It boils down to the goals that you want to achieve and the willingness to do what is required to achieve them. No one will do it for you.
Shiv Simani is an established and renown Crossfit Level 1 trainer, online coach, social media influencer, former Mr. USIU and father. Shiv Simani founded Shiv Simani Fitness Ltd which caters to fitness and nutrition. We had an opportunity to have a chat with him on his career, here is how it went.
What do you mean by CrossFit?
Crossfit is a form of high intensity interval training. It works on strength and conditioning and is made up of functional movements (actions performed in everyday life like squatting, pushing) performed at high intensity.
You once said that you aspire to be an online fitness trainer. How has it been working for you?
The industry is still quite young since it has not yet been known and received as much. People still preferred going to the gym physically. Online training is tough because it requires more discipline and self-motivation. However, people have started embracing it more after realizing that you don’t have to be in the gym to be fit as long as you put in the work while at home.
It has given me more time on my hands because I’m able to serve more clients at a go as opposed to serving one client in the gym. I’m able to reach more people online with my fitness programs.
How did you begin your fitness journey?
I started way long ago in primary school as a footballer. I also actively participated in swimming, rugby and football back in high school. Sports was always my goal as a youngster and I actually dreamt of becoming a footballer. Due to various constraints, I couldn’t pursue a course in sports abroad and that’s why I settled for Hotel Management in USIU. A friend of mine in University was already into fitness and I asked him to help me with his programs. I also leveraged on YouTube a lot because there was a lot of content on the same. With consistency and excellent mentorship I got certified in Crossfit three years ago having worked for four years prior.
Did you think that Fitness would become your life-long career?
Yes. My desire was a career in sports as I had stated earlier but I pursued Hotel Management and actually got a job after graduating. But within the first year I knew that this was not what I wanted to do with my life. Fitness was my vision, therefore, having gained quality experience I made the bold steps to take it up as a career.
How did you break into the market and how did you position yourself as a professional?
When my partner Frank Kiarie and I started approximately seven years ago, we could see that there was potential in the online market because there was no one who was doing it virtually. In fact, I still believe that even now the market is not yet saturated enough. That is when we founded “Just gym it”.
We started by recording videos of us working out, edit and post them on social media. When people started watching them they would ask for more. Others wanted to join us during our workouts while others wanted to know more about the trade. However, I moved on from the company four years ago and founded my own company Shiv Simani Fitness Ltd.
"I pursued Hotel Management and actually got a job after graduating. But within the first year I knew that this was not what I wanted to do with my life."
How did you manage to cultivate self-discipline and consistency in your fitness journey?
A lot of it boils down to the goals that you want to achieve and the willingness to do what is required to achieve them. You have to take responsibility since no one will do it for you. For progress to be made there has to be action taken because success does not fall like manna from heaven.
It is hard but you have to push. For instance, if someone wants to shed off their belly fat, they have to put in daily effort to achieve that goal. Every little effort that you take especially in challenging times does count for something.
It is also important to educate oneself on the benefits of working out so that one can be motivated to workout.
Bearing in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight how then can one measure success or progress?
Ensure that you are goal-driven. Organize your goals in terms of long and short-term goals. A good example is setting the number of runs that you will do in a week. When you achieve that then it means that with consistency you grow or stretch the goals farther. Like from three runs a week to five. By the end of the year you will have achieved so much success.
How do you marry discipline in diet with discipline in fitness because its common knowledge a wrong diet defeats a good workout program?
“Abs are made in the kitchen” you might have heard of that saying. If you are burning 1000 calories but you consume 3000 calories in junk food and other nutrition less foods it means you will have an extra 2000. You will obviously fail to achieve your target of losing weight and your fitness goals as long as you keep defeating your efforts by eating the wrong thing. I advise people to keep off junk food as much as possible.
I beg to differ with the notion that natural food is expensive. Foods like rice, beans, ugali, etc are readily available and cheap to acquire. Just measure the quantities that you take and you will be good to go.
We all stumble sometimes, what’s that one mistake that you learnt from and has helped you progress in your career?
Overtime I have learnt to set boundaries. When I was starting out I was afraid of being harsh or letting go of some clients but I came to discover that some people take advantage of that. You would find that some people would not respect their allotted time and would show up late for class therefore the next client would suffer delays and time wastage.
I have learnt to emphasize on effective time management and demanding professionalism from my clients. This cultivates an environment for success.