Big Foot, Ancestral Goa, Theme Park, Open 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM
For anyone, Goans and visitors alike, who want to soak up some Goan heritage instead, Ancestral Goa, popularly referred to as Big Foot in Loutolim is the logical destination. Proudly described by its visionaries as “Goa’s First Theme Park”, Ancestral Goa promises a comprehensive safari into Goa’s heritage and culture, beginning even before the period of Portuguese colonization.
For Rs 50 (per adult), and Rs 20 (per child), you can go back in time and stay all day. A labour of love and pride, it took Maendra Alvares over ten long years to execute the dream that began with a collection of rock carving tools displayed at the venue.
Record breaking sculpture of Sant Mirabai
In 1994, Maendra took a chisel to the giant laterite rock on the piece of land that is now Ancestral Goa, and pounded, carved and scraped for 30 days until he had fashioned what occupies in the Limca Book of Records the distinction of being the largest man-made sculpture in India. This sculpture of Sant Mirabai, India’s singing saint was later christened “Natural Harmony” in tribute to the surroundings.
A journey inside Ancestral Goa
Upon arrival, guests are ushered into another world with the façade of an ancient fort, which incorporates both Portuguese and local architectural elements. Once welcomed at the entrance, you are offered a choice of languages for the guided tour. Each group or guest is guided from spot to spot with a wealth of information provided at each stop through unobtrusive speakers that relay the information in the language best understood by the visitor.
Beginning with the story of Parshuram, the legendary creator of Goa, the tour weaves its way on to a fisherman’s hamlet of yore, and then into ever-more intriguing aspects of life in the days gone by.
From ancient traditions of feni brewing to basket weaving, a potter’s hut, a land-owner’s (bhatkar) perspective, trades, crafts, the conduction of trade and the fascinating religious rituals of a time when Goans were strongly connected with their religions and their faith played an intricate role in carrying out their tasks.
Ancestral Goa displays with meticulous detail, the architecture, costumes, tools, accessories, rituals, habits, and ways of life among Goans from various communities, and how all these come together to exude the harmony among its people that Goa still boasts. Guests have come away with new ideas from the wisdom of old and have applied them to present day occupations.
From carpenters to book-keepers, weavers to bangle sellers, the tour is a colourful explosion of culture, lifestyle and history, and proceeds on to a bevy of educational displays on nature, environment and conservation.
Gardens of exotic plants and birds
Ancestral Goa has a huge variety of medicinal plants, with their medicinal values prominently displayed. Tens of species of birds flock here every day, and Alvares also has each species documented and on display for visitors. Big Foot is dotted with interesting surprises to please the avid collector. Besides the flora and fauna, the handicrafts that are prominently displayed and also offered on sale.
The Cross Museum
The Cross Museum is well worth a visit. Ancestral Goa has an extraordinary collection of over 1400 crosses that began with Maendra’s search around Europe. Each is unique and represents a glimpse into materials, artwork, artistry, craftsmanship and faith across the Christian world. To this European collection, Maendra has added a whole gallery of crosses from remote corners of Goa, by traveling the length and breadth of the state in pursuit of unique crosses to add to the collection.
You must put Ancestral Goa on your To-Do List
At the end of the tour, guests are free to explore. Ancestral Goa provides shady spots for picnics enjoyed by busloads of people at a time. A quieter afternoon can be also had, by heading to one of several cozy little niches on the grounds.
Maendra’s dream of preserving that fast-disappearing legacy of Goan heritage for posterity has grown beyond the artist’s initial ambition, to now serve as all that and more. From school students to architectural study groups, tourists and bureaucrats, Ancestral Goa welcomes and enthralls hundreds of visitors each week. Maendra’s chef d’ouvre has been acknowledged by the Government of Goa as the "Most innovative and unique project in India's tourism industry".
And yet, for all its vital educational value, Big Foot also incorporates a fun side which shows the visitor the entire spectrum of Goan lifestyle.
