Relive Farai’s fitness masterclass

Sharing knowledge has helped society to evolve and thrive. And in the modern age of digital technology and social media, access to knowledge has never been greater.

When USN Face of Fitness finalist Farai Gomwe took over the Fitnessmagsa Instagram account, she dropped serious knowledge bombs. If you missed it, here’s what she had to share…

How much cardio do you do a week?

Whenever I train. I currently alternate between 35-40 minutes of steady state cardio and sprints each day.

When did you make the switch from training for fit to training to compete?

I watched my first show in December 2017 and decided at the end of Feb 2018 to compete for the first time.

Tips for leaning out the sides of legs?

To begin with you need to ensure you eat right. We can go to gym a ton, but it all starts in the kitchen. #youcantcheatabaddiet. During leg workouts target specific muscle groups such as the hamstrings, quads and calves. The side of the leg is not a specific muscle group per se, but by consistently incorporating these into your workout at least three times a week your legs will begin to “lean out” or tone up.

What is in your intra workout?

USN BCAAs and glutamine. If you become more active incorporate these into your regimen. Glutamine assists with muscle recovery, while BCAAs boost endurance, energy and stamina.

How do you stay motivated?

I saw this in the gym today, which I find fitting: “It comes down to one simple thing: How bad do you want it?” Having a goal and being accountable keeps me motivated.” I’ve learnt that I keep going if there is a target, bit or small. I’m not always motivated, but that’s why I keep my goals in mind.

Tips for those who want to try the pull ups?

First build upper body strength. You will lose motivation quickly if you are not strong enough. Using straps or performing assisted pull-ups on the machine are a good start. You’ll get a feel for the movement while building strength. Keep practicing and be patient. It’s not easy. I have a plate in my wrist so I alternate between assisted and unassisted.

What job do you do?

Inbound immigration

Where did you study?

I send two years of high school in Zimbabwe and the rest in Antwerp, Belgium. I went to university in the Netherlands and I just finished another degree in South Africa.

What are your best meals for before and after workouts?

At the moment, before a workout I eat couscous and chicken. I don’t have a ‘best’ meal, though. My meals change monthly, including their carb content. My current post-workout meal is a whey protein shake. If you go the whey way, have it 30 minutes after your workout.

What are the best ways to stay fit and healthy if someone is sitting at a desk all day?

A desk job invariably leads to an unhealthy and dysfunctional body. We must prioritise time away from our desk to do find balance. The best way to do this is to keep tabs and set reminders. Do meal prep at home so you don’t order take-out at work. Use the stairs instead of the lift. Instead of a big 2L water bottle, use a glass so you have to get up and walk to refill it.

Best at-home exercises?

It’s important to bear in mind that there is no ‘best’ anything. What works is dependent on your fitness levels and your goals, which are subjective. The latest issue of @fitnessmagsa offers at home circuits that target different muscle groups to get you started. It’s about mixing and matching and having fun.

Best exercises for strength training only using dumbbells?

Think of your rep range and sets. I superset. For example, I’ll do 12 reps of one exercise followed by 12 of another to make one set. Here are a few for you to try out – they’re not in any specific order:

  • Legs: Dumbbell clean, one-arm swing, stiff legged deadlifts.
  • Arms: Dumbbell curls, hammer curls, Arnold curls.
  • Chest: Dumbbell bench presses.
  • Back: Bent-over rows.
  • Shoulders: Lateral raises, bent-over lateral raises, Arnold presses.

Best exercises for the thighs with no gym equipment?

Body weight squat jumps and lunges, wall squats, walking lunges, knee highs, leg raises, sumo squats, glute kickbacks, curtsey lunges, pulse lunges. There is so much to experiment with, with zero equipment needed!

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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