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Gym Guru to the Stars
Celebrity fitness expert, Ramona Braganza believes that exercise not only empowers the body, but the mind and spirit too. They are different sides of the same coin and needed to be kept fit to sustain a healthy life. She takes that statement to a whole new level with her mobile fitness center that brings the gym to the sets of a film to encourage and coach stars during their busy schedules.

Celebrity fitness expert, Ramona Braganza believes that exercise not only empowers the body, but the mind and spirit too. They are different sides of the same coin and needed to be kept fit to sustain a healthy life. She takes that statement to a whole new level with her mobile fitness center that brings the gym to the sets of a film to encourage and coach stars during their busy schedules.

Interview | Ayesha Augustine

Introduction

The thought of hitting a gym or a fitness studio is as tiring as the actual workout. However, for Ramona, coaching or training fitness come as easy as counting numbers – 3, 2, 1… The former gymnast says, she does not remember a time when she wanted to make a career in any other than the fitness world. Today, she is well-known among the A-listers and the Hollywood circuits as professional celebrity trainer and is known for her famous fitness regimes.

On her recent visit to India, she made her first stop at Delhi where she collaborated with Fortis Healthcare, Gurgaon, in bringing out a new fitness plan for new mothers to shed post-pregnancy weight. This fantastic fitness program is called Mamma Mia. In Mumbai, she has partnered with Sanghvi Brands to launch her training programs in the country. So, at the fantastic Spa La Vie by L’Occitane (managed by Sanghvi Brands as their Master Franchiser), Spa Mantra was eager to meet the fabulously fit 51-year-old fitness instructor. In a rendezvous with Ramona, she talks about her patented the 3-2-1 Training Method, her gym on the move, and her future plans.

  1. How did you decide on a career in fitness? What is your athletic background like? Where did you get professionally trained?

Beginning with my very first love of a sport, Gymnastics, I have always preferred spending my spare time being active rather than passive. Being active as a teen I attracted unique opportunities that allowed me to have fun and brought in income in an enjoyable way. In my 20s my passion for activity led me to a 10-year dance career as a professional cheerleader for ‘The LA Raiders’, which was followed with a 3-year choreography position with NFL Europe League introducing the sport of cheerleading to Scotland and London England.

For five years I competed in Ms Fitness Contests and booked jobs as a Fitness Model but it was not until I was working in a Health Club that the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to me and I was introduced to a TV show producer who was looking for a gymnastics coach for his young leading lady. The TV show was Dark Angel, the actress was Jessica Alba, I became certified and she was my first client. Since that day, personal training has become my business. It’s a career I love, it is ever evolving and it allows me to help others by bringing a level of fitness into their lives.

  1. 2.       Tell us about your mobile gym.

I own one Mobile Fitness trailer called Mobile Physique. It is a state-of-the-art 52 foot mobile fitness trailer that I designed to bring the gym to the actor when they are working on the million dollar movies. Production companies will hire the trailer and my services to keep the actors in shape while filming on location. It has worked to get Hugh Jackman & Halle Berry in shape for their roles in for ‘X Men 2’, and Jessica Alba & Chris Evans in ‘Fantastic Four’. The cast on ‘The A Team’ have worked out in the trailer too and currently we’re working on a film called ‘Godzilla’.

 

  1. 3.       What were/ are your challenges in owning your fitness studio?

At times, the trailer is not in use but the bills still come in for insurance, etc. This type of a gym requires a cab to pull the trailer; I have a friend who has a cab and does that for me, but I need to coordinate our schedules to get the trailer moved to the set. Since this type of gym, which is used only for the actors, requires me to keep my schedule flexible to train them whenever they want to, which limits scheduling other things in my day.

 

  1. 4.       What is the 3-2-1 Training Method all about? How does it benefit?

I developed the 3-2-1 Training Method during my first years with Jessica Alba. While filming the TV show ‘Dark Angel’ and on location for various movies such as ‘Honey’ and ‘Into the Blue’, I often found we did not have much time to workout. I needed to make our workouts more effective so I decided to take all the elements I found important to an exercise program, Cardio, Strength training and Core and combine them in an efficient program whether we had only 20 minutes to train or the luxury of an hour.  I also found ways to do a full program using only hand weights and a bench and this has been my preferred method of training, sticking to the basics, using compound exercises, alternating upper and lower body and natural alternatives to cardio machines such as climbing stairs, jump rope or jogging.

