Thursday, 30 July 2009

Introduction to the Species

So where were we?

Ah yes…the beginning of the nonsense :P

Anyways, so thats the beginning of the gymming experience.

And well, the best thing abt it was that the gym was so massive, that there was always something new to look forward to if I got bored. Cardio Arena, Resistance Machines, Free Weights, Group Classes, Yoga, Swimming and not to mention the massage parlour. Yeah they had a specialist Chinese Massage parlour in the gym, and since we got membership in a offer, we got 1 massage FREE FREE FREE.. Being Indian, you can imagine what a freebie means. We love it.

One of the most important factor of a gym is the Ambience, the music is always pulsating, although far off, and then there is the PEOPLE.

Every gym is bound to have different species of Humans. I will take on Uncle Darwin's Mantle and try to identify a few for u. If you have studied Biology in highschool, every species is defined with its Genus and another name, which if memory serves me right is called the generic name, Human beings are known as HOMO SAPIENS

My nomenclature of the gymming class is similarly binomial. Note, The classification is in hierarchial order pertaining tothe Gym.

1. TRAINUS PARENTUS : These are the Chieftans of the gym, the alpha humanoids, People who focused too much on their body building for so long that they reached a phase in life where they said, "Screw academics, i'll be a Gym Trainer." Although a lot of them went to Gym training school (which is another gym...whose trainers when to their schools, which are other gyms.....its a circle of life). So thats them, they are ur parents in the gym, they hold your finger (metaphorical) and make you walk your first steps on the treadmill, hold the cycle seat and tell u sweetly to pedal and that they wont leave (although the stationary cycle doesnt fall OR move, so that is a redundant analogy). They also hold your back when you are groaning through your first 2 pushups and although want to laugh at your pathetic attempt, they dont coz they know its not easy for you. So yeah, like parents.

1. JOCKUS MUSCULUS : These are the Carnivores of the gym. These are the guys who were born with 6 pack abs. They probably used to do bicep curls with their milk bottles and push ups when they were 11 months old.

They are the kind of perfectly chisled physiques who make girls go OOOOOO and guys go @^%$?"?$$""?!£%%"^@, I WANNA BE THAT SOMEDAY !!!

and kinda the opposite for the opposite gender reactions of course. These guys are generally seen as the alpha males of the gymming world, they walk in, dont look at those below their social level, walk past everyone and pick up a 50 kg dumbell and work out every muscle in their body with that. I mean, they work everything from hands to glutes with that.

You can recognize them by their grit. Although they have perfect bodies, when they work out, their focus is on the task, not on themselves, and when they are about to finish their set, you can see their veins as clear as earthquake cracks in the ground. And each muscle stands up from their skin n yells, “look at me !!”

2. JOCKUS MORONUS : These are pretty similar to the one I wrote above. Except, these are the moronical wannabees of the gym. They are like the evil witch from Snow White stories, keep staring into the mirror and flexing their arms and chest and rotating their neck into all the different poses of anger and tough looks. They are distinguishable by their love towards the mirror, fancy clothing, I mean, these guys will wear the tshirts you get in baby shops for 3 year olds, tight fitting, ABS revealing crap. They work out with excessive display of emotions, as in, they will be lifting a 20 Kg Dumbell and making a face like they’re crapping rocks. Some go to the extend of swearing and grunting like pigs in a 100meter dash. And once they’re done, they drop the weights like it’s a nuke warhead. Grunting is fine, I mean, most serious workers do it too, but they Grunt when they’re at the absolute end of their muscle fatigue. The Morons will grunt from the word Go. And God forbid should a cute chick walk by, their Grunts grow angrier, weight lifting goes higher, and the rock-crapping face becomes a permanent fixture. Its like an ugly Gorilla doing a mating call. And it Sucks. More so coz they work with Protein supplements, which has “controversial” side effects, and also doesn’t tire the muscle, so the grunts are alllll fake.

Most Moronus can be identified with a simple check. The Legs.
A serious body builder will work out both ends of his body, the top half and the bottom half.

A Moron will work only on his biceps and core. So they end up being what is known as Top Heavy, or as its scientific name goes, MR. CHICKEN LEGS. Balance is a myth for these buggers. Trust me, one fine day their legs will go, “Screw it, I Quit,” and the knees will retire from service. Probably crack open.

