What’s a little-know fitness fact about you?

My heart beats 10 to 15 times less per minute during normal activity compared to the rate for a healthy man of my age group.

—Compiled by Jennifer Willhite

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