Humans of Quad
We are always humbled by the community that was born out of The Quad.
Every single day, we have the incredible opportunity to witness the journey of several people who come in with the goal of discovering their fittest selves and in the process discover themselves. Whether it is overcoming an illness, correcting a history of bad health or shedding fat to become fit – there is no dearth of inspirational stories at The Quad. Over the past 6 years, we have chronicled a few of their stories and with every story we add, we hope to inspire a few more people to come and fall in love with fitness.
Govindaaaaa! Siva Sivaaaaaa!
Walk outside Bamboola on any Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday around 6:40am and you’ll hear these words being yelled out. You won’t find any temples or processions nearby. But if you walk deep into Bamboola, you’ll find Anusha! You’ll find her in all her spirits training, inspiring and emoting. Walk closer and you’ll hear her grunt her way out of a deep squat or a heavy press before she calls out to the Gods. Why?
Because that’s how she rolls. She doesn’t care about who is around her. She gives her workouts her all. She doesn’t worry about being loud when she trains. She just goes with the flow. And she totally doesn’t give a crap about what people think. She simply does her thing. That’s just how she rolls.
Anusha joined us back in 2014 and was looking for what most of us look for – weight loss. And with this came obsession, guilt, overdoing and frustration. But along the way she realised something – That weight loss is not the result but a side effect of an active and healthy lifestyle. After a few days of denial and resistance, she started looking at her weight loss goal differently. Instead of looking for a quick way to lose weight, she started looking for fun ways to stay fit. She understood that there was no such thing as quick and healthy weight loss and that if she could have fun with fitness, weight loss would happen automatically.
So what happened? Did she lose weight? Did she get stronger? Did she become fitter? Yes, yes and YES!
From constantly thinking about just calories and weight loss and comparing herself to how much weight others around her were losing, she went on to enjoying movement, filling her mornings with activity, building a small group of like minded folks and picking up a sport! Slowly but surely, things started to change. As she forgot the scale and started chasing strength, she found herself enjoying her training more than ever. As she quit obsessing about her weight and started running and playing, she found herself enjoying her body more than ever. And as she made fitness a habit, she naturally started looking, feeling and functioning better.
Today, Anusha is now one of the strongest women at The Quad. She squats 40kg, presses 28kg and rows 32kg which are things not many women can do. What about outside The Quad? Well, equally impressive. She runs or plays Ultimate Frisbee on days she doesn’t train at The Quad and just completed her first half-marathon with flying colours!
But more than any of this Anusha is special for one other reason – her infectious enthusiasm. You can’t help but notice her. You can’t stop yourself from being enthused when you’re with her. And you just can’t resist being inspired by her.
Thank you, Anusha, for being awesome! You inspire us coaches and trainees alike and there’s no surprise we all look forward to seeing you walk into class every other day.
Not because he was a national level discus athlete, or because he squats a lot(!!), or because he can do turkish getups with an inverted 24kg bell. That’s not why we are talking about Surya today.
Surya made fitness and training an inherent part of his life. A simple story to demonstrate – he moved from the US to India, and literally (yes, we know how to use it) the next day, he was training with us. A typical training day would end with Surya smashing that day’s training session, and then starting to do some skill work on the double-under. His batchmates would look on him curiously, but slowly they joined in. And soon enough, he was running a small clinic – just passing on his experiences and motivating his batch mates. He is being featured here not just because of his own achievements in training, but because he is one of the biggest positive influences in our community.
Surya’s not a regular big guy. He’s a BEAST. And being a beast does not happen by accident. Like most athletic folks, this started a long time ago. Playing all kinds of sports for as long as he can remember was a feature of his childhood. And he took up the discus in high school, and has represented the state and university at the national level. Food is generally something we neglect as kids, but not Surya. He ate lots of the good kind of food (meat and veggies and rice) – not just his own but all the food his siblings’ couldn’t eat as well.
Today, he is an entrepreneur with a life that’s extremely busy, just like anyone else. But he still finds the will to make it happen. And that’s what makes him truly special. He starts his day by coming to NGS from Anna Nagar, training (either the class plan or mobility work like aforementioned inverted TGUs or inverted double KB carries at half bodyweight), and then has sausage + eggs in the car before driving to work in Chromepet. His day goes on until 11pm, when he goes home, eats, and sleeps.
He doesn’t have it easy. But then again, no one does. What makes him special is that he makes it look so easy.
