Fitness is an integral part of many people’s lives. In today’s world, staying healthy is given a lot of importance and the fitness industry has been flourishing in the light of this increased interest in taking care of oneself. Zwagg Fitness based in Kochi is all about full body workouts that keep you fit and happy. There are several options out there but Zwagg is one of the few fun and exciting options there is! With group workout sessions that motivate you to Zumba Fitness that is all about that music, Zwagg Fitness Studio is a unique place to work out. In conversation with Poornima Viswanathan, Founder of Zwagg, we learn more about the studio and the story behind it!
Give us a brief info about Zwagg Fitness:
We are Kerala’s first one of a kind group fitness studio offering a unique combination of workouts, specializing in making your sessions fun, interesting and leaving you craving for more.
Our workouts include
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
- Pump n Burn (Functional Strength Training)
- Zumba® Fitness
- BollyX® Fitness
Working for gyms and dance studios gave me an idea of bringing the concept of “Group Fitness Studio” to Kerala. Traveling to various cities and countries in the last 6 years helped me understand the pulse of people in my city and could connect with them very well.
Had to keep away the idea of isolation of workouts like “gym” or “aerobics” or “zumba” or “yoga” or “cycling” or “running” or playing any sport (badminton, cricket, football). To be physically fit, all you need is the right balance of cardiovascular activities, strengthening and flexibility.
What do you chose under these headers matter.
What workout formats you choose under these categories will help you sustain for long- ideally what motivates you to wake up from bed the next day. At Zwagg, Man to machine relationship is reduced considerably.
Different workouts everyday create a sense of community, where friends motivate each other to hit the fitness center ensuring good mix of fun and intense workouts.
What inspired you to begin your own fitness studio? What is the story behind it?
A worrying lackadaisical attitude towards fitness. I wanted to break the “Fitness in Isolation” trend and offer a one stop fitness bouquet. I also wanted to offer a platform to socialize and be part of a healthy living community. Breaking the norm of boring diets and over exerted weight loss “packages” was also part of the goal and to join an industry that is growing at a breakneck rate of 121% globally!
I am going to urge you to choose Zwagg fitness over regular Gym (if gyms are boring and not motivating) for the following reasons
- Prioritizes your mental health alongside physical and emotional wellbeing Fight and win against lifestyle diseases. Build back your immunity!
- Just like how you are unique, you need to train your body into a unique fitness regime and watch it repay you!
- Only 10% succeeded in losing weight through diet alone.
- Be part of the percentile that succeeded combining diet and exercise.
- Music plays an integral role in keeping you motivated and pumped.
- The tempo, the rhythm and responses and even choosing the right kind of music that just clicks.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before Zwagg Fitness?
From an absolutely active person in school and college to a corporate life for 6 years in Chennai did raise a flag in me “Am I in the right space, is this the right job for me”? My managers shooed me away saying, all newbies feel the same and hence focus on what you are doing and deliver the best.
Giving up on my 3 years of marriage gave me an opportunity to come back to Cochin, where I have had the best of my memories. Like any girl with good credentials and enough experience in Corporate field made me go in search of another corporate job that convinces me. While I was on the search, I walked into a Zumba Fitness class only to keep me active. Caught up with it in less than 4months and researched about the opportunities of making a career out of it.
Licensed instructor from Nov 2013, I would have met at least 1000 odd people a year to create awareness about Zumba and the fitness part of it.
That’s when I realized that majority are having an issue starting over their fitness program but not Zumba fitness, Zumba was happiness for them. I made use of the opportunity and created a brand for myself- Zwaggwithpoornima – aggressively promoted Zumba as a fitness program in schools, colleges, corporates, special schools, old age homes and gyms. Zumba being a group fitness program, it was a great learning for me on the group dynamics. Handling various groups at corporates, gyms, fitness studios where I conducted sessions gave me an understanding of how important and advantageous it is to workout consistently in a group.
