Bollywood Star Ajaz - Training Under The Watchful Eye Of John Shumate.
Thank you, Ajaz Khan and John Shumate for taking time out of your busy schedules for this interview. There are a lot of cool topics to cover so let's dive right in.
[ Matt Weik ] Ajaz: Could we get some background information on you?
[ Ajaz Khan ] I am originally from the great city of Ahmedabad, and I had always dreamed to act on the silver screen since I saw Amitabh Bachan perform in Agneepath - "The fire path". Even while I was in London and New York, I never lost the sight of my dream and always inched towards it.
Ekta Kapoor's daily soap opera, Karam Apna Apna was my first step to start this journey towards the silver screen. From then on I went to act in various teleseries like Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka, Rahen Tera Ashirwaad, Kahani Hamare Mahabharat Ki as well as the recent Shaurat, Nafrat aur Showbiz on Sony, where I worked with Vikram Bhatt. My latest venture is a teleseries "Crime and Bollywood" where I am portraying the role of Sanjay Dutt.
My vision of acting did not stop only at television, but with God's grace I was able to extend my talent onto the silver screen as well.
I have recently finished shooting for a Bollywood movie, Allah Ke Bande-"The children at War". Working with Sharman Joshi and Naseeruddin Shah in the film was an experience of a lifetime for me. I have also completed a movie titled Lamha starring Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt and Kunal Kapoor and am looking forward to work in Chor Pe Mor with Ramsay Brothers.
The much awaited movie Rakta Charitra is being released in October as well. The film is said to depict the life of the slain political leader. The film, currently in the final stages of production, is scheduled to be released on October as well.
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My Vision Of Acting Did Not Stop Only At Television, But With God's Grace I Was Able To Extend My Talent Onto The Silver Screen As Well.
[ MW ] John: Could we get some background information on you?
[ John Shumate ] Sure, I spent over 20 years in marketing and strategic management with large companies; I have a finance degree and an MBA and have taught marketing at the University level. However, my true life-long passion has been fitness. I've been lifting for almost 40 years and have competed in countless running, cycling, duathlon, and triathlon events. Through research and participation I have been a student of fitness my entire life and decided to pursue my passion full time. I became certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and launched Omni-Fit, a company that's growing into an international fitness organization that advocates fitness and healthy living for everyone.
[ MW ] Ajaz: How did you break into the industry?
[ AK ] My debut movie in the Indian Film industry was EK "The power of one"- costarring; Nana Patekar, Bobby Deol, Shriya Saran, Chunky Pandey and Jackie Shroff. I am so gracious to the director Sangeeth Sivan to give me this break; my stepping stone in to the bollywood.
The story of "EK"is about a contract killer, who is framed for a murder of a politician and I was lucky enough to portray the role of the politician's alliance.
Stunts by the celebrated stuntman Peter Heins, is one of the assets of the movie.
[ MW ] John: You have quite the physique and look better than guys half your age. What does it take to be shredded at the age of 50?
[ JS ] Thank you, the formula is very simple on paper but can be challenging in execution. Obviously, you've got to work very hard in the gym.
First, I think flawlessly proper form is critical to maximize the effect of every single rep.
Second, you must be willing to constantly push beyond your present boundaries, which are often just mental and self imposed.
This may sound simple, but most people prefer to stay within their comfort zone, therefore their bodies will stay the same.
Lastly, forget your age. Popular culture ingrains in us that at 50 (or even at 40) we're pretty much done with expecting much from our bodies, and that's totally false. Our bodies will respond well to what we ask them to do and to the clean fuel we provide them for our entire lives.
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I Think Flawlessly Proper Form Is Critical To
Maximize The Effect Of Every Single Rep.
[ MW ] John: What made you get into fitness and personal training?
[ JS ] Not only do I love fitness, I love helping people to succeed and to improve themselves, that motivates me more than anything. I've always had a strong mentoring streak in me. To help someone realize that they can be more then they imagined and to help them push through barriers, that means a lot to me. Wrapping this up into fitness is a great thing, we lead happier, more fulfilled lives when we're fit, this is absolutely true.
[ MW ] John: What does your personal training program look like?
[ JS ] I stick mostly to the proven fundamentals of resistance training. I do classic body-part rotations and focus on perfect form. I also pride myself in my work ethic in the gym, I push very, very hard. Simply put, the more you demand from your muscles, the more they respond through growth. I like to infuse running and cycling into my workout program, and I'll often change up my routines by combining different body parts, by variability in range of motion, and through altering the combination of weight, rep count, and sets.
[ MW ] John: What does your diet look like?
