Viktor Kondratenko is a candidate of economic sciences. He started his career in a brokerage office, from where he moved to an investment bank. Trading, asset management, bonds and bills - for 10 years he understood the intricacies of the financial and stock markets, until yoga appeared in his life and turned everything upside down. He quit the bank and for the third year now has been developing the Zaryad fitness studio (and more recently the Holy Basil Café) and, together with his wife Ulyana, shows how you can build a harmonious life in a big city by choosing the right products, effective physical activity and fine tuning biorhythms.
- How did yoga appear in your life?
- I was involved in cycling and received a serious spinal injury. The threat of an operation loomed, but I was against such radical methods of treatment and began to look for alternative ones, which neither my coaches nor sports doctors told me about. The cyclist and family friend Dmitry Zhirnov advised me to yoga. Then, in the minds of the majority, she was something of a sect - and I thought the same. But since the senior comrade has said, then you need to try. As a result, yoga solved my problem - an MRI study showed that the hernias had resolved, and the muscle and bone corset were completely restored. If at first yoga was an exclusively physical practice for me, then gradually it began to penetrate into my head. Together with her came the understanding that the intangible can be just as important in life,as well as material - before yoga, all my strength was thrown either on sports achievements or on career success.
- Do you remember the moment when you decided to leave the bank and start your own business?
- It did not happen overnight. First, I left a brokerage company for an investment bank. The stock market is a casino game, the chances of winning are negligible. It became hard for me to see how people lose everything. I went to the bank to work not with client money, but with the bank's assets. But this work, over time, has ceased to be interesting: the market is clear, the volumes are too, all actions are carried out within the framework of strict regulations - and there is no development. At the same time, the idea of my business was always spinning in my head, and against the background of my passion for yoga and a healthy lifestyle, the idea appeared to open my own studio.
- How did you start?
- I did not immediately leave the bank, the first thing I did was take a long vacation for two months and went to America to study the market. New York is the number one city in terms of healthy lifestyle and fitness market. I went around almost all the studios, met with consultants, bought several business plans and began to adapt them to Russian realities, based on the market movements that took place three years ago. Then I found an investor - my close friend became him. When I returned, I continued to work at the bank, and in the mornings and evenings led trainings to understand how everything works and to study the psychology of clients. In parallel with this, we were looking for a room.
How long has it been since your trip to America to the opening of the Zaryad studio? And how did Holy Basil Café come about?
- It's been about a year. While repairs were underway in the premises found for the studio on the territory of the Badayevsky plant, my wife Ulyana and I managed to go to Bali. There we got the idea to open a cafe and serve bowls - deep bowls with a wide variety of foods. The niche at that time was free, and we were one of the first to bring bowls to Moscow. Today at Holy Basil Café we offer bowls with a base of rice, quinoa, hummus or noodles and various toppings - king prawns, teriyaki mushrooms, baked tofu, pickled daikon.
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- Zaryad positions itself as a cycling, yoga and TRX studio. Why did you choose these three areas?
- Because these three directions are enough to develop your body comprehensively and harmoniously. Cycling is a cardio exercise that boosts metabolism and improves cardiovascular health. Studies show that cycling burns more calories per unit of time than a treadmill or ellipse, making it the most effective workout. TRX - strength training with body weight or dumbbells. It strengthens the muscles and helps shape the body. Yoga aims to keep the body flexible and the muscles elastic. In our studio, we add the right food to these three areas.
- Tell us about the Holy Basel Café concept.
- Ulyana is developing the cafe together with the chef. We bring ideas from the same America and from Bali. When we are there, we go around new places and understand what we want to do in Moscow. Conceptually, it involves a conscious approach to what is on the plate. But this is not about KZHBU - I was convinced from my own experience that counting calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrates is tedious and useless. Our task is to prepare a meal balanced in terms of nutritional composition, in which all products will be as whole and unrefined as possible. After all, the higher the degree of purification and processing of the product, the more useless it becomes. If you order an avocado cake from us, you get a really delicious dessert with real avocado, black, almost one hundred percent bitter chocolate, nuts, which we buy raw and grind together with dried fruits ourselves.It's not how many carbohydrates you ate, but what those carbohydrates were. There is such a thing - "trash food". These are useless carbohydrates that the body does not perceive as fuel, maximum, you can get psychological pleasure from them. We prove that healthy food can be tasty, because for many, taste is a very important component. For example, I eat super-simple - I cooked rice without salt and ate it. For me, food functionality comes first, and taste comes second. But everyone's psychology is different, and we take this into account.because for many, taste is a very important component. For example, I eat super-simple - I cooked rice without salt and ate it. For me, food functionality comes first, and taste comes second. But everyone's psychology is different, and we take this into account.because for many, taste is a very important component. For example, I eat super-simple - I cooked rice without salt and ate it. For me, food functionality comes first, and taste comes second. But everyone's psychology is different, and we take this into account.
