Not Just Sweat and Grime


With new workout-monitoring software and professionally trained trainers, gymnasiums have entered a new era

"The fitness industry in India is just emerging out of what we term as 'The Dark Ages' of this line of work," says Dr Crispen Lamont of Mont Fitness, which is launching in the city in July. Gymnasiums today aren't just iron-pumping spots. They come with intelligent software to monitor the workout sessions of customers and have trainers who are equipped with both practical and theoretical knowledge of fitness. The gyms have a five-starish ambience, receptionists who greet you with your first name and smart cards that help you and your trainer access and modify everyday workout regimes.

"People have now become smart. Not only do they want high-end facilities but also professional training. There is a change not only in the way gyms are built but also in the way the members are provided with a different workout experience," Dr Lamont adds.

Earlier, people would go to a fitness centre to lose weight and build their bodies to look like sports persons or actors. "And when they wouldn't achieve the same, they would resort to anabolic steroids which were harmful as even trainers at reputed gyms were not fully qualified to advise people on their use. Disgruntled when nothing would work, they would finally quit the gyms," he says.

At Tushar's Fitness Studio, the concept of professional gyming has caught on. Owner Tushar Ramanan says, "More and more fitness professionals are now entering the industry to build gyms and run them not as corporate machines but places that can act as second homes for people. At my studio, a limited number of people come in to workout and so there is more attention paid to details of their regime."

Gyms like these aim at providing a five-star hotel experience combined with the knowledge of a university, feels fitness professional Rajesh Talwar. "You will not have trainers loitering around, but they are prompt with assisting customers. Such gyms do not promise quick fixes but a long term approach that will help members lead healthier lives," he says.

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