04 Feb How Krishan Khanna Lost 55kg (121lbs) And Transformed His Life
It was rush hour on the tube on a hot summer’s day in London. Krishan was standing up crammed into the carriage, struggling in the depths of a deficit, and only now a few weeks away from his remarkable shoot to commemorate losing 55 kilos.
He was tired, fed up of everything, and ready to pack it all in. His head was down staring at the legs of everyone crammed around him. He was compiling his thoughts ready to message me when he got off the tube to say he was done. At that precise moment, he turned around and saw a saying on the wall of the tube:
‘Before the triumph, comes the trial’
He read it again.
‘Before the triumph, comes the trial’
‘Before the triumph, comes the trial’
He began to repeat this in his head everyday till he crossed the finish line on 22ndSeptember 2018. It was five years in the making. He’d done it.
All the demons in his head, gone.
All the bottled up insecurities, gone.
All the mind games, gone.
Krishan went through the trial, and he triumphed.
The message he saw on the wall wasn’t the only timely occurrence though. Back in October 2017, we were announcing a competition giveaway of 3 months free coaching.
Krishan had been following us since the summer, he’d tried our 25 day plan, and he’d promised himself that once he achieved his first chin up (the tips on which he got here), he’d sign up.
Fast forward to a Sunday morning in October, and he was training back, when guess what? He got his first chin up! As he’d promised himself, his plan was to go home and sign up, when his phone pinged a notification.
He’d won the competition.
On the off chance he might win, Krishan entered just before the deadline. And when I sit back and think about his journey with us so far, I can’t help but think some things are just meant to be.
This is only part of the tale. His story begins way back in the summer of 2013, which is where we’ll start in this journey of triumph.
Taking The First Step
Everyone has a specific moment that forms their ‘switch’ for triggering change.
For Krishan, it was in a night club. He’d had a few too many when he fell and dislocated his knee cap (you can see the crutch below!). This triggered weeks of eating and drinking more and more until he topped the scale at 125kg. It was this point he’d had enough, it was time to make a change.
Krishan’s Comments:I was always conscious and a little insecure about my weight but during this period I sat up and realised that things had gone too far. I had no mobility because of my crutches, meaning that I was unable to exercise. On top of this, I seemed to have got myself into a cycle of eating and drinking to the point that it was almost abusive to myself. When I began my rehabilitation after the injury, reality started to hit home that I needed to do something about the poor lifestyle choices I was making.
To begin with, Krishan started by stopping all the bingeing on junk food, and dropped down to three square meals a day. This alone was enough to get the scale dropping, and he got his first 15kg loss from this.
Now he was at 110kg, he began to experiment with every ‘diet’ under the sun. During this period, he also stepped into the gym for the first time. Overwhelmed by all the different machines and feeling embarrassed in how he looked in front of others, he decided to just run on the treadmill.
The problem was, injuries began to creep in, and his knee was becoming problematic again. So he started weight training. While an incredibly intimidating experience for Krishan, he decided that he’d just do something.
He wasn’t worried about chasing perfection, he wanted to start small, and use the results to give him confidence to continue building on it.
This combination of unsustainable dieting methods, excess running and some weight training led to his next 10kg loss. He was now 100kg and in a much better place.
Krishan’s Comments: Stepping into the gym as a big dude isn’t a comfortable experience, particularly when you have no idea about what actually works for your body. I used to go to the gym with friends at university from time to time but found that I was constantly getting injured and following routines that worked for them, and not me. In the end I would resort to tiring myself out on the treadmill instead. When I moved back home after graduating, I would go to the gym alone and tried weight training again. This was still an intimidating experience, but I knew I had to stop caring about what other people thought, overcome any feelings of embarassment and stick with the weights to drive the next phase of progress.
Building Sustainable Habits
The first two stages of Krishan’s journey spanned the course of four years, where he’d lost the first 25kg in two separate spurts.
The next stage began in the summer of 2017, when he began to follow us online, had tried out our 25 day plan, and started to take a more structured approach to his training as per our content recommendations.
The results of this led to another 5kg drop before beginning with us officially in October 2017.
This was his starting point:
To begin with, we made the first three months all about habit formation, education and building systems that could be carried through in any work environment (at the time Krishan was at law school, with his new career starting soon), any social occasion, and/or any country (he had four months booked in South East Asia to come at the end of 2018, which we timed the shoot in accordance with).
Focusing on these three pillars are the real key to building long term, sustainable results, and given Krishan’s background of dieting, this was absolutely critical for him.
