In a series entitled “Get to know your Coach”, we present to you the various members of the Quad Squad. You might have seen them on our different social media video clips, heard them speak on our podcast; now you learn a little bit more about what makes them tick.
We are starting the series with the one of our top coaches behind the Quad Virtual team, Soundarya, or Coach Chow, as she is fondly known around these parts. She started her journey with The Quad as one of our trainees at our very first centre and pivoted to joining the coaching team around six years back.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Soundarya, a film maker turned Fitness Coach. I am a Tamil cinema buff, love music and singing, enjoy spending time with my family and friends, travel and think of myself as an extrovert. I strongly believe that strength and fitness is for EVERYONE and love spreading this joy to everyone around me.
What made you get into fitness, in general and coaching in particular?
I believe strength empowers one to be physically and mentally strong. I realised that it would be amazing if I could teach this to more people and make them feel empowered too. Teaching/coaching brings me a lot of joy and the difference we make in people's life made me get into fitness coaching.
What is your favourite part of being a coach?
My most favourite part is that I get to connect, teach and make an impact in the lives of so many people from many different walks of lives who come in with different constraints, different goals and different geography. Its humbling to think of the sort of impact we can make with this sort of a reach and I love that about being a Coach at The Quad.
What has your biggest learning been during your experience here?
Other than closely following Raj and Arvind who opened my eyes to the world of fitness I love following the SFG Masters(Pavel, Brett Jones, Karen Smith), Dan John (the Guru to them all), Tim of Original Strength, Eric Cressy, MovNat coaches(Jerome who I got certified with), Girls Gone Strong (and Molly). I love the content GGS put out about training and women and the questions they ask around the women's body and the society's expectations of how a women should be. I feel my mind opened up as I read their content and a lot of my approach towards a student is based on my learnings from reading the GGS. I also try to follow the same with me. I do follow a few Animal Flow folks like Mike Fitch to learn and be inspired by their quality of movement but not as a Fitness Guru per se.
Tell us more about your role at The Quad, beyond coaching.
I love to mentor and guide my team of Coaches that I work with everyday. I believe that showing them a career path and guiding them on how we can grow the organisation and grow as individuals together is an important aspect of my role. As a Leader, I love that I get to look at the Organisations structure and values at large and am proud of what we imbibe and stand for. I also enjoy meeting colleagues from other departments like Business and Growth and feel there is a lot of learning we can do within each other. I also love that I get to grow the Virtual service which was something that truly grew post the pandemic. I love to get involved in anything fun and am always ready to have a coffee with a colleague and chat:)
What is your coaching style?
My coaching style can be classified as clear, kind, sharp and concise with a tinge of humour and lightness of tone. I always like a more friendly approach towards my students and don't hesitate to make a little fun of myself too. :)
What do you do in your downtime?
Watch a lot of movies/show, attend concerts and do something music related, travel, spend time with friends and family, eating out and finding new places in Chennai, find workshops/anything new in the city that I can and learn from.
For anyone interested in becoming a fitness coach themselves, what advice would you give?
Take the time to educate yourself. Arm yourself with knowledge and be open to learning and unlearning. Be kind and remember that kindness and empathy goes a long way in being an integral part of someones fitness journey.
Thank you so much for telling us a bit more about you Chow!
Any guesses who is up next?