Actress Ushasie Chakraborty’s love for kettlebells is a long-term fitness affair. Her favorite exercise is the kettlebell snatch and she does it with great passion. Through her commitment, she has participated in many kettlebell competitions in the past and she also has gold in the kitten. In a recent fitness shoot for t2 at Awe Fitness, she showed us her kettlebell moves and shared her fitness story.
How has commitment to fitness changed your life?
It completely changed my life. I had a spinal cord injury on my long back. Back then, my doctors in Calcutta said that I couldn’t do without an operation. However, with medication I somehow recovered. Then I started to strengthen my back. Since then, I’ve been doing this consistently for so many years. For a long time I only did strength and strength training, now I do other exercises. It completely changed my life and gave me a lot of confidence. Now it’s like an addiction. When I’m not exercising, I feel different. It changed my personality. I have more mental strength now. I enjoy taking on challenges and that comes from my fitness background.
What does staying fit mean to you?
Firstly, staying fit means not getting too lean or too fat. Second, to give my body new challenges. It has also helped me get out of depression and any mental breakdown.
What fitness activities are you into?
I have been doing strength training and kettlebells for 10 years. I did the kettlebell workout at Awe Fitness by Anwar Wahhab and did the level 1 workout that allows you to become a trainer. I also trained with the Russian trainer Sergey Rudnev. I’ve also competed in kettlebell championships. But recently I started doing my flexibility exercises and also learning yoga. It gives me a lot of mindfulness. I lost my father to Covid and then I changed my mind about doing exercises that could heal my mind.
What do you find fascinating about kettlebell exercises?
First, the novelty of it. When I started doing this 10 years ago, people in Calcutta weren’t that aware of the kettlebell. I learned something new. It does not act on a single part of the body, but increases the overall endurance of the body. There is a lot of power. I have a kettlebell collection at home that I got from Bangalore when I started learning them.
What’s your fitness motivation?
I think my metabolism as such is very bad. So if I don’t exercise, I get very fat. It works for my mental health and is struggling to stay fit. For me it works as an antidepressant.
How do you balance pleasure and fitness?
I really like to eat sweets. This is my guilty pleasure. Whether I’m feeling upset or feeling good, I am very attracted to Mishti. I have to try really hard to control my desires. Some people can eat a lot but can’t get fat, but I’m not that lucky. This is the sad part of my life. I eat mishti and everything like aam doi, baked rasgulla every day. After eating a day, I try to balance the next three days with workouts.
What does your fitness fashion look like?
Short training pants, crop top, shoes and a nice looking hair band. Sometimes I also like to wear dark lipsticks when I’m in a good mood. Some people ask why you wear lipstick when you exercise, but I really like that.
How is your general fitness mood?
I hate going to the gym in the morning. I want to sleep all morning if possible. I have to really make an effort to go to the gym. I have to wear something that looks good and I have to look at myself in the mirror and say, “Okay, now I look nice”. But wearing something nice even after waking up is a big struggle for me. Once I’m disguised, nobody can stop me.
Exercising at home feels even worse. When I train at home, I play training videos from YouTube on TV. These videos help me feel motivated. A lot of people think that all fitness freaks wake up in the morning and go to the gym, but that doesn’t work for me. When I’m doing series, the schedule is very hectic. Then my fitness plan is disrupted, but nothing can be done. When I have a regular shooting schedule, I don’t have that much time to devote to my training. I go to gyms that stay open late at night or early in the morning. But I’m not a morning person at all. My ideal time is 10:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. I mostly prefer late nights when my schedule is hectic.
How did you decide to stay fit during the lockdown?
I had some exercise equipment at home. I don’t do machine training. It’s either dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell. I also want to set up a full gym at home.
Take a look at Ushasie’s fitness program
Ushasie practiced the kettlebell seesaw floor press with her trainer Anwar Wahhab. “My top rule is to analyze and discuss my student’s goal. Then I make sure that my celebrity customers enjoy my plan and the entire process, otherwise they will find it difficult to motivate themselves. I have a balance between strength and cardio and mobility and also mental work which is very important. Ushasie is very hardworking and loves to train from the heart. She doesn’t like exercising when the air conditioning is at full blast, which is very good as she enjoys a great sweat that makes the blood flow more and warms up the muscles to continue stretching. Kettlebell training can be quite a challenge as all of the weight on these metal swingers is under the handle, and athletic trainers and owners of Awe Fitness.
Deadlift with the barbell. “This is for core stability and grip strength,” said Anwar.
Kettlebell fixation. “This overhead fixation trains the shoulders, back and arms,” said Anwar.
Hang bar. “Hang up on the chin-up bar is a way to open your shoulders before and after your workout,” Anwar said.