It’s never too late to start chasing your goals

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Coach shares insights

February is too late to start working on your health and fitness goals. You might as well leave it until next year when you make your New Year’s resolutions, right?


It’s never too late.

And you’re never too old.

All you have to do is make up your mind to do it and then devise a plan you can stick to.

When I made up my mind to make a change, I was 38 years old, heavily overweight and had resigned myself to being uncomfortable and unhappy in my own skin because I had failed so many times before in my attempts to lose weight.

But something clicked and when I celebrated birthday number 39 that year, I was feeling “thirty-fine”! Having managed to lose 36kg in that first year was the result of hard work and dedication – and also of having a support team around me.

Among those on this “team” is my personal trainer, Romeo Brand – or Coach Romeo as you’ll see him referred to elsewhere in my blog. I asked him to share some of his back story, insights into health and fitness – as well as his goals for 2018.


Where did your interest in the fitness industry start?

At school – in 1985 – I competed in athletics, but as a tall, scrawny teenager, I just didn’t have the strength and speed needed for the events I was competing in – 100m, 200m, long jump and high jump. My dad enrolled me at a gym called Gamesman. It made a huge difference in my performance on the track and the field events I competed in. From that moment I knew this was a long-term relationship, with a love story evolving.


When I’m starting out, how do I decide what’s the best kind of training for me? And how do I match my goals with the type of training available?

To determine what workout is best for any individual is to assess the objectives. In the past people would say i want to lose weight and go for a run day after day. Training, however, has evolved and less time can be spent doing workouts with greater effects in a shorter period of time. The goals determine the course of action.

It is always good to be realistic about goal setting. We miss the mark so many times by aiming too high and then becoming despondent. I advise aiming for a 500g to 1kg loss per week. It may seem like nothing but start adding up those numbers and you have a rolling stone that keeps on moving toward 4kg per month… which is 16kg in 4 months. That’s a major difference. The killer of most of our goals is our impatience.


How often should I be training? And why do I need rest days?

I like to suggest one day on, one day off. I’m a believer in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) because of the results it can produce in clients. It’s good for weight loss, conditioning or muscle building, and increases overall fitness. With the HIIT workouts, that produce great results over a shorter period of time, I do find that recovery on the central nervous system takes a bit longer. In my opinion one day rest between workouts is a good way of designing a programme of this nature.

Once the central nervous system takes a knock it is extremely difficult for recovery and to perform workouts optimally. You are always running on less than full capacity. This ability will decrease slowly and people often end up with over-training syndrome.

HIIT helps you get into shape super fast

What, in your opinion, are the top three training trends for 2018?

  • HIIT: This is a great way to get into shape super fast.
  • Boxing: My favourite of all. Nothing can prepare you for what any form boxing can produce, from pad work to heavy bag and even shadow boxing. An underestimated portion is footwork and the number of calories you can burn during a boxing session.
  • Yoga: Never knew much about yoga but realised it’s something that’s more important than we give it credit for. Yoga offers a different kind of strength training, while also helping to develop flexibility.

What are your training goals for the new year?

As I’m fast approaching the big 50, my goals are simple – stay healthy and in good shape. I believe that I should reflect what I sell and preach, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. As a fitness professional, I need to be confident in what I tell clients. It shouldn’t just be a believable story, but also an attainable goal – and I can only speak of something with conviction if I have lived it and done it myself.

Chantel Erfort

I'm a yoga teacher and health advocate who runs and enjoys the outdoors. Having previously lived a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, nothing makes me happier than being able to share the benefits of including some movement, mindfulness and healthy eating into one's life.