OWNING everything from educational institutions and restaurants to international salons and ice cream parlours, Sam Paul is one of the city’s most photographed entrepreneurs — he’s often seen launching something every month, sometimes every week. This season, the buzz at his company, Paulsons, is around a lifestyle and fitness studio, Slam. Located on Chamiers Road, the outfit sees celebrity trainers like Mukund Venkat and combat fitness expert Ajit Sigamani (his Combat Kinetics teaches mixed martial arts and combat sports) teaming up with Paul. The concept gym features heavy duty equipment from brands like Stex and BodyFit, hot yoga, a studio for dance workouts like Zumba, together with a spa and salon (Toni & Guy, the brand Paul runs across the country). Plus, for motivation, there are quotes and images of superheroes and physically impressive villains (think Bane, Daredevil and Poison ivy), together with autographed memorabilia from sportsmen like Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar and Usain Bolt. Most of them have been collected by Paul, 37, who happens to be a practising advocate. Known as an all-round fun person by friends, Paul gave our questions serious thought:
Personally, when did you make the shift from bodybuilding to functional fitness?
I have been gymming for 21 years, and used to pump iron like crazy. At one point, I used to bench press over 140 kilos. I worked out twice a day for years, boxed a lot and sported 18-and-a-half inch arms. Then as a basketball player, I had a few serious injuries, and turned to functional fitness.
Besides combat fitness and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), your gym offers ‘hardcore power lifting and boot camps’. A return to extreme sports?
It is a category, yes, but power lifting has to be practised with care or could lead to injuries. I see myself in body builders in our country, who spend over Rs 30,000 on training and supplements each month, but are not adequately rewarded. I have invested in equipment like the sledgehammer (a conditioning tool). It’s going to be fun.
Slam in Nandanam is open from 5.30 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. Annual membership, Rs 15,000, comes with an inaugural offer of 30 per cent off. Details: 45110029
I play badminton now, do about 40 reps of squats a day, and follow a Spartan workout (followed by the cast of the movie, 300, and not for the faint-hearted). I manage with two meals a day, at 11 am and 7.30 pm. The metabolism changes after 35, and I can no longer wolf down seven biryanis at one go!