Here’s what you need to take home: Utimate X-Training (pronounced “cross training”) is the best fitness class in and around Bandra. And what sets Ultimate X-Training (part of V’s Fitness) at a level beyond all the others? Master Trainer Venancio D’Souza – the V of V’s Fitness. A man who trains with heart and dedication that no other trainer in the area can come close to, let alone beat.
V’s Fitness runs a host of different programs at Mint Health on Linking Road, Khar. These include Ultimate Kickbox, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Pump, Ultimate Sandbags and Ultimate X-Training.
Ultimate X-Training takes place in the second basement of the building with no air-conditioning, no mirrors and no machines. All they have is a padded floor, graffitied walls, tree trunks, weights, skipping ropes, tractor tyres and monkey bars. There are two fans that get switched on only after V is satisfied with how hard you have pushed yourself. And one gigantic music system to keep you moving. In the four years that they’ve been around, there isn’t a single student who didn’t achieve their goals.
There are three exercise levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each one has its target number of reps per set and the weight you must lift when doing it (Gold students, for example, must lift a minimum 50% of their body weight for exercises like squats and bench press). Each workout routine is a mix of cardio and weight exercises. There are no breaks, no alternating; you compete to beat the clock in routines that go between 30 and 50 minutes.
“It’s a simple concept,” Venancio explains, “Ultimate X-Training is a mix of all the elements of fitness… power, agility, balance, flexibility, local muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, strength endurance and co-ordination.” Unless you’re the type to reward yourself after every workout with a 12” pizza, there’s no way you won’t hit your goals.
The routines are grueling but the enthusiasm and motivation of the class is infectious and that’s what gets you across the line every day and gets you looking forward to the next day's class as you peel your dripping body off the floor. It’s the closest that working stiffs get to a Sparta moment.
Ultimate X-Training is a 5-days-a-week program with a fitness challenge at the end of every month. This is when you realise just how effective the workouts are. And the results are exponential month on month. If you were someone who could do 5 pushups when you started, don’t be surprised if you’re able to do 30 within a couple of months. If you have one hour a day to spare for your fitness program, there’s no better way or place to spend that one hour.
Speak with V for 10 minutes and you’ll get what he’s about. He’s not working in fitness, he is fitness. He believes in his programs and trains his own trainers (who all started as his students). He’s not just training his students, he is building a fit community. That’s the heart and dedication you won’t find in most Indian gyms: Gyms where the trainers are more interested in the TV, where “personal training” implies counting and every new class is a way to make money off the fad of the month. V and his team don’t train you; they motivate, they guide and (if needed), drag you to a fitter lifestyle.
V’s Fitness Ultimate X-Training costs Rs 17,000 per quarter and unlike other gyms where you’re paying for the equipment’s AMC, the mirrors and air conditioning, at V’s Fitness Ultimate X-Training, you pay to become (and stay) the fittest you can ever be.
*Photos courtesy V's Fitness
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