But how strong is he really?
He’s in his mid-20s, 6’3” and weighs 100kgs. He squats the 80kgs for 15 reps, only because we do not have heavier bells. He has squatted up to 112kgs (holding 2 bells in each hand) but we dont let him do this anymore! For someone who just started pressing this quarter, and can already press the 40kgs on his stronger arm! He’s got multiple pull-ups and is no slouch when it comes to sprinting, doing 60m in about 7 seconds.
Surya’s an amazing training buddy to have – always motivating and screaming for you to finish that rep, or to push yourself. With his earnestness, he spreads a positive influence to all around.
We cannot out-beast him. Ever! But we can be inspired by him. It is easy to get demotivated, or to lose interest and look elsewhere when you are the biggest, strongest guy around with no one even close to you. But not Surya! He’s his own competition – always focused, and looking to improve, and looking to better himself. And he will push himself and compete with you not on how much weight you are lifting but on how much you put yourself out there!
Be more like Surya, it is good for your health
Many of us have been there. Read a hundred blog posts, looked up a thousand workouts and programmes and watched a whole bunch of videos, all of which is supposed to help us tackle exercise, fitness and eating clean. And you know what, Abinash was one of them.
Abinash worked out on his own before joining our BootCamp @ NGS, 2 years ago. He strongly believed that he didn’t need someone to tell himwhat exercises to do or how to do them. Moreover, the idea of actually paying someone for this ‘unnecessary intervention’ seemed crazy to him! He signed up for the BootCamp only because his wife pushed him to try it. He agreed to give it a shot for just one quarter. And in his own words, he “hasn’t looked back or looked away” since.
But wait, who is Abinash?
Did he lose a ton of weight? Did he overcome some sort of chronic pain? Did he make massive lifestyle changes to overcome a disease? People who did do that, are inspirational to us because of the odds that these people battled and won over. And then you have another kind of story. A slightly different, but equally inspiring kind of story.
Meet Abinash – the unassuming, quiet guy; the guy who’s not caught up with lifting the most in class, or even being the best in class. Losing a bunch of weight wasn’t his goal, nor was he terribly unfit to begin with.
So what is he really caught up with?
Taking baby steps, consistently.
He believes that each training session is a piece of a larger puzzle. And bit by bit, he puts together each piece and chips away at the larger puzzle. And he understands that a good puzzle can’t be built overnight. So he never stops working at it!
He understands that training is about being a better version of yourself over time. He’s seen improvements every single quarter here at The Quad. It’s been 2 years now and he doesn’t stop constantly improving – bit by bit; rep by rep. He doesn’t show up to class if he hasn’t slept enough the previous night, or if he is sick, and he comes in to class early to let us know in case he has a niggle. And if he continues training this way, he won’t be hitting any roadblocks. And that’s what you can learn from Abinash’s balanced and intuitive approach to fitness and health.
From a coach’s point of view – Abinash is a dream to work with! He’s unfailingly regular to class and is one of the most focused trainees you’ll see. He values quality over quantity, and it’s extremely rare to catch him doing a less-than-awesome rep! He never zones out and is very receptive to feedback on how to improve his sets. Along the way, he lost the little fat he had to lose, and gained the mobility and strength he needed. Today, he squats and rows 56kgs like a champ!
How can Abinash’s story inspire you today?
For anyone who’s stuck in a rut with their training, or doesn’t have any huge concerns but isn’t seeing the results he/she want, there’s only ONE really crazy thing that you need to do to see results for yourself.
It’s called “showing up”.
Again, and again and again. Like Abinash did.
Every time it rolls around to Challenge Week at The Quad when all trainees test their strength, skill and endurance levels, many of us are talking numbers. The fancy PRs, failed reps, the killer sets and some big numbers. Numbers that turn into emotions – the happy faces and also the shrugging shoulders. For many, these numbers motivate us to plan our meals, sleep better, recover better and train harder. And that’s awesome.
But many others aren’t driven by these numbers. Specially when life has been plagued with severe pain for almost a decade and all you wish for every morning is a pain-free day where you can go through the motions of life without wincing.
This post is about a strong-willed woman who has experienced this kind of pain, but did everything in her power to overcome it by exhibiting paramount dedication to her training plan, without being phased by all the squatting, pressing and numbers flying all around her.
