How Epic's 'Subtle Sadist' Vishal Kumar Stays Fit
For any of you fortunate enough to finish your week at Epic Hybrid Training, you've likely crossed paths with Vishal Kumar. Kumar is famous for his Thursday Tone and Power class, and he keeps clients sweating through the weekend with his Combine and Versaflex classes. No matter what he's teaching, Vishal's workouts fly by, but continue to burn for days.
As a lifelong athlete, Kumar has had plenty of time to hone his exercise programming skills. In addition to playing sports as long as he can remember, he's been focused on helping other people move and feel better for years. (He actually considered a career as a physical therapist in college.) But fitness called to him, and after ten years in the industry and thousands of happy clients, it's clear he made the right choice.
No matter who he's coaching—rehab patients, corporate groups, pro athletes, or cardio junkies—Vishal's attention to the details of movement mean that you'll leave class feeling strong...and happily exhausted. As for his own workouts? It turns out they're just as intense. Read on to find out how this Epic trainer trains.
Rockyt: How do you prepare for the classes?
Vishal: Coffee and music! The two keys to life! I like to get a movement warm up in with some music that I enjoy. There's usually a song obsession that I'll play on repeat a few times to get going.
Rockyt: How do you cross train?
Vishal: I'm in a training phase of my life where everything revolves around how I move. The better I move, the more access I have to things that I can add into my training. The bulk of my focus right now is bodyweight skill/strength work. I also do a lot of kettlebell strength and conditioning work, which I feel pairs well with the bodyweight stuff. I add in some traditional strength work with barbells and dumbbells a couple times a week as well, and will usually cycle on and off this.
Rockyt: What are your favorite studios for cross-training?
Vishal: If I'm indoors, then I'll try to go to Circus Center or AcroSports. Both have a structure that allows to me train on the things i enjoy doing with some great instructors and open gym times. If I'm not in either of those places, then I"m usually outside wherever i can find some open grass space and a pull-up bar setup.
Rockyt: Are you training toward a particular fitness goal right now?
Vishal: Current goals revolve around bodyweight skill and strength work, but I'd also like to build my running endurance up this year. I grew up playing soccer as my main sport, and haven't made running as much of a priority as it used to be, so its something I'd like to get back to.
Rockyt: What's your training regimen?
Vishal: My training regimen is usually four days of straight arm and bent arm skill/strength push/pull work a week. On those days, I'll usually add in some conditioning sets or jump in an Epic class in the evening. (Usually I try to take at least three classes a week.) I'll do two days a week of barbell work or some heavy loaded carry work focusing on major compound movements.
Rockyt: Do you take rest days?
Vishal: I listen to my body and go from there. Some days, if things like sleep are lacking, then I'll take a light day and just do more breath work, mobility, and some light movement.
Rockyt: What's the best thing about teaching at Epic?
The people and the energy! It's a fun place to be, where I can help people achieve their goals, make friends, and most importantly...not wear shoes! I mean, who wouldn't want that?!
Rockyt: As an instructor, what are you known for?
Vishal: I'm not sure what people at Epic think of me, but I have been called the "Subtle Sadist" before by clients and groups. I really try to educate people as much as I can in the short amount of time we have, so I'll constantly go around and give a lot of subtle cues to people when I see them moving well. The devil is in the details, so when I have the opportunity to make those changes for someone and it clicks for them, i know it will make a big difference in their performance in the long run. I have also been known to overuse the phrase "Go, go, go!"