 

My 3-2-1 Training Method consists of three segments of Cardio, two segments of Circuit Strength training and one segment of Core for a fat burning, muscle toning workout. Taking the boredom factor out of the 30 minutes of Cardio I have broken the time into 3 x 10 minute segments and include intervals of speed and grade changes. The Strength segments are performed in a circuit keeping intensity high and the final Core Segment improves balance, agility and helps to define and strengthen abs and lower back. The easy to follow program begins with Cardio then Circuit, Cardio then Circuit again and a final Cardio then Core.  I have created my 3-2-1 Training Method DVD that can be ordered from my website Ramonabraganza.com

 

  1. 5.       Other training provided at your fitness trailer?

In the trailer, I have the Pilates reformer and I have a heavy bag for boxing. The 3-2-1 can be done in the trailer but can also be done as a home program.

 

  1. 6.       When was your first fitness CD and book released? And how many do you have in your credit now?

The first fitness DVD called the ‘3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone’ was created after two of my A list actresses Jessica Alba and Halle Berry became pregnant and had babies. I created the program based on the workouts I did with them. It is now a program offered at three Fortis hospitals in Delhi with their Mamma Mia new mom program. The second DVD released was the ‘3-2-1 Training Method level 1’ and now have the ‘3-2-1 Training Method Level 2’. I also have my 3-2-1 Nutrition plan e-book, and have a book deal for two fitness books to be released for the Indian audience later this year.

 

  1. Do you endorse or work closely with any fitness brand/s?

I am always open to endorsing and working with fitness brands in fact if any company is interested they can contact my partner in India Darpan Sanghvi at… xxx. I currently work with Vitamin Water, Omron (they make pedometers), Gold’s gym, and Pirates Booty snacks.

 

  1. 8.       What was on your agenda on your last visit to India?

I have partnered with Sanghvi Brands to launch my training programs in India. The first program that we are launching in India is the 3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone program, which is for new mothers to get fit and bring back their pre-pregnancy body back. I am extremely excited because we are launching this program in partnership with Mamma Mia, the exciting new maternity clinics at Fortis Hospitals. This program is available at La Femme in Greater Kailash 2 in New Delhi, at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon and at the Fortis in Shalimar Bagh in New Delhi. I was here in India to launch the program at Mamma Mia. I am extremely excited to bring to Indian moms the same workout program that got Halle Berry and Jessica Alba’s pre-pregnancy body back!

 

  1. 9.        Describe a few of the newest and trending workouts and their benefits?

Cross fit – great for hardcore fitness enthusiasts; Aerial Yoga – great for the spine as gravity helps to accomplish lengthening while in postures in a suspended hammock; and Zumba continues to make fitness fun with Latin and Bollwood inspired dance routines.

 

  1. 10.   Do you think they are at par with international fitness brands?

They are slowly catching up, but it’s going to take another year or two.

 

  1. 11.   What does it take to be a good fitness instructor?

Hmm…Patience, understanding, being organized, knowledgeable, flexible in attitude, stern but with a sense of humour.

 

  1. 12.   What are your future plans/ dreams?

My plans, especially when it comes to India, is to be able to take some of the great body-mind-spirit philosophies, exercises, nutrition that are a part of Indian culture and combine it with the fitness ideas in the West to create a total wellness program. I am also interested in holding retreats that support this idea. I have a few locations in mind around India and will launch some next year. I plan to include my 3-2-1 Training method workout in the Hollyfield gyms set to open next year around India and eventually it would be great to open my own 32–1 Total wellness center In India, a permanent retreat for visitors to come from across the world and get a fit body, mind and spirit in one of the best environments.

More about Ramona

Your favourite healthy food (meal): I love dahl & brown rice and trout or salmon & broccoli or spinach

What does your health/fitness regime comprise? I follow my 3-2-1 Nutrition plan rule of eating healthy 80 %of the week and then allowing my self 20% of the week’s meals (approximately 3 meals) to eat as I please. This way I stay on track most of the time and don’t feel guilty if I eat out or have some popcorn at the movies. I workout at least four days a week and try to do 5 days. Some days I feel like dancing and go to a dance class and other days I use a trainer I like; he makes me work hard, even trainers need motivation at times!

Your fitness guru: My mom is amazing! She, at 78, is a Zumba instructor and teaches 14 classes a week!

Your fitness mantra– The 3-2-1 Countdown is a call to action! Get Ready Mentally, Get set Physically, Go forward Emotionally towards your fitness goals!

What’s your favorite gym music? I love all kinds but mostly like upbeat faster tempos, current favorite is Scream and Shout by Will.i.am featuring Britney Spears.

 

 

 

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