Fitness Files: Ngo Okafor
I was introduced to celebrity trainer and NYC based fitness expert Ngo Okafor when he launched his new fitness app, FitMatch (http://www.wefitmatch.com/), available to download for free now in the app store.
This new Yelp-meets-Tinder fitness app is designed to enhance the social aspect of working out and make it easy and fun to connect with like-minded fitness lovers. FitMatch makes it easy to connect with people in your area by using a geo-location technology. You can find fitness buddies to workout with and hold you accountable while also finding gyms and classes in your area that you’re interested in.
With Ngo encouraging others to find their fitness tribe I wanted share the good vibes by learning more about Okafor and his love for health and wellness. Continue reading the interview below and make sure to try Ngo's sample workout below.
NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
NO: Fitness has not always been a major part of my life. I was very sick for most of my childhood and it wasn't until the age of 13 that I started to feel fully healthy, just like any other kid. I didn't get a chance to play and be active like the other kids, because when I wasn't in the hospital, I was at home catching up on all of the school work that I missed. I was also a very skinny kid and got bullied quite a bit. At the age of 14, I decided that I did not want to be skinny any more or bullied by any one. Then I made the decision to get stronger and change my body. That was when I started working out and lifting weights.
NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
NO: My go-to snacks are mainly fruits, such as oranges and apples or nuts, such cashews, peanuts or different variations of trail mix. These snacks are perfect because my work days are very long and these snacks have a low glycemic index, therefore do not cause me to crash shortly after eating them. With regards to drinks, I drink mostly just water. Drinking so much water can get boring at times, so I occasionally add some lemon or juice to my water, for a little bit of taste.
NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
NO: The way I train my mind to stay motivated is to constantly remind myself about where I came from. I was this skinny kid, growing up in Nigeria, and now I'm here. I may have achieved success with my physique and career, but one little slip and I could lose it all. Therefore, I never take any of it for granted. For that reason, I aim to work hard every day.
NMF: How do you change your body? What are your fitness favorites
NO: The way I change my body and the way that I've changed many of my clients' bodies is doing a combination of weight training and cardio. I don't use heavy weights. I keep the weights low, while performing at least 15 to 20 repetitions. On a sample workout day, I would select exercises that train two opposing muscle groups, such as chest and back and perform the exercises back-to-back, in a circuit, an ab exercise and then round out the circuit with 3 minutes of a cardio burst.
Try the sample workout below from Ngo to get your heart rate going!
Ngo Okafor SAMPLE WORKOUT:
•Dumbbell Chest Press - 20 reps
•Cable Pulldowns - 20 reps
•Bicycle Crunches - 30 reps on each leg
•3 minute run on the treadmill ( 1 minute at 2 % incline, 1 minute at 4 % incline and then 1 minute at 6 % incline)