WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW MANY PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY SUFFER THE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCE OF A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE AND CLIMBING OBESITY RATES, COMPLETING AN IR ONMAN EVENT IS NO SMALL FEAT. BUT COMPLETING 30 OF THEM? NOW THAT’S JUST PLAIN MINDBLOWING!
Gilbert Ayoub is, indeed, a mind-blowing kind of guy, with about a hundred events (triathlons, marathons, half-marathons and mountain bike races) to his credit. And since he likes to share his experiences with others, he decided to become a coach, thereby turning his favourite recreation into a career. “It gives me the greatest satisfaction to help people of all backgrounds and all ages (as old as 75!) improve their fitness and performance levels,” says 59-year-old Ayoub. “These folks are not training to be Olympic athletes, but their physical and mental well-being is a priority for them.”
Why hire a personal trainer? Answering that question has become Ayoub’s mission. “I see so many people working out who do not know how to train. If you want to push your limits and improve your performance, you have to know something about the physiological concepts of power, VO2 max and endurance. I call that a training recipe. The goal of the recipe is to work on weaknesses in order to increase enjoyment and simultaneously improve performance at the same time.”
Ayoub adds that athletes who hire coaches do so “for the personal satisfaction of discovering their limits.” A triathlon is an event that combinesswimming, cycling and running. Most people who exercise regularly have a solid grasp of the last two sports, “but swimming turns beginners off right at the start,” says Ayoub.
“Still, no matter how scared they may be at the beginning, they can make tremendous progress with the right kind of coaching.”
Even experienced athletes can benefit from consulting an expert. “Most people have demanding careers and lives. It is hard to find balance. Coaches can help athletes organize their day to incorporate workouts specific to the sports they practice, which, boosts physical and mental health.”
Everyone comes out a winner, even employers: it has been proven that a fit and happy person is six times less likely to be absent from work and 55% more creative than an unhappy employee.
Gilbert Ayoub is co-owner of Cycle Technique, a bike shop that’s more like a gym, with an integrated swimming pool and spinning room.
photos : Michel VanVorstenbos