The Big Foot Sanskriti Kendra
The Sanskriti Kendra holds annual workshops during the summer vacations for children from schools all over Goa. Bal Mela is a children’s camp held here annually wherein children from slums, villages, institutions for disadvantaged children, mostly from South Goa, participate in various events that include games, art and craft, music etc. Most of these programs are held in collaboration with other trusts. Others are also welcome to hold any charitable functions for the well-being of the disadvantaged at Big Foot.
Goa Chitra the museum for Goan ethnography is a unique 4000-artifact collection and display of traditional farming implements and other ancient tools of trade. What makes it unique is that it is set against the backdrop of Goa Chitra’s traditional organic farm which is open for live, hands-on experience to students, professionals and anyone else. You can look at the artifacts, observe the fishpond, the farm, do a bit of threshing if you visit at harvest time, feed the animals, attend a concert, a lecture, oh, and have an authentic, mouth-watering Goan meal. For testimonials click here: Goa Chitra is a tribute by its founder Victor Hugo Gomes to our ancestors and to their way of life using age-old wisdom passed down through generations.
Each artifact is supplemented by information that was collected in situ by interviewing the elder members of the community and through the study of its application in daily life. A mega project of documenting oral testimonies of indigenous peoples, our last fragile links to the past, is underway.
Goa Chitra is on a mission to build an oral history database, collecting and cataloging oral histories from community elders and funding is requested through the One Dollar Campaign. The goal of collecting oral histories involves more than just gathering information about the past. The research will compose a historical and ethnographic profile describing the cultural and historical features of the community and their life style. We are seeking support to celebrate and preserve the history of the Gaunkar and Goan identity.
The Dona Angela Memorial Trust looks to forming a corpus fund, the interest of which will maintain the place for posterity. The hope is that every Goan across the world sees this project as an extension of their ancestry. The one dollar campaign is the minimum that we request for from every individual who wishes to support this mission and call it their own.
The interest of the corpus fund will be used for the following purposes:
Maintenance, restoration and conservation
Research and documentation.
Marketing, publicity and public relations.
Equipment - camera systems, audio visual systems etc
Free family day programmes
Funding a skilled intern during summer vacations
Donations can be made to the following account:
A/c Name- Dona Angela Memorial Trust
A/c No- 12211450000021
Bank Name- HDFC Bank Ltd, Margao, Goa, India
Branch Code- 1221
Swift Code- HDFCINBB
IFSC CODE- HDFC 0001221
MICR CODE- 403240020
Donations to Dona Angela Memorial Trust are tax deductible u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961. All donations are deeply appreciated!
Preserving the past to enrich the future
We have students from all over the world living the Goa Chitra experience. This we hope will create awareness about nature, its influences, and benefits on human life. Goa Chitra’s outreach programmes promote awareness and appreciation of the traditional agrarian lifestyle, of the eco-friendly techniques that were practiced. The mission is to create sensitivity and concern for the environment in our youth.
The Goa Chitra Museum accepts partnerships with other educational entities and scholars, as well as with institutions who share our mission to illuminate cultural diversity and linkages from ancient times to the present, providing a place and context for intellectual exchanges among multi-ethnic communities.
This has been a one-man effort so far, but the magnitude of this project requires support. Goa Chitra is a full fledged museum project which is currently self-financed and owned by Victor Hugo Gomes and managed by the Dona Angela Memorial Trust.
There is a great urgency to develop an ethnographic / ethno historical profile of the Goan indigenous society that plays such a large part in the formation of this fascinating culture that holds visitors from all over the world, in thrall. Here are some details
How YOU can help
There are a variety of ways you can get involved or help Goa Chitra maintain its collections and provide new exhibits and programs.
Membership Categories & Benefits:
Individual: $50 (annual fee); Senior Citizens $25 (annual fee): Free admission for one other. Invitations to members for exhibition openings and other special events. Reading room - access to Library.
Family Membership: $100 (annual fee): All benefits above, plus workshops for two persons (adults or children). 10% Discounts at the museum shop. Invitation for two to annual museum event (inclusive of dinner).
