As athletes and models, they’ve learned lots of healthy lifestyle methods for eating well and cultivating magazine-cover-worthy body. Just what are they? And what can we fitness civilians borrow from them?
Although these stunning fitness models won the genetic lottery jackpot, each works hard to maintain their toned, athletic physique.
Here are Nairobi’s top fitness models who shared their toning tips, eating habits and healthy practices they’ve learned on the job.
Alvin Lee Anyumba
Ranked 5th Kenyan fitness guru, Alvin Lee is a Calisthenics fitness coach and a model signed with RADG International Modeling Management (USA).
His go to Workout:
- 10 pull-ups
- 10 Hanging Leg Raises
- 10 explosive pushups
- 10 jump squats
No rest in between exercises, rest 1 min between sets and repeat routine for 10 sets
How he tones up for a big shoot: I try as much as possible to remain reasonably lean all year-round so when a shoot comes by I simply reduce my carbs and maintain my clean eating, increase my cardio which is normally HIIT.
What he eats: Rice, Njahi (black beans) and minced meat are my base foods. Always available in my fridge.
Favourite snack on the run: Peanuts, as they’re rich in protein and healthy fat – 11 peanuts are roughly 100 calories. Pretty filling!!!
- Monday: Legs
- Tuesday: Core and Abs
- Wednesday: Pushday
- Thursday: Legs
- Friday: Pullday
- Saturday: Pushday
- Sunday: Pullday, Stretching, and Yoga
Eating habits: I always try to eat clean, that’s simply eating whole foods. I have been intermittent fasting for 3 years till I stopped of recent to try and experiment on bodybuilding bulking which I get to eat more meals than usual… Two meals a day!
Last words… The harder you work, the luckier you get! Relentlessly build your network and stay positive and focused.
Maureen Nyaguthii Ndung’u
You know you’ve got major body confidence skills when you participate in not just one but two amateur bodybuilding competitions in one year (10 weeks apart). Popularly known as Just Nyaguthii, she started her fitness journey 8 years ago as a way to curb her boredom… And she’s killing it as a fitness trainer with a keen interest in recruitment, modeling, and marketing.
What’s your go to work out to maintain your physique?
Lol, that is a tough question to answer, simply because all through the year my training goals change depending on the projects I’m undertaking. The past 18 months I have had 5 goals that I trained towards, two were body building competitions (bikini division),two were geared towards photo shoots, one was a fitness shoot, and the other was for my 30th birthday, and more recently my goal has been to gain some mass/size and strength at the same time. I’m actually finishing the 12 weeks of a program a friend of mine and elite personal trainer and nutritionist.
How do you tone up before a shoot/competition?
Well, I train same way I do in general, which involves routines rooted in traditional body building, the only difference is that I also focus on getting a more conditioned look, which pretty much refers to looking leaner and “dry” as compared to looking a little fluffy. Conditioning helps with making your muscle definition more pronounced and it often involves doing a lot of cardio and dehydrating yourself in a strategic and scientific way to avoid water retention as a result of consuming certain foods
What do you eat on a daily; standard staples?
Breakfast: Eggs, Sweet potatoes or Oats
Lunch: Sweet potatoes and whatever is at home
Dinner: Same as lunch
I can pretty much eat eggs, chicken, and sweet potatoes daily and all year round too
What is your workout ethos: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”
Favourite snack on the run: cashew nuts!! I love them so much. Post workout: Well, I try to eat a meal post work out, but when I don’t eat, I usually would opt for a fruit: banana or apple and have my protein too. Pre workout: I rarely train on an empty stomach, so more often than not I have my breakfast 2 hours before I workout. On the rare occasion that I don’t have time to eat before, I would more likely than not have a fruit: banana or apple or both if I’m super hungry
Your fitness regime/ weekly work out schedule: I attempt to train at least 5 days a week and rest on Saturday and Sunday. My routine usually includes two leg days, and distribute the other body parts during the other days.
- Mon: Leg day
- Tue: Back and Bis (biceps)
- Wed: Chest and Tris ( triceps)
- Thur: Shoulders and Delts
- Friday: Leg day
The foods you avoid and why: Bread (unsuccessfully), fries (the devil is a liar), dairy (bloating), pastries
Closing remarks/advice for those who would like to follow on:
Your body is God’s temple!! You only get one body to live in your whole life, make it your best project and it will reward you in all aspects of your life. Taking care of your body isn’t an ego thing, it’s “ I respect and love myself” thing.
Leon is the Brand Ambassador for Weetabix East Africa and a former USN Kenya brand ambassador. As a certified ISSA personal trainer and nutritionist, he currently runs his own fitness, health, and wellness company called Leon Weche-Fitness which is focussed on strength conditioning, exercise therapy, nutrition and healthy lifestyle coaching.
