The goodness of old school fitness and natural nutrition: In conversation with Nithin Jayaraj - oneshreddedfarmer

As we skim through our social media accounts every now and then, we get to know what varied sorts of fitness people are exploring around the world. And we absolutely love sharing these instances with you when we get to speak about these interactions that we get to have with different fitness enthusiasts. And one such enthusiast is Nithin Jayaraj or as his instagram bio reads theshreddedfarmer. Eager to bring back natural nutrition and age old fitness techniques from the glorious past of India, this is how he shared his story so far with us:

  • How did shredded farmers come into being?
  • I came in 2019 to pursue my passion for fitness and get into farming which already has been going on generations. Hence I got the name shredded farmer.

  • Give us more background, where are you from, what kind of family were you brought up into, was fitness always a part of your life?
  • I was born and bred in Dubai. Schooling and higher studies all in Dubai and Germany. I was always into fitness and it’s been my passion. I was into my family business but that never challenged me or let’s say I was never motivated in life with a 9-5 desk job. I was living the high life in the fancy city but it wasn’t for me. I left Dubai in 2019 and came back to my family. Ours is a farmer’s family. I’m the 4th generation of the family who is into farming. I’ve always been closer to nature than the city.

  • What is your current profession? What do you do?
  • Now I’m completely into fitness and farming. I’m making my farm lands more organized. I do online fitness classes which are specifically for the traditional Gada and the Mudgars.

    Gada and mudgar are age old tools that were used for fitness

  • What is Gada and Mudgar for a layman to understand?
  • The western name for the Gada is the Macebell and in short it’s called the mace. The Mudgar is the clubbells or clubs in short. These are traditional ancient tools which were used by warriors and even lord Hanuman, so we are talking 1000s of years of history. Anyways I’m bringing back the old school fitness.

  • You seem to be using a lot of DIY exercising equipment. What inspired you to make them? 
  • DIY equipment only because I want to be independent and not rely on others. Mostly I want to show people that I’m made from my equipment. So people get what they see. I try everything on myself and test it in myself and then only promote it. I make my Gada which is Called the Macey series. It’s made from mahogany wood and personally handcrafted by and tested by me before I sell it to my clients.

  • Do you sell these too?
  • Yes I sell them plus I’m making carry bags as well and more equipment to come. I’m still doing R&D. I’m in no hurry. I want to grow organically like my crops.

  • There is a photo on your Instagram, all muscled up from 2012. How is that era different from what you are doing today?
  • I started my passion for fitness from bodybuilding. I moved into swinging the Gada and Mudgar only because I was getting stiff and I wasn’t healthy because of the diets and supplements. I only looked good. Now my body is functional. I can use my body. So the swinging effect/ rotational movement of this tool helps our joints get stronger and flexible as we get older. I believe we need stronger joints and a good body balance as we get older. There’s no use having big muscles if our joints are weak. I believe in a functional body and bulletproofing our joints. So there’s a reason why lord Hanuman carried it. Now I’m 35 years old and I feel my healthiest. Mostly I eat what I want.

  • Can we say that gada and mudgar could act as weights for any training to be performed?
  • Yes both the tools don’t act, they are the actual weights for training the whole body. Swinging the Gada and Mudgar works the whole body in one swing. It’s such a beautiful tool. I was 83kgs back in March 2020 and now I’m 58kgs. The lockdown did wonders to me and I took the opportunity to grow with the tools. I’ve been using the tool for more than 7years but this lockdown let me actually concentrate on my passion for these tools. I’ve made my own variations and workouts with these tools. I can actually focus on the whole body with just one tool without going to the gym.

  • #wedontjustliftweswingit - Your content feed is quite populated with this hashtag. What do you have to say about it?
  • #wedontjustliftweswingit this hashtag just came to me. As a bodybuilder we all say I can’t wait to lift. As a shredded farmer i made my own hashtag we don’t just lift we swing it. When swinging this Gada and Mudgar we really have to go lightweight 1st. I have more female clients than male. Only because the men have higher egos especially if he lifts. They can’t swing the weight they lift and it affects their ego. This tool really teaches you to put your ego aside. When we swing a 4kg Gada is actually as good as a 8-10kg dumbbell. 

  • Why are you pushing for this old school fitness, Gada, Mudgar so much. We want to learn if there is any deeper background story behind it?
  • I’m pushing these tools and even natural food as nutrition instead of supplements only because I feel and have seen a majority of gym trainers in our country are not well taught or educated enough about fitness and nutrition. I’ve seen gym trainers just making their clients just lift weights and eventually heavier weights and when it comes to nutrition most of them just ask them to stay away from most home food and replace it with a diet and supplements. It is so wrong. People should be able to eat anything and enjoy life while training the right way and not the hard way.  These tools give us good body balance, make our core strong, and bulletproof our joints. It makes our body proportional to our height. It fixes our posture and the list goes on. There’s only benefits to these tools with the right teacher/trainer.

  • How do you incorporate Gada and mudgar into your workouts? What common exercise devices have you been able to replace these with? 
  • I’ve replaced the Gada and Mudgar with the whole western multi-gym. I’m focusing on a functional body not a body for competition or show. I don’t need a gym anymore because of these tools. I workout outdoors for a reason. The sunlight and natural breeze gives us all the nutrients and energy we need. Especially vitamin D. I believe we should get all our nutrition from food and not supplements.

    Natural nutrition is the way to be

  • Since you are into old school workout, can we also say your nutrition is also like what our ancestors used to eat?
  • Yes my food is my home grown season food.

  • What does a typical meal or full day of eating look like for the shredded farmer?
  • I eat a lot. Mostly homegrown season fruits and vegetables. I’m based in Kerala and in my lands we grow most seasonal fruits and vegetables. My nutritionist is my grandmother. She said eat what grows around you. Season fruits and vegetables help your body to adapt to the climate you're living in. It gives all the nutrition you need. When it comes to non veg I eat everything. The only thing I stay away from is sugar. There’s nothing beneficial from sugar. I replaced it in my house with jaggery and honey. Basically eat what’s available in your local market and not your foreign duty paid shop. I’m not fussy on sugar when I leave my house. I mean have no cheat days when it comes to food.

  • You grow your own crop, that is very inspiring. Does it take too much time?
  • Well farming is my bread and butter but because I love the outdoors and love to work outdoors I enjoy it. You can say it’s part of my 9-5 job. I can’t sit in an office. I do have workers so it doesn’t completely take my time. But I’m very much involved. 

  • What's the plan? Where do you see the idea in 3 years? Can the gada mudgar training be commercialized at a larger scale?
  • Yes, I want to promote these tools and workouts. Right now I’m not thinking about the money, I want people to come to me for my work. That’s the goal. When that is achieved then people will pay for my work. I want to grow organically and the right way. Commercial most times you lose quality. I prefer my brand theshreddedfarmer in the market to be a brand known for its quality. Fitness and nutrition will always be a big market and I want to be known for using these tools and as a teacher for these tools. I’m a person who tries everything on myself before selling or promoting it. What you see on instagram is actually my life. I don’t have a different life from instagram. This is my job and passion. I milk my own cows so I have my own dairy here. I’m working on a boutique fitness boot camp for clients. With 10day, 2 week or 30 day packages. This way I’ll be able to focus on clients' food workout, daily activities plus it will be a lifestyle and food habits change for them. It will be a fun boot camp.

    We are working with Nithin on some very interesting collaborations. Do watch this space to find out more on what’s coming up. 

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