At the same time, these first three months also proved to spark the start of a mental shift within Krishan whereby he’d gone from hating training, and only using it as a means to an end, to now loving the process and enjoying it.
He went from thinking of the gym as a time to negatively destroy his body to now embracing it as a time to break away from the stresses of everyday life and provide himself with a different platform for self-development, both mentally and physically.
Krishan’s Comments: I had gone from seeing dieting and going to the gym as a chore as a lifestyle choice. Personally, I’ve always been a bit overly obsessed with details but I was able to use this to my advantage. I was really enjoying educating myself about nutrition whilst embracing my training routine. Waking up at 6am and doing my LISS everyday, hitting my step target and destroying myself in the gym was no longer something that I dreaded. Instead I saw each of these things as a means of testing myself and pushing the boundaries. What’s amazing, is that you learn that your body is way more capable of responding to these demands than you think and it has the ability to keep on adapting to the challenges that you give it. I was seeing changes in my body on a weekly basis on my check ins with Akash. This in itself was proof that my change in mindset was reaping the rewards.
Creating A Physique
With this new-found love, Krishan began to train extremely hard and heavy. He’d stopped taking prisoners, and every session was about adding weight on the bar, or pushing out a few more reps.
In many cases of big fat loss transformations, it’s very rare that you’ll see people end up with a ‘physique’ at the end of it. It’s often a case of just looking like a smaller version, or skinny.
But heavy RDLs, weighted chins and countless sets to failure on the leg press meant Krishan was able to build some serious muscle in the process, and it showed at his photoshoot when all the body fat was stripped down.
Fear of the Unknown
After his first three months free coaching were up, Krishan was down a further 6-7kg and was already making headway into the unknown.
The goal was still to chip away at fat loss, and for the next 6 months we dropped a further 10kg where he was sitting around the 80kg mark.
And it was this point he said to me it was time to flip the switch. He’d now booked his trip to South East Asia for mid October, and so we had three months to get into ‘beach body’ and shoot lean condition.
It was time for the #VaghelaGrind.
But before doing so, we implemented a diet break for a few weeks to ‘reset’ before pushing towards the finish line.
I estimated a further 10kg to go, and Krishan was game.
The next three months were interesting. Every pound Krishan dropped was a step further out of his comfort zone. He didn’t know what to expect, what to feel, or how he should be looking.
It was unchartered territory.
Just before our RNT client meet up in August, around 8 weeks before the shoot, Krishan sent me this email:
So my midweek update. As you know I was 77.8kg on Monday, which wasn’t great. As I mentioned, what was most strange is that for the first time I didn’t feel overly guilty. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and I’ve got it down to these thoughts.:
Yes, I don’t feel too guilty as I have been good and consistent since we got back on the grind. And yes, I didn’t feel too guilty as I had a nice weekend. But there was something else too which I have to say I’ve never experienced before. For the first time I look in the mirror and I actually like what I see. Sure my lower stomach is still flabby, I have stretch marks and some excess skin. But perspective is everything. For pretty much as long as my living memory I was always too scared to be topless around people (think of that image of the fat kid in the swimming pool who is too self conscious so he has to wear a t shirt which sticks to him and makes him look 100000x times worse- yep that was me for some time). A few weeks ago I went swimming with my friends. There I was, in a social setting with people I knew with my shirt off and all I could keep thinking was fuck, this feels so strange but great at the same time.
My mentality has its downsides I know, and I’m sure you will have cottoned on to this by now. I swing like a pendulum and often work great in short bursts when it comes to fitness. This is reflected in the fact that every 6 weeks or so, I tend to slightly fall of my diet. Its a pattern that I’ve noticed throughout this past year since working with you. But I’ve decided, I’m going to stop being so harsh on myself as I sometimes am. I’m not 10/10 consistent but I am way better than I was before. Way better. Before RNT I had no proper diet plan. If I was lucky I would have 3 sh*t workouts a week with no real direction and in all honesty, I was looking for any excuse to not go to the gym.
So these past few days I’ve been mulling this all over and used it as motivation to grind out of my weekend slump.
This was an incredible email to receive. Krishan had gone from feeling embarrassed about being topless in a pool to feeling proud of his physique and the work he’d put in. He’d also cultivated extreme self-awareness over the months to really dial in how he feels, what makes him tick and where he needs to improve.