[ JS ] Clean eating is what it's all about! First, I ensure the proper macronutrient balance, for me it's about 45% protein, 40% low-glycemic carbs, and about 15% healthy fats from fish oil and from nuts like raw walnuts and almonds. Second, I control my portions and calories, and I err on the low side for my metabolic needs. Last, I spread my intake out through the day with three meals and three snacks. A typical day for me looks like this:
- 2 slices of Whole-Wheat Toast
- 1 cup plain, low-fat Yogurt
- 2 cups of Coffee
- 1 Multivitamin
- 2 Fish Oil capsules
Meal 3: Meal 4:
- 1 Protein Drink with 25 grams of Whey Protein
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1 cup light Vanilla Soy Milk
- 1 scoop Creatine
- 1 scoop L-Glutamine
- 1 handful of raw Vegetables
- 1 handful of Walnuts
- Same as morning snack or maybe a Protein Bar
- 8 oz Chicken Breast
- 1 small Spinach Salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 small portion steamed Vegetables
- 1 small portion Sweet Potatoes
- 1 square of 72% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
- 1 Beer or 1 glass of Red Wine about 3-5 times per week.
Honestly by the time I have dinner it can be as late as 8:30 p.m., so often times I just skip the evening snack.
Also, I drink about ¾ gallon of water per day, critical to keep the system flushed and hydrated!
[ MW ] John: You started your own fitness business (www.omni-fit.com) and are also writing a fitness book for people over 50. How are these projects going?
[ JS ] Fantastic! My book "Refiguring 50" is done and awaiting publishing, I hope to have it out this coming spring of 2011. It's intended to help people over 50 break the stigma about what's possible after 50, how it's never too late to be in the best shape of your life, and to motivate them to get going.
Omni-Fit is very exciting. In addition to a fast-growing local client base, we've extended our reach internationally through social networks and through the blog www.omni-fit.blogspot.com. We're busy lining up a series of international fitness seminars beginning late in 2010, the first will be on the island of Cyprus in November, the second in Poland in February 2011. In addition, we're developing a series of fitness information product that should begin distributing in January, 2011.
All of these efforts are in the name of helping people throughout the world live better through health and fitness.
[ MW ] John: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
[ JS ] It's not so much where I see myself, it's where I see Omni-Fit, in 5 years I want it to be an international outreach effort that has spread and is known globally for helping people change their lives for the better through health and fitness. This will be a combination of ongoing international seminars, fitness information products, and a network of people committed to spread the knowledge base on fitness and healthy living.
[ MW ] Ajaz: What made you want to get into film and where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
[ AK ] Cinema and acting are my passion, my life and I think passion becomes strength when it has an outlet. The unity of the world rests on the pursuit of passion and I probably see myself in Hollywood in the forthcoming years of course with the support and wishes of my fans and friends.
The mind-blowing performance of Amitabh Bachan "The King of Bollywood" in one his Film's, Agneepath-The Path of Fire; left an everlasting impression on my mind and soul and inspired me to become an aspiring actor. Agneepath, an intense melodrama which was released in 1990, derives heavily from Al Pacino's 'Scarface'. This film was up there with the 'City of God' and 'Hard Boiled' world cinema masterpieces. The story is about a man who is fed up with injustice becomes his own system of governance yet manages to keep his conscience intact in the underworld. The film was inspired by the poem written by Late Sir Harivanshrai Bachchan Ji; Amitabh Bachan's father and a renowned hindi poet.
[ MW ] Ajaz: What got you into fitness and what motivates you to continually train hard and keep yourself in shape?
[ AK ] Sylvester Stallone's performance and iconic inertia in the smash hit "Rocky" inspired me to go for body building. I was so impressed by Sly Stallone that I got all the 5 CD's of the film. After watching Sly Stallone perform in Rambo I became his hardcore fan and that thought and idea of drilling my body to look like Sly Stallone was buried deep in my subconscious and I decided to direct all my positive energies to reach my goal.
You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That's the mark of a true professional and to reach the goal I would leave no stone unturned.
To aim is not enough, you must hit the target. This keeps me motivated to undergo the rigorous training and keeping myself in shape.
And I think I turned out lucky to get in alliance with John Shumate and Bodybuilding.com to help me guide to the path of success.
[ MW ] Ajaz: Can you tell us a little bit about your role in your latest film which will be out in October?
[ AK ] There are two movies being released in the month of October; Raktha Charitra and Allah Ke Bande.
"Rakta Charitra' is the story of a man's phenomenal rise to power and a story of the most intense blood curdling conflict ever heard of between two individuals. Moreover, the story is also the ultimate statement on the often heard disastrous consequences of a fatal mixture of caste, crime, family feuds and politics and the film has been dubbed in three languages.
Rakta Charitra has been directed by Ram Gopal Verma known as RGV amongst his fans and friends, a well renowned Indian film director, screenwriter and producer.
My second film that is being released on 22nd Oct, 2010 - Allah Ke Bande - " The children at War" is based on the life of two twelve year old boys living in one of the most ruthless slums of Mumbai. Both are working for Mafia and supply drugs and loot people, they start developing a more sinister criminal psychosis instead of reforming and set a gang for ultimate power as they grow up. Life forces the two of them to make a decision between choosing their misguided childhood dreams and redemption.
