Tizi Talks with Nyaguthii Ndungu

· Interviews

There is no right or best time to start, just decide you deserve to be living a better quality life.

Dear Reader,

Is it only me, or did this second week of 2018 also sneak in on you? Welcome back to episode fourteen of Tizi Talks with Nyaguthii Ndungu. If you are active on social media, you probably know her as 'justnyaguthii' on instagram. She previously worked in the corporate sector until she quit her job and decided to pursue fitness because her passion for it was insatiable. She is currently a personal trainer with a keen interest in working with women and strongly advocates for healthy & positive body image as long as its not misleading or purely superficial.

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She recently launched a health and wellness online directory which lists facilities and professionals in the industry enabling the end user to identify what is available to them. She is also an amateur bikini bodybuilding athlete and a fitness & underwear model part time! Yes guys, beauty and brains. I have to add that she is extremely humble and talented in training because she has trained me before. I had to get her on this series and this is what she had to say...

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TIZI: How old are you?

NN: 31

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TIZI: How long have you been working out?

NN: I have been training since 2009.

TIZI: What made you start?

NN: Well to be honest, I had a whole lot of extra time in university; then one day my friend who was also my neighbor asked if I could join her at the neighborhood gym and I decided to go for the heck of it. I have never been sporty in my life but I often used to take both casual and power walks to clear my mind. If there was traffic, I would often walk if it was a reasonable distance. I can't say I have ever been out of shape.

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TIZI: Do you feel like it has made a difference in your life? If yes, how so?

NN: Hell yes! In the different phases of my life, fitness has played different roles. While in university, training happened to be one of my hobbies. I also happened to be expectant during my last year and being a relatively young mum, I felt a strong urge to reclaim my pre-pregnancy body. So I promptly returned to the gym 10 days post-partum (in retrospect I was a little extreme about this but I had a mission) and i was fortunate to be able to snap back due to my young age (24) and my drastic measures where I used a waist trainer to bind my belly. After the pregnancy keeping fit became second nature for me. I generally felt and looked better, and like most people, I got addicted to the results and kept at it.

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NN: Working out has also served as therapy and the gym is the place I have always felt I can truly be myself. Its a safe retreat that has helped me deal with frustrations. At my last place of employment, I had a f$#! it moment where I realized that I was a happier person in the gym and at that moment, I made one of the most risky and best decisions to leave my job and pursue fitness as a career. I figured I would rather be doing what kept my heart fulfilled than rat race and wake up complaining daily. In 2015 I joined a college called Alison Caroline after my very close friend helped me raise funds to do a course in fitness instruction, and as the say, the rest is history...2 yrs down the line I am living my dream :-).

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TIZI: Can you please take me through your daily fitness routine on a weekday? And the weekend?

NN: I try to train 5 days a week and rest on the weekends. I am very keen on strength training, so strength gains and aesthetics are what I primarily train for. My workout is split into isolations, so Monday and Friday are leg days (Quad dominant & Hamstring- Glute isolations respectively); Tuesday will be chest and biceps; Wednesday will be back; and Thursday I will do triceps.

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TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine?

NN: Since my profession revolves around fitness, I don't find it difficult to include training in my daily routine. I actually have time slots allocated for my own training.

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TIZI: What keeps you motivated?

NN: I usually train for specific goals, so those keep me on track most of the time, because I get so fixated on attaining them. I am also one of those folks that thrives with a training partner; I can train on my own but I have noticed anytime I have a partner who is on the same fitness level as mine, I am significantly more motivated because you can always push and motivate each other. I am not always motivated but I when I find a goal I am committed to, I stick to the script.

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TIZI: What can you advise people who want to start their fitness journey?

NN: First off, there is no right or best time to start, just decide you deserve to be living a better quality life, and it starts with taking care of your temple. Gym life isn't for everyone; do some quick research about the various ways to stay healthy and pick one that peaks your curiosity. Remember consistency goes a long way and results don't happen overnight- trust the process. Also, don't be afraid to switch things up if necessary. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you.

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There is something powerful and intriguing about strength training! In my previous article on new year resolutions, I explained how strength training not only makes you physically strong, but it hugely contributes to emotional intelligence. As Nyaguthii explains, consistency will always remain a significant element in fitness. Whichever form of exercise you decide to pick up this year, have fun with it and trust the process. Always remember that you have to keep seeking uncomfortable situations because this is how you get stronger. You got this!

Photocredits: Keef Photography

Yours in Wellness,


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