That in itself is a transformation (and arguably more powerful), and it set the scene for a conversation we had at the RNT client meet up a few days after where we met in person for the first time, which he coined at the end of the above email as “#whenyoumeethimafterchattingformonthsonline”!
At the meet up, we spoke about not only fear of the unknown, but fear of success.
In Krishan’s case, he shared with us all how he felt he didn’t deserve to be where he was, and that he didn’t belong.
Of course, these were all self-limiting beliefs which we quickly squashed, yet the interesting mind games that were running through his head was where the real battle was.
When I asked him now why he had this fear of success, and how he felt as continued to inch closer to his goal, he said:
Krishan’s Comments: In the tail end of my diet I was going through some unbelievable mind games. It’s crazy how many times your mindset can shift in one day. I was tired, both mentally and physically. On top of this, some people around me were telling me to stop whatever I was doing because I was “too skinny” after spending years being “too fat”, even though I was now the strongest I’d ever been. This led me to a state of confusion and doubt to the point of self sabotaging the work I’d been putting in. This is where the value of having a coach began to pay its true dividends. I had stop paying attention to what people were saying and let Akash do the thinking for me and just worry about executing on a daily basis. He educated me on the common misconception of how heavy you’ll really be when you’re lean, and why you need to be lean to start a lengthy muscle building phase (which was my goal for after)>
At this point I was also deep in the #VaghelaGrind, so I began keeping a #KKGrindLog to document my thoughts, and add another layer of accountability to everything.
Never Just the Physical
Krishan’s physical transformation is nothing short of outstanding.
Yet, it’s the changes that the physical process have facilitated that are arguably so much more powerful.
His confidence has skyrocketed
He’s landed a new contract at a top law firm.
He spent four months backpacking all over South East Asia.
He’s inspired many around him, especially his nearest and dearest.
The reaction of people I know is overwhelming and I find it borderline ridiculous that I am sometimes approached by people for fitness advice, when I was a just a fat dude spinning his wheels 9 months ago.I think it goes to show that you don’t need super genes or crazy supplements to achieve the physique you are after. I am just an average guy who was willing to play the long game and put the work in on a daily basis. The most rewarding part for me is that it helped the people that I love most embrace the lifestyle and push themselves. I am proud that my own story has helped push people close to me to the next level. My 56 year old mum is smashing weight sessions 3 times a week and getting incredible results. My 12 year old brother is conscious of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition choices, which means he is already set up to avoid many of the mistakes that I made as an adolescent.
It’s never just the physical. It’s so much more.
Krishan’s Comments: Once you stop paying attention to what other people say and setting limitations on yourself, you realise that you are actually capable of doing anything. It all comes from the mindset. Everyone has their own demons that they have to battle with. For me, some of these had started when I was very young. I had lost my older brother to cancer and then gone on to have a very tough few years as a teenager. When I stopped using these things as excuses and started using them as sources of motivation, I began to shed those demons. What was left afterwards, was unwavering self-belief, a sense of balance and a genuine appreciation of the good in life. My closest friends and family know that I am the happiest that I have ever been. Personally, I’m excited to build on what I’ve started with RNT and see where I can take things next.
If you’d like to gain more of an insight into Krishan’s story, and hear from the man himself, make sure you tune into episode 45 of RNT Fitness Radio here (or on any preferred podcast platform):
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To watch his video testimonial we recorded at the August 2017 meet up:
Key Lesson To Learn
‘Before the triumph, comes the trial.’
Writing and reflecting over Krishan’s journey keeps bringing me back to this quote.
Krishan was placed on trial both mentally and physically for five years. He came out of it as a winner.
The lesson to learn?
Take the first step, make a small positive change, and let the results fuel you with the guts and confidence to always strive forward.
Stats & Pictures
Starting Bodyweight: 125kg
End Bodyweight: 70kg
Starting Waist Size: 42 inches
End Waist Size: 28 inches
This was a picture comparing Krishan’s heaviest to his leanest:
These are from the last year where Krishan started with RNT and lost his last 25-30kg.
Writing this five months after Krishan’s photoshoot means I’ve been able to witness how he’s carried the systems through his travels and new job, and still continue to maintain his results.
The goal now though is simple: to build muscle!
This is going to be completely different for Krishan after spending five years chasing fat loss, but an experience I can’t wait for him to experience. Now the fun begins!
