Meet Under Armour’s Most Hard Core Trainer

MH caught up with Thabang Glen to find out more about his journey to becoming The Most Hard Core.

Kirsten Curtis |

Last year, Under Armour called out to all South African fitness trainers for an opportunity they could only dream of – a shot at becoming an official UA Core trainer with additional prizes worth R30 000 and the title of Most Hard Core.

But this doesn’t mean that any guy or girl who simply corrects your form in the gym was going to make the cut. Under Armour hosted a semi-final in each region and narrowed the list of entries down to only seven. The chosen ones were tasked with leading a 10-minute HIIT class of 50+ people with integrity, likeability and stamina in the final.

After a sweaty afternoon at the V&A Waterfront, the judges crowned Thabang Glen as The Most Hard Core trainer. He won over the crowd (and increased their heart rate) with his high energy and enthusiasm combined blood-pumping EDM bangers. MH caught up with the man from East Rand to find out more about him, his business and his goals for the future.

Thabang Glen 

Three years ago, professional personal trainer and group exercise instructor, Thabang Glen founded his own fitness company called FITNESSBANG, which offers personal & group training, boot camps, hiking and wellness days. But before all of this, he dreamed of having a career on the soccer field.

“I always wanted to be a soccer star as a kid, or anything in sports,” he says. “I realised from an early age that I’m not an academic. I knew that my strength lies in sports or fitness. Thanks to the Department of Sport and Recreation, I had the opportunity to study under one of their programs. As soon as I finished and got certified, I put my all into what I do today.”

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One of the important strategies that Thabang has used to grow his business has been social media. He has dedicated his online platforms to sharing fitness tips and more information about what he does and how he can help others.

“I post regularly with tips, offers, fitness news and other related content to keep my followers interested. Most people these days research businesses online. I always make sure I have a strong and professional presence.

“Networking is essential for small business owners, especially those in an industry that relies so much on word-of-mouth.”

Becoming The Most Hard Core

After growing his brand and building a solid client base, Thabang needed something more to add to his list goals, and when the UA Most Hard Core came about he jumped at the opportunity. But he felt very little pressure on the final day simply because of his background in group training.

“I just knew I had 10 minutes to showcase my skills. As a trainer you need to be creative and innovative. I had to see and understand my crowd on the semis and finals. I decided how to move everyone based on the number of participants, space and fitness level.

“I had to keep it clean and original. My experience helped me a lot to prepare my sessions.”

Now, with 41 000 followers on Instagram and the title of Most Hard Core Trainer, Thabang has his eyes set on conquering the world of fitness, and we’re excited to see what comes next.

Bonus Q&A


What motivates you everyday?

 “My son. I’m so blessed with a healthy and handsome baby boy named Rorisang, meaning Praise. I thank God every day for such blessing, he keeps me going even when I’m discouraged. He gives me reason not to give up in life because I want the best life for him.

Who are your role models?

 “Tshepo Madubanya, Elbey Kekana, Gordon Makwala, Klass Kholofelo.”

What are some of the misconceptions about online fitness personalities?

 “That we all have six-pack abs and don’t eat much. But we love to indulge just like everyone else, which means paying for it later. Just like you, we show up and put in the work.”

What advice would you give to beginner personal trainers?

 “If you haven’t yet, get certified. Think of your education as and investment in your career success. Don’t forget that you can specialise. Competition can be serious and if you have one or more specialty certifications – like in nutrition or senior fitness – you have more to offer potential clients.”


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