About a year ago, when we met Sujatha, she was in a tremendous amount of pain. She had been suffering from a chronic lower back pain for 9+ years. Reflecting on those terrifying months when she needed pain killers directly injected into her spine to get her through the day, Sujata says “I just wanted to be pain free from 9am to 6pm”, after which she was confined to her bed, unable to move due to the pain. She had undergone two major surgeries in between that kept her away from any form of exercise let alone strength training. Popping pills, regular yoga and gym visits didn’t help either.
An interior stylist and a creative artist by profession, Sujatha Giri, just like many others, juggles a hectic career and a busy home. She’d wanted to train at The Quad for a while, but mornings just didn’t work out. So the minute we announced our evening classes at Weebees, she was one of the first ones to sign up.
And from that day on, she focussed on her primary goal – being pain free. She did the non-flashy, behind-the-scenes rehab and strength work that steadily drove her pain away. The only numbers that mattered to her – the 1 hour she spent training and working on her goals, 3 days a week. Calm, composed, dedicated and mentally strong as a rock, Sujatha approached training methodically. When we speak to her about how she’s doing, she’d always say “+1 from yesterday”. And that’s the kind of simple and powerful progress we love seeing in our trainees.
After 9 months of consistent training and rehab, Sujatha now is absolutely pain-free. With a committed heart and consistency as her weapon, she trusted the process, trusted the coaches, set smart goals and came out stronger than ever before. Not only does she deadlift 80% of her body weight, and can effortlessly clean and squat 20kgs, she’s now living a life that’s pain free that allows her to run her business like a powerhouse, spend evenings outside with family and friends and even plan those vacations she’s been meaning to take for years! Becoming pain-free after a decade of suffering has been possible only because of her grit, determination and patience and that we consider to be the biggest, most badass achievement of it all.
Huge props to you, Sujatha! You are an inspiration to many out there who are looking to take charge of their lives and make a lasting change. Thank you for being you!
Everyone is on a life long journey to keep improving our health and fitness. We set ambitious goals and work towards it with all sincerity and intensity. But like all journeys, missteps and setbacks along the way test our mental strength and self-belief. With crazy job schedules, work pressure, deadlines, social commitments and ‘life’ in general, our well intended goals take a back seat. But some of us manage to rise above these every day obstacles and, well, that elusive progress lies at the end of all the rising above.
Andrew, is one such trainee from the The Quad’s BootCamp at OMR. As a support engineer, he’s been working nightshifts for almost 10 years now! Before joining The Quad, Andrew had an erratic lifestyle with irregular sleeping and eating habits. Bad sleep patterns and an overdose of junk food over a period of time had made him extremely over weight and he was struggling to even climb a flight of stairs without gasping for breath.
By the end of 2016 he had reached an all time high on his weight and all time low on his health and stamina – alarm bells ringing all over the place.
Andrew heard the alarm alright, and thankfully didn’t hit the snooze button. He joined The Quad with one goal – to change his life over. And boy what an incredible change it was!
He made simple but effective changes to his lifestyle. He joined the Fat Loss Challenge (FLC) conducted for all our trainees and followed the nutrition guidelines religiously. He changed the way he approached food. From eating out every day, he started eating good quality home cooked food for at least 5 days a week. The days he ate out he made sure that he made sensible and right choices with the least damage possible to his plan.
With food being under control the next step Andrew took was staying consistent with his training. He barely ever missed a class. He would come straight AFTER his night shift for the 5 am classes. He was always early and constantly eager to learn drills to make his training better. With training being consistent, his sleep got fixed. He began to clock 6-7 hours of sleep at least irrespective of his night shift and crazy work life. He made it work for himself. And that’s what we love about Andrew.
Where did all these simple, but extremely huge lifestyle changes leave Andrew, you wonder?
Today he is one of strongest guys in our 5 AM batch who cranked out his first ever push up last month. He can run at least 2 kms without a break and does burpees like a breeze. He comes in early to class, diligently practices his jump rope skills and can do an unbroken set of 100!
And oh, we forgot to mention he lost 26 kgs in the process, which was an added bonus from all his hard work and dedication! Andrew is working towards his first pull up and tells us rather shyly, that he will show us his ‘before transformation’ photos probably after a couple of quarters when he feels he has some more results to show!
You are a champ, Andrew and thank you for being you!
