Posted 19 June 2013 by Interview:

Kumar Mannava

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How and when did you start training?

During my school’s summer vacations of year 1993(I was 14yrs old) I was compelled to hand pump water for almost a month everyday for household needs. By the end of it I saw my left bicep (I am left handed) had grown in size. Thus my relationship with muscle and iron started.

What mistakes did you make as a newbie?

Fitness was not a big deal in India during my initial training days. Even access to a gym was not available. My dad had a bull-worker. I trained with that for few months using the guide book. Learning and implementing was all done through trial and error and that was the only source I had and eventually I learnt the mind-muscle connection. However, I always lagged on the nutrition aspect and had great difficulty understanding my requirements as a newbie.

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We know consistency is key, what tips would you give to anyone struggling to stay consistent?

If any goal is not part of your daily lifestyle it gets difficult to maintain consistency and it's true even with training. Making training part of one’s daily lifestyle is the only solution to be consistent.

Do you listen to music whilst training?

I don’t really need music when I train. But yes I do listen to music. I am from India, the land of bollywood music. I listen to the latest bollywood and international pop music too. The current song on repeat mode on my playlist is “We Own It” from Fast and Furious 6. The line is so apt for me.

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What do you think about when you have to dig deep and push out that last rep?

I look in the mirror and say to myself…You are someone’s idol. Someone is looking upto you. You cannot let them down, you cannot fail. That’s enough for me to go that extra mile.

How far ahead do you plan and prepare ahead your nutrition and training if at all?

When it comes to nutrition I plan it according to my body’s response to my goal. There is nothing rigidly fixed. I play around with my carb and fat numbers mostly.
My training plan is usually of 12 weeks. Within it I plan 4-6 weeks program in order to keep my goal on track.

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What are you most proud of?

The difference I make to people’s health and lifestyle as a fitness expert is what I am always proud of.

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

I dislike the word bulk. I prefer saying gaining or packing muscle. I never overtly get beefy. I always stay around 8-9% body fat while packing muscle and bring it down to 5-6% for photo shoots.

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What types of cardio do you do?

I love HIIT. I do it almost all through the year except when I am on restricted calories.

What is your training routine like?

I train 4 days a week AM and PM. I always try to finish two meals before I train. My weight training time is late mornings and cardio in the evening. I never follow any fixed pattern of exercise variations. I highly believe in muscle confusion techniques.
I usually train as follows:

Monday: Biceps/Triceps (AM)

I do 6-8 sets and 12-16 reps for each muscle group. I try to finish the workout under 30mins.
PM: 20 mins HIIT. 8 sets of hanging and lying leg raises.

Tuesday: Chest and Back

I do 10-12 sets and 8-16 reps for each muscle group. I try to finish my workout under 40mins.
PM: 20mins low intensity interval training followed by 8 sets of weighted ab sit ups and rope crunches.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Delts, Traps and Calves

AM: I do 3 sets of delts movements for each head, 6 sets for traps and 6 sets for calves. I try to finish the workout under 45 mins.
PM: 20mins Medium intensity interval training. 8 sets of oblique exercises.

Friday: Quads and Hamstrings.

AM: I do 9 sets for Quads and 6 sets for Hamstrings. I try to finish the workout under 40mins.
PM: 20mins of low intensity interval training followed by 8 sets of hanging and lying leg raises.

Saturday and Sunday: Rest.

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What is your diet when trying to get in peak condition?

I come into my peak condition only during my photoshoots as I am not a competing athlete. I don’t need to diet hard as I never go too high on my bodyfat levels. I come into my peak condition from anywhere between 8-10 weeks.

My diet consists of around 150gms carbs per day coming from Quinoa or brown rice or Oats and fast digesting carb supplement. I eat them before and after my weight training session. I consume around 300gms of proteins through leans meats and supplements. My fats intake varies from 50-100gms per day. I get them from olive oils, nuts, peanut butter and egg yolks. Fibers stay at 40-60gms which I get from fresh green veggies.

Who are your favorite athletes, bodybuilders or fitness models?

My all time favorites are Frank Zane and Flex Wheeler. I love their overall aesthetic appeal.

What supplements do you use if any?

I believe in supplements and use quite a few of them.
For fatloss: Green tea, CLA, L carnitine
Pre workout: Beta-alanine, L- argenine, Creatine Hcl
Post workout: Whey Protein, fast digesting Carbohydrates, BCAA
Then the basic vitamins like Fish oils, Vit C, Vit D3 and multivitamin.

What top 3 tips would you give to anyone wanting to get CutAndJacked?

  1. Believe that you can do it.
  2. Do not follow others blindly. Try, test and see what works best for you. Remember, one shirt doesn’t fit all.
  3. Stay focused and motivated. 

Kumar Mannava

Born: 18th April 1979 Weight: 76kgs Height: 5’9”


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