It is no secret that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upended, amongst others, the fitness industry proving to be financially devastating.
When gyms were shut during the lockdowns last year, it seemed like the fitness industry was hit hard. But within weeks, trainers moved into action taking it online. For others like Chyna Mokaila, the pandemic has turned into a fruitful opportunity to pivot to virtual. Arts & Culture talked to the leading fitness trainer who has been uploading fitness videos on his social media platforms for a while now.
Arts & Culture: How did you come up with the initiative of the virtual fitness programme?
Mokaila: With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the set National Health Protocols around social distancing, I had to be creative and innovative to find ways to still reach out to all my clients and continue working.
The CMFit Virtual Fitness programme idea came during the first lockdown in 2020 where everything was closed including gyms. This meant there was no money coming in and I had to make a sustainable solid plan that would see me doing what I do best and continue my work with or without lockdown and COVID-19. This made me tap into other markets and countries throughout the world and I currently have clients as far as the US, Canada, Austria, Italy, South Africa, Zambia and Botswana and this is all thanks to the COVID-19 and lockdown experience.
Arts & Culture: What is the importance of virtual training?
Mokaila: You get to train at the comfort of your own house with less risk of exposing yourself to this deadly virus. COVID-19 has brought a lot of sadness, depression and unhealthy habits because of being restricted to lockdowns and social distancing. It goes without saying that staying fit helps individuals with depression, gives them a feel-good vibe and health should be our number one priority at this current moment. To me, there is no other better plan to stay fit, healthy and safe than virtual training with CMFit.
Arts & Culture: How are the virtual fees compared to in-studio training? Mokaila: It costs less than having a one-on-one experience with a trainer. Although you get the same feel and package (consultation, nutritional guidelines, assessments and the actual training programme) the only difference is that the training is not there physically with you but virtually.
Arts & Culture: Can you touch on the importance of nutrition?
Mokaila: 70-80% of your 100% results come from your nutrition, working out only contributes 20-30% of your 100% results. You need to fuel your body with the right nutrition and calories for you to perform better. The right amount of calorie deficit daily will get you better performance in your workouts and daily lifestyle demands, it will also get you better results quickly. Nutrition plays a very big role not just in getting results but also in general well-being. You get to reduce risks of non-communicable diseases, increase energy levels to perform better and improve the ability to fight off illnesses, especially now with this pandemic.
Arts & Culture: How do you conduct evaluation or assessments on clients?
Mokaila: Before I start with a client, the most important thing is to get to know your clients in terms of fitness levels, which will come in a form of a two to three days fitness test. This is to establish their cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and muscular endurance. Body composition analysis will come in a form of knowing their total body mass, body fat% and lean body mass. This helps in establishing what type of a fitness programme an individual needs (fat loss, general fitness or muscle gain). This can be a challenge if you have an online client who has no access to the right equipment to get results.
Arts & Culture: Do people need equipment at home?
Mokaila: The workouts are meant to be home-friendly so we use a lot of body workouts and a few functional and portable, easy to carry equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, mini-trampoline, matt and skipping rope, and mini-resistance bands. Most of the CMFit workouts are based on using your own body weight with a lot of compound movement and high energy demanding routines.
Arts & Culture: How long is it expected to run?
Mokaila: CMFit Programme caters for all, young, old, female, male, fit, unfit, athletic! It is designed in a way that you have variation and progression to cater for all depending on your fitness level. The workouts are fun to do and they will leave you energised and inspired. The programme runs throughout the year, all you have to do after your fitness test and consultation is to show up, feel and get inspired.
Arts & Culture: Briefly talk about your background in the field of fitness training.
Mokaila: I started this Journey back in 2005 in Lobatse. I got discovered by a Special woman named Florence Radisweng, who mentored and guided me to become the ambitious master trainer I am today. It all started with a qualification as an aerobics instructor/group exercise to a personal trainer, sports conditioning coach, sports psychologist, and a football specific conditioning coach. My passion and ambition led me to create my own fitness brand and company called ‘Chyna’s Kata-Bo’, which was later rebranded to ‘CMFit’. For me, the aim has always been to get my brand out there and help people realise the importance of having an active and healthy lifestyle.
This saw me collaborate with the Btv Morning Fitness Show and Yarona FM’s Fatboy Challenge, which also landed me a fitness and health segment every Wednesday at 4:40pm with the same radio station, which I am still involved with to date. The show is called My Fitness Pal and it’s a fitness and health show where I get to share Fitness and Health tips and guidelines with Batswana in general.
I have also worked with the Botswana senior men’s and women’s football national teams, karate senior national team as their conditioning coach. Internationally, I have worked with Essences Events (from the US), where I got to travel around Africa promoting active lifestyle and health. I am currently the head of football-specific conditioning coach for Township Rollers FC, an engagement which sees to me guiding and working with my team to condition the players and keep them at peak health in terms of their fitness levels for them to be able to cope with the demands of the game without any fail throughout the season.
Arts & Culture: What is your vision going forward?
Mokaila: My vision is to reach out to the world market and not just focus locally. I want to get all my training programmes online because there is so much potential that hasn’t been tapped into in the digital space. It all starts with repackaging my brand so that it is at par with the best in the world, hence me moving from Chyna’s Kata-Bo to CMFit, which provides more detailed programmes anyone can do on their own following my virtual programmes. CMFit is the ultimate total bodyweight and functional training programme designed to help you rapidly lose weight and build muscle, all while maximising and improving cardiovascular. Follow CMFit at the following social media platforms; Chyna_mok both Instagram and Facebook.