By: Clive Msomi

The question can sound clichéd if not annoying since one gets to hear about it more during this time of the season, especially from those who have been exercising throughout winter. For some this leads into a depressing mode leading to desperation; when suddenly you realize that you have been off the mark in achieving your set goals for that banging body for the summer festivities. Panic sets in.

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During one of my toning classes at one of the gyms where I conduct group training classes, a lady came to class called ‘shape mix’ class that has a combination of cardio, toning and intensity workout sessions. Because of the movements or rather exercises that are involved, the session can be rather overwhelming; depending on your fitness level – especially if you are doing it for the first time.

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Credit: Instagram

Back to the lady in class. I could tell that she was excited to be there and she was looking forward to participating in the class, and nothing gets me going like a person with such positive energy. As a rule, I then informed her about what the class entails and the series of movements that she would be required to perform. I then proceeded to find out if she had any concerns or injuries as whilst trying to continue to create a welcoming space so that she could participate fully with the same level of interest.

As she responded to my enquiries, I picked up what sounded like an American accent but I didn’t want to pry. I continued explaining everything and we were interacting well until she told me she was 6 weeks pregnant. Oops!!! My excitement came screeching to a halt, and I could feel the smile that I had disappearing. The reason for the change in my mood was based on my past experience with pregnancy and exercise.  

As a rule pregnant women are not in any form allowed to take part in any vigorous and intense exercise because it could be detrimental in the development of the foetus. I normally try to discourage anyone who is in this condition from participating in a high intensity session and also explain the reasons why. As I explained to this lady, she could sense my disapproval and could see the change in my face as well. I even went as far as telling her a story of a lady that insisted in doing an advanced step class many years ago, only to miscarry the next day. I was trying to explain my concerns.  

The lady insisted and explained that she understood my concern. She reassured me that she had been doing this for some time and she had trained during her pregnancy.  I was still uneasy. She went on, “Even if am going to be pregnant during the festive season but I still want to look good,” she went on with such a smile. She was not listening to my discouragements so I decided to allow the customer to be right. I had covered myself from any liability arising from this as I had explained the consequences yet she insisted.

So we started, and I continued to ask her to please take it easy and not engage fully in the session.  Fast forward. The ladies were half way through to the 1st of three rounds that they were supposed to do. I could see that the pregnant lady was struggling, and she began to realize what I had tried to explain to her. I went over to her and asked if she was okay and further told her to stop if she experienced any discomfort.  She then explained that she was not feeling well and would like to stop.  As bad as this might sound, I felt happy that she had decided to stop and that she had listened to the voice of reason.

This incident left me asking myself the following:

  • What lengths are we willing to go through in order to make up for lost time?
  • Why do we only get to exercise for a particular time, especially Summer ?
  • What makes our training plans come to a halt in Winter time?
  • How can we encourage people to continue the trend of exercising throughout the four seasons of the year?

If you are one of those people who are consumed by the guilt of knowing that you could have kicked the warmth of the blankets and went for your morning session or jog, don’t despair – there is still hope in achieving that banging body. Here are a few tricks that will assist you in your quest for that banging body.

  • The latest approach in burning calories at a high rate is based on what is called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). The method is based on repeating a movement in 30 seconds and having short rests in between the movements. That increases your heart rate whilst burning calories faster and quicker at the same time. The good thing about HIIT is that it is short and can last for about 20 to 30 minutes at the most and it works the entire body. Try and get into a class that has one or create one for yourself.
  • Try to incorporate different kinds of training methods in your training. It’s also important to include weight training as part of your training session, as it assists in muscle toning and muscles continue burning calories even way after training has stopped.
  • Nutrition can never be over emphasized. Exercise is 20% is exercise and 80 % is based on nutrition. This means there are some things that you are going to cut down if you really want to see those results.  Sugary products and all the nice eats are going to have to take a backseat and veggies and fruits are to take front row seat.
  • Time that we spend doing things like watching  television ,social networks ,video games and so on will also need adjusting as they consume a lot of our daily lives so much that we forget about exercise .
  • The success of your exercise and achieving your goal is also based on fun, which means you must really enjoy what you are doing. You must also be comfortable with what you are doing, so make sure that your shoes are appropriate for whatever exercise you are engaging in. The gear that we wear is also just as important.

That being said, as we slowly approach Spring, maybe Summer will find you in that bikini or speedo revealing that banging body you have been yearning to show the world.

Clive Msomi.

Has been Group Training Instructor in most fitness clubs around KZN for the past 20 years.

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  • Is a qualified Zumba Instructor
  • Is a contributing presenter on Inanda FM .
  • Events Co- ordinator Dance Fitness
  • Founder of Clive Msomi Productions
  • Community Worker