To read his testimonial & story:
Prior to working with Akash, I had struggled with my weight for many years. This was a result of poor lifestyle choices and a lack of understanding about both nutrition and exercises which were appropriate for me. Having started out at over 120kg, I had some initial success through various dieting techniques. However, the benefits of these were only ever short term and I was still searching for permanent lifestyle changes that would better my wellbeing, both physically and mentally. I treated gym time as a means to an end because I did not enjoy it. I was unsure of what I was meant to be doing to get the results and I found that I was constantly injuring myself too. I felt incapable of going to the gym on my own and was always relying on other people. Really, I was just looking for any excuse to not go to the gym because I hated it. At the time I started working with RNT, I was stuck in a cycle which I think a lot of people can relate to: holding things together and being relatively good between Monday-Friday, and then falling off the wagon on the weekends and undoing any hard work put in during the week. The constant yo-yo’ing between these two states left me feeling very frustrated.
I had been wanting to work with RNT for a while after following Akash on social media whilst he got shredded for his competition. I sat up and took notice after seeing RNT’s website and the way in which they were regularly turning out incredible transformations for normal people. It made me realise that I had wrongly convinced myself that I wasn’t capable of achieving the physique that I wanted, and that I was capable of getting lean with the right guidance. I actually received free coaching from Akash for 3 months after winning an RNT competition. I also realised that I was about to enter a busy and stressful profession where it would become difficult to live a healthy lifestyle without the right habits and non-negotiables already set up. I needed to make my health and wellbeing my priority.
The process of working with RNT was seamless and everything is set up for you to succeed, provided that you put in the work required. A common phrase that I remember from my time with RNT is that “it’s simple, not easy”. Akash made an exercise plan that worked around my busy lifestyle and injury history. With nutrition, he put an emphasis on educating me about the core principles behind fat loss and muscle gain.This allowed me to be flexible with my food choices. In the long term, this versatility has allowed me to attain my fitness goals whilst attending social functions, work events and travelling in the past few months. Most importantly, working with RNT took the thinking out the process for me. Akash made the necessary tweaks, which meant I could just focus on executing the plan. Sometimes, this meant pushing harder and capitalising on extra energy I had. But sometimes, this also meant understanding when I was emotionally or physically depleted (as is possible during a long diet) and easing off a bit, like when I had a diet break in June. This has kept me motivated throughout the process and allowed me to play the long game.
My results with RNT have gone way beyond anything I expected to achieve. I am proud of my photos because they represent the culmination of months of hard work. I didn’t have the photos taken to show off to other people- I wanted them as a reminder of what I achieved with my hard work. It is something that no one can take away from me, and the self-belief and confidence that has come with this is amazing. The reaction of people I know is overwhelming and I find it borderline ridiculous that I am sometimes approached by people for fitness advice, when I was a just a fat dude spinning his wheels 12 months ago. I am proud that my own story has helped push people close to me to the next level. My 56 year old mum is smashing weight sessions 3 times a week and getting incredible results. My 12 year old brother is conscious of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition choices, which means he is already set up to avoid many of the mistakes that I made as an adolescent.
Most importantly, getting photo shoot lean required a level of sacrifice and mental fortitude that I have never had to put myself through in any way, but going through the whole process helped me to develop a warrior mentality with an all or nothing approach. I went from hating the gym to loving the entire process. Starting with little knowledge and listening to your coach is a humbling experience which undoubtedly improves you as a person, if you have the right attitude.
The deeper I got into my diet, the more I thought about certain principles that Akash used to drill home to me and realised that they go beyond a 9-month diet and applied to my life in general, particularly:
– The concept of decision fatigue; this wasn’t just about food choices or what T Shirt to wear. I realised that I had people, habits and emotions in my life that were toxins that weighed me down. They were stopping me from achieving what I was always capable of. By taking the time to weed these things out of my life, I was a happier person who could give more of myself to people/ interests I actually care about, whilst also having the mental energy to embark on my physical transformation.
– Progressive overload– this went beyond progressing sets in the gym. I started to think about the small changes that I could make in my life on other fronts to improve my life, little by little, day by day. It’s no coincidence that I was enjoying reading and learning way more outside my job and being more conscious with my self development. I felt energised by everything I was doing in my life: professional life, self developments, interests/ hobbies and relationships.
– Perfect form– don’t just do things for the sake of doing them. Do things and take pride in doing them to the best level that you are capable of. Having this mentality causes you to demand the best of yourself in every situation.
To read more case studies like Krishan, have a read of the different articles here.
For more examples of our transformations, have a scroll through growing page of before/afters here.
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