Are You Ready to Train Like a Fauji?

"Experiencing the military style of bonding, brotherhood and fitness will help people understand what the Indian Armed Forces stand for better and will help create awareness of more youth being encouraged to join the Indian Army."
Experiencing the military style of bonding, brotherhood and fitness will help people understand what the Indian Armed Forces stand for better and will help create awareness of more youth being encouraged to join the Indian Army.
Experiencing the military style of bonding, brotherhood and fitness will help people understand what the Indian Armed Forces stand for better and will help create awareness of more youth being encouraged to join the Indian Army.IANS

A three-year-old girl fell in love with the Indian Armed Forces when she saw her father in his Olive green uniform and peek cap. She was the youngest of all in the family but saw a big dream to join the Indian army. But, as they say, "man proposes, God disposes." After multiple attempts, she never got through the final rounds. Later in life, her undying love for fitness and the Indian army led her to start a fitness centre based on a military theme where civilians are trained in Indian army-like fitness tactics.

Rashmi Palande, the daughter of Retd. Col. Anil Palande is the owner of a fitness training centre Fitness Regiment in Pune that provides in-depth military training run by ex-servicemen of the Indian army. Through hour-long batches of military fitness training in the mornings and evenings, they train civilians in army drills including lifts, carries, crawls, runs, ruck swims and mobility. They also organize outdoor sessions that help netizens to enhance their team-building and self-discipline.

Palande feels that it is important for civilians to train like the Indian army to have a sense of patriotism instilled in them and respect the Indian Army personnel and their sacrifices.

"Experiencing the military style of bonding, brotherhood and fitness will help people understand what the Indian Armed Forces stand for better and will help create awareness of more youth being encouraged to join the Indian Army," she adds.

At the same time, a Fitness Regiment is also a space where retired soldiers especially the Indian Army Institute of Physical Training get a source of livelihood doing what they love doing the most, Palande shares.

On a similar concept, the Centre for Defence Careers has introduced army-like training courses for civilians. Their Civilian Commando Training Course in Mumbai trains civilians in commando workouts without heavy machines, basics of self-defence, QRR quick reaction and response to situations, and body shaping with free hand exercises.

In Ratlam, Nishulk Fitness Club is an initiative that trains army enthusiasts and civilians in Indian army-like fitness practices for free.

Parallels can be drawn with the Israeli martial art technique Krav Maga which has gained attraction in recent years. Krav Maga is a tactical mixed-martial art/combative and self-defence system that combines boxing, judo, jujitsu, and aikido. Several fitness centres already provide Krav Maga training to civilians.

One-on-One Fitness training

Not only on training centre levels, but ex-army service personnel are training civilians on an individual level as well.

Ex-Marine Commando Force (MARCOS) personnel, Praveen Kumar Teotia is now a fitness trainer for civilians as well as those applying for the Ironman Triathlon. His training includes functional exercises, strength exercises, mobility exercises, flexibility exercises, agility exercises and stretching exercises.

Particularly, the 2-hour early morning routine involves jogging, brisk walking, slow run, hurdle exercises, rope workup, light weight training, and yoga poses.

"If every civilian learns the self discipline we follow and work out like us then they can save loads of money they usually spend on health checkups and in hospitals. Fitness is my passion and I feel there is a need for civilians to understand the importance of it," he says.

Teotia has served the Indian army for 15 years and was one of the heroes who fought the 26//11 terrorist attack. His story is an inspiration for many.

Even after getting shot by four bullets during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Teotia decided to fight back. But, the real battle began when he had to suffer the consequences of his injuries. His marathon application was rejected by the Navy under the �low medical' category.

Teotia was not ready to give up yet so he burnt the midnight oil to make himself even much more capable than he was before the 26/11 attacks. He started running, swimming, and cycling and went on to win the prestigious Ironman Triathlon Championship in April 2018 in South Africa, by completing the race in 14 hours, 19 minutes and 38 seconds.

Similarly, many ex-service personnel are providing training to civilians on an individual level in society parks and big grounds in various districts.

On Social Media

Not only on the ground, but Indian army-like fitness regimes are popular on social media channels, like YouTube and Instagram as well.

Teotia, himself, has a YouTube channel Marcos Praveen Teotia with 44.6k followers where he shares regular workout videos. Nishulk Fitness Club also has a YouTube channel with 996k followers where they share training videos

Similarly, The Fitness Idea on YouTube is a channel for army and fitness enthusiasts. Along with yoga poses and regular fitness videos, the channel shares videos of workouts followed by the Indian army.

Another channel called Army Physical Fitness is popular on both Instagram and YouTube. They share inspirational race track videos of army enthusiasts from several states.

The hundreds of thousands of views on the videos show that civilians are equally excited to train like the Indian army.

Benefits of Army-like-fitness regime

An Indian army jawan wakes up at 5 a.m., makes their bed, cleans the washroom, washes up and then goes out for strenuous muscle training without equipment. Their eating and sleeping habits are also strictly disciplined. Learning and following a fauji-like fitness regime requires core mental strength along with physical strength.

Pranay Jain, a fitness enthusiast and the founder of BodyFirst, believes that following a military routine can be fruitful for civilians since it doesn't just build muscle and stamina; it also improves self-confidence and mental health. Moreover, it also opens the person up to new experiences and knowledge, he adds.

Army enthusiasts working in corporates now believe that it is important for civilians to follow army-like physical and mental workouts because it inculcates team building, self-discipline, and a never-die attitude which is required in everyday life today. They believe that corporates should also adopt the culture.

Pranay Aggarwal, Sociologist, Educationist and Mentor for Civil Services Aspirants, believes that ordinary citizens must learn Indian army-like tactics and include them in their fitness regime to improve the public health standards in the country that are abysmally low at the moment.

Aggarwal believes that citizens across age groups will benefit immensely from improved fitness.

"Better fitness levels of students contribute to more alertness in the classroom leading to improved learning outcomes and test scores. Working-age adults have higher levels of productivity at work and improved income levels. It also slows down the process of ageing and bodily atrophy, resulting in longer life span and healthier and less disease-prone life for the elderly," he says.

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