3. MORONUS SUPPORTUS : These are the sidekicks of the Moronus. They never work properly for themselves, they are like li’l scavengers who stick to the morons as supports. They Stand behind the Guru when he’s working out, “encouraging the guru to do more and more" and when the guru’s set is done (Which amounts to about 20 reps), and they pick up the same weight and do 2, with grunts that could make the entire gym think that a Hippo is being tattooed. Oh and they have the most radical tattoos too, like their gurus, they have angry angels, devils, firebolts and neo-gothic designs, all which scream for attention.

4. OBESUS DINOSAURUS : These are the people who REALLY need the gym, coz they have fat in every cell of their body, They are the poor blokes and ladies who come to the gym, look at all the above mentioned people who are born with a high metabolism body and can build a body, while they have to demolish their body. You can see them huffing and puffing their lungs out on treadmills, and at that time, they look like Jabba the hutt on a run. Trust me I know, I was one of them. And I salute these people, as they come in day after day, surrounded by perfect bods, and still have the will power to go through with their ordeal and try to get themselves fitter. These people go through their day, looking at all the junk food around them, all the cheese drippy pizzas and cold colourful icecreams and ((Tears)) all the yummy home food, and still look away and say…NO !!!!

If any of you have been obese and had to loose weight, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

When I was among the obesus, The towels provided by the gym were not enough for me, I needed the car covers.

5. INTERMEDIATUS HIPPOPOTAMUS : Now these are the people who belong between the obese ones and the fork in the road from Morons and Muscles. This is where I am right now, After loosing quite a bit of weight, and about 4-5 Inches off my waist, I am now in the category where I am not looked with scorn/pity nor looked with admiration. Which is good, We are the branch of Obesus who have relentlessly worked our way to losing the flab. We are the ones who see our track pants undergo transformation from being able to fit US, to being able to fit US Plus 2 roommates. And it’s a mighty good feeling I tell ya….. :-D

6. TOOTPICKUS BIMBOS : These are the silly ladies who come to workout just to make the males drool. I mean, they are as perfect in shape as any supermodel, But still come and hire a personal trainer and try to make their lean body leaner. I mean, at one point, you tend to feel that their limbs will snap if touched. The raise the temperature of the gym, and make the Morons go wild. Make the Obesus suicidal, and hippos go into overdrive to loose their remaining flab and get ripped. (except us select few who think that toothpick sized females are bimbettes from the Neanderthal era.) To quote Archimedes, “Ladies, it’s a curvy figure that is what your husbands like, not a polygon”

So that seems to cover most of the species you might come across in a normal gym. I know my gym has all the above. My apologies to anyone offended.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Genesis 2 !!!

So I am back.

Not that many would care, but hey, I have a small story to tell, and I’m going to tell it.

Where were we?

Oh yeah, First step on the treadmill.

The first day, I enjoyed it. ‘Coz I was busy watching some sports on the LCD wall and was amazed that I had continuously used the treadmill for 20 mins. Achievement !!!By the end of those 20 mins, I was sweating like a mad bull. And it felt AWESOME. Trust me, people say that working out makes you feel good, Until that day, I thought they were dented in the head, HOW can hard work make ANYONE feel good (ideology of the couch potatoes..) But that day, I actually smiled. I understood the logic of the feel-good factor.

And then, I was taken by my trainer to some machines which involved Leg Press and curling.

Earlier, When you wanted to build leg muscles, the old trainers from the gym would put a barbell on ur neck and say SQUAT!! Trust me, its an alien feeling of pain and disgust to see yourself in the mirror squatting like a dingbat.

Which reminds me of an uncle who had a fascination for making me sit on an IMAGINARY Chair for 5 mins, with my back against the wall. The memories are still painful.
So the Squatting was spared, instead, 21st century machines for sculpting your body were around.

The leg press was where you sat on a chair, mounted on a rail. There is a big footboard in front of you, and the machine’s weight selector on your right. I selected the appropriate weight for a beginner, 30 kg (Its quite a bit actually, for the first day, as I learnt the next morning, BUT HEY, I was eager to get along and get this over with.) And I put my legs up on the footboard. And my trainer stood right next to me. He helped me adjust my back and told me to grasp the handles below the chair for support. Alllrighty then !! Done…

You ever have that instance when you think you are doing something and suddenly you become conscious of yourself and realize you look weird as hell and wanna die??

