Rishi Kotecha Case Study: How Rishi Got Shredded In 13 Weeks

Rishi Kotecha Case Study: How Rishi Got Shredded In 13 Weeks

It was Christmas 2017, and I was having dinner with a group of friends when the topic of New Year’s resolutions came up. As expected, the conversation started to shift towards fat loss and getting into the best possible shape at the start of the new year.

This is something almost everyone I know plans to do, but rarely follows up on. Rishi wasn’t one of those. After mentioning that one of his goals for 2018 was to get into the shape of his life, I didn’t think much of it. But on the first Saturday of the New Year, he called me up and asked if we could start on Monday.

So we did… And in typical RNT fashion, we’re going to break down step-by-step how Rishi got absolutely shredded over the course of 13 weeks.

Starting Point

I’ve known Rishi all my life as the younger brother of Shyam (who’s transformation you can read here), so I’ve helped him on and off over the years.

He’s always trained consistently, but since working in the City, the whole lifestyle of long hours, high stress and too much alcohol were catching up with him. Body fat was accumulating, training motivation was waning, and he was finding himself just going through the motions with no real goal.

So we decided to set a goal of a photoshoot ahead of a trip to Spain, and see how far we could push in the 13 weeks leading up to it.

While many working in the City blame the culture as a limitation for their inability to get into shape, it really is nothing but an excuse. We work with City executives and business owners with busy social and family lives on a daily basis. Almost everyone we work with fits into this category, yet the results speak for themselves.

If you establish a strong enough ‘why’, create the right accountability and make it a big enough priority, you will get the results you’re after.

Prior to starting with RNT, he was doing the following:

Training – 4 days a week on an upper / lower split

Cardio ­– None

Diet – His diet was never terrible. It was more a lack of planning and preparation, too many meals off plan and regular drinking that was the issue. If I was to guess his intake, it’d likely be in the 3-4,000 calorie range.

Starting Bodyweight ­– 77.1kg

Rishi’s Comments: Last year, I started a new job in the City and I was finding it difficult to find the right balance. Going for dinners, drinks and partying was taking its toll and I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. The process had become boring and I was essentially just going through the motions. I am a goal and target driven individual in all aspects of my life and when it came to training I had no goal or purpose. After seeing my brother’s incredible transformation, I thought it was about time I stepped up to the plate and that’s when I contacted Akash.

Initial Changes

To start Rishi off, here’s what we did:

Training – I kept his training the same – four days a week on an upper / lower split, training body parts twice a week. Throughout the week, we varied the rep ranges so that on two days we focused in the 4 to 8 rep range, and two days we aimed to progress in the 8 to 15 rep range. The training program stayed exactly the same throughout the 13 weeks.

Diet

His starting macros were as follows: 

Protein: 180g

Fats: 65g

Carbs: 180g

To make this easy for Rishi, we needed a plan that didn’t involve much thinking and could be prepped on a weekly basis with minimal time. While some people may prefer more variety, this set up we used is so easy to follow that you can’t ever use time as an excuse. Rishi set aside an hour every Sunday evening and prepped for the entire week. This makes all the difference when you’re working long hours in the City, as you want to be able to maximise every hour of sleep possible, and not have to worry about making your food on a daily basis. When you’re tired is when willpower is lowest, so having food on hand at all times is critical. You can read more about how to eat when you’re busy here.

Here’s how the diet looked to begin with:

Meal 1 – 4 Large Eggs, Any Greens

Meal 2 – 35g Whey, 50g Oats, 20g Almond Butter

Meal 3 – 130g Chicken Breast, 60g Rice, 1 teaspoon E-V Olive Oil, Greens

Meal 4 – 35g Whey, 60g Oats, 20g Almond Butter

Meal 5 – 130g Chicken Breast, 80g Rice, 1 teaspoon E-V Olive Oil, Greens

Supplements – Here’s what we used to begin with:

  • Whey Protein (Dymatize) – as per meal plan 
  • Vitamin D3 (Reflex) – 2000IU with breakfast
  • Creatine Monohydrate (Reflex) – 5g with any shake
  • EAAs (Anabolic Designs) – 1 scoop during workouts
  • Fish Oil (Nordic) – 1 tbsp with breakfast  

Cardio – No traditional cardio to begin with, although I wanted to add some in as soon as the diet was nailed. This was because of 1) short timeframe and 2) he hadn’t done any cardio in so long. All we aimed for otherwise was a daily step target of 10,000 a day.

1 Week In – 76.4kg 

Rishi started perfectly with no slip ups or issues in his first week.