Privilege Membership: $200 (annual fee): All Family benefits above, plus two one-day guest passes. Invitation to Annual Farm Day (inclusive of dinner)
Patron: $1000 and above (one time donation): All supporting benefits of privilege membership, plus eligibility to rent Museum spaces for private gatherings at special discounted rates. Permanent mention on Donor’s Plaque at the museum and all museum publications.
The boat cruises are a must for every tourist’s itinerary in Goa. Enjoyment guaranteed to every man, woman and child of any age. No Goa holiday is complete without a sail down the Mandovi
Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has prime properties in the best spots whether beach, city or Goa's glorious hinterland. More importantly GTDC has hotel room rates to suit every budget.
All GTDC hotels are known as Residencies. Large comfortable rooms, elegantly furnished, AC and non-AC.
There are Residencies in all the main urban hubs of Goa, all the beaches and in the hinterland too. Check out the Dudhsagar Spa. It is out of this world!
Calangute Residency: Right on Calangute Beach - it cannot get better than this
Calangute Annexe - budget hotel, a five-minute stroll away from Calangute Beach
Miramar Residency right Panjim's largest beach - Miramar
Colva Residency - where else? On the silver sands of Colva
Panaji Residency : in the heart of the city yet a superb experience since it overlooks the beautiful River Mandovi
Margao Residency - so conveniently located.
Mapusa Residency right at the entrance of Mapusa town
Vasco Residency perfect location to get where you want in a hurry (or leisurely)
HINTERLAND HOTELS of GTDC
Farmagudi Residency located near hundreds of ancient temples
Old Goa Residency (Heritage view) right next to the World Heritage Site of Old Goa
Mayem Lake View - there's a lake, there's peace, there's beauty. What more can anyone want?
Britona Riverside budget hotel next to the river Mandovi
Dudhsagar Spa Resort in the forest for an unforgettable experience
When you check into Highland Holiday Resort for what we hope is the holiday of a lifetime, you enter a well laid out spread of 448 pretty Indo-Portuguese style apartments set in an unbeatable village setting, with winding lanes, centuries old trees, a club house, 7 swimming pools, restaurants, shopping complex, a supermarket and lovely landscaping across 15 acres of prime property on the famed beach belt. All this and yet it’s so quiet.
And less than five minutes’ walk to Candolim beach. Where you can turn left to Sinquerim and right to that most famous stretch of sun loungers and night life at Calangute and Baga.
You are going to say, oh yes, you and all other hotels on the beach belt say the same thing. No, no. Don’t just take our word for it. We have won national and international awards for this resort, CNBC Awaaz, ETNow being among them. Why? We’ll tell you why.
The Highland Resort is not all it seems. It is the end result of a brilliant business plan.
Highland Holiday Homes were apartments sold to second-home buyers who rent the apartments back to Highland to manage, market and run as a resort with pools and gardens and restaurants, shopping arcade and even, a world class supermarket. Owners can holiday at the resort even in peak season. Not a problem because we have a huge inventory. There are five hundred Highland Holiday Homes. This was such a successful concept that all 500 apartments have been sold out. You cannot buy an apartment, but you can holiday at Highland Beach Resort. Scroll down for our contact details.
A Suite Deal
We have 180 tastefully built and well appointed A/C Deluxe Suites, Executive Suites (with separate sitting room, attached pantry and private sit-out balconies). Ambassador Suites (consist of two A/C bedrooms with separate sitting room, attached pantry and private sit-out balconies).
You also get:
King and Queen size beds
In-house movies and satellite channels
Direct dialing STD / ISD, Hair dryer (on request)
Writing and coffee tables
Every room has a private sit-out balcony
F & B
Highland Beach Resort offers a choice of Food and Beverage outlets:
COFFEE SHOP - The 24-hour Coffee Shop serves a wide range of snacks, salad, appetizers, desserts etc. with wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
HIGHPALM - The Multi-cuisine restaurant with live entertainment of songs, Folk dances, and a well stocked bar. Our barman fixes you a drink of your choice, while you may play darts or enjoy a quick game of pool, carom or chess.