Well, Once I had put my feet on the foot board, I suddenly felt, “Hey I’ve seen this position somewhere before.” And my trainer said the magic word, “PUSH !!”
And all of a sudden, the gym had disappeared, My surrounding was a Labour ward and my trainer was in scrubs and he was telling me to PUSHHHH !!!! COME ON, KEEP UR LEGS STRAIGHT NOW….!!! DON’T LOCK UR KNEES !!!!

NOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!

I missed my clip clop shoes, I’d probably have rammed his smiling face in with them for making the whole exercise seem sooooo ….. Awkward !!!!

And then I felt like I wanted to laugh and shoot myself in the head….

And then Maama got onto the machine, and when I saw him, it was all the more evident. (You see, thankfully, I have no potbelly….Maama has one)

After that scary exercise, we were shown curls and then taken to the AB machine.

Now I was looking forward to the ABS workout. What after the whole hoohaa about Sharukh’s 6 Pack and Aamir’s 8 Pack and Rajpal Yadav’s 32 pack, I wanted to have more than the one pack I was already having.

The AB machine is actually a bench, with two arms on the sides which rise up for you to grab on. The upper part of the bench has a hinge, and the lower part has foot pegs which are high up, (Again the delivery position). I was praying to God that my tracks didn’t have a tear because this machine was in the middle of the gym, Not in the corner like the leg press. I reassured myself that people in the gym had better things to do than stare.
I was wrong. (which will be discussed in the forthcoming post)

And the AB machine’s workout was in this manner, You lie on the bench, and put your hands up and your legs too, Sort of like your gonna crawl upside down. And then you crunch your abs by raising your neck and upper torso and getting as close to your knees as possible. This again, Is a very very critical exercise. Not because it shows your abs, That notion is wrong, Ab exercises don’t loose your belly and give you a 6 pack. Cardio burns the fat on the belly and the abs come out. The exercise just builds them and keep them under. Like Michealangelo’s words, “The sculpture was always there in the stone block, I just chipped away the unwanted stone.”

Anyway, back to the topic.. So I am doing crunches…Here’s a tip if you are going to take up gym anytime within this millennium...Try not to have gassy foods atleast 6 hours before your work out. The AB crunch has this tendency to push your stomach muscles downwards a bit. Engineers will understand the concept of Gas travelling through tubes due to the difference in pressure. Well, the intestines transport the gas and put you in a really uncomfortable position. Its hard as it is to crunch….Its harder to hold yourself back from turning the entire place into a Lethal Gas chamber. But guess what, I managed 45 crunches in the first time (15x3).

After that, we called it quits for the day. Hit the steam room and Man was it refreshing.

To come back to that factor of Hard work outs giving a feel good factor, My perspective had changed.
Actually standing in sweat, stinking and looking ridiculously bloated and puffing….gives you a high which is awesome. I was hooked. I was gonna come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Genesis !!!


So there I was, 42 waisted.
I give credence to my distance from Home, during my engineering years.
It is the hostel food that helped me maintain my glorious figure. I was in shape.
The Round kind. Not to say that I didn’t take up exercise then, Oooo I Did..
More than once….Jogging, Gym etc etc…But there was always some bummer in the plans.
And well, I remained a hippo.

Time passed, and I came here, to Dubai. And when I arrived, I had to buy a suit. I was going professional you see. So In Doha, I and my parents went SUIT hunting.
Surprise Surprise….They didn’t have one which could fit my shoulders and belly simultaneously. So if it fit my shoulders, I had to suck my belly in and into my back to get the buttons fixed, and if it fit my belly, its length came upto my knees.
I’m pretty sure you get the picture now.
I finally got a suit.

You see, we fat people have this problem. When we look into the mirror, we choose to believe that we exist only in the top half, by which I mean, above the shoulders. And most of us look and go “I’m not fat…” Reality raises its ugly head when someone comes and stands next to us. And that’s where we look and see a giraffe standing next to an Airbus A380.
So when I donned the suit, I saw myself as a formal business attired human from chest up. And from chest down, the cargo hold of Titanic.

Anyways, I came to Dubai. And with a resolution, that when I would go back to Doha, I’d be slimmer than before, (This was probably my 75th STRONG resolution). I started with a salad diet. And a good way into my first weak, I realized that the morons at the hotel were “decorating” my salad with grated cheese and whatnots.