As discussed, we introduced cardio in now with 1 20 minute HIIT session, on my favourite protocol of 20 seconds fast, followed by 1 minute 40 seconds slow.

On his two other off days, we added 20 minutes of low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio, with the aim of getting the heart rate up to 60-70% of his max.

Changes to be implemented: Add 1×16 min HIIT and 2×20 min LISS on his off days.

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

2 Weeks In – 75.2kg

Body fat was falling off at a nice clip, and we’d got a lot of the initial bloat off him. We pushed LISS up to 4 days a week for 20 minutes, and increased HIIT by 2 minutes.

At the same time, we also reduced carbs to 150g a day.

His macros were now:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 60g (-5g)

Carbs – 150g (-30g)

Changes to be implemented: Add 2 extra 20 min LISS sessions, 2 minutes on HIIT, and reduce carbs to 150g a day, and fats to 60g.

No changes to training or supplementation 

3 Weeks In – 73.4kg

Another strong week and strength was climbing in the gym too. We kept the diet the same, but added in yohimbine and caffeine into the mix now.

These were to be taken before morning LISS, and to maximise its effect, we pushed LISS up to 20 minutes daily. At the same time, we also increased steps to 12,000 a day.

HIIT was increased by another round too, and now at 24 minutes.

Changes to be implemented: LISS to be done 20 minutes daily and HIIT increased by 2 minutes. Steps increased to 12,000 a day. Introduced caffeine and yohimbine pre cardio.

No changes to training or diet.

4 Weeks In – 72.9kg

Rishi wanted to bring the shoot a little earlier, and asked if it could be done. He was in a good position, but we needed to step on the gas in order to get there.

This week we added 5 minutes of LISS, 2 minutes of HIIT and added 1,000 to his daily steps.

We also started carb cycling, and dropped his carbs on his three non weight training days down to 100g.

His macros were now:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 60g

Carbs – 150g or 100g (3x rest days)

Changes to be implemented: LISS now at 25 minutes daily, HIIT at one 26 minute session, and steps up to 13,000. On the three non weight training days, carbs were reduced to 100g.

No changes to training or supplementation.

5 Weeks In – 72.2kg

The carb cycling made a real difference this week, and the abs were starting to make a slight appearance.

I snuck the cardio up again by adding 5 minutes to LISS, and another 2 minutes to the HIIT.

Changes to be implemented: LISS now at 30 minutes daily, HIIT up to 28 minutes once a week.

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

6 Weeks In – 71.6kg

Coming up to the half way mark now, and Rishi told me he wanted to beat his brother’s condition and make Shyam’s pictures look fat.

Now it became exciting, so we stepped it up another gear by dropping fats by 15g across the board.

His macros were now:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 45g (-15g)

Carbs – 150g or 100g (3x rest days)

We continued to incrementally add cardio, by now pushing LISS up 5 minutes, HIIT another two minutes and steps to 15,000 a day

Changes to be implemented: LISS now at 35 minutes daily, HIIT at one 30 minute session, and steps up to 15,000. Fats dropped to 45g a day.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Rishi’s Comments: The first six weeks were challenging, both mentally and physically. I hadn’t food prepped in a very long time but fortunately I had my brother Shyam (an RNT client aswell) helping me with it. The training and diet weren’t a major issue to begin with, however the most difficult part was the volume of the steps I was doing. Due to the nature of my job, I’m not as active as I used to be. This meant doing over 15,000 steps extremely demanding. I thought I wouldn’t have enough hours in the day but I got it done. I even remember walking in the snow around my park at 11.45pm just trying to get all my steps in!  

7 Weeks In – 71kg

Abs were splitting hard now. PRs were being set in the gym every week, and Rishi was not only at his strongest ever, but already at his leanest.

The cardio was becoming tougher, so we pushed caffeine up to 400mg beforehand.

We added another 5 minutes to the LISS, and another 1,000 steps a day.

I decided to push harder on the diet too, reducing his carbs by 25g on both days.

His macros were now:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 45g

Carbs – 125g or 75g (-25g)

Changes to be implemented: LISS at 40 minutes, and steps up to 16,000 daily. Carbs reduced by 25g everyday.

No changes to training.

8 Weeks In – 70.2kg

5 weeks to go, and we were right on track. Rishi was at ‘beach lean’ now, but we wanted to go to that next level still.

Due to the extra walking now, he was listening to our RNT Fitness Radio podcasts, which helped a lot in keeping him occupied.

This week we added another 5 minutes to the LISS, and dropped fats by 5g a day.

His macros were now:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 40g (-5g)

Carbs – 125g or 75g

Changes to be implemented: LISS at 45 minutes and fat reduced by 5g everyday.

