Gymnasium (gym) culture began in Greece in 386 BC with PE Plato teaching physical fitness to young children. The first gym in India was Raghuveer Vyayam Mandal, in Madras, established in 1931 by Sreeramulu Naidu, thus setting the trend for gyms and fitness in the country.
Norbert took a keen interest in body building, and so, way back during his college days, he would work out at the Indoor Stadium, Campal, as well as participate various competions. Even after he finished college, and took up a job in one of the top banks in Panjim, his passion for fitness never waned, and he continued working out at the Indoor Stadium.
He was invited to set up Goa’s first upmarket gym, Neomi’s Fitness Centre, in Miramar, which opened its doors in 1998. He continued with his bank job during the day and attended to the gym in the evenings.
A GYM IS BORN
With the positive feedback that he was receiving at the gym, he realized that his calling was in helping people achieve fitness and prevent illness through exercise — and not just body building.
So popular was the gym that eventually, he gave up his bank job and changed the name of the gym from Neomi’s to Norbert’s Fitness Studio, thus becoming proprietor of the gym in 2008. In the Goa of that time, that was quite a risk! Family and friends discouraged him from giving up his 15-year steady bank job, but he went ahead anyway, and has not looked back ever since.
“Everybody has a dream and aspirations in mind. You need to have a road map and work towards it. If you don’t have discipline, determination, focus and will power to follow your goal, you can’t succeed!” That is the ‘mantra’ of Norbert’s success.
Recently, Norbert realised that body building was becoming monotonous, and people wanted other forms of fitness regimes. And so, he launched Norbert’s Fitness Studio in 2016, in Dona Paula, introducing a new gym culture under one umbrella. Spread across the 36,000 sqft, it’s a one stop fitness center, with cardio equipment, aerobics, kickboxing, gymnastics, martial arts, zumba, steam and sauna, swimming, several indoor sports, physiotherapy, professional trainers and state of the art exercising equipment, all under one roof. It also has Zoe’s Café, serving nutritious snacks, meals and beverages.
Sheryl Afonso, Clinical Nutritionist (MSc in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics (University of Mumbai)), joined Norbert’s, guiding fitness enthusiasts through healthy diets.
With several gyms across Goa, Norbert visits the gyms in rotation, personally designing exercising schedules for members. He also has mentorship programs, and guides prospective gym owners in the setup. In Goa, ‘Norbert’s’ has now become a brand name.
The majority of clients are ladies, exercising to stay in shape. Indoor and outdoor sportspersons, body builders and weight lifters have enrolled to workout at Norbert’s.
“Due to the lockdown last year, my vision to initiate a certified Fitness Trainer and Dieticians Diploma took a backseat, but in the next five years, we will be rolling full steam ahead,” Norbert affirms.
GYM LOCATIONS: Dona Paula, Miramar, St Inez, Porvorim, Candolim, Mapusa, Vasco, Margao
FACILITIES AVAILABLE: Weight loss, inch loss, weight & muscle gain, weight training, cardiovascular training, functional training, swimming, kick aerobics, martial arts, zumba, badminton, physiotherapy, nutritionist etc