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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Faisal Ali and I currently stay in India. I'm 20 years old and I'm a powerlifter who loves going to the gym and I have been doing so for 4 years.
I'm a dental surgery (medical) student and I also do freelancing part-time (I do article/blog writing and writing on health and fitness).
My fitness journey started when I was 16 years old. I had just completed my studies and I was very active in sports (cricket, football and swimming), but due to my studies I had left sports and all other physical activities.
My body was athletic but during this period of my school graduation I had gained a lot of weight. I was too depressed and shy and I wanted to lose my weight.
I had reached 126 kg (277 lbs) and this was my maximum weight ever.
I wanted to shred myself and that is when I decided to join the gym and be a better version of myself.
I lost an overall of 30 kg (66 lbs) in 1 year by following a proper workout routine and a strict diet. This resulted by me being lean.
I then started to gain interest in powerlifting and then I started my powerlifting, and I also corrected my diet. I hustled very hard and in 1 year I gained 15 kg (33 lbs) of pure muscle mass.
At my first powerlifting competition preparation, I stood out and got a 3rd place which was a huge accomplishment for me.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I train 5-6 days a week and I have a proper training plan which I follow very strictly.
I follow a powerlifting plan which includes compound exercises like squats and deadlifts every alternate day and some isolation exercises.
When I train, I usually bring my fitness bag which contains my supplements and a big water bottle because I keep my body hydrated during my workout.
A typical training session takes almost 45-60 minutes and 30 minutes of HIIT cardio too.
I currently work each muscle group twice every week because I have noticed this routine is working better for me. I'm noticing more gains by following this routine.
I train alone and before my workout I use a pre-workout which helps me lift some serious weight.
I prefer C4 pre-workout because this brand suits my body well. There are a lot of pre-workouts available. You just have to look at it’s contents and check if it suits you or not.
During my workout I use Xtend Scivation BCAAs which I adore a lot because this supplement keeps my muscles fresh for work after a heavy set.
After I complete my workout I eat my post-workout meal which consists of boiled eggs and some oats and then I have a protein shake (I use many brands here such as Isopure, Nitrotech and Optimum Nutrition).
My favourite exercises are deadlifts and incline bench press which I love the most.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I keep myself motivated by watching bodybuilding videos and looking at my pictures when I was so heavy (126 kg). I think about how I managed to lose all that weight.
In short, I just view my before and after pictures which keeps me moving in the gym.
When I look back, I think I lost my weight because I did smart work. This is because I see a lot of people just doing cardio to lose weight and not even lifting a single dumbbell.
I trained smart by doing the right amount of cardio and following a proper weightlifting routine which exhausted my muscles and burned my fat.
For improving yourself in the gym, consistency is the key because you can’t achieve a lean/ripped/athletic body in one day.
You have to keep going and follow your training plan and diet strictly.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
At this point, I'm very happy with my physique and I really enjoy working out and helping people in the gym by guiding them.
If I had to start over, my fitness journey I would have changed my initial years because I was too young when I started and I had no idea about diets and workouts.
That is why I lagged behind at the start, but currently I'm doing very well and I'm happy with my overall results.
I just want to work hard enough so that in the next 4-5 years, I can enter major powerlifting competition or get into classic physique competitions.
I want fitness to be my main career and I do hope that one day I own a gym.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Injuries are very common in weightlifting and I thank god that I haven’t faced any injury which caused a setback in my journey.
Since I'm doing powerlifting, injuries are something I have to look out for and that’s the reason I warmup my body. I do that by walking for 10 minutes and do some free body warm-up exercises such as pushups and squats which start circulating blood in my muscles.
I use resistance bands to warm my joints so that I face no problems when starting my workout.
Before any workout, warming up is necessary and this is the best way to avoid injury.
I sleep 7-8 hours a day which is sufficient for a human body to rest and I use glutamine which helps to improve my sleep and my recovery.
I use MuscleTech Platinum Glutamine. I personally like it because it improves my sleep and my recovery.
Whenever I travel I make sure that I carry my meals so that I miss no meals.
If I have no access to a gym, I do some bodyweight training which includes pushups, squats, jumping jacks and some jogging.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I follow a very strict diet plan because you can’t get results without a proper diet.
I eat egg whites, chicken breast, white fish, lean beef, sweet potatoes, oats and a lot of veggies and dry fruits.
This helps me by providing a proper protein intake and it helps me feel energetic at all times.
I do not feel like I'm dieting and I don’t get bored because of my diet. It has became my lifestyle and I enjoy every meal.
My total calorie intake is 2500 because I want to gain muscle and I also don’t want to gain any fat.
However my diet is high protein, moderate carbs and low fat diet.
I reduce my calorie intake during my cutting phase with up to 500-800 calories to get leaner and I make sure that my diet doesn’t contain too much carbs and fats.
I like black coffee personally because it gives you a kick in the gym and I feel more active during my workouts.
I have a cheat day once every two weeks which I enjoy the most. Otherwise I don’t eat cheat meals much because I have a specific goal that I want to achieve.
If you have some goals, focus on your goals and work hard for them. Cheat meals will make your goals look impossible.
My favourite supplements are whey protein, BCAAs and pre-workout which I feel are a complete set which will help you in improving your physique.
I use Isopure as my protein source and Xtend Scivation for my BCAAs.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I always feel motivated by watching bodybuilding posing videos and competition videos.
YouTube is the best platform to get motivated by watching bodybuilding videos and workouts.
I'm dying to get on the stage to compete and participate. That is why I always feel pumped up.
I follow some fitness athletes, bodybuilders and powerlifters for a daily dose of motivation.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My best advice to all the beginners is to just focus on your routine and diet because hard work and consistency is the only way you can achieve your goals.
Never ever cheat on your diet because this is the hardest part in constructing a beautiful body.
Rome was not built in a day, so just focus on your workout and diet and you will achieve your goals easily.
Eat everything that breathes and is green.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I'm training a few people at the moment and I personally enjoy helping people in their fitness journey.
During my fitness journey I had no one to guide me, so this is the reason why I give personal training to people.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
I'm active on Instagram and my Instagram handle is @faisal__q.ali.
You can just hit me up and I will be there to help you out.
💬 Faisal Ali quotes
Faisal shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