So You Think You’re Fit?

Try the Indian Railways 3-Tier AC Fitness Challenge.

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh
2 min readAug 19, 2023
My dad sitting on his berth. Photo by the author.

The parameters of fitness are strength, stamina, agility, flexibility, balance and coordination.

All of these get tested on the Indian Railways three-tier coach! How?

Strength: one needs it to climb up onto the top berth. Benching a hundred? Try pulling yourself up to the top berth that’s literally head and shoulders above you.

Stamina: these coaches have 3 Indian-style sit-down squat toilets per 72 people, and only one Western style.

Pooping is as as hard or easy as it always is for a person — but there’s the layer of having to hold a squat as you do it. Sure you’ve held a goblet rock-bottom squat, but have you held one long enough to finish pooping?

Yep, that’s a photo of me and an Indian style toilet! Photo by the author.

Agility: Getting into a crowded train compartment (with your luggage in tow) will test both your agility and your strength. Yes, you might be a runner, or a gymnast, or a weightlifter — but for this task, to muscle yourself and luggage between passengers onto a train that’s about to leave the platform, you need special skills.



Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

I don’t just create smiles, I inspire them! Dentist, mom—Jamshedpur, India.