For some, a work out could be tedious without someone to motivate you through those reps. So having a friend, or better yet, a professional trainer to guide you to your fitness goal is always a plus! So we spoke with Richard Umberto, founder of Perfect Routines to talk about his approach to health, fitness and his Personal training service based in Lagos.
So how did this all start for you?
"For me personally, it was the love of a six pack. From that I went to the gym, and met Mr Wale. He was the first guy that explained he basics of what I needed to do get a six pack and how to properly work my body. He told me to start with push ups and sit ups every morning. I was doing that everyday. I was staying with four of my friends, and then I noticed they would wake up, join me, and then ask “what’s next?”. It then became a routine that everyone around me did. From there I realised that it was the direction I wanted to go in. Ever since, I’ve had growing a love and passion for it.
Back in 2012, I started to look at fitness from a perspective where inner change came from the mindset. I could visualise how big fitness and training could be for the people of Nigeria. As I trained I began to see changes in my body and getting compliments. Allowing me to use myself as an example for what people could be if they pushed themselves harder."
What does your workout routine consist of?
"There's a lot that goes into my regular routine. I love body weight exercises, I like callisthenics, I enjoy everything. But my focus is usually on abs.
The first thing I tend to do is warm up for 10-20 minutes. I train different body parts on different days. Like Mondays and Fridays are leg days, while Tuesdays are for my chest, and Saturdays are full body days. Some days are for complex exercises like crossfit. I do everything. Everything works, but it depends on the amount of effort you put in and how you train that will determine if you see results."
Do you have any fitness idol?
"Yes. My fitness idol is Simeon Panda. He’s my mentor, big time. I don't joke with him at all. "
Where do you work out?
"I don’t have a specific place. I workout everywhere. I’ve worked out at all the gyms from Ikoyi to Lekki. I workout anywhere I feel comfortable and can focus."
What do you do to keep yourself looking good?
"With my active lifestyle, I usually keep to the basics. I brush my teeth, take a bath, put my clothes on, then I’m out. During the day, I make sure I keep my diet balanced with a good proportion of vegetables added to the mix. When it comes to clothing, most of the time I put on sportswear because I’m always training people. Maybe like every 3 days I go to the barbershop for a hair cut. I look out for Aloe Vera in my skin care products because I believe its great for good skin health."
How do you feel about your health generally?
"Well, I feel blessed. I feel awesome. Off-course I go to the gym, and I get compliments on my body from both genders, and from different age groups. I love it. It feels good and I feel blessed to have this body and health. But it’s not easy. It come with a lot of hard work, dedication and time. But I haven't even gotten to my goals yet. This isn't halfway to where I want to be or how I want to look, but it’s all good, I still feel great."
Are there any concerns you’ve ever had concerning the health issues in Nigeria?
"Well, the only thing is I don't really have a lot of options in terms of food and eating right. For Nigeria, my concern is that people still don't take care of their health. It is wrong and we are really trying to preach and spread the word out there. I think the most important thing is developing the right eating habits. We have bad food but, with our food we can still live a healthy lifestyle. We, as Perfect Routines, are trying to educate people on how to eat things like amala and eba, and still be healthy and have tight abs. The issue is, the way Nigerians were trained to eat anyhow, on any day. That, not the food, is the problem. We are really working on that."
Have you got any tips on how to scrub unhealthy habits?
"First things first, try to stop eating late at night. Secondly, you know your goals and what you are tying to do, so try to surround yourself with people that would motivate you to keep going rather than discourage you from your goals."
How about healthy tips for living and working in Nigeria?
"It’s really hard staying healthy in Nigeria. You leave your house at 6am and probably get back around 9/10pm, which gym is going to be open by then? From my experience, a lot of people go to the gyms during their breaks. But ideally it shouldn't be like that. The fitness lifestyle is all about eat, work, sleep and rest. If you're eating and working without enough rest, of-course you won't get good results. I would advise people to time themselves properly. If you know you won’t get to the gym in time (with your normal schedule), wake up earlier. Try to plan your timing better so you don't miss workouts. You still need to live your life to the fullest. You know Lagos is sweet and Nigeria is awesome."
So what is Perfect Routines?
"Perfect Routines is a brand that has been in the fitness industry for 5 years and counting. It represents the name and slogan which basically means providing quality services to our clients, and making sure they live a healthy lifestyle, even when they are no longer training with us. Perfect Routines is a management company that manages trainers. We make sure trainers are catered for and taken care of, hygiene and appearance wise, and ensure that their looks represent what they say. We provide clients, offers and deals for trainers. We provide a platform for clients to give feedback on trainers. It is a medium between trainers and clients, to make sure both sides are benefiting from the program and going away with a smile.
Carefully picked for their passion for fitness, dedication and focus, Trainers from Perfect Routines are not just in it to cover the basics, but rather individuals excited to inspire and change lives for the better. With a focus on healthy living, Perfect Routines believes it’s team is probably the best fitness training team on the face of the earth!"
Biggest accomplishments in the past
"Being known for what we do. If you're a brand or company and people don't appreciate you for what you do, you haven't really done anything. For us, it is a big accomplishment that we have our name in the market, and that people now know perfect routines as a fitness brand in Lagos which is big. Anyone that’s looking for trainers looks out for perfect routines. People who are looking for exercise tips come to Perfect Routines, and that is big for us."
What are you currently working on?
"We are currently working on starting our own TV series. It’s called “Test for Fitness”, where we interview people, and then give them a routine to test for their fitness to see if they are as fit as they claim."
What's next for Perfect Routines?
"Right now we are looking at doing an African tour, which is big. We want to go to 3-5 countries in Africa, and host fitness events, seminars, shows, workouts, making it a fun experience for everyone and getting our name out there. We want to go international, not just to be known in Nigeria. We are also hoping to host a fitness festival this year, but if not that’s what we’ll work on next year."