10 Fitness Facts Your Personal Trainer Wants You to Know

Get your summer body this winter.

We talk to Jo’burg Nike trainer Zaakirah Khalek about bum goals and training for a summer body this winter. 

1 What are your body goals?
To continue working on my weaknesses, such as flexibility. I come from a sprinter background and used to do lots of weight training, so my flexibility is shocking. I always strive to improve at whatever I’m doing. At the moment I’m focusing on gaining more muscle while burning fat.

2 What do you typically eat in a day?
Breakfast: oats with a selection of nuts and a drizzle of honey
Snack: boiled eggs and whey protein
Lunch: quinoa, selection of veggies and fish/meat
Snack: rice cakes with almond butter
Supper: brown rice, veggies and fish/meat

3 What should we look for in running shoes (as opposed to training shoes)?
You’d typically look for shoes that provide comfort, cushioning and breathability. It is important to find shoes that fit your running style. The best way to do this is to do a run analysis, which you can do at any Nike store. Feet swell and lengthen when running so it’s important to have enough room for them to move. You should be able to pinch 6mm of the upper material along the widest part of the foot. The same applies to training shoes: there should be sufficient cushioning and good-enough traction to provide support while doing lateral movements.

4 Favourite fitness quote?
Every expert was once a beginner. Go find your greatness.

5 Let’s say I’m new to exercise and I want to lose weight and tone up. What type of training plan would you suggest?
I’d say you should train three to four times a week. If your goal is to lose weight and tone, it is important to incorporate both aerobic and anaerobic training (cardio and weight training). The training programme would include high-intensity interval training and weight training – and lots of running!

6 Your workout wardrobe includes…
The Nike Zoom Flyknit Agility Trainers, the extra-comfy Nike Zoned Sculpt Strappy Sports Bra, the Nike Sculpt Tights – and MAC lipstick.

7 What are the best exercises for…
A tight bum – squats (ass to grass)
Flat tummy – hanging leg raises. But I can’t stress how important it is to follow a healthy eating plan and drinking loads of water.
Toned arms – running, push-ups and dips. Try running with light dumbbells to make your workout work harder.

8 Awesome workout apps?
Definitely the Nike+ Training Club app. It has tailormade workouts for your specific goals. For example, I want to improve my flexibility, so I do the yoga workouts. If you want to tone and/or improve your fitness, there are great HIIT workouts set at various fitness levels (advanced, intermediate and beginner). My favourite workout has to be the 45-minute Total Body Sculpting. (I was glowing with sweat!)

9 Ultimate workout track?
I’m almost shy to say it but it has to be Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger. There is just something about this song that helps you squeeze in one more rep or make it to the top of a killer hill.

10 Tips for staying motivated?
Focus on your goal and be relentless in achieving it. Losing weight or gaining muscle takes time. Don’t quit. Surround yourself with people who support your goals. The biggest challenge is not getting a workout in – it’s deciding what to put on your plate for 80% of your day. Be consistent and make interesting, delicious, healthy food!

Train with Zaakirah: join the Nike+ Run and Training Clubs in Johannesburg (Braamfontein and Rosebank). Visit Nike.com for more information.

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