Redemption comes, but with a heavy price. The movie is directed by Faruq Kabir and has been supported by UNICEF; the largest UN organization in India and ensures that each and every child born in our country, gets best start in life. UNICEF has associated with Allah Ke Bande to support the honesty and integrity that the film carries in bringing to notice a subject like juvenile crime. This film has also given India its first graphical music video by the name of "Maula."
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I Turned Out Lucky To Get In Alliance With John Shumate And Bodybuilding.com To Help Me Guide To The Path Of Success.
[ MW ] John: You are working with Ajaz (through the internet) and training him for his upcoming projects-especially a big one in December. What type of training program do you have him following under your supervision?
[ JS ] Ajaz is a special person, he is very committed to his goals and to fitness, therefore the on-line relationship works well because of his discipline and self-directed nature. Ajaz is currently cutting for his important upcoming project, so we're working to cut body fat and show definition. Ajaz currently has good lean mass so we're continuing to lift heavy to remind his body to hold on to this muscle while the fat melts away, but also working in cardio to keep his metabolism running high to burn more fat.
[ MW ] John: What kind of diet do you have Ajaz following to help him maintain his lean muscle mass while dropping his bodyfat?
[ JS ] We're managing a daily calorie deficit providing a glide path toward 8% body fat by December 1. Ajaz is running a macro mix of 45% protein, 40% clean carbs, and 15% healthy fat while eating six times per day. We have had specific challenges during the Ramadan observance where Ajaz could only eat after sunset and before sunup. This required Ajaz to set an alarm and awake in the middle of the night to ingest a protein drink. We continue to measure Ajaz's progress and make diet adjustments on the fly to keep us on track, he's looking awesome already and will be incredibly ripped when his to project begins filming. Ajaz is the real deal.
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Ajaz Is Currently Cutting For His Important Upcoming Project, So We're Working To Cut Body Fat And Show Definition.
[ MW ] Ajaz: The big role that you will be starting in December, can you touch on that a little? I hear it is from the industry's top producer.
[ AK ] I am really excited about my upcoming film in December; but unfortunately I have little to say about the film as the cast and the storyline is being kept under wraps or the moment. We'll have to wait and watch.
[ MW ] Ajaz: This new role you are working on needs you to be in single-digit bodyfat levels. Do you feel this will be a difficult task or have you already been making great progress?
[ AK ] A task always seems difficult until it is started and finally completed and I think I am almost there. Working on single-digit body fat levels was a very challenging task. I have been closely monitoring my diet and following my exercise schedule religiously, all under John Shumate's able guidance and we both think that we are making a steady progress toward our goal.
When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.
[ MW ] Ajaz: You already have made a name for yourself and quite the following. What would it mean to you to be recognized as one of the top actors in India-critics are already calling you the Sylvester Stallone of India?
[ AK ] Being recognized as one of the top actors in the Indian film industry would be dream come true, the golden dream that I have been holding on to for long and I would never let it go. Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second chance, give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. I am honored that my critics are calling me Sylvester Stallone of India, but I have a long way to go to be compared to my idol, the Macho Man - Rambo. It is a challenge for me to rise up and outstand in such a competitive industry but than what can be achieved in life without a challenge, right?
[ MW ] John: Is there anyone you would like to thank who helped you get to where you are today?
[ JS ] Just all of the pioneers of the current fitness industry, going back to Jack LaLanne, who laid the groundwork for acceptance of a healthy lifestyle in today's culture. I'm just trying to play a small part in continuing advocating health and fitness and hopefully spread the word on a more global basis.
[ MW ] Ajaz: Is there anyone you would like to thank who helped you get to where you are today?
[ AK ] I am so honored by the love and kindness that my fans and friends have given me and am blessed to be in alliance with John and bodybuilding.com to lay out such a wonderful a platform for me.
I would like to thank my mother, who showed me the way of life. Her love, encouragement and confidence in me kept me motivated to achieve my goal.
I have no words to thank John Shumate, my teacher and mentor, who spared his valuable time and resources to carve me into the man I am today. As we all know mentors are very instrumental in a person's growth in any field; John's faith and trust in my capabilities had a very positive impact on me. I really admire John; as he has the strength of a character that I can lean upon.
Bodybuilding.com has played a pivotal role in motivating me to transform my body and help me accomplish my goal and I would like to express my gratitude to it.
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I Have No Words To Thank John Shumate, My Teacher And Mentor, Who Spared His Valuable Time And Resources To Carve Me Into The Man I Am Today.
[ MW ] John: Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that we haven't already covered?
[ JS ] Remember the name Ajaz Khan, he will become a household name in America.
[ MW ] Ajaz: Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that we haven't already covered?
[ AK ] Pain is my motivation, we cannot learn without pain, everything worthwhile needs some effort.
No pain, no gain; no thorns, no throne; no cross, no crown.
I train and work out so hard that I leave no room for doubt in my mind. I am a firm believer of the thought "The mind is the limit" and as long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.
I for sure believe in luck, and I have found that the harder I work, the luckier I get; so work hard my friends.
[ MW ] Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. I wish you the best in everything you do.
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