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Fitness Talk with Celebrity Personal Trainer Ricardo Riskalla

Exclusive interview with celebrity personal trainer Ricardo Riskalla talking essential exercises, staying fit during self isolation and much more:

Fitness Talk with Celebrity Personal Trainer Ricardo Riskalla

Editor MAJA VUCKOVIC sits down with Celebrity Personal Trainer RICARDO RISKALLA to talk about the perfect workout, importance of nutrition and something on everyone’s mind these days – a good home workout. 

What made you become a fitness instructor?

Fitness is my passion. Since I was very young I practised sports, starting with gymnastics then body boarding and finally running.

It’s like therapy, it centres me, relaxes me and it made me want to help other people to achieve the same. My childhood, my passion for the outdoors shaped me up to be the trainer that I am. Then I went to study it, practice and perfect it, and I am still working on it.

Fitness Talk with Celebrity Personal Trainer Ricardo Riskalla

How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

Fitness is a science and as such it needs to be updated almost everyday.

The key is to explore, dissect and implement anything that works. You can mix everything from Pilates to Rugby.

There are so many things out there that work and people don’t use them because they think it is not in fashion or because it looks too simple.

Fitness is a science and as such it needs to be updated almost everyday.

Sometimes It’s good to revise things like redo a yoga training, just to get a different perspective from a different teacher.

Exercise is like a prescription, so I go into my catalogue of exercises and mix everything that will work for clients specific target.

What is a perfect workout for you?

The perfect workout is the workout that balances the mind and body of clients. All clients need to leave their sessions revitalised and relaxed.

Personally, I am against pushing people above their limits and making them exhausted. In the world we are living in we are bombarded with stress and one of my roles as a trainer is to remove that stress and not add to it.

Training like anything body-related is a fine line between doing well and overdoing it. It is very easy to overdo it in fitness. And most people cross that line. People think, if I do “more” of this or “add more weights”, the results will be faster and better, and that is not the case.

One of the biggest mistakes that people do is to speed things up too much and when that happens muscles are underused.

In reality, technique is the most important thing. Small details like breathing, speed and concentration are essential. Breathing slowly during any exercise and making sure that every movement is done slowly with precision and control, so all muscles involved are recruited.

One of the biggest mistakes that people do is to speed things up too much and when that happens muscles are underused.

Also, it is important to add stretch movements, before, during and after any session.
It is all about balance. All of my sessions also have breathing exercises; they are great to add concentration, mental clarity, and focus.

Above all, sessions should be done according to what the client presents in terms of muscle tone, stress, diet and targets, and then I adjust myself to it. It is all about the client.

Fitness Talk with Celebrity Personal Trainer Ricardo Riskalla

How important is the nutrition while in the process of working out?

Some people say that nutrition is 70% in terms of contributing to health, body shape and fitness, I say it is everything.

You cannot get any results without giving your body the proper building blocks. It’s like comparing training to the construction industry. If you want to build a top quality project you need to use top raw materials, and that is the diet in relation to training.

A good diet is simple, unprocessed, high in antioxidants and superfoods and rich in minerals and vitamins.

Most people think that we need huge amounts of protein to get results but the reality is that just a small quantity of it is enough.

The focus should be on real foods that come from the ground, and organic when possible. Foods with added salt should be removed. All foods already contain natural sodium. No need to add anything to it. I prescribe fermented foods to my clients, things like sauerkraut, fermented nut cheeses, noni juice, and apple cider vinegar.

A good diet is simple, unprocessed, high in antioxidants and superfoods and rich in minerals and vitamins.

And water, lots of water. The secret is to have filtered water, never mineral water because mineral water has a high sodium content that creates fluid retention and that is one thing that we avoid in the fashion industry.

As a trainer for models I add to my model clients’ diets foods that create glowing skin, things like raw cacao powder, olive oil, garlic, vitamin C, resveratrol and some other things prescribed according to the client’s needs.

What are the essential exercises everyone should know?

The male model body is very unique. It cannot be over developed or under-developed.
We need to follow certain targets and industry standards.

I would avoid exercises on machines because they create muscle imbalances and not harmonious proportions.

Body weight exercises are the way to go here.

The male model body is very unique. It cannot be over developed or under-developed.
We need to follow certain targets and industry standards.

If in doubt do some push-ups and chin-ups. They must be the core of any male model routine.
Every client is unique and requires different exercises to balance their bodies and create a perfect body.

Fitness Talk with Celebrity Personal Trainer Ricardo Riskalla

Outdoor workout or gym?

Always outdoors! Outdoors is the way. It connects us to nature, sunlight, and animals and relaxes us.

I am a bit against indoor gyms. In my opinion they create social anxiety, lack cleanliness, and I can’t stand mirrors everywhere. My clients train in a beautiful park in front of the ocean, wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Given the situation in the world, what is your advice for maintaining a fit body in quarantine?

The world is in quarantine but not your health and body. We must exercise, especially now.

Exercise creates a whole cascade of good hormones and helps to reduce the stress that we are suffering right now.

It also helps to improve your immune system. We can all exercise anywhere.

I developed a whole system to train my clients in periods like that. Live stream broadcasting enables my clients to train anywhere in the world, and it is one-on-one and live!

The world is in quarantine but not your health and body. We must exercise, especially now.

Also there are a selection of exercise videos that are just body weight exercises, no equipment needed, and most of my male clients use them when they are doing fashion weeks because the sessions last less than 10 minutes! They are available on my website (Model Series).

Fitness Talk with Celebrity Personal Trainer Ricardo Riskalla

Can you give us an example of a good home workout?

A good home workout is mainly maintenance of a program that was designed by a professional trainer.

Home workouts should follow rules of periodization, basically some days easy, some days hard and at least one day off to recover from the stress.

Days off are so important and essential because on those days the body has the chance to rebuild itself.

One of the most underestimated home exercises is walking, it helps you to detox and calm your mind.

Another exercise that must be part of a male homework is push-ups. They are so complete and help to tone the whole upper body and open the chest muscles without too much bulk.

What should we do to boost our immune system during the self-isolation?

Here are some things that you should cut out of your diet: alcohol of any kind, sugar, high fructose fruit, honey, agave nectar, rice syrup, maple syrup, gluten, dairy, salt, animal protein (avoid it if you can) and processed foods.

Days off are so important and essential because on those days the body has the chance to rebuild itself.

Things that you should have on a regular basis: vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, low fructose fruit, and good oils.

Things that you should include every day in your diet and they will make a whole difference: wild fermented sauerkraut, fermented nut cheeses (recipe from my cookbook), raw garlic, turmeric, onions, ginger, lemons, vitamin C, lots of alkaline filtered water, fasting (for the fasting protocols please read my book The Ricardo Riskalla Training Diet), coconut oil, coconut cream, wild oregano oil, apple cider vinegar, resveratrol.

One thing that you must include in your life is meditation with deep breaths because that will reduce your stress hormone cortisol, and the body and mind can work at its best capacity.

Everything that I mentioned here is also good for the health of the planet, and everything that I said to avoid creates global problems

Consider this as a lesson for you to improve your life and live according to the laws of nature!

How do you motivate your clients to reach their goals?

The best way to motivate anyone to reach their targets is to create big targets, and then work everyday on them.

Consistency is the only thing that makes a winner different from someone that is a victim. Just think big, keep it simple and wake up everyday knowing that every action you make you get closer to the big thing you want.

Meditation is very important during this process because it calms the mind and helps to create more focus.

I have a book called Inside Fitness that describes a few techniques that I use with my male clients.

Keep up with Ricardo on www.ricardoriskalla.com and on Instagram @ricardo.riskalla.training

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