Thrills

Crushing it with Arjun Motha — Workshop on Calisthenics 101

For many of us fitness is a hard thing to manage what with hectic schedules and expensive gym memberships, but tribesman Arjun Motha who runs the wonderful wellness retreat in the deep south of India, these are just excuses. Here’s the profile of the man for whom ‘body is my temple’ is not just an adage, but a hard sought religion.

Our hardcore fans will easily recognise Arjun Motha as one of the two extreme athletes featured in our original series Rushes. In Episode 1 entitled ‘Wind Worshippers,’ we had introduced kiteboarder Arjun Motha who runs the picturesque beachside retreat Aqua Outback in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. Spread over 2,000 acres of salt flats, the place is dotted with protected reefs and corals, islands and lagoons that are picture perfect for exploration and seaside adventures. Arjun who is an avid kiteboarder, a kitesurfing instructor and an oceanist, is also an athlete with a penchant for the extreme.

Not known to many people, he is a certified World Calisthenics Organisation Level 2 coach, having trained under some of the world’s best fitness and calisthenics coaches such as Calisthenics World Champion Eryc Ortiz, WCO Elite Coach Justin Garcia and Keneth Gallarzo who founded the Systematic Calisthenics — a world renowned calisthenics system of 108 movements across 16 levels of exercising expertise. Ripe from exploring the world of fitness following his business degree in London, Arjun came back to India to found the Aqua Outback. He also established the SPARCS Academy — a visionary fitness movement that decodes the world of calisthenics making it accessible to India. Dig deep and Arjun will attest that it is the calisthenics training that he owes his high endurance and fitness levels to. In fact, he is quick to mention that the regimen allows him to keep both his mind and body in tandem, which allows him to follow this sustainable lifestyle.

While most modern gyms boast of high-end equipments and expensive machines, calisthenics leans towards simplicity. Calisthenics for the uninitiated is a broad term used to describe a training method that consists of primarily movements utilising one’s bodyweight. Without the use of cumbersome equipment, calisthenics uses techniques such as pushing, pulling, bending, jumping, swinging and using one’s body weight to get maximum resistance to increase strength, fitness and flexibility.

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Arjun’s SPARCS Academy takes this fitness training to another level, incorporating Strength, Plyometrics, Aerobics, Resistance, Conditioning and Sports to create regimens that can be adopted from beginners, all the way to experts.

If the basic framework were to be described, this is how it would be spelt out —

Strength — strengthens the body and mind
Plyometrics — builds explosive power
Aerobics — boosts energy, speed and burns fat
Resistance — tones and tightens muscles
Calisthenics — using body weight
Sports — develop speed, agility and overall fitness

This fun style of exercising is exactly the discipline which serves as the antithesis to yearly gym memberships that make you a slave to boring regimens because variation is the key for this workout style.

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Arjun breaks the SPARCS down into three steps depending on one’s fitness levels. Level 1 — the Novice phase — is aimed at burning fat and exercising unused muscles, introducing high intensity, circuit and resistance training with conditioning of the heart. Level 2 — the Intermediate phase — focuses on moderate level of HIIT (high intensity interval training) with harder routines and fewer breaks. Level 3 — the Advanced phase — is for those looking at Spartan regimens, incorporating athletic training, focusing on making you an elite performer. The goal here is to make your body leaner and mind sharper, peaking your endurance to take on any form of fitness and athletics. What makes SPARCS special is that it is inspired by many exercise routines — from mixed martial arts to yoga.

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You can learn more about how Arjun brings these principles to life in ‘Crushing it with Motha’ —  our Live Session with Arjun as he decodes Calisthenics 101. The word itself comes from the Greek words kallos meaning ‘beauty’ and sthenos meaning ‘strength’. This modern street workout style is surprisingly one of the oldest styles of fitness, dating back to Ancient Greece of Alexander the Great.

If you’d like to learn more about this exceptional exercise form, then log on to our Insta-live session with Motha at 5 PM today as he breaks it down for you in a 45-minute workshop. All you’ll  need for the session are the following essentials — Shoes, Towel, Mat, Chair and a small bottle. Log on to our handle at www.instagram.com/thevibe.me and wear some comfortable gym clothes, and you’ll be ready to get back into shape from the confines of your own social-isolation.

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