A couple of years ago Giridar Gowrishankar walked into XCF and said he wanted to get stronger. He knew nothing about exercise or nutrition. He came in ready to learn and ready to work and over the next few years the change was remarkable. I am not just talking about the physical transormations. It is great to help someone lose 30 pounds or gain some muscle or get them ready to smash their first mud run but there are times when someone’s whole life if turned upside down and you barely recognize the person that comes out on the other side. Giri’s journey was one of those. He ended up going back to India last year but the changes continued. He sent me an email the other day and I am posting it in its entirety because it is awesome. I love stories and this is a good one.
I’ve got some exciting news. I am joining this fitness and nutrition company called The Quad (www.thequad.in) as a full time fitness and nutrition coach on July 1. That means I have quit my boring consulting job 🙂 I am really, really excited. I have been planning this move for the last year and was working out the finances, role, long term plans, etc. Now it is finally happening
The Quad (the place I am joining) already has 3 locations in the city I live in (Chennai). The plan is for me to work hands on with clients on both fitness and nutrition. Fitness is group classes similar to CrossFit but predominantly based on ketllebells and bodyweight work. That suits the clientele we get in India – most folks have barely done any strength training and our diet is also mostly vegetarian/rice based which means a lot of people are undernourished/weak. I will also have personal (1×1) clients for both fitness and nutrition. For nutrition, the demand is mostly for fat loss which is not surprising. In the next 1 year, the plan is for me to move to another city (like Bangalore which is a popular IT hub) and lead/run centers there. So financially, there is a pretty sweet upside. We also have plans to start working with schools and athletes in India. The strength training setup at schools is almost non-existent here so there are great opportunities and challenges. Basically, the plan is to define the industry in India from scratch.
Personally, I have learnt a lot from my training experiences in the last year. After Seattle, I trained for a year at Catalyst Athletics which was SO much fun. Just going in everyday and doing the O lifts was awesome. However, my focus was always on strength and the lifts and I did little to nothing on conditioning and overall fitness. In the last year, working predominantly with kettlebells has been an eye opener. It revealed a lot of imbalances and all the mobility issues I had. It was amazing – I have a max 270 lb front squat with barbells but struggle to do a front squat with half of that with kettlebells for 10 reps. I remember when anything more than 3 reps was conditioning work at Catalyst. I have done so much work in the last year to fix these issues and am seeing some good progress now. I am leaner, fitter, healthy and overall can jump, run, move better. I still do some barbell work just to keep in touch but it’s amazing that mobility work pretty much takes up majority of my training hours every week.However, I can do good toes to bars! I can do double unders! Am pretty close to getting good pistols as well.
So overall, lots to do but it promises to be fun. I wanted to share this with you guys because I will never forget that it all began in Seattle with you guys. Both of you were there when I began my journey into fitness and nutrition 3 years ago at XCF. You guys were inspiration, encouragement and support and got me to actually believe that I could do this. I remember when Jordan gave me a key to XCF and let me run personal training sessions when I had zero experience with training/coaching. That was pretty amazing. Even in my home city/country, I don’t have that much support. Maybe someday soon, you guys will visit one my my gyms in India as special guests/trainers.
Share this with the rest of the folks at Seattle and California – tell them that the buff Indian is going to make sure we get some some Olympic athletes from India pretty soon.
Oh and did I mention Giri competed in the first Beast Fest?!