Umer Saeed, 28, is a project manager and a travel obsessive. A member of Gymbox Holborn, he shares with us his training schedule, what keeps him focussed and how the Gymbox team are helping him reach his goals.
Hi Umer, you’re cute. Where are you from?
I was born in Pakistan, but moved to London when I was 4-years-old, and have been a Londoner ever since.
What are you doing in the photos?
I am doing standing dumbbell bicep curls. I do 3 sets of 12 reps with each arm. I lift the dumbbell to my chest, and make sure to release it slowly with a count of 4 seconds, before I lift again. This allows me to gain maximum effort whilst giving me a good sweat!
What do you think about when you’re working out?
I am thinking about the future. My fitness goals and why I’m here. If I want to achieve the lean definition that I am working so hard for, then there is no time to waste and no better time than now! Most people think about how bad it will feel if you don’t reach your goals, but I think about how good it will feel if I DO reach my goals.
What keeps you focussed?
Determination and the motivation for success. The greatest pleasure in life is achieving what people say you cannot achieve. When I am in the Gym, I am not focusing on what I need to do tomorrow, or next week. The focus is on today.
What do you want to achieve through your training?
My main goal is to cut away all the ‘bad’ body fat that I had built up from my university days and get down to 12% body fat percentage. This would allow me to reach my main goal of having a really toned and lean definition. I set my goals by aiming to drop 1% body fat every 4 weeks. I have to especially thank the Gymbox VPTs for helping me with my strength and endurance personal training sessions over the past few months, nutrition and diet plans, and even physio and sports massage sessions to help recover from those tough days.
You approached us to be a Gymbod, which we loved. Why so?
When I came across Gymbox, I just knew I had to sign up straight away. It’s not like any other gym I’ve been a member of. One major problem I used to have with other gyms is the motivation to go. The vibe and atmosphere of Gymbox actually makes it a really fun place to workout. Not to mention the huge number of unique and fun classes they have to burn those calories and to gain those muscles! Fellow gymbods and staff members are so friendly too and I always get along with everyone!
So sweet, we’re blushing. Do you have a reward system for training?
Yes. If I wake up in pain the next morning after training the day before, then I know I would have had a successful workout. Most days of the week I would wake up feeling the ‘good-type’ of pain from the workouts I do, and that’s when I know how I’ve hit my expectation from a training session. And if I do, I reward myself with a slice of cake or ice-cream for desert on Saturday and Sunday!
Good lad. This month’s theme is ‘sweat’ - what’s your favourite activity to get you in a sweat?
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is my favourite to work up a sweat. I’ve recently starting doing this in the park too, and there’s nothing better than training under the sun with the fresh breeze keeping you cool whilst you burn.
What does fitness mean to you?
Fitness means everything to me. It is the gateway to live a long, happy and healthy life. It never get’s easier, we just get stronger.
Has it changed you as a person?
Ever since I embarked on this fitness journey, I have seen a lot of change in my body, both on the inside and out. Alongside a set fitness regime, a healthy diet plan, and being surrounded by like-minded people on the same journey as me, I have noticed a lot of changes with myself. I am much slimmer and leaner than I was five years ago, I feel a lot more refreshed and energetic in daily life and my outlook and perception on life is a lot more positive and peaceful.
How does Gymbox as a brand work for you?
I think the Gymbox brand is excellent. When I tell others that I am an avid member of Gymbox, people take notice and have a sense of envy, because they are aware of what the Gymbox brand is and what standards it stands for. For me, Gymbox has done the best thing and focussed on what motivates people to go to the gym – the atmosphere.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen at Gymbox, so far?
I’ve seen this woman on the treadmill doing her makeup before she started walking on it. That’s right, walking, no running!