You know that Devrath Vijay is no ordinary fitness freak when he tells you that his hobbies outside the gym include martial arts, dance and kick-boxing. And now one of Bengaluru’s most-recognised master trainers has represented both India and Asia in a brand new international reality show set in the Hungarian village of Hollóko, that demands a level of fitness that few can dream of, let alone achieve. Although, Devrath cannot tell us if he has won the competition — that is ominously named Spartan X — we catch up with him about his experience there.
Devrath, who runs a fitness training centre in the city, is a certified strength and conditioning coach with a long association with The International Fitness and Aerobics Academy.
“When the show’s organisers contacted IFAA India’s director Kezban Klein, she nominated my name. The show demanded that the contestant should be able to face any physical and mental challenge fairly well and that he or she should be conversant in English. After a round of Skype interviews — all of which were devoted to measuring my personality and the way I react to situations — they chose me and another guy from India to represent Asia. In the month that was between my selection and the show, I concentrated on my weaker aspects, like swimming,” says Devrath.
With contestants from all over the world vying to champion each other in unbelievable physical feats, Spartan X (which will be aired in over 30 countries worldwide) was devoid of the usual political bickering that we have come to associate with reality television. “We had to stay in one of two camps. One was a real castle and the other was an exile camp and where you got placed depended on how well you performed your day’s tasks. We had to do all sorts of basic endurance tasks like shoot arrows, throw spears, build a raft and solve mental puzzles. Because my forte is functional training these were things that proved interesting to me,” he says.
A good student throughout his academic life, Devrath was school captain, topper, a member of the debate team, the cricket team and a dance troupe and later a software engineer before he left it all for physical culture. “All I did in the office was read articles on fitness. I could not speak on my reality show stint so far because of the contract, but now that the trailer’s been released my friends and family are all pleasantly surprised and really excited,” says Devrath.