Vijay Raj grew up in Haridwar at the Sri Ram Ashram which is actually the first CrossFit affiliate in India and also the only CrossFit “Kids” Affiliate in India. He began training under the CrossFit methodology when he was 17 with Ms. Rashmi Cole who looks after the ashram. He took a liking towards CrossFit because its focus was principally what we call complete overall fitness rather than stereotypical workouts that are primarily about building muscle. Essentially, he found it most beneficial to combine and work on all the elements of fitness i.e. Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy instead of isolating and working on any one.
Vijay played sports throughout School and College where CrossFit training proved to be very effective to improve his game. Vijay wanted to play cricket professionally and after finishing school he moved to Chandigarh and gained admission to college through a sports scholarship. He played cricket in college with professional cricketers from Indian International Cricket Team, Ranji Players, and IPL players. After continuing for 2 years on the cricket field, he was disappointed to see the various negative factors that influenced the game such as money and politics. However, it was not too late for him to take the right decision and he decided to quit, shifting his focus to CrossFit.
The positive influence of CrossFit training began to emerge again when Vijay became an amateur lifter in college itself where he participated at the Chandigarh State weightlifting Championship in the 62 kg weight category. He won the Gold medal in Senior and Junior Division in 2011.
Following that Vijay participated in worldwide CrossFit Games Open competition in 2012 and 2013 which were held in Seoul, South Korea. In 2012 Vijay ranked 16th fittest man in Asia at the games and also won the Spirit of the Game Award. In 2013, in spite of shoulder injury, he still managed to do all events and ranked 23rd fittest man in Asia. He is the only Indian who has qualified for the CrossFit Games Asia Regional’s twice
While participating at the games, Vijay met the world’s best CrossFit coaches and athletes whose ability really inspired him to become like them. Vijay decided to take up CrossFit as his career, thus completed his CrossFit Level 1 certification and as he always loved assisting Rashmi when she coached other younger kids, took up the responsibility of coaching the children at the ashram.
He worked for Reebok India between 2011 and 2012 coaching at the Reebok CrossFit box in Gurgaon, India. Following his tenure with Reebok Vijay moved on to continue his growth as a CrossFit Coach. He completed the rigorous process and became a member of the CrossFit Headquarter Level 1 Seminar Staff. After completing an Internship process, he was selected as part of a team that have been travelling around the world helping educate both new and experienced people about CrossFit’s methodologies.
CrossFit helped Vijay improve his lifestyle, helped him gain self-confidence and has truly been a life changing experience for him. He loves to help people not only achieve their fitness goals but far exceed them, allowing them to attain more than what they think they are capable of!! He loves what he does and constantly seeks to improve his coaching skills to find the best way to increase fitness and human performance.