4 years of being just a Zumba instructor gave me groups of people who considered me as a trusted fitness instructor. That helped me go up the ladder in the field of fitness and I took up additional certifications like Strong Nation Trainer, Functional Fitness- group trainer, Kettle bell Level-1 , Crossfit Level-1 and also attended various weight lifting workshops
Tell us more about your personal fitness journey. How important is staying fit to you?
I have been active throughout my life. Always up for any sport, adventure activities at school. Been a foodie then and now. Food is a celebration for me. I have never had anything that I don’t enjoy even when I am sick. Meal time is always a happy time. I always watch what I eat. I grew up as a vegetarian primarily and my mother had been and is still particular about eating all the 3 meals from home. She goes out of her way to make sure I do even by packing food for me as early as 6 am. I try my best to adhere to that whenever I am in town. Hardly 2-3 meals a week is from outside after I started my fitness journey. That’s when I understood food as the most important factor in your fitness journey and that too clean eating.
You don’t have to have any supplements if your meal contains all the required macronutrients. All of these nutrients provide your body with energy that allows your body to function properly.
Workout on a daily basis is essential not for weight loss but to make sure that you have good energy to tackle daily chores. Keeping yourself fit has much more to do than weight loss. Zwagg Fitness studio workout combinations also focus on washing away those myths like physical fitness focuses on weight loss, diet is the only way to weight loss, if you don’t sleep at night (as per your biological cycle) for 8 hours , its ok to catch up sleep during the day.
All workouts should be ideally total body workouts and not to focus on any particular body part. When that’s done, there are other areas that’s weakened.
Healthy Food habits and workout consistency should go hand in hand.
I enjoy working out whether it is a sport (badminton and tennis), adventure sports (kayaking, cycling), dance cardio fitness programs (Zumba and BollyX) or high intensity workouts (Interval training or weight training)
This mix is what I have been following since I am in the field of fitness. In this process, your body will start rejecting unhealthy food and you cannot help but follow a clean food habit.
What do you offer at Zwagg Fitness? What are the different fitness programmes?
We offer both group and personal training programs
Group Fitness Packages
- Functional Fitness Package – HIIT, Pump n Burn (weight training) and mobility
- Dance Cardio package – Zumba and BollyX
- Full circuit fitness : this is our flagship – Functional fitness, dance cardio and Pilates
- Teenagers dance fitness program- Dance cardio package
Zwagg 1:1 personal fitness program
- Fitness assessments
- Customised workout plan
- Customised diet plan
- Transformation workouts
- Diff type of workout patterns
- Min equipment engagement unless necessary
- Total workout guidance throughout the Personal training period.
What were the difficulties you faced while setting up Zwagg Fitness? How did you overcome it?
Why fitness has to be a mix of fun and intense workout. How is Zumba a serious fitness program? Why can’t you focus on one body part and promise on reducing it? How is physical fitness helping mental health?
Due to these doubts, people were skeptical of joining Zwagg Fitness and 10% who joined showed results in less than 6 months and vouched for Zwagg Fitness.
How has the pandemic affected your business? Is it difficult to conduct online fitness classes?
Pandemic has brought down fitness business to 1/3rd. Zwagg fitness had to go through this after opening it for only 6 months.
Online classes were really difficult because people thought it isn’t effective. What we had to prove is that, online or offline, the effort has to come from you. Now even after opening, our online classes are still been conducted and the IT/salaried employees are our main clients. Since there are no geographical constraints for online sessions, we have Zwaggers from various parts of India and the other countries.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
- HIIT and weight training (2 instructors and myself)
- BollyX fitness – BollyX community mentor
- Zumba Fitness – Myself
- Pilates- One of the first 2 licensed Stott Pilates trainer in Kerala.
The core team was formed when Zwagg started . All of us have been in the field of fitness for long or have been passionate about fitness sharing our views and thoughts at some point in our life.
What makes Zwagg Fitness Studio unique from all the gyms and fitness centers out there?
We are the only group fitness studio providing a revolutionary combination of workouts that targets 3 main categories to remain physically fit.
- Cardiovascular – Zumba and BollyX
- Functional strength Training – HIIT and Pump n Burn
- Flexibility- Pilates and Mobility drills
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