1. They call an 18 year old the FATHER of a 13 year old
2. They laugh when you step inside the gym
3. They laugh when you go for prayers (I’m gonna whoop the asses of those kids someday)
4. When you are winning the swimming race and are swimming at full throttle, they laugh and say, Who’s this Whale?? (This happened in doha as well, BUT I CAME IN FIRST, so Nyaaaah to the loser slim line jerks)
5. They grate cheese on my Healthy alternative to fatty foods.

Kiss my ass, I will rebel against fitness and remain fat.

And then november 2008 rolled around. And it was an ugly month. And it didn’t help that my birthday fell in that month, just made it worse somehow.
And on the 30th of November, I made the most awesome decision of mine since the day I left Doha for India. I decided to join the Gym. It happened out of a whim I guess. I mean, I was over weight, and well, Had to do something about my mental imbalance in those days.
So I had 2 roommates, One we will call Maama, (Not to be read as MOM or MOMMA or any such maternal call sign)
Maama was fatter than I was, (Or so I thought).
No seriously, he was chubbier. The difference between us was, He had fat all over him, I had a wide mid-section more than anything else. Bringing it down to business terms, it was a comparison of Apple and Pear.
The other roommate was actually a fit guy. We’ll call him Aashiq. He was madly in love. And well, he had just seen the promos of Ghajini. For the uninitiated, Ghajini was, according to us, the best film of 2008. Not to mention Aamir Khan’s finest performances. And the physique he had built for that movie was beyond what words can describe. I mean, from a short flaccid body, this man crafted a War machine body in a year and a half. And well, he gave us a complex.

I’d joined Gyms before, but never went regularly for more than a few days. My longest affair with the weight loss program was a month and a half. And I recognized the problem was, in the initial days, you require a teammate to pull you to gym. Going solo requires will power of a Bull charging a Matador. Kill or Die attitude. And well, if I had that attitude, I wouldn’t be in this place would I?
So the 3 of us join up. And on the first day, we have tests run on us by the fitness trainers.

There is a fancy machine which calculates all parameters of your body, mapping your structure, to your Weight, Mass, Bone Mass, Fat Mass, Christmas and all that jazz.
Maama had to loose about 25+ Kgs to come to a normal size for his height. I got onto the machine and saw the weird graphs go up and down. Whenever they went down on something, my heart jumped with joy. The test was all-round normal, except my fat level, but I already knew that. There was this parameter wherein I was really low. I was gonna cry happy tears. And later the trainer tells me, “Tch tch, you see, that low count there is your bone mass, you need to build more bones dude”
I wanted to cry tears alright. DAMN!!!!

And then we hit the Treadmills with the enthusiasm of a kid on the first day to school. The cardio theatre (as it was called) was filled with cardio machines of all kinds, all facing a wall which had 16 or 18 Huge LCDs running different channels. So when you did your cardio (Which I must tell you is the most boring form of exercise) You were well and truly distracted.

I got on the machine and set the dial to 20 mins cardio. I looked at Maama, he was oogling at the chickadees. And Aashiq gave me a look and said, “I am gonna take 5 mins cardio and hit the weights”
Lucky bugger had the right to do that. Someday I said to myself…….Someday

I looked back at Maama, his face was plastered with a wide grin, clearly the gym’s stock of chickadees was approved by him.

I pressed START and the treadmill started moving.

The journey of a million calories began with that one step !!!

Monday, 15 June 2009

In the Beginning............

Lets Get this straight,
I’m fat. No question about it.
Not only there cant be a question about it, there cant even be a raised eyebrow worth of doubt in it. And I blame the world for this disease I call A.I.H.D.S.
To elucidate  AIHDS is Acquired Immuno (for) Hunger Deficiency Syndrome.

Aids reduces your immunity in totality
Aihds reduces your immunity to hunger. i.e. even 2 seconds worth of hunger is a good enough excuse to gorge on some snacks. 9 times out of 10, its something fattening.

AIHDS is compulsively accompanied by B.C.D. (Butt (on) Couch Disorder)
Like OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder – where you don’t like things to move from their place or state) BCD is an obsession of a different level altogether; you just don’t like to move ur butt from where its rooted to.
I swear you could actually mistake me for a wax effigy if it weren’t for the only exercise my body did, Flicking through the channels. I tell you, my finger muscles were so well developed, I could bench press 20 bars of Snickers on each fingers (not that I ever took the pains to do it…BUT I COULD)

All this was multiplied by the H.F.F. or HOME FOOD FACTOR. I was fed like a sacrificial lamb, or in my case, a sacrificial buffalo.
And I was pretty much that kind of sacrificial buffalo whom you love and care and feed until you’ve blown him up, and then go, “Screw it, I’m bored, sacrifice cancelled.”

