He warns his students of short cuts to an imposing physique. He insists they take the time-tested and narrow path. T.S. Atul Swaminathan on gym trainer N. Kuselan

It lacks the trappings of a modern gym. In fact, only a part of it functions as gym. The other part is home to N. Kuselan, a body builder for 35 years.

He established this gym at Perambur, along with another at Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar, in 1984, around a year before he received three job offers – from the Chennai Port Trust, Income Tax and Southern Railway. He chose the railways.

Having landed a secure job, it would have been easy for Kuselan to turn his back on body-building and the decision to run training centres for aspirants. But he did not. In fact, he upped his gym commitments, taking on the role of a reformer within the sport. He eschews the use of medicines and other shortcuts to developing an imposing physique. He warns his students of the dangers of taking body-enhancing medicines.

“Only certified fitness personal trainers with good credentials can start gyms in foreign countries. In India, such controls are lacking. Banks provide loans for purchase of fitness equipment and setting up gyms. The gym owners sell medicines, make quick money and repay the bank loans. With the remaining profit, they start more branches in the city,” Kuselan pointed out. “This practice by the gym owners and personal trainers is destroying the lives of unsuspecting body builders,” he opined.

N. Kuselan was declared ‘Mr. India’ in 1988-89 by Indian Body Building Federation, ‘Mr. Madras’ in 1985 by Madras City Amateur Body Building Association, man with the ‘Best Physique’ in 1988-89 by Pachaiyappa’s College Chennai, University of Madras, and the man with the ‘Best Arms’ in 1985 and 1986 by Tamil Nadu Body Building Association.

Kuselan seems to be motivated by a desire to give back to the sport that have given him recognition and a sense of fulfilment. For those who cannot afford the fees, he provides free training.

For details, call Kuselan at 9841353913.

More In: Downtown | Chennai