My very first fit-erview is with Maje Ayida. He’s so into this life he is a fitness trainer, writer, speaker…pretty much an all round fitness guy. It was quite interesting to know that even as a fitness coach, he does have a trainer and wasn’t always hot.
Why did you start working out?
I have always been quite sporty, I like being active and will go wherever I can for a little exercise. But I really started hitting the gym after a girl called me ‘chubby’ on a particular holiday a few years back. I was quite pained, lol, and in my mind was like ‘I will show you’.
What is your fitness routine?
I workout at least 4 times a week, either in the gym with my trainer or on the basketball court. Sometimes both on the same day. I love playing basketball so I don’t need much convincing for that, but meeting my trainer is another matter. He puts me through a pretty grueling hour of strength training and cardio. It’s sort of strange for me to have a trainer seeing as I’m a coach as well, but I need the discipline. I’m pretty active when I coach as well so my typical week will involve quite a bit of movement.
Which do you find more challenging; hitting the gym or eating right?
Eating right is by far the bigger challenge. I love food, and not all the good kind. I’m not that big on chocolate and ice cream though so that’s good. 80% of being healthy is about what goes on in the kitchen, so I’m still working on myself in that department. It’s easy to preach, not so easy to execute. But I try.
How do you balance work, going to the gym and your social life?
Well that’s easy, my work is fitness and I don’t have that much of a social life. I do a lot of writing for my newspaper columns, so most of my free time is spent doing that, or researching. Balance is no problem for me because I love the work, it’s my passion so it feels more like it’s part of my lifestyle.
What’s your ultimate fitness goal and how close are you to achieving it?
I don’t really have a fitness goal, I just try to stay active. I believe the best part is the journey, not the results. You have to love the process, doesn’t mean it’s easy, but that’s the challenge, that’s what sets you apart. If being in good shape was easy then everyone would be.
I love High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), I love it so much that I built a business around it, my HIIT Squad! For me it’s one of the most effective forms of exercise out there, and you see the results. The workouts are always interesting and I can do it anywhere as it’s mainly body weight exercises. More importantly I love what it does for my mental health. Working out is therapy.
Your worst workout program?
Since this is my profession I don’t really want to criticize any specific workouts, but I’m not a big fan of jogging, I find it boring. But if that works for you then do it, always do what you enjoy. I’m a big fan of variety in my workouts, the human body adjusts very quickly to repeating the same thing over and over and it can become less effective. Throw in some sprints with the jogging then I might give it a try. You know what’s even more boring? Charity/corporate walks…zzzzzz. Try some Hiit instead, people!
A lot of people think it’s tough to eat right in Nigeria, how do you work your way around this?
Eating right doesn’t have to be as hard as people make it out to be, myself included. Focus on eating balanced meals, practice portion control and drink loads of water and you’ll be fine. You can still have the things you enjoy, just be disciplined, it doesn’t all have to be salads. Do your research and be mindful, eating 4 wraps of pounded yam at 11pm is probably not the best move. Portion control is something we all need to learn. I meet so many people that skip meals and end up having one huge meal in a day, thinking starvation is the way to go, it isn’t. Smaller meals eaten more frequently will ramp up your metabolism and you will burn fat better. Be mindful.
What keeps you motivated?
This is an interesting one. I don’t believe in motivation, I think it’s short lived. Sure, motivation helps you get out of bed in the morning, but I don’t need motivation to do what I do. Motivation only takes you so far, and in today’s world I think you’ve either got what it takes or you don’t. When you tap into your passion, no one needs to motivate you. I think that’s only necessary when you’re doing things you hate, and who really wants to do that? So nothing keeps me motivated, I’m in love the process, success, failure, all of it.
If you had one fitness related advice to give, what will it be?
Never go more than 3 days without a proper workout.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Maje and learnt something new because I did. I also agreed with a lot but personally, the best part is the results not the journey :).
If there’s anyone you’ll personally like me to interview let me know in the comments.
Till my next post.