GULZAR - The Indian Dining Restaurant with live entertainment of Ghazals and Indian classical music and dance. Gulzar caters to your individual taste buds and the friendly staff are ever ready to explain the finer culinary details of the authentic Indian menu.
SNACK BAR - The Snacks Counter serves you quick bites when you are sitting by the poolside, with the choice of your Cocktails and Mock tails.
HIGHTIDE - CONFERENCE ROOM – ideal for theme Parties, Weddings, Receptions, Anniversary Bashes, Corporate Conferences, Exhibitions. Our Conference room is designed to accommodate 150 guests in theatre-style seating. You may also have a grand wedding by the pool. It accommodates 500 guests.
Pools & Bars
• 7 Swimming pools - one with baby pool and the other with swim-in bar.
• Exclusive and private sun terrace for sun bathing up to 6 hours.
• Multi-cuisine restaurant / Specialty restaurant/ Indian Restaurant.
• Coffee shop.
• Pool side Snack bar.
• Well stocked bar.
• Shopping arcade.
• Recreation Centre / Pool tables.
• Entertainment - Live Music / Serenaders / Folk & Cultural Dances.
Health & Fitness
• A fully equipped Gymnasium with state-of-art technology, Spa (Sauna, Steam).
• Body Therapy Center, the best way to relax and revitalize yourself.
• Yoga Center, to bring complete peace and health to you.
Other important Facilities
• Money change - 24 hrs.
• Doctor on call.
• Safety lockers available free of charge.
• Taxis - available outside the resort.
• Laundry services.
• Travel Desk
• Ample parking space
• Rent-a-car service.
• Shopping arcade.
Now click on this link, pack your stuff and come
5 minutes walk from Candolim Beach
40 minutes drive from the Dabolim Airport
20 minutes drive from Thivim Railway station
15 minutes drive from the capital city Panjim
Everyone who comes to Longuinhos tries to label it. Some say it looks like a saloon in a Hollywood Western flick. Others swear it has the same ambience as the better Irani restaurants in Bombay. Its has a timeless unhurried ambience of cool interiors, high ceilings and period tables and chairs.
The hallmark of any good restaurant is the presence of eager tourists and locals, Longuinhos has both. You could be dropping in for a chilled beer and a steak, or you could linger through a leisurely meal that stretches through three hours. It’s your call. Longuinho’s does not hustle you. In fact, they hate it when they are asked to rush a meal. The preparation of food is treated with the greatest respect here. There are no short cuts. Food has to be cooked a certain way without rush or compromise or cost cutting.
This was the wish of the late Longuinho Almeida Coutinho a gunner in the Navy, who bought Casa Portuguesa in 1950 and began catering to the Portuguese Military. The present airconditioned section of the restaurant used to be the billiard's room during the Portuguese regime. They used to prepare cod which was imported in such large quantities by the Portuguese that it used to be the poor man's fish. Now cod or bacalhau is a delicacy, very expensive and still served at Longuinhos (you have to order in advance). Longuinho's son Ilio runs the restaurant today and makes very certain traditions set by his father continue till today.
For instance Longuinhos is very strict about their masalas. These have been created by the owner’s mother Dona Floripes Almeida Coutinho. The special flavours that were conjured up in the kitchen 63 years ago continue till today. Hand ground on a stone grinder.
The restaurant serves Goan, Continental, Indian and Chinese cuisine.
Try the special Goan Biryani which is very popular. It is basically a fluffy pulao with other elements added to it like meat, fried onions and their special chutney. The biryani is their highest selling rice dish. But let’s start with the beginning of the day.
Longuinhos is open from 8.30 am to 11.00 pm. From omelettes to scrambled eggs with Goa sausages. Patties and sausage rolls are generally sold out if you land up after 11 am. There are customers who take packs of sausage rolls abroad in their luggage. The patties and samosas have a variety of fillings - beef, veg, egg, chicken or prawn.