Does Andrew’s story sound familiar to you? Do you or someone you know struggle to make the time to get fit? Tag a friend and inspire them this Friday, with Andrew’s amazing story of true grit and determination.
Meet Arvindh Pandian. He’s been training with us for just over a year, and boy does he have some impressive stuff going on. Grab a cup of coffee, and read this one.
Let’s start with fat loss, because that’s what you all look at first, right? From a pudgy 89kgs, has lost 17.5kgs of mostly fat. And gotten about 7+ inches off his waist, and down to 32”. Yeah buddy, whichever way you spin that, it is pretty darn impressive.
His first quarter (last October), he was in a world of pain. Even though he was an athlete in his youth, it had been a while since he had done anything besides walking. Coupled with everyday problems of a sedentary lifestyle, and foods that leave us with inflammation and painful joints, coming back to every session was a huge battle. But from the beginning, Arvindh had his head in the right place. He would come, but would not subscribe to the silly “No pain, No gain” nonsense.
Instead, he worked on fixing his nutrition. For someone who had slightly high cholesterol levels, he was prescribed statins. Now, this is just completely ridiculous but that’s the status quo today. And for someone in his place to eat nutritious foods with good fats in it is a tremendous leap of faith. But he asked questions, he did his research, and he understood. And slowly and steadily he won over his support system, especially his wife. From being incredulous about eating fatty foods and cooking in ghee, she became a convert. From someone who never ate eggs, he eats them everyday (yes, obviously with the yolk!).
And today, Arvindh is not only much thinner, and fitter, he also doesn’t take statins anymore and his cholesterol levels are well under control.
What about strength? From working only with the 8kg kettlebell a year back, he squats 40kgs. He also presses 32kgs, and rows 40kgs.
Incredibly, to combat the extreme soreness at the beginning of his training, he used to dedicate about 3 hours to stretching every week, and continues to do so even today. In fact, he is there 20 minutes early (at 4.40am!) and stretching, and doing his pre-workout routine.
We can all learn from him, and when asked what made this possible, he says “The crucial aspect, to sum up, is one word – dedication. Or to put it bluntly, just show up! This one year I never “compared to compete” but “compared to fix self goals” and that played a lot of role in putting any stress on me.”.
Oh, and he has not missed a class at The Quad’s BootCamp since April. That’s a 6 month streak, and still counting.
Share this story with folks who could use inspiration. And don’t stop there – this story could be your story. Be inspired, and do something about it.
Transformations are awesome and many wish for one. But wishing is not enough. There needs to be a greater motivator, a larger reason, a life changing incident. The kind that forces you to revisit the choices you’ve made – health and otherwise. Most times this isn’t something you plan on but something that strikes. For Dwarak, it struck and it is now changing his life.
Things didn’t go as planned and life had gotten out of control for Dwarak. Like for most of us, health took the back seat and soon he started feeling the effects of stress and the resulting detrimental habits and dependancies. Movement was painful, food was an addiction, unhealthy habits dominated and, at 5’ 7”, his bodyweight had crept up to a scary 107 kilos!
He was determined to make a change and joined us last October. He was no different from anyone else in class though. Struggling, learning, trying and showing up but didn’t really portray any extra drive. You know, those crazy eyes you see when someone’s ready to give it all? He didn’t have that. He took things as they came. His fitness related progress was gradual without any peaks or troughs. But he stayed the course and was consistent with his efforts. Results? In 12 months he’s gone from being one of the slowest and weakest in class to moving up to Level 2. Today he squats and rows 2×24, presses 2×20 and can bang out 20+ pushups! But that’s not even the best part.
While he was keeping it calm in class, he took that extra dose of dedication to the dining table and his nutrition was spot on! He was willing to make all the changes necessary, didn’t try to cut corners, logged and monitored every detail and worked with his coach with utmost dedication! What happened? All his hard work on the field and at the dining table came together and the scale started moving – 27 kilos down and it hasn’t stopped! That’s a whopping 59 pounds lost in a year coupled with strength and endurance gains! Truly an achievement a lot of us can only dream of.
We know the stars of our batches. We watch the overachievers overachieve. We remember the ones who make our jaws drop. But there are some who amaze and inspire without stepping into the limelight. Dwarak is such an achiever, a silent achiever and his story is nothing short of awesome.
“Like” this because transformations like Dwarak’s are a rare occurrence and “Share” this because he can be an inspiration for many of us fighting the same fight.
