Banker turned CrossFit Coach

Coach Gayathri speaks about how runners of all levels and distances can benefit from well rounded and structured strength program like CrossFit.
Banker turned CrossFit Coach

Can you please talk about your background a bit?

I’m a banker by profession with 16+ years of experience. Overtime (read - little late in life) I realised, fitness is my passion and pursued it full throttle. Now I’m one of the very few women in India who is NSCA CPT/CF Level 2 certified trainer, CrossFit Kids Certified trainer, Animal Flow Instructor and also Pound Pro Instructor. I also own a CrossFit Box which is my happy place.

Why and how did you get into CrossFit?

I took running as my fitness regime, however it was without any guidance thus i was not able to scale on mileage. Further, I also realised, my need to bring variation in daily workouts, that’s when I chanced on a trial CrossFit class and the rest is history.

What was the turning point from being a CrossFit student to now a CrossFit coach?

It was my coach Hari’s faith in me. He tested my coaching skills by giving me opportunity to take sessions and built my confidence. He keeps me on my toes on various moves/progression/regression etc.

Now that many are taking running as a way to keep themselves fit, what recommendations do you have for them?

I admire runners who are constantly testing their potential with with half/full marathons and even longer distances. Get into a judicious mix of getting miles under your belt along with a good strength and conditioning routine. It increases the efficiency of your running bio-mechanics and also helps a lot in reducing injury by correcting muscle imbalances and improves muscle activation. If you are a middle/shorter distance runner you should aim strength and conditioning work at 3 times per week on low volume running days, where as marathon and ultra distance runners should do strength blocks i.e., build a solid strength base initially in your training cycle, and then decrease the strength training volume as the running volume ramps up towards the goal race.

How does CrossFit help runners?

CrossFit workouts involve your whole body rather than isolated muscle groups, which strengthens from head to toes and enables in improving speed. CrossFit combines powerlifting, strength training and gymnastics, all of which benefits the fast-twitch muscles used for sprinting and slow-twitch muscles used for long distance. CrossFit also helps prevent those dreaded workout plateaus. CrossFit forces to do things one would have never done before and to push individuals limits. Runners who do CrossFit admit that it helps them with increased mental toughness, improved lactate threshold and increase in relative strength. Above all, being runners who are normally pressed for time for alternate fitness regimen, CrossFit workouts are short and can very well fit in with their running schedules.

What is a typical day in your life as a coach?

I coach at my CrossFit Box “CrossFit ZoH”(, one can find me here coaching, cheering, motivating, helping my students reach their potential. I train myself in the evening at least 5-6 days a week with my coach. You all welcome to drop in my box for a free trial class to checkout CrossFit and how it can help you.

Any suggestions for Fitness enthusiasts who want to get into coaching?

Follow your passion, if coaching is what makes you feel happy and complete, then go for it. Keep learning, updated and upgraded.

What are your future goals?

I am preparing for my CrossFit Level3 certification/ NSCA CSCS and also I want to learn more on Nutrition which is the base of your fitness regimen.

This post is edited by Aditi Pandya. Aditi is an avid runner, a writer and a fitness enthusiast. She is second runners up at Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2019 in Women open half-marathon category.


Request to Support

We dedicate signifcant time and resources to bring the content to you. This includes costs of hosting and the essential software. While we do receive occassional sponsorships, we put substantial resources to bring the content to Indian running community. If you like what we are doing, we kindly ask you to consider supporting us with a donation. Your contribution will motivate us to do more.