Elevate Your Fitness With These 7 Lessons We Learnt From This Year’s Cover Guy Finalists

They'll help you end the year strong.


Megan Flemmit |

Every year we search for the next guy to appear on the cover. This year we received over three hundred entries, and after you cast your vote, we ended up with seven strong Cover Guy finalists. We flew them down to Cape Town where we put them through a brutal physical challenge – a Tough Mudder course designed specifically for them.

The course pushed the Cover Guy finalists to their limits while testing their mental grit and physical prowess. After spending the day with all of them we discovered the unique abilities of each of the guys, and we couldn’t be happier with our selection.

Related: What Does It Take To Be A MH Cover Guy?

Watch the video and then scroll to read the lessons we learnt from this year’s Cover Guy finalists:

1. Use Bodyweight Exercise To Your Advantage

Cover Guy winner, Mnqobi Kunene, is a firm believer in using bodyweight moves to get fit. Last year, the group fitness trainer and his friends started a bootcamp for their community. They train almost 50 people a day, and equip them with the knowledge of how to live a healthier lifestyle.

“There’s no better enjoyment than knowing how to control your body. Being aware of how your every movement happens will make life easier,” says Mnqobi. Bodyweight exercises makes it easier for the model and actor to train wherever he goes, but it also helps him stay in control of his body. “My advice to beginners is once you’re in control, then you can start adding weight to your workout.”

2. Train For Your Health

cover guy finalists kundaiStunt performer, Kundai Murapa, has always taken an unorthodox approach to fitness. Ten years ago he decided to learn parkour. In it he found a sense of freedom. As his fitness improved he found his body was able to handle a lot more.  “Generally, my body is more functional and resilient to disease, injury and ageing,” he says.

Beyond his physical health, it’s also helped keep his mental health in check. “Fitness has gotten me through a lot of tough times on an emotional level,” he explains. It’s what motivates him to keep training.

Related: 12 Health and Fitness Trends That Are Actually Worth Your Time And Money

3. Fitness Keeps You Prepared For Anything

finalist kyleWhen personal trainer, Kyle de la Rey, first started training he wanted to look as shredded as the guys in fitness magazines. His perception of fitness has changed a great deal since then. Now he understands that being fit allows him to be prepared for whatever life throws his way.

The 32-year-old is a single father to his two daughters. It means he has to be able to see to their every need. “I spend a lot of time running after them,” he jokes. For him being fit means keeping your body functionally strong and functionally fit. “I just want to be the best example of what it means to look fit and to actually be fit.”

 

4. Push Through The Discomfort

cover guy finalists seth“Squats put you in a position that might not feel the most comfortable, but when executed properly, with the drive to push through, your reward is maximized,” says Seth Martin. The entrepreneur started training five years ago to lose weight and become comfortable in his skin.

There were many tough times during his journey. Despite the discomfort he faced, he kept going. Now whenever he squats he’s reminded of this lesson. “You’re always left with two choices in life – continue with your discomfort or push through and execute. I say, push through and reap the rewards to the fullest.”

5.  Take A Multifaceted Approach To Recover

cover guy finalists luckyLucky Fadzi has always had a passion for physical pursuits. Growing up he played soccer, before becoming a sprinter at a provincial level. Now he dreams of bagging National Colours for sprinting. To reach his dream he trains five times a week, and incorporates both gym sessions and sprint sessions to push his limits.

To recover from his intense training sessions, Lucky falls back on the basics. He makes sure to eat healthy, filling his plate with high quality protein and carbohydrates to aid muscle recovery. “I also make sure to get enough rest and drink plenty of water.”

Related: 9 Post-Workout Foods That Will Help You Build Muscle And Recover Faster

6. Find What Your Body Loves

cover guy finalist durang

Personal Trainer, Durang Atembe, has been reaping the benefits of the gym since his days as a high school rugby player. Like most people who find their way to the gym for the first time, he started out in the weights room before incorporating functional training, boxing and high performance workouts to his routine. “As you get older, you learn more about what you’re doing,” he says.

The same applies to the food he eats. While there are many types of diets out there, from keto to the Mediterranean, Durang is a firm believer in eating what is good for your body. “Food plays a big role in what you want to achieve,” he explains. “Sometimes your body does not react to popular diets. Rather find what makes your body feel good.” Although the personal trainer doesn’t follow a set diet, he tries to eat as healthy as possible.

7. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

finalist toddFitness helped Todd Page transform his life. Over the years it’s helped him boost his self-esteem. Now he helps others be healthier versions of themselves. By day he works as a chiropractor, and at night he’s an outdoor fitness instructor.

Part of Todd Page’s job as a chiropractor is advising people on their sleeping positions to reduce discomfort and to help them avoid spinal pain. He’s seen firsthand how important good quality sleep is for performance. “Find a comfortable position to sleep in that won’t result in you getting uncomfortable and rolling around in your sleep will aid in you feeling more rested in the morning. Avoiding social media before bed helps to get your mind ready to sleep.”

Related: Five Steps To Help You Wind Down And Get To Sleep Faster

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