In gymnastics, there’s a concept called virtuosity. It is defined as performing the common uncommonly well”. Most of us look to get a move, and then stop refining it beyond a certain point. The pushup is interesting only when we don’t have it. The elusive burpee, once tamed, ceases to be something that we perfect. And suddenly, when we are thinking we are too cool for school, the coach corrects your form on something fundamental. That rap in the knuckles is required for a lot of us. Some of us take this the right way, and realize that fundamentals is something to be constantly worked on. And some of us don’t, and keep aiming for the next shiny object.
And then there’s Thanuj. This guy just doesn’t do bad reps. Or average looking reps. Or anything other than stuff that will grace a textbook or a demo video. Every single rep. Constantly striving to get everything perfect is mentally and physically demanding, but it is also the smartest and most efficient way to train. Needless to say, it is also the safest way to train. Diligent, meticulous, and consistent. Those are the terms that come to mind. We could stop this post right here, but let’s see what else he does.
Today, Thanuj squats 64kgs, rows 64kgs, and overhead presses the 40kgs. He took his time to get here, taking to heart the coach’s recommendations about having perfect form, and going up in weight only when you own it! Small steps forward, but never a step back.
Thanuj’s body re-composition has been great, adding muscle while losing fat, slowly and steadily. And this comes with a great focus and precision on nutrition. There are no parlour tricks here though, just following the basic tenets that we tell you guys about. Reduce unnecessary calories, increase vegetable intake, and include a protein source in each meal.
If you are looking for that elusive trick, stop. Instead, think about virtuosity. Perform the common uncommonly well. And good things will follow.
Time for our weekly dose of inspiration. To us, a success story is not just fat loss, it is not just what weights one lifts. We strive to get folks to look at things in a similar way, to constantly strive to improve, and to keep looking at what works for them, and how to make it work. This constant effort to keep moving forward is a cultural fit for us, and when we meet someone like that, sooner or later, we know awesomeness follows.
Today’s about Srividya. Someone who was always on the heavier side, right from childhood. She even went to a dietician when she was in school, was made to follow a strict diet. But not much was made out of this, and movement/exercise was never encouraged. Later, when she went to college, while she did try out a gym, nothing really happened. Aerobics, swimming, dancing were all activities she dabbled in to lose weight, and feel fitter. And whatever she did, the weight never went down. A lot of us have found ourselves in a similar place, right?
To compound matters, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Sweet tooth, childhood weight, thyroid issues – definitely not an easy journey if one’s looking to get healthier and fitter. And in spite of getting unhealthier and heavier, she couldn’t motivate herself to go to the gym!
And like most of us, she just wanted to do something different, and that’s how she got started with us. But it was not easy. Here’s what she has to say about her first few days – “More than the movement itself, the revelation that I cannot do the movement even with the lightest of the weights, struck me hard during the initial days.”
But a chance conversation with one of The Quad Squad (Anu), and her strong determination paved the way. “I asked Anupama, if the sessions will be really very strenous and hard. I asked her if I will be able to manage it. She said “Sure! Dont worry about it” nonchalantly. So that set my mind and I didnt think twice.
Diligent and consistent, and forever looking to improve, Srividya has come leaps and bounds. In spite of her thyroid issues which are slowly getting under control, she was able to lose 10+ kilos, and go down 3 sizes! But ask her if she’s made it, and she will say she has a long way to go. Comfortable squatting 24kgs, pulling 48kgs off the floor – she’s certainly on her way to even more awesomeness!
We asked her how she feels her fitness journey is impacting her life – ” think I am currently the fittest and the leanest I have been in my entire life. I am also trying to get everyone in my family involved in this new journey. We are not stocking biscuits/similar foods at home. We are trying to eat more vegetables, get in more physical activity, sleep more, etc”. That’s how it should be – once you are in, everyone around you gets a lift!
Here’s hoping Srividya’s story so far is an inspiration. A lot of us have very similar stories – piling on weight, not finding it easy to make it go away, and more health complications keep showing up. But stay at it, drop your ego, and you can make it happen! Thanks to Srividya for letting us share her story.
Share it with your friends and colleagues, and let’s show more people that we can do this, and get fit!
Discipline is choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST. Discipline is in making that choice right. Every time. There are no short cuts with discipline. There is no ‘almost’.
At The Quad, we believe that discipline has to be a way of life.
