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A group of seven fitness enthusiasts turn Besant Nagar beach into an open-air gymnasium.VIPASHA SINHA watches

Back to Basics: This is what Alkhas Joseph recommends to fitness enthusiasts.Photo: M. Karunakaran
Back to Basics: This is what Alkhas Joseph recommends to fitness enthusiasts.Photo: M. Karunakaran

For me, a typical Sunday begins well past noon. Given this, making this trip to Besant Nagar beach at 6 a.m on a Sunday is nothing short of a miracle. It’s a date with a bunch of fitness freaks, which includes celebrity fitness trainer Alkhas Joseph. Now, we are talking about a man who ‘sculpted’ Suriya’s fabulous body in 7 Aum Arivu and Vikram’s in Thandavam.

Joseph explains how he and six other fitness enthusiasts – popular radio jockey Dheena, Ganesh G., Archana Manavalan, Vijith Isaac, Mukund Venkat and Harsha Iyer – meet at the Besant Nagar every Sunday for a workout. “It is not like a regular boot camp or a beach workout. We do not have a fixed exercise regimen and that is the beauty of it,” says Joseph.

Apart from the regular stretches and warm-ups, there is no telling what this group will do. “It all depends on the mood of the team, on a given day. Sometimes we jog for half an hour, other days we play a sport or practice yoga and if someone has seen some interesting exercise video, we try doing it. I encourage people to bring their knowledge to the table and we experiment it together. For instance, someone here knows kalari and she taught us some moves of the ancient martial art form,” says Joseph.

Most fitness instructors merely oversee others exercise after showing them how to work out but Alkhas does not believe in that. He says, “I cannot teach and preach unless I follow it myself. I work along with them and learn a lot from them in return. As a celebrity fitness trainer, I used to get numerous requests from people to give them fitness tips. So, I started this fitness camp to help out as many people as possible with a minimal fee of Rs. 200 per session.”

Lured by the idea of getting an actor-like physique, people showed interest initially but were not able to sustain the pressure of the high intensity workouts. “People often mistake fitness for bodybuilding. What I do is go back to the basics. In other words, I use my own body weight instead of external weights. Fitness is all about a healthy lifestyle and not the size of the muscle,” he says.

He believes healthy living is not just about a healthy body but also a healthy mind and conscience. “Initially we did all our workouts on the beach but it became so dirty that we moved to a ground close by. One day, we saw a group of people cleaning the beach and we joined them. Since then, we do beach clean-ups regularly,” says the 32-year-old.

No, this is not a closed group. They could be met on their Facebook page, which they call ‘I survived fitness club ’.

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