Most of Alpana and Steve Fredrick Bhatty's stories begin with a gym. They met in one; fell in love, on the job (she was his teacher); and now manage the sleek Faces studio on the Panchsheel Enclave main road.
The couple, in their early 30s, joined the profession young — but by chance. "I was a keen sportsman at school and would excel at athletics and team games," says Alpana who has represented Delhi University for soccer.
Alpana had also decided early in life that she wanted to be 'different' and felt fitness training would help her stand out in the crowd. "When I started out and even today, there are few women who do resistance training, ie weight or strength training," she clarifies with a touch of pride.
Alpana's husband, Steve, who has a certification from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), California, says he had gone for "an American holiday" when he joined up for a course at the institute.
"Trainers should know not just how to knock off body fat which is the prime demand among clients these days," says Alpana, "but also have the knowledge of anatomy and physiology and know how to motivate them." That is why the trainer's training is important, she says with a smile.
The ability to motivate, adds Steve is the key to a trainer's success with his/her student "as you have to find the root of why the student is lagging behind or not reach optimum fitness levels. We then advise them which form of exercise suits their body type." Part of his training, says Steve was in nutrition" — that is, how food and lifestyle can give a person the required result.
Alpana and Steve's services gym rates aren't cheap but are affordable for double-income families. "We charge Rs 3,500 a person for a six-day workout," says Alpana but the services they throw into the package — pilates, yoga, body sculpting, L-B-T (legs-bums-tums), abdomen workouts, aerobics — is a well-rounded package.
Innovation, the couple says is what young people who enter the fitness training profession, must do. This is why they also plan to offer salsa and "social dance" to students soon. Alpana and Steve are all for flexi-routines — if a student has a time slot in the morning and cannot make it, they can join the evening classes.