Let’s look at Senthil’s story. With a typical desk job that most of us are all familiar with, Senthil’s days involved long hours before the computer with minimal activity. With time, the impact of this sedentary lifestyle began to rear its ugly head. He started finding it hard to climb the eight flights of stairs to his house without experiencing pain in his lower back. He struggled to lift light weights, even the light ones that one encounters as a part of daily life – think bags of grocery – without discomfort.
When Senthil walked into The Quad OMR two quarters ago, he had tremendous lower back pain, his muscles were tight, he felt weak, and found himself often running out of breath when he worked out. There were constant niggles as he pushed himself at first, and couldn’t do endurance work ably.
Senthil had one goal: to rearrange his priorities and embrace active living. Settling his lower back issues and being able to climb those eight flights to his house with ease would automatically follow.
What then followed was complete discipline and commitment. Senthil understood that fixing his lower back pain would involve building his core strength and correcting basic movement
patterns that contributed to the pain. He would come in early, stay focused throughout the class, listen to every single instruction and then implement them diligently. He went all out in
embracing the fitness regimen that we designed for him, not just at class, but also in his everyday life. He did not miss a single session.
Senthil’s commitment and discipline paid off, and how! His stamina is up; he keeps up with people much younger than him and his training numbers complete the story – from a struggling set of squats at 20 kgs, today Senthil executes perfect sets with 48 kgs. He deadlifts an awesome 56 kgs and cranks out 21 good push-ups. He is one of the few in Quad OMR to complete the 3-minute plank test. And he races up those stairs!
Today, Senthil has no pain. He’s gone from a place of “I can’t work with weights” to asking “Deadlifts? How many?”.
At The Quad’s Bootcamp, working with people like Senthil is the kind of thing that keeps us going. While his peers are inspired to commit to their fitness and health targets, we find ourselves doubly inspired to work harder to help our clients achieve their goals.
Senthil, we cannot thank you enough for being Mr Discipline at The Quad, OMR! We’ve been tremendously motivated by your dedication and commitment and look forward to having you inspire us every day!
Inspired? Share the inspiration with your near and dear ones by Liking and Sharing this post.
Being the first minor to join The Quad’s BootCamp, Bharadwaj (15, when he joined us) will always be special to us. But when he walked in for his first class, he was so tight, immobile, uncoordinated and unfocused that we were sure we’d made a mistake by taking in a minor.
It took Bharadwaj literally 24 classes to learn to squat properly. For a good 3 months, we had him focus purely on movement quality and trained him on nothing more than the basic human movements. But he didn’t show much progress. He would forget movements, struggle to recover, lose focus and even hurt himself at times.
But, he showed up!
Rain or shine, he was there. He came in at 6 am even when he had school at 8. Early morning special classes only made him come in at 5. Exams didn’t change anything. Vacation, friends, family, soreness, pain or strains, nothing stopped him from showing up. This commitment and diligence impressed us. The kid was focused on moving better and, for that, he planned his busy, fun teenage life around his training sessions.
And slowly everything started coming to him – movements, coordination, focus, endurance, strength, mobility and more. It’s been 18 months since he joined us and boy has he come a long way!
Today, the kid is in the best shape of his life. He has learnt to move, dropped kilos, developed endurance, improved mobility and become a lot stronger. As a result, from being the kid who couldn’t even run or bend safely, today he runs effortlessly, moves fluidly and trains with a 24 kg kettlebell, something even many “fit people” are not capable of.
He may not say much or have before and after photos to impress us sad adults perennially seeking fat loss, but Bharadwaj is a star! He is proof that consistency trumps pretty much everything else in life and we hope he continues to be focused, committed and absolutely relentless in other aspects of his life too. — with Bharadwaj Subramaniam
Many people amaze us. But only a few continue to amaze.
We met this man few years ago. He was and is a senior but he was 5 years younger then than he is now. He was one of the most disciplined people we’d seen and that was great. He was consistent, punctual, structured, honest, sincere diligent and all the other good words you can associate with perfection.
And then one day, during what we call challenge week, he squatted something that a lot of 25 year olds struggle to pick up. Now that’s about 4 years ago and we featured him because we were proud of him for squatting 2×24 kg and pressing (overhead) 2×16 kg. And today, 4 years older and wiser, he squatted the 2×28 kg and pressed the 2×20 kg! Now why this is awesome? Because, Sivakumar, is 4 years older today but is 20% stronger!
