On the ball: Leave your attitude at home, says Oman fitness trainer
May 2, 2017 | 6:40 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
If you want a strong body, it means hard work is involved.

To Nandana Dissanayake, the gym has been his home away from home for nearly 20 years. His is a journey that began at the Colombo Hilton Hotel in his native Sri Lanka, and one that has seen him take a personal interest in the health and wellbeing of every individual who passes through his doors. A certified instructor from the International Sports Sciences Association in the United States, he is currently the senior fitness trainer at the Al Falaj gym in Muscat, with the gym often a place to vent one’s testosterone-fuelled aggression, Times of Oman caught up with Nandana for a chat on how to behave while working out.

How important is it to work out with the belief that you will get better?

If you want a strong body, it means hard work is involved. You need a strong mind, too, because with hard training you have to feel it, just not do it for the sake of doing. It is very important for you to feel your exercises, as well. When you feel your exercises, always challenge yourself. Just challenge yourself to take on a little bit more, there’s always hard-earned pain in there. If you have to take that pain, you need a strong mind. That battle within oneself is always there, but with positive thinking, you can achieve that success.

There are always people who think they know things better than you do. How do you deal with such people?

You should know your purpose of coming to the gym, you should know your goal. This is the primary reason you come to the gym. People will always talk about what you are doing because everyone thinks their method is best, but if you can explain to him that ‘these are my goals’, some people will advise you. People can talk, but you know your purpose, so carry on.

How important is it to train with a partner?

If somebody is training alongside you the motivation to better is always there, because there is always someone to motivate you and spot you, and at some stage, it is helpful for your mind as well. In case of any machines that require a safe pair of hands to operate, because you might momentarily lose control when you’re tired or inexperienced, it always helps to have someone by your side.

People like to show off in the gym. But how important is it to leave your attitude at home?

Inside the gym, friendship is one thing you always have to maintain. That’s what helps people to accordingly share your techniques, share your methods, and share your programmes. In addition to sharing your techniques and methods, you can take note of what they do as well. You have to be friendly in the gym. In fact, when coming to any public place, you have to be friendly.

People tend to lose hope when they don’t see instant results. How important is it to keep the faith?

If someone is working out with the help of a trainer, the trainer must encourage them. Their parents or their brothers, sisters and friends should encourage them, because as always motivation to do well is important. Someone is putting in efforts to achieve a level of fitness or increase the quality of their lives, so some amount of self-encouragement and pushing oneself is very important. To self-dedicate is very important, because without enjoying your exercise or activity, you’re not getting the right results.

Self-motivation plus confidence, commitment and dedication is very important. A lot of youngsters are joining gyms these days because they want to keep fit. In fact, when someone walks in, you can identify whether he’s serious about working out or not, even if he may not look it. They are coming forward, but some of them don’t exactly know where to start and where to stop. That advice has to be taken from the proper trainer.

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