That’s it, I was left with the whole fattened up me. In the middle of a world where fitness comes after religion (Or does it come after money) Well, whatever it does come after, I was left with it.
At first, I was too lazy to notice that.
At second, I noticed that Kids guffawed at me when I passed by
At third, I noticed that my cargo trousers required cargo planes to transport.

And then came the supreme insult.

It was first year of engineering if I am not mistaken. My younger brother was joining an international school in India. His arrival into 8th Grade. A whole new world for him. He was moved from pampered Doha to pamper-smelling Bangalore (I declare I still love Bangalore so enough with the boos)
For the opening ceremony of the brand new international school (Cost of construction 22 Crore INR) We were all invited, specially as he was the First batch. History in the making right? So Well, I dressed up in my uncle’s wedding suit. Do not ask me why I used his suit.

So There I am, Grey suit, Nice shirt and tie, Black formal shoes which went Clip-Clop-Clop-Clip. Once dressed, an evil smile of sophistication crossed my lips. And I went out of my house to the waiting car. And Fate Smashed my smile to smithereens.
No wait, it didn’t smash it. More like, Dropped a 20 Kiloton Nuke on it.
The waiting car for my sophisticated self was a MARUTI 800. White. Probably the Model which transported the last of the English Colonists to the port to wave them Goodbye.

Anyway, Back to the topic. So the whole ceremony was awesome blah blah speech speech clap clap ooo laa-dee-frikkin-da

And after that, I followed my brother to his dorm, to get his camera. The road to the dorm was made of stone. Ergo : CLIP CLOP CLOP CLIP ….
My bro ran into the dorm to get his stuff, and I turned 360 degrees admiring the beautiful environ my Duck billed brother was getting to study at. And Then I saw her. She was about a mile shorter than I was, yet somehow, with the cunning use of heels, she just seemed a few cms shorter. She was following a li’l guy towards the dorm too.

Now you imagine yourself in that scenario. Dressed in sophisticated Formal wear, with awesome sounding shoes (or so I thought then) and also the tie. Don’t forget the tie.
Even the lamest of homo habilis in that ensemble would push up the tie knot and straighten the coat collar. So did I.
My brother ran back from his dorm and the Girl’s brother and he exchanged Hellos.(Clearly they knew each other)
And the girl smiled at my brother, (Clearly she knew him too)
He smiled back (Clearly He knew her too)
And I stood there, IN MY FORMAL GET UP, turning my neck from one side to another as they acknowledged each other. I felt like a curious rooster. I mean, being the size of a whale shark, I was not used to being in people’s blind spots.

And then she saw me, she smiled. I smiled back. She looked at my brother and goes

“So is this your Dad?”

Now conventionally, I am a very positive guy. I honor women a lot. I consider beating a woman as the worst thing a man could do to show off his masculinity. And yet, this time, I would gladly make an exception. I've rarely had the urge like that day, when I wanted to take off my shoes and Slam her in the face with it. (Mr. Bush it was my idea first)
I would also resort to half burying her in the earth and wrapping a live anaconda around her and sprinkling live leeches on her for toppings.

My brother took his time to guffaw and then correct her.
His friend (her younger brother) guffawed and I could tell the correction didn’t make sense to him.
She blushed at her “mistake” and rectified with a sorry and a hello and blah blah
I was in another Dimension where the scene was dusty and an anaconda was hissing and leeches were going SQUICHH SQUICHHH
I could almost hear myself ramming her face with my CLIP CLOP Formal shoes.


….or I had weight ones….

That was the biggest insult. And also the most discouraging one. Coz until then, I was actually starting to jog and loose some flab. This episode made me feel rebellious to the world.
And I quit jogging (Bad idea I know…)

It doesn’t mean I gave up on my weight. NO

For the next 4 years of engineering, I maintained my 42 Waist and didn’t put on any weight….

For most, that is inconsequential. For a guy like me, who had unlimited supply of chocolates and ice creams et all….It was an achievement…

To Be Continued…………