A Quad Story, Or How The Quad Came Into Being

By Lavanya

Jan 8, 20246 mins read

A Quad Story, Or How The Quad Came Into Being

It all started with a dream. A fanciful one. What if we can take what worked for us, what was a game changer for us, out to the masses.

And that fanciful notion, became something that changed the lives of so many people. Starting with two: the ones with the dream, the two founders of The Quad, Raj Ganpath and Arvind Ashok.

Long, long ago


The initial days of these two Chennai guys were quite similar. School, some post-school sport, homework / dinner etc, sleep, rinse repeat. Neither were remarkably fit. Raj had childhood asthma and had the singular honour of being the only guy in the cricket team who had to have a runner, as his wheezing self couldn’t take the running between the wickets. Arvind fared slightly better, deputy captain of the school cricket team but not actually reaching lofty heights.

Their story is typical of most school boys of their times. When thoughts of sound nutrition and good fitness routine were unheard of. When meals meant predominantly home-cooked fare brimming over with carbs, with minimal protein.

Both headed out to the US, first for their Masters degrees and stayed on for their jobs.

Both got bit by the CrossFit bug.

The change


For the first time, understood their bodies and what they could do, if properly trained.

A chance meeting at a party (if you knew one or both of them, you’d know how unlikely they are to party!), a casual conversation about shared dreams eventually led to more intense talks, which eventually became The Quad.

So they set out to educate themselves. Both went out, got trained and certified. And coached clients part time, whilst still in their regular jobs. All the while learning, assimilating, refining. Working towards the day they could make their dream into reality.

Quitting their jobs in August 2011 and moving back to their hometown Chennai followed next. Yet another casual conversation between friends in California and their friends in Chennai led Raj to Bamboola and the first venue for The Quad came into being.

Early days of the Quad

Back then, the gym models were all the same: closed, air-conditioned spaces, machines for cardio and weight training, a few dumbbells and a bunch of trainers spotting the men (and very rarely were there women!) while they lifted weights.

Wanting to move away from this, Raj and Arvind decided to come up with a thrice a week for 12 weeks group fitness class format. One that catered to those new to the world of fitness, the beginners who are as far from the traditional gym bros as you could possible get.

And decided to make creative use of dead spaces: the space behind the music concert hall, the tennis court of a play school, the grounds of a primary school etc. Though the early punters must have been bemused to do burpees in between see-saws and swing sets, they gamely stuck with The Quad.

Not only that, they brought their families and friends along.

The Quad: 2023 Edit

Today, The Quad’s community is a bustling one of 1000 and counting, spread across the four centers in Chennai and the virtual one, spanning the world.

And the coaching team has grown from the initial two to the thriving Quad Squad, full of certified coaches who prioritise learning and upskilling themselves, and coming up with interesting ways to get their clients reach their fitness goals.

Today, the Quad’s story is one of inclusivity. Of dedication. Of the desire to do more, to learn, to share, to encourage. To be a welcoming space all - to the seasoned professional looking to supplement their fitness goals with some strength training, to the absolute newcomers, the beginners to the world of training and to the in-betweeners, the part-time lifters, the amateur runners / cyclists, the women that want to be able to change the bubble top water can without the need for help!

And to become bigger, better, fitter, stronger, kinder.

To be an organisation, where every member - be it the staff or the students - is proud to say ‘I am the Quad’.