Sapan Sehgal: the fitness trainer with energy to burn

Sapan Sehgal is the first person Editor-in-Chief Rachel Khoo sees when she wakes up in the morning. Her alarm goes off at 5.30am, and by 6am she’s breaking a sweat in his nearby London Fields Fitness Studio – being punished with ever more sit-ups and leg presses.

Sapan is the definition of energetic – busy, over-enthusiastic, almost frenetic. You can see why the young, cool, not-so-cool, wealthy, middle-of-the-road, and well-known all flock to him for advice on how to hone their curves. Khoollect gets the low-down from Sapan on why he started his studio and what it’s like to live in his shoes.

A Day in the Life of Sapan Seghal

Where do you call home?

London Fields, in East London. Makes sense for a super cool guy like me (only cool guys say ‘super cool’) to live in the coolest place in London. 

When did you start London Fields Fitness and why? 

It all started in 2010. After spending some time as a superstar (ha!) personal trainer at Fitness First, I felt I could find a better way of doing things. I  wanted to create a vibrant inclusive space for all that was affordable, accessible, ‘fit for a fiver’ and fun.

London Fields Fitness Studio

What’s the philosophy behind your company?

Fitness should be for all. There should be no barrier to you achieving your health and fitness goals. Plus you should have a laugh doing it.

How did you get into your line of work? 

It’s a long boring Bollywood story. I modelled a bit, then when I finished University I had to decide whether to give it up or continue. I wasn’t really fussed either way, but my girlfriend who was a personal trainer, suggested I would make an amazing personal trainer myself. I had the sporting background and skill set required, and as it turned out, I ended up being much more successful at training people to within an inch of their life, rather than scaring them with my face (modelling).

Tell us about a day in the life of Sapan?

This might put you to sleep. I start the day with 100 press-ups – kidding. I get up at 5am and grab a good coffee. Caffeine plays a huge part in my life – I love a good coffee. Then I train clients, teach classes, have meetings with staff, plan more meetings, somehow squeeze in a training session and some food, then more coffee. I do all the admin work for the studio – finance, front of house etc. Then I get home at 10pm and eat some kale. Fun? Ha!

What do you love most about your job?

What’s not to like?! The long hours, financial insecurity, no social life etc. Kidding. It’s simple – I love the people and being able to help them. Plus personally for me, creating a space that is genuinely loved by all. 

London Fields Fitness Hoola Hoops

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Moving from middle parting to side parting. No, seriously, it’s creating my dream – London Fields Fitness Studio. Cheesy but true. 

What do you think has been the key to your success in your line of work?

Being good at my job. I was featured on the BBC’s Best it Town show focused on personal trainers. Also, hard work and being inspired by what you do and not just what you say, and bundles of luck.

Is collaboration important in your line of work?

Yes, to achieve true success you need to collaborate with a whole manner and types of people.

Best Kept Secrets

khoollect a few …
Rachel Khoo cookbooks.

What’s your favourite item in your khoollection? 

All of the cookbooks.

 Your top tips on how to get fit fast?

  • Get some good advice and/or a fitness plan.
  • Sort out your diet. Stay away from Rachel’s cakes, they are devilishly good, it’s hard I know.
  • Make it fun, not a chore. If you hate it your not going to do it. For example, Sunday lunch with family or the in-laws. It’s a Sunday roast, what’s not to like.

Recommended snacks when working out?

I love a good snack. But when I train, I train. I try to avoid snacking, but eating a small piece of fruit or drinking an espresso about 45 minutes before pumping the guns is a nice civilised way to start.

Favourite corner of the Internet?
My blog, The London Fields Method. As well as Rachel’s YouTube channel.
Urban Favourites
Best place to get fresh produce?
My local whole foods place on Broadway Market. Great guys.

Best way to spend a Sunday morning?

In bed. 

Your favourite place for coffee?

E5 Bakehouse which is just a short stroll from my studio. I think I might be personally responsible for 20 % of their income.

Favourite places to eat?

My life savers so I don’t starve to death are:

Read about Khoollect’s visit to London Fields Fitness Studio.

Photos by Khoollect photographer Lara Messer. Top photo by Samantha Hurren.

What are your tips for staying in shape? Tell us in the comments below.

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