Tizi Talks With Omar Yusuf
I can do stuff today that I could not do in my 20's. All in all, I have embraced the suck and I am reveling in it.
We met our feature a few months ago during global wellness day at the wellness collective. The wellness collective is a collaborative effort by wellness enthusiasts to celebrate wellness day by raising awareness of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. See here for more details. When we heard his story of why he started his fitness journey, we were inspired by his transformation. As you will see, he was morbidly obese and had to make crucial lifestyle changes after a visit to the doctor.
Welcome back to episode thirty three of Tizi Talks with Omar Yusuf. He is a property developer in Nairobi specialising in apartment buildings and other consultancies. On top of that, he is a crossfit enthusiast and probably one of the most charismatic people we have met. We had a chat regarding how crossfit has made an impact in his life and this is what he had to say...
TIZI: How old are you?
OY: 42 years old and looking forward to my 43rd in December.
TIZI: How long have you been working out?
OY: Consistently for 3 years and a few months but tried and failed to be consistent for a long time.
TIZI: What made you start?
OY: Health issues generally; I was morbidly obese (128kgs), pre diabetic, high cholesterol and mildly depressed with the general helplessness that I felt.
TIZI: Do you feel like investing in your health has made a difference in your life?
OY: Huge difference, in fact I am living a new life. I am more optimistic, it has made me a better dad, husband and person in general. I have never been fitter both mentally and physically in my life.
TIZI: Can you please take us through your daily fitness routine on a weekday? And the weekend?
OY: I generally workout on a 3 day on, 1 day off cycle one week and then 2 days on 1 day off the following week. The workout days rotate and it helps to keep my body guessing because of lack of routine. The first day of the cycle is normally the toughest workout day, followed by a reduced load over the rest of the days. I do crossfit and the beauty of this workout regimen is it's concept of constantly varied workouts.
Your body experiences new movements every time with emphasis on Monostructural movements (Running, Rowing, Cycling etc), Olympic Weightlifting movements (The Snatch, Clean & Jerk) and Gymnastic movements (Pull Ups, Muscle Ups, Rope Climbs, Push Ups etc) I try to program my workouts to encompass each of the 3 disciplines at all times. I'm very thorough with my mobility too and program extensive mobility in every workout. Pre-workout I program mobility that primes my body for the upcoming workout and post workout I program a recovery mobility session albeit a shorter one.
TIZI: Do you have a cheat meal? If yes, what is it? :)
OY: I do regularly but I avoid overdoing it. A slice of pizza here and a burger there. I have potatoes in my current diet so I don't crave for chips/fries that much. My workout regimen is intense and this allows me to cheat without having an adverse effect on me.
TIZI: What keeps you motivated?
OY: In Crossfit everything is timed and recorded and you literally follow your progress day to day. The opportunity to be better today than I was yesterday fuels me. Actually rest days are the hardest days for me. I can do stuff today that I could not do in my 20's. All in all, I have embraced the suck and I am reveling in it.
TIZI: What can you advise people who want to start their fitness journey?
OY: Personally, if I had not joined Crossfit Kwetu I doubt I would have made it. The community, the coaching and the general atmosphere nurtured me, gave me advice, motivated me to do better, we competed with one another with the last finisher getting the loudest cheer. My advice, go into it alone and there's a huge chance that one will fail. Find a community of fitness enthusiasts, good coaches and above all a nutrition plan and you'll be half way there.
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