Gulping down a detox brew of honey and lemon, Nupur clamps her ‘Fitbit’ on the wrist, pulls on a t-shirt over her sports bra, dons her trainer socks and running shoes and scoops up a yoga mat, a pilate ring, a resistance band and her weights.
The mood is energetic and upbeat as the trainer’s voice rings loud and clear over the music: “Don’t stop. Let it burn. Keep breathing. Keep your posture correct. Don’t strain that back!” Beads of sweat trickle down faces of enthusiastic participants who have day jobs that range from banking to teaching to medicine.
They are all riding a fitness wave that has engulfed a majority of our generation.
Nupur Banerji is a role model for many as she introduces herself as a licensed ‘Masala Bhangra Workout Ambassador’ , a licensed ‘Bar Bhangra Workout Ambassador’ and a licensed ‘Zumba Fitness Instructor’ among her many certifications. She is also co director and head instructor at Zink Fitness Studio in Gurgaon where she teaches high energy and engaging dance fitness sessions.
Banerji credits social media influence for the fitness wave.
People are actively getting into the gym, lifting weights and then hitting the dance floor for high energy cardio sessions like Zumba, Masala Bhangra, Bokwa, Bollywood Dance Fitness.
No Longer Just Bottled Water
While a bottle of water, a towel and a yoga mat were all you needed just a few years ago, today there is a spurt of equipment being used by fitness trainers.
Nupur is happy to see body weight exercises and gym equipment finding their way into people's lives.
I also see an increasing number of people opting for water-based workouts like Aqua Zumba, Aqua Yoga and Aqua Aerobics. People have realised that water will support any joint injuries.
Trainer Jessica Rana, who has a huge fan following in South Delhi, believes that the right equipment is very important to carry out a particular fitness trend the scientific way! She recommends weights, a resistance band and toning tube, a medicine balancing ball, a foam roller and a pilate ring for her students.
When I am sitting on the chair, I use a cushion for comfort and support. Similarly, the pilate ball gives one the right distance and posture. You simply have to obey the equipment as there is some science behind it.
Manisha Ahlawat – who runs Vivafit in Gurugram – confirms this trend when she says she has seen tremendous growth in the last 6 years and, as a result, has widened her client base by “adding trendy and advanced routines to suit the changing lifestyles of clients”.
She believes the right training is equivalent to the right prescription and that it is very important to know the client well and prescribe the right kind of workout.
The Non-Exhaustive List of Fitness Trends
Yashodhara Lal, best-selling author of five books – including There is Something About You (which has a Zumba instructor for a protagonist) – is a working professional with over 14 years of experience. Says Lal,
There’s a definite increase in consciousness about fitness when it comes to the urban working professional. In my personal experience as a full-time working mother of three, and an author with five books (with two more on their way), a good, rigorous workout is indispensable.
She recalls taking up Zumba in 2012 and enjoying it so much that she took up the training to become a Zumba instructor herself!
Last year, I felt myself plateauing and then came ‘Strong by Zumba’ which, unlike Zumba (fundamentally based on dance) is more of a high-intensity specialty and is not about dance at all. It’s a very well-designed programme, split into four quadrants called ‘Ignite’, ‘Fire-up’, ‘Push Your Limits’ and finally, ‘Floor-play.’ It’s fun, and it’s a very challenging workout. I’ve found that I’ve had to up my own stamina and form to be able to lead a class, and I now do one day of regular Zumba (Saturday), followed by a Strong by Zumba class (Sunday).
Lal also finds time for yoga, squash and a fitness boot camp.
My husband and I have a gym membership which we are unable to use simply for the time it takes to actually get to the gym! There is so much out there that beats binge-watching TV series or endless YouTube videos any day. In fact, if we’re going to watch those videos, we might as well do it in the Plank position!
Manisha Ahlawat says that the biggest myth in training is the “quick fix” –
There are NO short cuts, killer workouts or magic pills. True fitness requires hard work and consistency. A good trainer will never promise quick results.
(A post graduate from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication with an MBA in HR, Meenakshi Sharma conceptualises and executes literary events, communication and HR projects with the same passion that she exhibits when she writes about people, places, food and relationships!)