Fitness isn’t just a lifestyle choice for Mahlangu, it’s part of his job.

If he doesn’t keep in tip-top military shape, it could cost him not only his job, but also his life. Every six months Bongani has a fitness assessment that he has to pass. To do this he trains in the gym everyday, and gets in plenty of exercise through playing basketball, running an swimming.

Vital Statistics

Bongani Mahlangu
Age: 23
Weight: 73
Body fat: 9.12%
Job title: Navy Combat Operator
Height: 1.84
Home Town: Cape Town

Top Tips

1. Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. Don’t wait to get hungry before you eat breakfast.
2. Start your day with a glass of water. Drink enough water as it helps keep to keep you hydrated – especially during training as it keeps you energised. Water also helps flush out toxins.
3. Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. Fruit juice is often sweetened, but fresh fruits have natural sugars and are a good source of vitamins.
4. Don’t skip meals. By doing that you’ll be preventing yourself from overindulging in junk and fattening foods.
5. Eat little portions of meals at intervals of three and a half to four hours to keep a steady flow of nutrients.

Fitness Myths

1. Looking fit equals being fit. “Fact is, not all fit-looking guys are fit. In the past I thought I was looking and feeling fit, but once I was taken through my paces by guys that are really fit I realised I wasn’t. It’s not about vanity, you need to work hard to be fit.”
2. Fitness is determined by the number of hours you spend in the gym. “If you overwork your muscles, you’ll lose them rather than build them up. Too many hours in the gym means your muscles won’t have enough time to rest and rebuild. An hour or less in the gym should be ideal if you don’t spent too much time resting.”
3. Supplements alone can take you from zero to hero. “Supplements can and will work wonders for you when used in conjunction with good workout exercises and proper diet.”