- Holy Basil Café recently opened in the adidas flagship store in Krasnaya Presnya. How did you manage to get such a partner?
- We, together with other major players in the healthy lifestyle market, participated in the tender. The adidas commission liked our concept and food, and we became contract partners for 2019. I am close to the philosophy of adidas and the way the brand builds communication with its audience - in this we are very similar. This is an open position - an older brother or friend who helps in the choice. “Do you want to start running? We ran together”is one example of brand communication. And it is thanks to her that the worldwide phenomenal adidas Runners community exists. Now we have a plan to expand the network of cafes - we are working to make them appear in shopping centers.
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- How much time do you need to devote to training to be in shape and feel vigorous?
- There is nothing better than a 20-minute warm-up in the morning. No matter how impossible it may seem. For some reason, go to a fitness club, spend 10 minutes changing clothes, 30 minutes chatting with a coach, an hour for a workout, and then another hour for the road - there is all this time. And to do a warm-up in the morning and start the effective work of your body, there is not enough willpower. Four hours or 20 minutes is a choice everyone must make.
- Is there a secret how to get tired less?
- The most important thing is not to strain. When a person begins to dislike the circumstances in which he is, to resist them, he exhausts himself, and as a result, he needs rest. If we are talking about everyday routine, then everyone, of course, has limited physical and emotional resources. I, for example, clearly understand when my battery runs out, and that it is time to use some of the tools to help replenish it. The easiest way is to be at home with your wife and watch a movie. The most effective way is to get out into nature. And don't forget about food. I have nothing against meat, I am not an ideologue of vegetarianism. I just chose a food set that allows me to recover as quickly as possible - given the workload and the number of tasks that need to be solved, this is extremely important for me - whole foods, easily digestible proteins,"Long" carbohydrates, saturated fat and a minimum of refined fat. Everything is built on efficiency - this is the main word.
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- How to avoid feeling sleepy after dinner?
- I am perfectly familiar with this state. When I worked in the office, after lunch I took out a newspaper and covered myself with it, dozing for about 20 minutes. It is important to tune your biorhythms. If you start going to bed before 23 o'clock and endure this regime for two months, you will not have a question, why change everything in your life. The fact is that our psyche is maximally restored in the interval from 22:00 to 2:00 hours. Sticking to the schedule, you will wake up with a rested head and lightness in the body, and you will have enough sleep for 6-7 hours. For example, I rarely sleep 8 hours a day. This only happens when I have two workouts a day and my body needs more time to recover. In addition, drowsiness can occur due to overeating and "junk" food, when it takes energy from the body for digestion, and in return gives it much less.Start building your nutrition. Breakfast and lunch should be the key meals. Gradually reduce portions, because the conventional amounts are more than our body actually needs.
- If we return to the topic of sleep. How can owl people get themselves to bed early?
- There are no "owls" and "larks" - these are just acquired habits. Over the years, a person gets used to certain biorhythms, but they can and should be adjusted. Make a plan and cut your waking time by 10 minutes each day, gradually bringing your sleep time closer to 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm. The most difficult thing will be then, when you start waking up at 5-6 in the morning full of energy and with the thought of what to do with yourself so early. And most importantly, the regime must always be adhered to. It makes no difference for the body, Wednesday today or Saturday.
- How much water should you drink during the day and when?
- I drink at least one and a half liters. My morning starts with warm water on an empty stomach. In principle, I do not drink drinks, the temperature of which is much colder than the body temperature, so that the body does not waste energy. I drink with meals to dilute its density, but I don't drink about an hour after a meal in order to produce exactly the amount of gastric juice and exactly the fermentation needed to digest what I ate.
- Coffee or tea?
- I don't drink coffee, because in addition to caffeine (which is found only in whole grain coffee and is absent in instant coffee), it also contains theanine. After you drink a cup of coffee, the invigorating caffeine works first, and then theanine, which has the opposite effect and can cause a slight breakdown. Therefore, I choose tea. Green and herbal, and most often mate is from a Hispanic plant that contains matein (chemically identical to caffeine) and is free of theanine.>