It’s hot, humid and no one is in the mood to exercise. Expert Lyle Foster from Boot Camp Zulu tells Kate Ginn how to keep motivated during the summer and beyond
So Lyle, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 29 years old and originally from South Africa, although I have spent the past seven years in Australia. I am part of a very active and sporty family and have been involved in sports and fitness as far back as I can remember. I have recently moved here to Oman to expand my career in fitness and to be involved in the growth of the fitness industry in Oman.
How did you get into fitness?
I come from a very active family, so at a very young age I got involved in fitness through school sports including rugby, cricket, water polo, kayaking and kitesurfing among many more. My interest evolved from there towards body building-type training in a regular gym, to finally Crossfit, which I have been involved in for about five years now and where my passion in fitness lies.
Have you studied or qualified as a fitness instructor? If so, can you tell us about it?
Yes, I qualified as a fitness instructor about 10 years ago and have since also completed my Crossfit trainer course.
What is Boot Camp Zulu all about?
Boot camp is a social fitness solution. We exercise outdoors on the beautiful beaches of Muscat where the scenery and camaraderie of the group inspire you to work harder than you would in a gym or on a treadmill at home. Don’t worry about being treated like some military recruit, the trainers are really nice, there’s no fear factor at Boot Camp Zulu.
How fit do you need to be to take part in boot camp?
You don’t have to be fit at all. To join boot camp, all you need is a “can-do” attitude, not worry about what others are doing around you and focus on your own goals. Boot camp caters for everyone, from the fitness newbie to the super elites.
During the summer, it’s hard to exercise with the soaring temperatures. What can people do to continue keeping fit?
Be mindful of when you are training, avoid the heat of the day and instead exercise early mornings or evenings. Also, lessen the intensity and/or duration of the workout. The important thing is to just keep doing something, for something is better than nothing. Another thing to make sure of is that you stay hydrated. I realise this is a bit more difficult during Ramadan, but when you can, make sure you drink water before, during and after training. It is also worth looking at getting an electrolyte replacement supplement – you can get sachets from a pharmacy that you mix with water – this will help with your hydration by replenishing electrolytes and other important nutrients that are lost during exercise and daily activity (some sports drinks also have electrolytes in them, for example Gatorade, but usually come with lots of sugar). Another good thing would be to minimise food and drink that cause dehydration such as excessive caffeine, sugar and salt.
Do you have any special fitness programmes running during Ramadan?
Yes, we’re running a 9pm session at The Wave specifically, but not exclusively, to accommodate those observing Ramadan.
If someone hasn’t been exercising for a long time and is out of shape, they could be scared to begin working out again. What’s the best way for them to start getting fit?
Start slowly, don’t just jump in and try to do a crazy workout. Keep it short and simple and build on it each session. Fitness is a journey and doesn’t come overnight, a month or even a year. So start slowly and keep at it.
What are basic exercises people can do to stay in shape?
There are a lot. Most will just need to stick to bodyweight movements such as the squat, push-ups and sit-ups. From there, they can move to exercises such as burpees and mountain climbers. Also including running and swimming would be good to mix it up. I would, however, suggest getting started with someone such as a trainer, or in an environment with a trainer, who can show you the correct technique to avoid bad body mechanics and injury.
It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes. What’s your advice on keeping motivation going?
Make your workouts fun, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Exercise with others like we do at our boot camp sessions, it keeps you honest, holds you accountable and we all tend to have a lot of fun
at the same time. Schedule regular times so you have a plan and will be more likely to stick to it. At Boot Camp Zulu, we have three sessions a day, three days a week. Lastly, and also very importantly, set goals so you have something to aim for.
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