Cakes & Desserts
Longuinhos is famous for its éclairs stuffed with custard, and their exclusive Bolo Sans Rival. They also serve cream cakes, rumballs, cheesecakes, fruitcakes, ice cakes and Tender Coconut Souffle.
The cakes are baked in wood fired ovens, so are the sausage rolls and patties. These have to be baked at a controlled temperature which is known only to the owners and the cooks. Baking in wood fired ovens is a tricky exercise. Sausage rolls for instance cannot be baked when the oven is very hot. The firewood comes from their farm. Wood fire gives a distinctly smoky flavour to the food.
Beef rolado is another favourite with a strip of pork inside the beef wrapping with a sliver of fresh ginger, chilli and garlic. Beef rolado is served with Goa sausages too. In the beef dishes Longuinhos offers Beef Crumb Chops, Beef Steak and Beef Chilly Fry which are in great demand.
Among the pork delicacies, Pork Balchao, pork chops, Sorpotel, Pork Vindalho (by the way it is vindalho and not ‘vindaloo’ as the rest of India pronounces it). Foreigners are also seen tucking into the spicy pork dishes.
The fish dishes are a must. There is a fine art to cooking fish properly. Different types of fish need different modes of cooking. Stuffed fish for instance takes 15 minutes to cook over a slow fire. It has to be cooked on a low fire otherwise the inside will not be cooked properly and the outside will be overcooked.
Among the fish dishes, the rich orange-red prawn curry is a huge hit, as is the dark red baby shark amotik. Prawn curry and amotik are the litmus test of the quality of an authentic traditional Goan cuisine restaurant. Longuinhos prawn curry and their amotik are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Mackeral Rechado and Fish Curry with fresh flaky fish in it, the Bombil Fry, lightly coated with semolina, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, is a melt-in-the-mouth delight. Then there’s the Fish Balchao. And stuffed crabs which are to die for.
Traditionally the owner of Longuinho’s always went to the market every morning to make sure they purchased only the best and freshest fish for their customers. Ilio’s father the late Longuinho Almeida Coutinho, did it. Ilio does it. Morning after morning day in and day out 365 days of the year, except on Good Friday and October 2 the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Ever since 1950 when this signature restaurant of Margao opened.
They serve chicken, fried, roasted, curried, dry, xacuti and vindalho
In the old days on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, Longuinhos kept open house for guests from midnight to the next morning. Drinks were free. This generosity of spirit kept patrons faithful to this home away from home. Some of their guests and certain foreigners come every single day that they are in Goa at a particular time. Some come at 3 pm and leave at 7 pm. They only drink beer, and in season – urak. Longuinhos is the only restaurant that serves Citrus Palm feni and a medicinal Dudshiri Palm which settles stomach problems and increases wellness. Their cashew feni is the best quality made on their own plantations. They have a supplier who has been bringing them urak for the last 30 years. Urak is the first distillate. It has immense health benefits but has to be consumed before the rains. After the rains, it changes in taste and texture.
And then there’s the Book
The secrets to great Goan cuisine have been published in a book A Day in a Goan Kitchen by Ivo Coutinho. You can have recipes for Goa’s (and Longuinhos) signature dishes, which not only tell you how to put ingredients together, but also how to select the best ingredients. The book also has little tips to make your meal even more mouthwatering.
Marcou Artifacts creates objets d'art of Goa, by Goans, for the world.
If you are looking for beautiful pieces of Goan memorabilia to beautify your home; if you are looking for quirkiness and a European finish to every lovely piece of ceramic or terracotta; if you are looking for the perfect gift; if you are looking for art to adorn your workplace; then do this. Stop wandering around Goa – come to Marcou Artifacts on 31st January Road at Fontainhas.
The Marcou shop is in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Panjim. Head towards Mary Immaculate School and the famous Viva Panjim restaurant and look for this lovely picture window. Then pass through the glass door and feast your eyes on some truly delightful pieces of art.
