How This Local Trainer Keeps Fit In Ramadan And Uses Instagram To Motivate People

Get to know Cape Town PT Iershaad Ismail.

Kirsten Curtis |

Social media has changed the way we connect with people, we’ve seen these multiple apps being used to share stories, promote businesses and inspire all kinds of people. Iershaad Ismail uses his platform to motivate his audience. The 32-year-old personal trainer from Woodstock, Cape Town provides plenty of fitness-focused content for his followers to enjoy regularly. We caught up with the man to find out more about his start to training, his tips to keeping fit while fasting and how he uses Instagram as a business tool.

Iershaad local trainer

“I’ve always had a passion for fitness and I have been training myself since the age of 18,” says Iershaad. Before becoming a personal trainer at Virgin Active in Wembley Square, he worked in the construction industry for eight years. However, he would complete his studies as a personal trainer and live his dream of helping people through health and fitness.

Looking up to other trainers like local legend Jaco de Bruyn and Spaniard Sergi Constance, Iershaad looks to build a strong physique and set a good example for his clients. This is why he trains twice a week while fasting. “First session will be a weights workout with light weights but higher reps. Then my second session will be boxing with my [boxing] coach. Both workouts won’t be longer than 45 minutes.”

Nutrition advice also plays a big part in Iershaad’s role as a trainer. “Diet is always the hardest part of your gym life,” he says. “I believe the best diet plans are those that are customised to your body’s needs. Make sure you get help from a dietitian or a nutritionist to get the best results for yourself, along with good solid training, of course. Always consult the professionals before using any diet.”

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Keeping fit in Ramadan has added to the challenge for Iershaad. Since he’s in the gym most of the time, he must find a balance throughout the month. He encourages his clients who are fasting to do the same.

“For those wanting to train [while fasting], they would need to start at-least 2-3 hours after Suhoor (breakfast) or one hour before/after Iftar (breaking of fast)” he advises. “There is time for everything, so find a balance in your life that works for you. It doesn’t have to be hardcore training. Keep the weights light with higher reps and a shorter training time.”

Iershaad puts his social media to good use, especially his Instagram, by posting workouts and exercises that he does with his clients, as well as other trainers. His feed regularly features some familiar (and sweaty) faces such as Nadia Jaftha, Ashleigh Herman and his brother-in-jacked-arms Redaa Dollie (check out our story on Redaa’s incredible transformation). By keeping his followers updated on the ‘gram, he is able to grow his client base and reach a wider audience.

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“Social media is a great platform to advertise your business as a personal trainer. It allows so many people to see what you can do and how you can assist different body types with achieving their goals. It’s also important because it allows me to inspire and motivate people by showing them what they can do. Most of my clients come from social media, which is why I make sure to post good quality content for my followers to enjoy.”

Make sure you follow Iershaad on Instagram and check out his website as well. Keep inspiring us, Iershaad!


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