Fit frat

A step towards a fitter Calcutta with The Fit Expo 2017

  • Published 2.12.17

The Fit Expo 2017, presented by Bodyline and partnered by t2, wasn’t just bigger and better but also newer. From Masala Bhangra to Pound fit, there were so many new things t2 learnt from the fitness fair held on November 25-26 in the Science City exhibition area. Apart from all the action, there were seminars by fitness gurus and stalls selling all kinds of gym goodies. The highlights...


Guests refuelled in the food area where there were stalls by Gupta Brothers, The Yellow Straw, 
6 Ballygunge Place, D-Talks Adda and more. 
How strong are you? Muscles were working overtime during the hand-wrestling championship in the outdoor arena.
Brothers Shibayan (right) and Shyamantak Ganguly got the ball rolling with their inaugural performance at the Fit Expo 2017. “My brother trains in hip-hop, I do Kathak… and we both do 
full-contact karate. So we thought of mixing the three!” said Shibayan. The first day also saw 16 athletes from Bengal being conferred Awards for Excellence. Table tennis coach Jayanta Kumar Pushilal was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. 
Amrita Yadav drummed up a storm with neon “drumsticks” or Ripstix (light-weight drumsticks engineered for exercising) and introduced Pound fit to many, including t2. “It’s a cardio-based jam that was inspired by the movements of drumming. It was co-created in LA by Kirsten Potenza who was playing the drums at a party and the stool broke! But they continued to squat and drum. The next day they woke up sore and realised it could be a good workout,” said Amrita.
High energy and lots of balle balle made up Delhi-based Nupur Banerji’s Masala Bhangra session. “It is a bhangra-based dance fitness programme which is fused with old-school aerobics, and was founded by Sarina Jain, an Indian living in New York,” said Nupur. 
No, this Body Art has nothing to do with tattoos and piercings! City-based husband-wife duo Shakti Ghambir and Rashmi Hirawat conducted sessions of this gruelling workout on both days of the expo. “Body Art, which originated in Germany, is a combination of yoga, tai chi and the five elements of Chinese philosophy. It’s very popular in Europe and it revolves around the body and its weight and is used to strengthen fitness, functionality and the core,” said Rashmi. 

Strongman...and woman!

The CrossFit and Strongman competitions tested every muscle of the participants. While some gave up, others stood tall.
Gagan Sachdev (left), chief convener, The Fit Expo 2017, and Mr Bhutan Sangay Tsheltrim show off their muscles. “It’s been a great and satisfying experience being able to create such a historic event in this part of the country. I am glad that we are touching many lives and inspiring them to remain healthy and fit, helping them to celebrate life. Now the mission is to make The Fit Expo India’s biggest fitness and wellness expo,” said Gagan. 
Martial arts organisation 7 Chakra Arts for Self Preservation demonstrated simple self-defence techniques.
“I was not aware that something like this happens in Calcutta. So many people are actively participating, coming to see! The people of Calcutta are far more aware of fitness and good health and that’s always a good thing. I try to go to the gym as much as possible, otherwise I take a walk or do some yoga. I love doing floor cardio and CrossFit,” said actress Paayel Sarkar, who dropped in on the first day of The Fit Expo 2017.
Kaizzad Capadia, co-founder and director of K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences based in Mumbai, spoke on Bodybuilding and the role of genetics in bodybuilding. “Bodybuilding need not be about tiny briefs, colour, oil and competition. It could also mean preserving youth... looking after your body,” said the fitness educationist. Kaizzad shared anecdotes about how his journey began in 1987. “I was 5’ 4” tall and weighed 48kg. I wanted to compensate for my size. I was obsessed with showing I wasn’t as weak as I looked. I would try and lift stuff when nobody would watch. My first gym was called Figure Fit, where I went for the first time in 1987 looking for a friend. When I saw the dumb-bells there, it was like love at first sight,” he said. 
The panel discussion on the Fit India movement highlighted the need for increasing awareness about fitness. “Because of urbanisation, people are aware about superfoods and disorders but they need direction,” said nutritionist Smita Khanna Roy Chowdhury (far left), who was on the panel along with (l-r) Chirag Sethi, sports physiotherapist and founder of Classic Fitness Group; Sonali Swami, bodybuilding championship Musclemania winner; and Avik Sanyal of global nutrition company Glanbia, who moderated the session. “I entered the fitness industry at the age of 38, when one’s career in this industry is almost supposed to be over. What you must remember is not to let age define you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. People can get fit at any age,” said Sonali, now 42. 
(L-R) Anwar Wahhab, founder, AWEFitness Academy and a BioPrint practitioner; fitness consultant Arthur Cardozo; Annu Wadhwa of Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council; Divya Himatsingka of Skulpt and Kaizzad Capadia spoke on the Importance of skill and certification in fitness.

Text: Rwitoban Deb and Deborima Ganguly

Pictures: B. Halder and Arnab Mondal