And why is this important? Because strength is a big big deal. It is what keeps you alive. It is what help you lift a bag without hurting you back or your spouse when s/he needs help. It is what keeps your bones strong and keeps osteoporosis at bay.
For seniors, strength is even more important. Because we all know that strength, muscle mass and everything else in the human body deteriorates as we age. The best we can do, we’re told, is to do light activities like walking, watch what we eat and lead a slow life, which is what most elders called old age. But that’s not really the truth. You don’t stop moving because you get old. You get old because you stop moving. And Sivakumar has proven that, once again!
He is a silent motivator and inspires us every single day we get to work with him. If in a couple of decades from now, we can all be as strong as Sivakumar is today, we’ve done well. Very very well.
Thank you Sivakumar for inspiring us without even realising it. More importantly, thank you for being there with us and for us throughout our journey. We sincerely appreciate your thoughts, words and actions that show how much you care and look forward to many more years of strength and wisdom with you!
Fatigue is a given in life – be it a tiring day at work or multiple errands to run at home or just a stressful day with kids. Fatigue is guaranteed to find us. And when it finds us, our instinct is to run away from it, most often by curling into the couch. But no matter how hard we try, we cannot outrun it. The only way to beat fatigue is by outlasting it – by enduring it.
Endurance – from the 12th century root in Old French endurer, meaning ‘ability to last’ or ‘to undergo or suffer (without breaking). In common parlance, it is the ability to keep at something without giving up. In fitness, endurance is the ability to repeat a series of muscle contractions without fatiguing or giving up. Endurance is what helps you fight fatigue, fight pain, get stronger and take that one more step, do that one more rep when it seems like there is no reason to.
And that brings us to the story of Tresa Antony, a trainee at The Quad, OMR since July 2015.
Fatigue found Tresa. She started experiencing general weakness after her first child, and it got worse after she delivered her second one. Her fatigue levels reached a point when it started incapacitating her – she couldn’t move her sleeping child to bed if he dozed off on the sofa. She depended on her husband for simple household chores. Lifting anything, be it a grocery bag or her kid, was difficult for her. Fatigue pushed Tresa to the point of frustration, when all she wanted to be able to do was the simple things that make every day worthwhile – playing with her kids, have a pain-free day at work, go shopping and the like.
With a single-minded purpose of overcoming this chronic fatigue, Tresa joined The Quad, OMR. She had no history of exercise, and her fitness levels were low. She would struggle to keep pace with the class and spend a lot of time sitting it out. But she endured. She kept at it without giving up. We worked on her breathing, her posture and pelvic tilt, her balance and weight distribution, and overall fitness. She listened to everything we told her to follow, made it a point to ask questions where she had doubts, and slowly, began to grow stronger and stronger.
Tresa had a meat-heavy diet with hardly a sprinkling of vegetables. We reworked her diet and she began to embrace the goodness of vegetables. Fat loss was not a goal, but just by fixing her lifestyle, she was able to shed close to six kilos in six months. This made her move even better.
Today, Tresa is a changed person. She completes the workouts without sitting out, deadlifts 56 kgs (a rare feat for many women iin her age and weight range) and dishes out 18 perfect knee push-ups. Most importantly, she has regained the energy levels that let her have a happy day at work, a fun day at home with her family and an active lifestyle in general, with an ability to do whatever she wants.
Like Tresa, many of us are often plagued by fatigue. At The Quad, we believe that one of the key purposes of fitness is to move us into a mental and physical space that enables us to live our lives in a fulfilling manner. Endurance plays a huge role in this and our workouts constantly push our trainees to find their new normal in physical fitness. But like most things, it takes effort, a lot of it. Take that one more step and do that one more rep when it seems like there is no reason to.
So many of you at The Quad have this wonderful spirit of endurance. And Tresa, you are one of the best! Thank you for believing in The Quad, and keeping at it. We’re thankful that we got a chance to enable these changes in your life and look forward to continue doing so in the years to come.
An elite climber training to conquer Mt. Everest, a centenarian participating in a marathon or a business executive playing tennis once in a week, fitness means different things to different people. What does being fit mean to a new mom who runs a family, raises the kid, is constantly on the run, is there for everyone all the time and is expected to have solutions to all the world’s problems?
