Dear Reader, thank God its Friday right?
"Don't stop starting."
Welcome to episode twenty six of Tizi Talks with Andrew Kimani. He is an entrepreneur by profession, an environmentalist at heart and also co-owns a management company that runs a modest hotel in Juja called Hotel Senate which is the first hotel in Juja that was established 20 years ago. His passion for the environment led him to endorse, manage and lobby for countless renewable energy projects. On top of that, Andrew has been keen on fitness since he was a teenager all through university and now inspires others to do the same. Here is more...
TIZI: How old are you?
AK: 28 this year....
TIZI: How long have you been working out?
AK: I have been working out for over 10 years…but...inconsistently.
TIZI: What made you start?
AK: Well I started for the same reasons most guys my age did; to change how I looked. At 16 years old, who didn’t want to look like a black Rambo? But my fitness journey had a somewhat interesting start, I was bullied a lot in high school and it wasn’t until year 9 when I joined the rugby team that most of that changed. I was one of the 'youngings' on the team and the older lads made sure they didn’t go easy on me but it was my consistency that gained their respect and they welcomed me into their brotherhood which helped me gain my confidence.
TIZI: Do you feel like it has made a difference in your life?
AK: Fitness hasn’t made a difference in my life, it is my life. Looking back at most of my trials and tribulations working out been at the core of my personal growth. Its not just about how my body looks any more. It is my religion. At 16 I was expelled and it was fitness that gave me discipline and structure. At 22 years old, fitness helped me focus and gave me the drive to acquire my degree. At 23 I lost my mother and it was fitness that brought me back from the brink of a dark abyss. Anything from break ups, failures in my career and an existential crisis, fitness has always been part of my story.
TIZI: Can you take us through your daily fitness routine on a weekday? And the weekend?
AK: My weekdays typically start at 7am with 4 boiled eggs (I remove the yolk because it is very high in cholesterol) and a carb usually nguashe or nduma with a leafy green salad or left over vegetables from the night before. I’m in the office at 8 till my lunch break at midday but instead of eating, I have a high intensity circuit workout that lasts about 50 min. Since I don’t have much time I isolate a muscle every day; Monday legs, Tuesday back, Wednesday chest, Thursday shoulders and of course Friday is arms in case I go out.
.... I have my first lunch immediately after my workout which is usually a leafy salad or more leftovers and a lean protein; mostly chicken, lean beef or egg white. When I get home I stuff my face with loads of fruit. Since my time in the gym is short I tend to have another workout at home that focuses on my core. Wednesdays and Fridays I usually can’t beat the traffic home and I tend to be exhausted so I rest till about 8- 9 p.m and I run about 5 km. I eat dinner not later than 9 p.m and usually have a heavy dose of protein (red or white meat) with a glass of milk. Before I sleep I medicate myself with a classic hot dawa with muraibini and moringa. To get enough sleep, I try my best to be in bed by 11 p.m.
....On the weekends I tend to catch up on my sleep but I dedicate the free time to my body. I am in the gym by 11 a.m and give myself about 2-3 hours to work out my entire body, I like to think of it like a recap of the week. On Sundays after the gym I challenge myself with a 16 km run around the city in the Nairobi sun.
TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine?
AK: To be honest I have reached a point in my life where I tend to have a deep hunger to work out. If I don’t, I struggle to sleep. Its a matter of necessity at this juncture. I don’t need gym membership or a set time to workout. When I first started, I used two duracoat buckets, a pipe and cement to build my first bar which I used after school and that discipline drives me to be fit to this day. All I need is my body.
TIZI: What keeps you motivated?
AK: Initially, it was how I looked and felt. In university, I spent my life’s savings on supplements and focused my growth solely on looking ‘swole’ but now my goals have evolved and matured. I don’t need a pre-workout or creatine to find the motivation in the gym. I’m addicted to chasing the ever elusive pump. I no longer look for ways to keep myself motivated.
TIZI: Do you have a cheat meal?
AK: Who doesn’t have cheat meals? I probably have had a more consistent relationship with food than I have had in my romantic life. In the past three months, I had a strict diet that limited my romance with junk food to two cheat meals a month because I have been cutting. During my regular schedule I have two cheat meals a week and sometimes more. I tend to leave my bad eating to the weekend. I love chocolate and anything covered in cheese.
TIZI: What would you advise someone who wants to start their fitness journey?
AK: The best advice for anyone who wants to start is don’t stop ‘starting’. I have had had thousands of ‘starts’. Every one of these ‘starts’ felt like I was walking into the gym for the first. Never stop ‘starting’. It takes patience because we are the biggest hurdle in our life stories.
Photocredits: Brian Koome
Location: Fitness Revolution
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