By Alok Joshi
Dehradun, 14 Apr: Neeraj (whose full name is Sai Neeraj Bhambhu) is the new man-on-a-mission in Dehradun. Despite being the owner of ‘3iFitness Gym’ on Canal Road, he does not sit in a revolving chair of an air-conditioned cabin. My first impression of him was that of a gym trainer sweating it out with his clients. A very unassuming and humble person, he told me with a lot of conviction that he wants to share his fitness knowledge with the people of Dehradun.
“Most people think that fitness is just about lifting weights. They lack fitness education. Only 2% of those coming to the gym are serious. Others come when they have some health issue or concern. I want to share my 20 years of experience and transform the common health and wellness mindset,” says Neeraj who was a national-level boxer before discovering his love for fitness and modelling.
Interestingly, Neeraj had come to Dehradun for a holiday with friends during COVID time in the winters of 2020 and fell in love with the city. He finally left Mumbai where he was earning very handsomely, spent some time surveying the need of the city and decided to set up his own gym with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. It is a huge gym by any standards and includes Cross-fit training on the upper floor. It runs from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week (except half day on Sundays). Just three months old and the gym already has 85plus members. One corner of the reception wall displays pictures of Neeraj with the likes of Salman Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Sonu Sood to name just a few Bollywood stars.
The name of the gym is meaningful and symbolises the journey towards fitness. 3i stands for Intention, Improvement and Impact. All three attributes demand discipline, consistency and passion to make the training effective. What differentiates this gym from others is its very own website (www.3ifitness.com) and App called 3iFitness that displays work-out plan, attendance, wallet and several other customer-friendly features.
Running a gym in the midst of competition from so many fitness centres is not an easy job. But Neeraj not even once talks about making money from his passionate mission. All he wants is to earn enough to pay for the rent, staff and be able to run his small family that has moved with him from Mumbai to Dehradun.
Rajat, one of the two certified trainers, told me that the focus is on helping the clients achieve their specific goals. For instance, one young member has been able to lose weight from 100 to 70 kg. Paritosh and Deepanshu Goel feel that the best thing about the gym is the dedicated trainers who guide and help them at every step. General fitness guidance is free of cost. Chhavi is a budding artist whose goal is to unwind all the stress and achieve fitness. Aishwarya, a young girl who is a trained Kathak dancer, is aspiring to become an air hostess after completing training with Frankfinn Institute. She works out in the gym to lose weight and feels good about her body.
All in all, for the fitness enthusiasts, this is “the” place to look out for. I am sure they will not be disappointed.
(Alok Joshi is an HR Advisor, freelance writer and author of “12 Sweet and Sour Years in China”).