Why is this newsletter relevant?

Health and fitness are important.

Everyone seems to have a 6-pack or want one.

There’s too much information on the Internet. Too many free workout apps. Too many reasonably-priced workouts available (Fitness+ is ridiculous). Too many diets that all do miraculous work.

If you can get past the filter failure of health and fitness information, you are still left with it not working quite as advertised. Because life gets in the way.

Don’t beat yourself up. The journey is not straight. Or at least, my journey has not been linear and easy. It has been full of failures and stumbles and mistakes.

And I’ve learned immensely from them. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

If you’d like to figure out your health and fitness, I’d like to be your companion for the ride. I’d love to help you fall in love with fitness. And I hope my stories help you.

Don’t be put off by failures. They are the best part.

And along the way towards better health and fitness, you will discover the joys and gains are so much more than what’s advertised. You can transform yourself, and I do not mean a six-pack abs, if you will allow the magic to happen.

Who am I?

My name is Arvind, and I am one of the founders of The Quad.

Back in 2011, we started out with about 100 adventurous folks. Kettlebells were unknown and strength training was not a concept that was big in India, or in Madras (where we are based physically).

How often do I write?

Three days a week - Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

What do I write about?

Strength training has taught me and made me into a better person. I’ve learned many crucial lessons along the way. To me, training is a sandbox for life*.

Using strength training as my primary lens, I mine my stories and my students’ stories for insights, for lessons, and for figuring out how to navigate life better. And to grow each day.

I do not write much about the technical stuff. If that’s what you are looking for, I suggest you read everything Dan John or Pavel Tsatsouline or Mike Boyle have written.

Who is this for?

If you have it all figured out, this is not the place for you.

If you find that the “what to do” is never the problem but find yourself unsure about how to navigate your health, your fitness, or your life - I might have a few stories or insights for you. Most of them are from my own failures and stumbles. The rest are from what I’ve learned watching my students go through.

Here’s my story

  • I was skinny and weak as a kid. I loved to play sport, was decent at it. But strength and endurance were not things I had.

  • Then I went to college and got grossly out of shape.

  • After college, joined a regular commercial gym with fancy machines and a diet to boot. Diligent and at least 80% compliance on both for a year resulted in absolutely nothing except a good-natured insult from my doctor.

  • Then I went to grad school in Indiana (Go Hoosiers!).

  • Moved to NorCal, and with nothing much to do, started with yoga.

  • Then I stumbled on to running, with Team Asha. And went from being unable to run 500 metres to running a half-marathon at a 10-minute mile pace.

  • Moved to San Francisco, and discovered CrossFit. Embarrassed myself at the first place, and then went to Kelly Starrett’s SFCF. Went from literally being the last in class to the middle. One of the best experiences of my life - truly life-changing. That’s where I fell in love with fitness.

  • Spent the next few years researching, experimenting, playing, and just deep-diving into fitness and nutrition.

  • Discovered strength training along the way. Found fitness and nutrition were not as convoluted as it was being made out to be, and I shared my minimal knowledge with friends and saw that they saw huge changes.

  • Met Raj, my co-founder at The Quad.

  • Took the plunge to relocate from San Fran to Madras, and founded The Quad.

  • 2011-now, and 1000s of students later, here I am.