| Pune |
Updated: August 24, 2020 9:10:39 pm
Recently cricketer-actor couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma took to Instagram and shared snippets of a septuagenarian working out on his terrace. Calling him “inspirational and motivational”, the couple said they admired the man for lifting weights while being on a vegan diet. “Hats off sir. This is so motivational and inspirational. And on a vegan diet. God bless you with more strength,” wrote Virat.
Check out the post below:
Indianexpress.com reached out to Tripat Singh, the 75-year-old “Insta-famous” fitness enthusiast who took to a vegan diet around two years ago. “I had seen my father suffer from diabetes. Since I had seen him from close quarters, I always wanted to be fit and healthy. I used to wrestle in 1965-67 in Jalandhar, and we used to do 500 push-ups in one go. The strength I built then has stayed with me even after all these years,” said Singh, who now looks after his family’s readymade clothing shop in Chandigarh.
But Singh had not worked out for over 40 years as he was busy with work, family, and children. It was only in 1999 after his wife passed away and he moved to Chandigarh from New Delhi that he realised he had started to “put on weight around his stomach”. “Relatives started reminding me how fit I used to be back in the day, and how I was putting on weight now. I finally resumed running and walking around 2004-05,” said Singh, who now stays with his two sons and their families.
But things changed after Singh decided to test his fitness level and ran a 1500 meter-marathon in 2008 in the senior citizen category. “I came fifth, and that was the first motivation to try harder because I participated without any preparation. It was after that that I consciously started running 15, 20 kilometres each day, in order to prepare for next year’s marathon, which unfortunately got cancelled. That’s when I decided to run 10 kilometres in a Gurgaon marathon in the general category in which I came first. That was the turning point,” said Singh, who now participates only in the general category.
Over the years, he has aced half marathons, full marathons within the city and outside, including one of the toughest Shimla marathons that requires altitude running and acclimatising to the cold winds — in which he won gold.
Despite all this, Singh noticed how his abdomen fat wasn’t “decreasing much”. “It was in 2013 that someone suggested I join a gym. And within a year, I was able to control the fat around my waist with the help of the instructor,” he said.
And then he brushed up his skills and also took on the push-up challenge in Chandigarh in 2016-17, in which he managed to do 584 push-ups in 1.5 to 2-hour time and also managed to hold 12.45 minutes plank in a plank competition. These competitions gave him recognition at the community level and motivated him to further challenge himself.
Singh wakes up at 5 am every day and does deadlifts, push-ups for 1½ -2 hours. His diet includes quinoa and oats among other foods.
He gave us a glimpse into a “sample” diet plan that “usually changes every day”.
Pre-workout: 2 Bananas
Post-workout: Plant-based protein 1.5 scoop
50g – Quinoa (soaked in water)
50g – Oats plain
30g – Nuts (mixed)
30g – Seeds (mixed)
5g – Ashwagandha
1 bowl – Beans + rice boiled
Evening snacks: Roasted chana
Last meal at 7 pm which is mixed salad veggies + fruits
Water – 4 to 5 litres a day
A vegetarian all his life, veganism was a “natural progression”, said Singh, once he realised that one’s body can have its share of adequate nutrition from plant-based sources, and still improve stamina. “Our body is so smart that it can convert food to get optimum nutrition. So, why not feed it with more nutritious food, and what better than plant-based sources. The common misconception is that vegetarian sources of protein do not provide the much-needed nine amino acids. But the way out is a combination of two or more vegetarian sources of protein to make the required nine amino acids. For instance, rajma rice is a good source of protein and is a complete protein in itself,” mentioned Singh.
Ask him what a typical cheat day for him looks like, and he says. “I don’t believe in cheat days. But once in a while if I want to indulge, there is nothing better than homemade sweets like besan or suji ka puda.” He avoids junk food and eats “nutritious ghar ka khaana‘, pandemic or not”.
What keeps him going at an age when most would choose to retire, he said, “One grows old when he has no future plans. I am young at heart and I have only recently started with Instagram,” chuckled Singh, who has earned himself a fan and a follower in Kohli.
“I was glad. That was encouraging and inspiring for me too. Both of them are the epitome of fitness, and Virat is also a vegan. It was kind of them to share the message,” said Singh, adding, “With the desire to die fit and fine, my next goal is to further the cause of fitness and inspire more people and generations”.
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