Meet Waafiq Hendricks, The Fitness Fanatic With A Creative Approach To Training

"I’m always exploring new methods keeping my body fit and functioning at its peak.”

Thaaqib Daniels |

We live in an era of creativity, where everyone and their second cousin has started their own brand, blog or podcast. Regardless of the platform or medium, creatives are finding ways to innovate and express their ideas, just ask fitness enthusiast Waafiq Hendricks.

Although he’s known for his animal flow method of fitness, the 30-year-old Capetonian wears many other hats as well: graphic designer, digital content creator and leather craftsman. It was this combination that lead adidas, one of the world’s leading brands when it comes to self-expression, to collaborate with Hendricks in their new VRCT #WeRepresent campaign.

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Earlier this year, the brand with the three stripes unveiled the VRCT jacket, a classic bomber inspired by the traditional letterman jackets. But the design itself isn’t the only thing that encourages team spirit – the VRCT jacket features a selection of interchangeable adidas team patches made by global creators/athletes such as Paulo Dybala, James Harden, Stefanos Tsitsipas and more.

Hendricks chose the AUTHOR patch. Coined by artist, dancer and actress Mette Towley, this patch means that the wearer is the author of his/her own life story. She is known for being part of singer Pharrell’s incredible team of dancers, and for her role in Hustlers starring Jennifer Lopez.

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Towley’s message has inspired Proteas fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada, who also chose the AUTHOR patch. They join a handful of South African sportsmen in this campaign such as Siya Kolisi & Thulani Hlatshwayo – who chose the SACRIFICE patch – as well as Lungi Ngidi, who will don the FAMILY patch.

Why Author?

“Being an author is having the freedom to be who you are in every aspect of who you are – no matter how weird or strange,” says Hendricks. “It means so much to me because it’s so easy to lose your identity in a world with marketable personalities.”

Waafiq has always been into keeping active, doing every sport offered at school. He had a particular love for rugby before a devastating ankle injury in grade 11 haltered his playing days for the next few years. After recovering from injury, he avoided any contact sports but kept on training, which led to his now full-time passion – fitness. But not just the popular gym-bro lift heavy and squat method we all know and love – he needed something more.

Animal flow, kettlebell flowing and calisthenics is an exploration of movement and requires the body and mind to constantly evolve from one explosive set into the next. I don’t cap myself when it comes to train, I’m always exploring new methods keeping my body fit and functioning at its peak.”

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This unique form of training allowed him to express himself while keeping fit, but even this wasn’t enough. Hendricks wanted to share this positivity, so he started posting his workouts to Instagram.

“Putting in consistent time and effort with my training has taught me to apply this same level of commitment to my faith, my relationships with my loved ones, and has propelled me to venture further in to my career. I figured, if I could achieve this powerful way of thinking from my training, how could I not share this with the world.”

Creative Energy

In 2019, there seems to be a shift in narrative when it comes to consuming content – the focus is now more on the creator and not just the creation. For example, photographers and music producers are now given more of the spotlight as opposed to just being background contributors. This change in perspective encourages Waafiq to keep expressing himself in his own way.

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“There’s no pressure on me to be anything other than myself. I can celebrate my individuality and strive to meet my own standards. There’s no curriculum, like in school, where everyone gets benchmarked. That said, I know of some creatives who admittedly feel the pressure of social media trends and its impact to affect how successful their content is.

“Albeit a competitive industry, I measure my success by how my content connects to the people who appreciate it – not just on how many people I can reach in one post, but how impactful one post can be to even just one person.”

Couple Goals

Even though most of his videos consist of just him and often a kettlebell, Waafiq is always in constant collaboration… with his wife and fellow creative, Wijdan Arendse-Hendricks aka The Minimale Blogger.

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“It’s beautiful. We bring different strengths to the brainstorming table. This is why when we collaborate on our respective projects, our art becomes so much more meaningful and exciting.

“This is not to say we’ve become one joint mind. No. We are both so unique and complex. We feed each other’s ideas and concepts while tapping in to each other’s individuality to help bring our concepts to life.”

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With his wife by his side and the AUTHOR patch on his chest, Waafiq hopes that his life continues to tell the story of self-pride, self-acceptance and self-expression.

“I want to live a life that makes me happy. I want my kids someday to realise the value of life lies not in your financial status, your popularity, or what you look like. I want to teach them to break the mould that society dictates, and challenge everything in life with kindness and great curiosity.

“I’m proud of the narrative my life has thus far written. I’ve learned that there’s no need to be ashamed of who we were, or what we’ve been through, if we’ve already overcome it.”

For more about Waafiq and his training methods, be sure to follow him on Instagram: @Waafiq

And if you’d like to purchase the VRCT jacket, head over to any adidas performance store to get one (R1599) and start telling your story. It’s great for both pre- and post-workout outfits. South African customers will have Olympian Wayde van Niekerk’s DREAMER patch available.

Related: Wayde van Niekerk’s 9-Move Routine For Olympic Muscle

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