No changes to training or supplementation.

9 Weeks In – 68.8kg

Rishi had some digestion issues this week which resulted in a bigger than expected weight loss.

He was looking leaner again, and we kept everything the same this week.

No changes to training, diet, cardio or supplementation.

10 Weeks In – 68kg

Hunger was picking up, stress was building at work, but the plan was being executed to perfection everyday.

He was almost there now, and just needed a little more of a push to go from lean to shredded.

We increased LISS to 50 minutes a day, and I suggested a challenge of hitting 20,000 steps a day. A big jump, but one to really help drive out the remaining stubborn body fat.

On that topic, we also added a second dose of caffeine and yohimbine in the day. He was now doing 400mg caffeine with 10mg yohimbine in the morning, followed by 200mg caffeine with 5mg yohimbine between two of his meals in the early afternoon.

Changes to be implemented: LISS at 50 minutes, and steps up to 20,000 daily. Additional ‘half dose’ of yohimbine and caffeine in the early afternoon.

No changes to training or diet.

Rishi’s Comments: The last three weeks were tough. It was bad enough going to work every day whilst dieting, but when I was on 100g of carbs – it was even worse. What kept me going the most? The results… there were noticeable changes to my body every day and this became my source of motivation.

11 Weeks In – 67.2kg

I trained legs with Rishi this week and after looking at him, realised we had the final film of body fat to peel off. It was time to dip into the #VaghelaGrind and bring it all together.

To do so, we pushed LISS up to 60 minutes while maintaining HIIT at once a week for 30 minutes.

On the diet front, we dropped fats to 35g and reduced carbs by 25g on his training days only.

His macros were now:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 35g (-5g)

Carbs – 100g (-25g) or 75g

I told him this was going to be a 10-12 day grind at most. No complaints were made and he fully embraced it.

Changes to be implemented: LISS up to 60 minutes a day. Fats were reduced by 5g and carbs by 25g on training days only.

No changes to training or supplementation.

12 Weeks In / Final Week– 66.6kg

Rishi was ready. He was extremely flat and tired, but all that would change as soon as we deload his training and cardio, and increase his carbs.

He’d also booked two shoots now, so we needed to peak for Wednesday, and maintain it for Thursday. Here’s what we did:

Game Day:

7.30am (2 hours before) – 3 whole eggs, 70g rice mixed with soy sauce

During shoot – 2-3 scoops HBCDs from Raging Full

Lights, Camera, Action!

Final Stats/Testimonial

Bodyweight: 66.5kg

These were his final comparison pictures:

Next Plan?

Get strong and build muscle!

Here’s what Rishi has to say about his overall experience with RNT Fitness, and training with Akash: 

From being a skinny teenager, I was always concerned about the way I looked. Like many others, I tried to do it all myself. It took me a few years to realise I needed some guidance when it came to nutrition and training. I had known Akash for a number of years, as he was my brother’s best friend, so I was lucky to be put in his direction.

Indeed, Akash has helped me a create a great physique which people stare at when I’m on the beach but more importantly he provided me with valuable life skills, particularly around discipline.

During this particular diet, I also want to thank RNT Fitness as a whole for their consistent content and motivating podcasts. And in Akash, I not only have a hardworking coach and role model, but a great friend and long may it continue.

Related Articles 

To read similar case studies like Rishi’s:

How Biraj Got Into The Shape Of His Life Before The Big 4-0

How Rashid Got Shredded In 9 Weeks For His 35th Birthday

How Courtney Got Into The Shape Of Her Life While Still Managing To Build Her Business

How Anand Went From Skinny Fat To Shredded At 43 Years Young

How Gita Got Abs As A Mother Of Two At The Age Of 40

Four Keys To Mitesh’s Life Changing Transformation

How Shyam Went From Chubby City Worker To Photoshoot Lean

How Sakhi Took It To The Next Level And Achieved A Fitness Model Physique

How Karan Got Ripped For Ibiza

Emily’s 5 Week Rescue Prep

 

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Akash Vaghela
akash@rntfitness.co.uk

Akash Vaghela is the Founder of RNT Fitness, where his mission is to see a world where everyone experiences the power of a physical body transformation to act as a vehicle for the greater good in their lives. Akash has produced 200+ blogs, 100+ videos and hosts the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, which has amassed over 110,000 downloads in 90+ countries across 100+ episodes. Alongside this, he's been seen in Men's Health, BBC, T-Nation, Elite FTS and the PTDC, while also regularly speaking nationally and internationally on all things transformation.