What’s your go to work out to maintain your physique?
At the moment all the workouts I am doing are ones I have created myself and researched on very hard for me and my clients. But it never stops, I am researching and reading every day and coming up with new ways to train and also train my clients and that’s one of the reasons I really enjoy my job so much. It’s given me the opportunity to do what I really love the most.
How do you tone up before a shoot/competition?
Well, there’s a process for this, quite hard so your mindset has to be in it 100%. With prep, it’s 100% dieting and 100% training. You have to give it your all in all areas during prep. Nutrition plays a big part but also that doesn’t mean just because one isn’t competing or planning a photo shoot one shouldn’t watch what they eat or how they train. I try to give it 100% every day regardless of whether I am prepping or not.
What do you eat on a daily: I try to keep it as clean as possible for 5-6 days of the week then 1-2 days of the week I let myself enjoy 1 or 2 meals that I really enjoy. Clean eating and portion control and I try to do 4-5 meals a day depending on the activities of the day and what I am training on that day. Simplicity is genius.
Favourite snack on the run post and pre workout: Raw oats, protein energy whey or casein (if I have), peanuts or cashew nuts, yogurt or low fat milk mixed with water and ready to drink.
My fave pre workout meal depending on what time I started my meals is 6 rice cakes with peanut butter and 2 boiled eggs.
Your fitness regime/ weekly work out schedule: it usually changes but currently on Leesthetics programs (my own researched programs created by me) but what’s usually standard with my programs is I always do Leg days twice a week where one will focus on conditioning and one day on strength and hypertrophy.
Your eating habits: I am very disciplined with my eating and I am not too hard on myself when it comes to food. After all the plan is to create a lifestyle, not a punishment. I love to eat clean with a cheat meal once or twice a week. Like I said simplicity is genius. I do love my Oreos and dark chocolate though, good for the heart (hahaha).
Your thoughts on dessert, cravings and cheat days: they’re much needed especially if one is on a diet of sorts. Also doesn’t have to be the high sugar, high salt stuff that’d eventually catch up with you. I suggest people do their research rather than make excuses and find healthier alternatives to foods they crave, or just feel free to email or DM me for a consult and I am more than willing to guide and help anyone understand and enjoy the journey to fit. Remember it’s about creating a lifestyle, it’s not a punishment.
The foods you avoid and why: I don’t really avoid anything, I love clean eating then just throw in an occasional happy meal. 80% clean 20% whatever Leon feels like. To explain more on this we would have to sit down hahaha.
Closing remarks/ advice for those who would like to follow on:
Anything you do with passion and consistency will bear fruits eventually. Fitness is an enjoyable path to take whether as a livelihood, lifestyle or both. In Kenya, we are still a growing fitness community and guys are coming out of the aerobics only era and starting to embrace weight training and all the different kinds of training that fall under that. For everyone whether it’s a job or someone who just wants to be fit and healthy, I suggest doing loads of research first, identify with someone in the industry (either a gym instructor, personal trainer or even someone you consider as a physique goal on social media or real life) and engage them and ask for guidance. This way you’re learning as you move on. There’s nothing as bad as wasting time at the gym as this demoralizes you and you’ll find yourself hating exercise and any forms of fitness.
With that I would say what I say a lot on my page: research, ask, research again, find out what form of fitness you love, start and be the best at it…and continue researching, fitness and health changes every day.
Evelyn Okinyi Owala
Having toned muscle is considered sexy these days. Evelyn is not only all body goals, she’s a figure competitor, fitness model and a personal trainer. She stands as Ms. Kenya Figure 2016, Ms. Nairobi Figure 2016, Ms. Kakamega 2016, First Runners Up Ms. Kenya Figure 2017 and USN brand ambassador.
Her motivation: I draw a lot of motivation and encouragement from my husband turned trainer. At first, fitness was all about running and doing ab workouts but after getting some muscle, it looked like something I would do long-term.
Her daily workout; Everyday is a little different… I mix my ratio of high and low impact training. It’s important to shock the body!
Training philosophy… Never say ‘can’t’ if it has been done you can do it.
The workout every woman needs:
Body weight training! Your own body is the best equipment out there. Especially squats. Squats, it’s a compound workout that gives general body strength. It also workouts the abs that every woman loves.
Go to workout for fast results:
Weight training any day
What she eats: I always prefer white meat and eggs, even though I include other protein sources including supplements.
Advice to other fitness people who want to go pro:
You can do it if you put your mind to it. You are not perfect when you start but being on the same spot takes you nowhere.
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