Tafadzwa Zimoyo Lifestyle Writner
Someone once said that if you find an occupation that entails doing what you love then you need never work in your life. Glamorous jobs like those to be found in the showbiz world seem to fit that bill. The world of movie and music stars has generated other professions dedicated to making the stars look and feel their
best. The industry of personal fitness grew from the obsession of the stars and their fans with their looks.
But beyond the cosmetic appeal, fitness centres have gained popularity with ordinary people because desirability for healthy lifestyles is at an all time peak as non-communicable diseases rise the world over. The Saturday Herald Lifestyle took time out to case out Total Fitness Gym at Long Cheng Plaza. Manager Dalvin Jackson who is also the gym fitness trainer said the fitness lifestyle he leads is not always glamorous, but becoming healthy is the best decision he has ever made.
Jackson took this reporter on an 45 minute tour in the gym. “I might be a role model to many aspiring athletes, after a close look in my lifestyle but all is not rosy to be where I am now. I started 11 years ago after being inspired by my father who was into fitness training as he loved riding and weight training. Since I am now focusing on training, for myself, I train two hours a day then the rest are classes,” he said.
The 31-year-old said the right machine can accelerate your results and make workouts fun in no time. “We open from 5am to 9pm every working day with weekends closing around 3pm. We have two types of people in our lifestyle, those involved in weight lifting then the general physic fitness. It can be immensely interesting as it is also frustrating. As a trainer you have to deal with different people from different backgrounds which requires confidence to teach and guide strong personalities and empathy to deal with clients that are hurting and need of help,” he said.
Jackson said that he gives clients eating plan although he didn’t want to reveal much what it constitutes.
“It depends with the client. You know there is a lot of myths and statements around the diet and eating plan which sometimes scares clients, but the truth is you have to monitor on the carbohydrates and proteins,” he said.
Turning to the gym he said a major focus of the fitness centre is also to be more inclusive for individuals who are in need of adaptive recreation. “These are things we never had in the past, and for us to have the opportunity and the space to be able to do this is just fantastic. It allows us to meet the needs of the clients.
“The weight lifting area has two distinct spaces meant to meet the needs of individuals of all lifting abilities. We want people to feel comfortable in this environment so we intentionally split the area in half to allow the novice lifter a place to begin to feel comfortable,” he said. He said the aerobic room can be intimidating to those who are not familiar with it.
“Our goal is to provide an area where newcomers can develop confidence and experience,” he said. In addition to new fitness equipment, the centre features four flat-screen TVs with music playing in the background. Some of the cardio machines also have iPad and iPhone connections.
“If music can tame the savage beasts, can it also tame our workout? The answer is undeniably Yes! Working out, getting our bodies moving and our heart rates elevated to a fat-burning, endorphin-producing target heart rate is what it’s all about. It is simple use music. Music works like magic to keep exercise moving fast and hard.
“Once everyone is caught up in a musical groove, the mind naturally flows more with the rhythm of the music, and less with checking the watch,” he explains. He said clients have two options on joining the gym. “Clients (students) can take fitness classes for credit, but there are also non-credit options. We have contract for a year and casual registration which range $60-$75 respectively with a free design programme.
“The fitness centre also features a new locker area near the bathrooms that will allow clients to store their belongings during workouts,” he said. The fitness centre is more like a church, huge with workout departments channelling to the next workout space. It has more than 30 pieces of state-of-the-art cardio equipment with eight fitness trainers of which two are females.
Some of the specials include treadmills, Spring Collars, Yoga Monster Mats, Chin-Up Bars, weights, Pump Classes, rowers and exercise balls among others.
Tendai Majoni a fitness trainer at the gym says the first port of call is for the physician to heal himself, so to speak: “Trainers need to know the difference between good carbs vs bad carbs, post workout nutrition, whether you really need cardio, and much, much more,” he said. He said that a trainer also needs to relate to clients with different personalities and from all social corners. Majoni says that the Total Fitness Long Cheng have clients coming in from Borrowdale, Dzivarasekwa, Mt Pleasent, Glen Lorne, Mabvuku, Epworth and Marlborough to enjoy the fitness services.
The gym provides “Total Package” for those who want to lose weight, gain muscles and great body shape. Walter Karimanzira, from Epworth who was training ahead of the Mr Zimbabwe scheduled for October 17 said the gym is the place where he is crafting his dreams into reality.
“My goal this year is to win the coveted title. My role model is Innocent Choga who inspires me to be better and challenges me while internationally I am motivated by Phil Heath who is currently competing for the Mr Olympia. The secret of life is if you want to live happily stay healthy by eating well and exercising. Remember to avoid going to the doctor, spending money, you can be your own doctor,” he said.