That glass door lets you step into Goa's past. A past that is not musty or dusty, but vibrant and alive in shiny ceramic forms and etchings that bring the wonders of past Goan generations alive again.
Like so many of us original Goans you must be tired of the weird architecture springing up all over the towns of Goa and her villages too. Marcou can help you here. If you have a yearning for those unbelievable days when gracious living was all that we knew, then you can even buy a little Goa house complete with the pretty roof, the rooster ornament on top, decorative windows and doors, maybe a bougainvillea tree splashing its colour on the white walls. This house would have to sit on top of your mantelpiece or shelf or cabinet. No one will guess it is actually a ceramic box you can put something special in.
These souvenirs are crafted in ceramic, terracotta and fibre resin. You can take your pick of the famed azulejos too which were used to decorate important buildings.
Azulejos are decorative palm sized ceramic tiles that are widely appreciated as a unique feature of Portuguese architecture. Most Goan homes, even hotels today have name plates and signage made of azulejos. They are used to create murals on walls and ceilings too.
These works are the creative genius of one of Goa's favourite sons - Francisco Martins, known to all as 'Fanquito'. He is the creator of all those Goa floats at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi that waltzed away with the first prize, time and time again. Marcou Artifacts is owned by Francisco Martins and his friend, industrialist Anil Counto.
You get works of art here. The Dudhsagar waterfall crashing over the cliffs and under the railway bridge, cascading down to the lowlands, cutting through lush forests … all this captured in a painting on a ceramic gurgulet. The gurgulet is a narrow necked rooster shaped water receptacle used by our forefathers to keep drinking water cool and fresh. Except instead of the earthenware gurgulet, this one is of smooth glazed ceramic.
Lead free paints and special ceramics allows you to serve meals in these beautiful dishes
The ceramics are made out of five different types of clay and either shaped on a potter's wheel, or poured into a plaster-of-paris mould and baked. Then painted with specially mixed lead-free paints imported from Europe, glazed and baked again in a state-of-the-art furnace at the Marcou factory at Corlim Industrial Estate. Lead free paints imported from Europe are used in every artifact made. This is why people who own these beautiful pieces can even serve meals in them.
There are very strict quality controls at every level of production. The process of getting just that right shade of colour as visualised by Francisco Martins, who is a stickler for detail, is not easy. Different unique shades of the same colour are created by a skilful application of heat. It is a painstaking process, says Fanquito and his team, but worth every effort.
Back in the day, Goan artists were much in demand for their exquisite workmanship and attention to perfection. Works of Goan jewellers, goldsmiths, silversmiths, stone and wood carvers have found mention in old books and records of the colonial rulers and visitors to this old, old place. The team at Marcou, led by Francisco Martins is a throwback to that time.
The creative process is constantly churning away in Fanquito's thoughts. When he goes for his morning walk with his wife Nanda, she becomes his sounding board as he discusses ideas with her. He sketches them out, sits with the team of artists and artisans explaining his ideas to them. A team of three artisans works on the prototype which is made of clay. Modifications and alterations are done to the prototype until Fanquito approves it.
Moulds are then created where in the liquid clay is poured to take shape. After the clay takes the form, the clay artifact is separated and heated in the furnace at 1000 degrees Centigrade to harden the object.
Then the polishing and painting is carried out before the final firing at 1000-1050 degrees Centigrade.
What does this labour of love cost then? Prohibitively expensive? Surprisingly no. The rates begin from as low as Rs 150 to Rs 10,000. Marcou is also in the process of developing an exclusive line of artefacts aimed at the niche gift market. There are different categories of products: ceramics, terracottas, azulejos, fibre resin.
They accept corporate orders and make custom made pieces according to the needs of the client. This flexibility has won Marcou several orders for entire tableaux at some hotels. Marcou has also found a growing market in keepsakes for wedding guests.
Yes, you must pencil in this place in your itinerary. Marcou Artifacts – products of Goa, by Goans, for the world.