Meet Nethra, one of our star Personal Training members. To her, fitness meant everything that once she thought she could not achieve. It meant not struggling through the day. It meant getting her life back. And as you skim through, you will see a new meaning to the saying ‘slow progress is better than no progress’.
A month and a half back, fitness to Nethra was doing house chores. A person who disliked commercial gyms, despised exercise and considered stretches as demons lurking under bed, Nethra now is training three days a week, showing up early to her sessions, learning new skills, continuously progressing in moves and, in turn, getting leaner and stronger. What made her see things differently?
Nethra was a mother of 10 month old baby girl when she came to us for personal training. She was going through sudden weight gain post pregnancy, uncontrolled BP, lack of sleep, stiff leg, palpitations and the complications of C-section. She could not get herself up from the floor or climb stairs without taking breaks in between. When it became such an arduous task for her to even lift her baby, she realized she needed to take care of herself before she could take care of her loved ones. She was looking for help online and was fascinated by our then Pre & Postnatal Specialist Santy’s posts. So she decided to join The Quad’s personal training and allowed herself three hours a week of “me time”.
After an initial assessment her immediate thought was to try PT for a month and leave. But by the end of 5th session, she had changed her mind and was determined to give her best to make fitness a part of her life. It has been just about 12 sessions with Mathi and she has lost 2 kilos, feels agile and now moves without any pain or discomfort. Her numbers too speak for her dedication and consistency. Someone who was not even allowed to plank (post pregnancy), Nethra now squats 20kg, dead lifts 48kg and holds a plank for a min! She feels this a great start to her new life. While she cannot change everything in a go, she is taking slow and measured steps, one at a time, to a healthy and happy life.
We see a lot of women like Nethra who have misunderstood the effect of training during and after pregnancy. But Nethra is an example of how a simple, steady and carefully designed training plan can result in postnatal moms looking, feeling and functioning better. Do take a moment and spread the word about Nethra’s success story. She is such an inspiration and we are so excited to be a small part of her journey to wellness.
Nitin S Anand
What is commitment? It is a solemn promise, often to oneself, to be dedicated to a result. Simply put, it means sticking with it – remaining loyal and saying yes over and over to the set of processes that will lead to the desired outcome. As much as it is about intent, perseverance and focus, it is also about sacrifice.
This is how it works at our jobs; this is how we plan to buy our first home; this is how we carefully build our kids’ futures. We set goals, work towards them one day at a time, and stay patient until we get there.
It’s no different when it comes to health and fitness. But often, a moment of truth is needed to trigger this commitment to health/fitness goals, unlike for the conventional life goals.
An ignored partial shoulder dislocation was causing intense pain in his shoulders. It made it hard for him to even carry a laptop bag. A desk job had messed with his nutrition and activity levels. He did not have a workout routine as he did not find the gym or running inspiring enough. Before he knew it, he had gained over 15 kgs.
His moment of truth came when his passion took a hit – he could not get through his day-long motorcycle rides (650+ kms) without feeling absolutely exhausted.
Nitin joined us at The Quad, OMR in January 2016 with the single-minded goal to get fit, lose weight and fix his shoulder. Nitin worked with his coaches meticulously on movements such as band pulls, slow and light kettlebell press, and crawls to build shoulder stability. He joined the Fat Loss Challenge (FLC) to fix his nutrition and stay on track. He adapted his lifestyle to sustain fitness and health – figured out sleep patterns, understood and implemented nutrition, embraced active living.
The pain started reducing. His shoulders started gaining strength. Within a few months, he could complete his workouts with absolutely no pain. From not being able to carry a shoulder bag weighing 5 kgs, Nitin can now carry and press 24 kgs. In the last quarter alone, he has lost 9 kgs. He can now go on his motorcycle for over 12 hours feeling much less fatigued than before. He is lighter, stronger, healthier and happier.
What made it work for Nitin? Commitment. Perseverance. Willingness. Action.
He set clear goals and persevered to get them – as we say at The Quad – one rep at a time. He did not give in to discomfort or weakness but fought against them. Despite a busy work schedule, Nitin stayed consistent to training and made up every missed session.
At The Quad, OMR, Nitin continues to push himself every single day. His commitment and enthusiasm are an inspiration to us and all the others in his batch. We are grateful that you believed in us and were willing to commit to what it takes to help us get you to your goals!
On the minus side, Nitin is now forced to sport the 2014 fashion as those are the only clothes that fit him currently!