A few years ago, when Gineel was touring in Germany, a girl came up to him in East Berlin and asked him to click her picture. Just when he was ready with the camera, she broke into a leg split, and Gineel, as he says, “was completely zapped.” At the time, Gineel was already into fitness so he came back and attempted a leg split, but he couldn't.
"That’s when I realised that fitness was not enough. I had to become flexible. So I started working on that.
Gineel worked on himself and a couple of years later, when he was in Paris, as a way to bring life full-circle, he got his pictures clicked in front of the Eiffel Tower doing leg splits. He had achieved the flexibility that the girl in East Berlin had inspired him to.
Gineel is a fitness instructor and fashion model based out of Pune with clients from all over the world. In a conversation with SocailBoat, he talks about how he made it to the international market and where he aims to go from here. Read on to know his story.
The Journey So Far
Gineel defines his life’s journey in terms of the three important turning points in his life.
- The first one is when Gineel decided to leave his bank job in 2014. This was inspired by a medical checkup that happened in his workplace where one of his very optimistic colleagues was diagnosed with diabetes. It was very unexpected and it made him realise how the stress of a corporate job affects one’s health. So, Gineel went back to what his passion had been in high school- fitness.
- The second turning point for Gineel was when he stepped into the international market as a fitness trainer. The journey began in Spain where there is a large community of Sindhi Indians whose Spanish fitness coaches have almost no idea about the nutritional content of Indian food items. This was an opportunity for Gineel and after doing a spot analysis of the situation, he started training his international clients from there. Then he went on to connect with clients from countries all over Europe and established himself as a well-known fitness trainer there.
- The third turning point was the pandemic. “It was an eye-opener for me,” Gineel says. When the gyms shut down, Gineel started working on his own fitness studio in Pune. When offline coaching resumed, his clients were still hesitant about returning to the gym, so they started working out at his studio and there has been no looking back since then.
He has been training his clients from other countries online, through Skype, even before the pandemic. The pandemic gave him an opportunity to expand both his online and offline business.
The Role of Social Media
Gineel thinks of social media as a mini TV that is almost always operational in our lives, more so with the work-from-home culture. So we get heavily influenced by what we see on TV, and therefore, as a fitness trainer, it is important to create a good influence on your followers. With about 21K followers on Instagram, Gineel is trying to make his Instagram page as resourceful and useful for his followers as possible.
“It is a two-way process. I also watch only things that positively influence me, no funny reels or negative content.”
Currently, Gineel works with a team of six people but he handles his social media on his own. He is also a fashion model and content from his photoshoots and ramp walks also occupies some of his Instagram feed.
Recently, he also released a Spotify podcast where he talks about turning one’s passion into a successful career in the fitness industry (link).
The Way Forward
As of now, Gineel trains his clients online and offline in his day beginning at 6:50 a.m. till 10:30 p.m. He also ensures that he gives enough time to his own health and fitness along with those of his clients.
“Sometimes fitness coaches forget about their own fitness and hence the advice that they give to their clients seems very ingenuine. Practical knowledge comes from one’s own experiences.”
Gineel also trains a bunch of kids at his studio and is trying to inculcate healthy eating habits in them, especially because online education has changed their work-play routines drastically. He is also trying to bust myths like strength training for kids hinders their growth and telling them that proper nutrition is what growth really depends on.
As for 2022, Gineel is aiming at becoming a competitive-level swimmer from a beginner level and is focusing on his aqua-fitness. Plus, he hopes to open a bigger fitness studio where fitness training is more accessible and affordable for the masses.