Marcou Stores in Goa:
Casa Rocha, 31st January Road,
near Viva Panjim Restaurant,
Fontainhas, Panjim Goa-403001
Caetano de Albuquerque Road,
Panjim, Goa, INDIA - 403001
The traditional crunchy Belgian Waffle at the WAFFLE & CREPE BAR and Mushroom veg salsa Wrap at the WRAP SHACK, Inox movies, Margao and Panjim!
Just opened our latest outlet called Waffles Bar at Mall de Goa, Porvorim serving the most delicious waffles! See you here
Looking for a gym in Goa? With good equipment, sparkling clean? Which gives results? There are a number of them in all major towns of Goa and they are all called Norbert’s Fitness Studio.
If you are serious about losing weight, gaining weight, preventing or controlling lifestyle illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, then Norbert’s Fitness Studio is the place to go to. They mean business when it comes to fitness.
9 week 9 kilo weight loss programme for men and women
This is the easiest way to start fitness. It starts with activities of daily living like lifting, pushing, pulling … easy routines, but effective. The 9 week 9 kilo programme is very popular. It pushes sedentary people into fitness and health. It literally changes the shape of their bodies.
Norbert’s Fitness Studio offers flexible timings, well trained staff and also, a nutrition and diet consultant. There are different shape-up-and-slim-down packages for all ages and for both men and women. There’s the 7 weeks – 7 kg weight loss; 30 days 30 workouts – 5 kg weight loss; 3 weeks – 4 kg weight loss; 14 days – 3 kg weight loss; 7 days – 2 kg weight loss.
There is the Fit Slim Executive Workouts programme which are 30 workouts in 30 days. You can also select the 6 weeks Body Toning program.
H.A.B.I.T.S. for ladies
This is only for ladies where you can lose 6 kgs in 6 weeks and 3 inches on hips, abs and thighs. Apart from the weight-loss, weight-gain and general fitness, programs that have earned recognition are the Upper Body Slim-Trim program, HABITs (targeting weight loss from the hips, abs, butt and inner thighs), the Post-Partum program to trim down Post-Pregnancy Bulge, and the 3 Days-a-Week program for those who cannot make it to the gym every day of the week.
“Fit over Fifty” for seniors
This is an ideal program for the elderly who are often wary of joining a gym but wish for a fitter lifestyle. The program combines cardiovascular exercises, aimed at improving heart and lung function, with light weights to maintain bone density, and stretching to keep muscles and joints supple.
Sport Specific Training
This offers individually designed programs to sportspersons for that extra edge over their competition, quickly. These are all based on type of sport, body, age and gender.
Functional Interval Training
These are fast paced workouts designed for both women and men of all fitness levels and abilities. You burn 300-500 calories per workout and up to 1500 – 2000 calories per week.
Even if you have no athletic skill or coordination, the idea is to train as effectively and as efficiently as possible to maximize your fitness results. Everyone can do these workouts.
Each member gets a personal trainer
As soon as the client signs up a personal trainer will be assigned to him. You are first given a proper training of the machines you will be using. The instructor is by your side till the end of the programme. You benefit from individual supervision, scientific exercise, progression and target area training. Workouts are made interesting by being varied and using innovative measures to get the desired results in the quickest time possible. The varied workout programmes make you want to workout regularly.
Norbert’s Fitness Studios have a unique system. Each member is first assessed. Even though Norbert D’Souza the owner, can read bodies and immediately tell what the problem is, there is a scientific fool-proof system. The new member is interviewed, weighed and measured, then various plans are offered to him or her. The idea is to make fitness, not a one-off thing, but a life habit which can be followed at home too. The first stage is to get you up or down to your ideal weight. Then to work on specific areas of your body that need attention.
Cleanliness and Discipline
The first thing you notice on entering any Norbert’s Fitness Studio is the cleanliness and fragrance. This is because the owner is a stickler for spotlessness and floors are scrubbed four times a day – early in the morning, afternoon, evening and night. The equipment is also shiny clean – the result of rigorous and on-going maintenance. There are air fresheners everywhere.
