Abs are made in the kitchen, says fitness trainer who will pay to see yours
Around this time last year Kamel Dickinson came up with what he thought was a great way of helping people to get fit.
All they had to do was commit three months of their time; he would take care of their diet and coach them through exercises he promised would be challenging but fun.
And then Covid-19 hit. For one month starting in April, anything that wasn’t an essential service was closed. Depressed, Mr Dickinson couldn’t do anything except wait for Bermuda to open up again.
“That hurt the most,” he said. “I had thought of this whole big idea of what I wanted to do and then pretty much that was it. Covid happened. Pretty much everything shut down.
“But I had a few of my clients that were like, ‘Kamel, don’t worry about it because at the end of the day if we all go on lockdown people are just going to sit at home and they’re going to eat and they’re going to gain weight. And then they’re going to want to train! So this is absolutely the best opportunity for you.’
“And I was like, ‘Well maybe you’re right!’”
Although intended as a joke it turned out to be true.
“It’s crazy because literally once things opened back up and I put out my flyer … for my first programme I had about 20 people and literally from there it just continued to grow right up until the end of the year.”
With this summer in mind he decided to revisit last year’s plan. Anyone who signs up for the three-month competition can take advantage of discounts at Hamilton businesses: the Chef Shop on Par-la-Ville Road; Performance Rehab on Serpentine Road; Better Health on Victoria Street. BGA is also a sponsor as is Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio in St George’s. At Northshore Medical & Aesthetics Centre, free body composition tests help track progress and a dietitian is on hand to give advice.
Added incentive comes from weekly prizes and the awards Mr Dickinson will give at the end of the competition: $1,000 each to the person with the biggest transformation and the person with the best beach body, “a visible six-pack, ripped, great overall aesthetic look”.
A comparison of pictures taken throughout the period will be used to help with judging rather than weight measured on a scale.
“That way they can see the differences themselves. I don’t really do it so much by the scale just for the simple fact that I don’t want people starving themselves,” he said, describing it as one of the problems with the once popular television weight loss competition, The Biggest Loser.
“Most of the contestants pretty much starved themselves. They lost a ton of weight and then most of them rebounded and gained it all back. I really want people to focus on their diet, nutrition. And that’s why I offer so much when it comes to that.”
Mr Dickinson will pass on his expertise as a certified fitness trainer as well as the knowledge he gained from competing as a bodybuilder and wrestler. His clients benefit from meal plans, learn about the types of food they should be eating and the calories involved. He believes the experience he gained just by being around “some of the best athletes in the world” is also important.
“Power lifters, former rugby players, NFL players … I also worked with the people they had, the physios and the dietitians … being in a place like that you have to keep yourself in shape.
“When you compete, that is the highest level of discipline you can possibly have,” said Mr Dickinson who frequently placed in the top three in international competition. “I tell people it’s always about diet and nutrition. If my diet wasn’t on point, there’s no way I’d be able to go out there and compete against those types of people.”
He continued: “Ultimately I try and offer as much as I can so these individuals lose as much weight as they possibly can or get into the best shape that they can.
“Not all my clients are completely overweight. A few just gained 10lbs from quarantine, some of them are already in shape they just need to adjust their diet to get to the point where they’ll get a little leaner; it won’t take that much work to get them to be where they needed to be. So that’s why I have two separate categories – for those people that are a bit more in shape and for those that are completely out of shape.”
Apart from the results, he promises his classes are fun.
“I don’t want people to take it too serious because I’m not that type of person,” Mr Dickinson said. “It’s just a fun overall atmosphere to come and train in. Sometimes even those people who are motivated and go to the gym on a regular basis, they still don’t have the motivation to take it to the next level so that’s why they’ll come to me.
“But at the same time I always keep the workouts and the exercises challenging. People who think they’re extremely fit come to me, regardless of how much training they did before. For new people that are coming in, it’s going to be hard but I just tell them to do the best that you can.”
Summer Shredding 2021 runs March 1 until May 23. For more information: Cut2fitbda@gmail.com; cut2fitbda on Instagram and YouTube or Kamel Dickinson on Facebook. Kamel Dickinson’s video was made by Moss, a local film, photography and graphic design company. Follow @mossbda on Instagram