Ace swimmer Rehan Poncha shares with us tips and tricks from his fitness regime
The six time national champion shares with us his usual fitness regime
Former Olympian and Arjuna Award winning swimmer Rehan Poncha remembers being competitive and driven from a tender age. “I was seven when I raced for the first time and finished second last. It was overwhelmingly unbearable to me, as I couldn’t bear losing the competition. Every race since then has pushed me to be better than my previous self, in the process teaching me to work hard,” shares Rehan. The six time national champion shares with us his usual fitness regime, and tips and tricks for fitness enthusiasts. The athlete recently hosted a fitness workshop at Phoenix Market City, Mumbai.
What defines your sportsman spirit?
Showing up no matter what, being consistent and doing what needs to be done keeps me going. I believe these are necessary for anything in life that one wishes to excel at. I believe no matter how gifted one is, their consistent effort is the only thing needed to bring in the much needed change that they are striving for.
Give us a sneak peek into the ABCs of Rehan Poncha’s fitness routine
Swimming is an intense sport especially at the highest levels. There are days that begin at 5 am, in the pool followed by gym sessions popularly known as dry land training, and another round of swimming in the evening. Dry land sessions help in muscle building for specific strokes and I recommend the same to all competitive swimmers. My daily workout usually is about 16kms in the pool and an hour and a half in the gym. It changes ahead of a championship as the focus shifts from distance to speed.
How important is mental wellness for an athlete?
Mental wellness is of prime importance and can be a massive differentiator when competing at the highest levels.
What are some must haves in your diet?
A swimmer needs a carb heavy diet that keeps propelling him during long training sessions. Pasta and potatoes are absolutely amazing products that I swear by. Protein is required for muscle recovery hence I consume eggs immediately after training, which can be substituted with chicken and other meat. I recommend chickpeas, moong, paneer and soy for people looking for plant based substitutes.
Would you like to share some fitness tips and tricks for young swimmers?
Absolutely! I recommend them to show up despite all odds to begin with, as consistency is the key to success. Second, one must always try to put their best foot forward. Let disappointments spur you to work harder and not give up. I swear by a quote from American educator Stephen Covey that says “the enemy of the great is sometimes the good.” Be willing to say no to things that hold you back from the big yes. Lastly, enjoy your journey as you unfold for your best.