When the link between coach and athlete goes beyond the physical condition

Teachers enter our lives in different ways. They could be our professional mentors, our life coaches, the people who teach us to drive or, in the case of those who go to the gym, fitness coach. For the ever-growing tribe of fitness buffs in the city, their trainer is the guru that matters the most. On Teacher’s Day, we take a look at this rather unexplored teacher-student relationship of today’s times.

Very often, coaches' gestures go beyond their work, and that is what teachers do too

Many fitness buffs say that what makes fitness coaches so much like teachers is the similarity between a classroom and a gym, as both are places where one goes to improve oneself. Sameer Sinha, a 33-year-old telecom executive from Gurgaon, says, “I think it is as important to create the right environment in a gym as it is in a classroom. Studying and working out are the two self-improvement activities that we have some built-in resistance to. So when your trainer goes the extra mile to make you comfortable, it makes a huge difference. For instance, when I had just started going to the gym, my trainer altered his shift timings to ensure I could come to the gym at a time that suited me. I was very nervous and would easily get intimidated by the buff guys at the gym, so he offered to fit me in at a time when there were mostly beginners there.” Kanchan Birat, a 27-year-old research scholar from Delhi, adds, “Sometimes, the attention and encouragement from a trainer plays a big part in ensuring that you don’t quit on your fitness regimen. People might argue that they are paid to do that but quite often, their gestures and acts go beyond what is their job. And that is what a teacher does too.”

I used to travel 80kms to train with a coach of my choice

Drawing the parallel between academic teachers and fitness coaches a little further, some fitness buffs add that they are willing to travel great distances just to train under that one coach, who they are comfortable with. To them, it is similar to relocating cities or regions for that famed coaching class or that one popular teacher. Aakriti Dahiya, an analyst from Noida, explains, “My trainer lives in Gurgaon while I stay in Noida. For several months, I used to take the 80kms round commute thrice a week just so that I could work out under his tutelage. Last year, he suggested I opt for online classes. It’s like distance learning where he coaches me through video modules.” Zubair Ahmed, a 20-year-old student from Gurgaon, says, “When I started gymming a few years ago, the aim was just to stay fit. But after seeing the hard work my trainer used to put in for my fitness and the rewards I reaped, it became my passion. And that’s because of the rapport I have built with him. The bond is such that even when I go back to my hometown for extended periods of time, I stay in touch with him.”

DSC_1988 Mr India 2016 1st runner-up and fitness coach Viren Barman turns fitness guru for Tushar Jaitly

Our clients depend on us for all their well-being

Even trainers and fitness coaches say that they realise the importance of their roles in their clients’ lives now. Karan Singh, a fitness coach from south Delhi, tells us, “Most people assume the job is limited to building your client’s physique and telling them what supplements to take but those times are gone. They depend on us for their entire health and well-being and our tips, teachings, and advice usually determine how they lead their lives, how efficient they are at work and so on.”


I turn to my coach rather than my parents for advice

For many, the fitness coach’s advice transcends from the gym to other spheres of their lives as well. Aastha Chauhan, a Gurgaon-based entrepreneur, shares, “The fitness coach’s role is not limited to just the workout, at least for me. I depend on my coach for a lot of advice about things apart from the workout, including planning vacations, places to eat, etc, since all these activities also affect my fitness . So, in essence, my fitness coach is my lifestyle coach.” Ankit Arora, a Gurgaon-based engineering student, adds, “The trainer at my gym started working out while he was doing a professional course and didn’t always have the time to dedicate to the gym. So he understands that I don’t always have time for the gym. I relate to him and take his advice on how to balance studies and working out. I don’t go to my college teachers or even my parents for that. I trust him more because he knows both sides.”

To combat lifestyle-related problems, people between 30 and 40 are now increasingly in the gym. To read more about this new trend, visit our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DelhiTimesOnline/