A hallmark of Norbert’s is discipline. They run safe fitness. The treadmills have set speed limits. This is because people have a tendency to want to compete. “We put a cap for a 50-yr old’s machine so that his heart rate does not go too high. We run the machines very safely, and we have an orthopedic specialist who we consult,” says Norbert.
The gym is run like a school. They have very strict rules here. They don’t allow anyone to talk in the workout area. If you need to talk, you talk in the reception area. No mobiles are allowed inside. No other outfits are allowed inside, only gym clothes. Everything is run in a systematic, organized manner. Even the diet prescribed by the nutritionist can be followed by the whole family. Specific nutrition plans are drawn up carefully customized for each member according to lifestyle and areas of health concern.
Dedicated workout areas
The gym is divided into dedicated areas – free weights area, a multi-use machine where weights do not have to be lifted and slipped on (this is very convenient for ladies). There are specific machines for the chest, for the quadriceps, for the hamstrings for the knees, for the calf, for the shoulders, for ladies that big problem area, inner and outer thighs and the hips.
“We have a lot of ladies with sedentary lifestyles, coming in to lose weight,” says Norbert. “We advise them to sign up for the 9 weeks, 9 kilos weight loss program. That is the star programme. There are so many success stories.”
There is a dedicated cardio area. Cycling, for abdominal area, upper abs and lower abs and rowing machines for the upper body.
How it’s done
A full session is from 45 minutes to one hour. The workout starts with a 15 minutes warmup. Because the body does not begin burning fat until it goes through a 12 minute workout. Post that, the actual workout starts.
Norbert Fitness Studio has shorter courses tailored to suit those with punishing work schedules. They can do the 30-day course.
If they want to lose 20 kg, then they can go in for a different programme following that. Once they hit their ideal weight, they can concentrate on specific problem areas. Before hitting your ideal weight you cannot work on specific areas. It has to be overall weight loss, first.
Solutions for the skinny too
Norbert’s Fitness Studios also offer the underweight programmes where those who are below weight can build up body mass and muscle. Even senior citizens can change their body shapes. The wonderful thing is even their faces get more firm and taut. They look much younger.
Norbert D’Souza is his own advertisement. He has been in the habit of winning fitness and body building medals, taking gold several times, at state and national level. He holds a Personal Trainer Certification and a Specialist in Exercise Therapy Certification from the USA-based ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association). Prior to having obtained these updated, international certifications, Norbert did a course in Fitness Management and Exercise Techniques at the acclaimed Leena Mogre's Fitness Academy, Mumbai, when he began his foray into the world of fitness way back in 1999. Norbert himself has designed 30 different programs.
The NFS Gyms
Norbert’s Fitness Studios have all the required fitness equipment. More than the equipment, it is the programmes on offer at NFS and the dedicated Fitness Trainers who help each member achieve fitness goals. The effectiveness of the gyms has increased membership to such an extent that Norbert has opened his fitness studios in all the main towns of Goa. You will find NFTs in Miramar-Panjim, Porvorim, Mapusa, Vasco and Margao offering a range of programs for all ages – children, youth, middle-aged men, housewives, executives, businessmen and women, and senior citizens.
The studios are open from 5.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 4.00pm to 10.00pm, Monday through Saturday. NFT offers monthly, quarterly and annual membership. For those preferring workout in quiet environs, there’s the Norbert’s one-to-one Personal Training Classes between 11.00 am and 12.30 pm.
Treatment for various treatable injuries
There are colour coded files as you enter the gym. The orange labels are for those members who have a medical concern. The instructor immediately knows that there is a medical problem here and details of the problem like stiff knees, diabetes, etc are clearly mentioned. There are charts for various medical problems and how they should be handled.
Consultations on Weekdays from Monday to Saturday from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm for Sports injuries; Knee problems (Osteoarthritis, Sprains, Cartilage Instability); Shoulder Injuries (Rotator Cuff injury, muscle strain, painful arch syndrome); Spinal problems (spondylosis, disc prolapse, lower back pain).