BTM spoke to Bahrain’s leading biokineticist and specialised exercise therapist, Johan Esterhuizen, about his outlook on training and fitness.
Johan gives a cheeky grin and his eyes twinkle as he discounts the philosophy of ‘No Pain, No Gain’. “People often try to self-assess their training needs and end up doing needless exercises that consume time and energy with no real benefit, often resulting in injury,” he says. “A good physical trainer will always carry out an initial assessment, agree a training programme and set up a monitoring system to measure progress. Appropriately qualified trainers may even make dietary recommendations and structure a diet plan to complement the training programme and the individual’s needs.”
Explaining what a biokineticist is, in the realm of physical training, Johan makes the comparison of a skilled car driver combined with a skilled motor mechanic – having studied and worked as a physical trainer he also has the added knowledge of human movement science. He says: “A far deeper understanding of human anatomy and clinical movement science allows me a great insight into appropriate and real training methods and movement applications to maximise any training necessary to meet an individual’s requirements and goals.”
Many individuals want to train and get fit but don’t get the proper guidance to start with and end up tired out, physically injured, mentally disillusioned and simply give up. “This doesn’t surprise me at all – I don’t blame them,” says Johan. “Fitness training today is a scientific jungle and the first thing you need in any jungle, is a good guide. Bahrain has a wide variety of qualified, experienced and good trainers and, as in any competitive industry, the best are normally with the best so when looking for a fitness guide – get the best you can afford.
“I am always skeptical of low-cost physical training – quality performance always costs a bit more…but pays off enormously”
Johan’s Tips to Get Started
• Make a mental commitment to start a healthy lifestyle and train, and then do it.
• Look around and join a reputable gym or seek out a qualified personal trainer that fits your budget.
• Talk to your friends and do your research online, look for special deals and good offers.
• Consider ease of access, parking and opening hours – nothing is worse than poor access, lack of parking or long driving distances to get to a training session, especially in traffic.
• Look for value for money – location, facilities, the best equipment, trainers available in-house, free classes and, of course, costs.
• Ask to attend a free session and talk to the other people training there – you will quickly get a feel for the locale.
Johan adds: “A healthy employee is generally a happy employee and I would like to see companies adding wellness professionals, like personal trainers, to their basic requirements or offerings when they employ people. The added benefits of personal fitness training are proven, and even life insurance companies are looking closely at the beneficial costs of insuring people with a verified health training history and physical training background.
“The question isn’t can you afford to have a healthy lifestyle these days, the real question is can you afford not to?”
Biokineticists are human-movement and exercise specialists, prescribing exercise routines either as preventative health measures or to correct health problems, such as sport injuries, or recovery from diseases or illnesses. They work closely with doctors and other medical practitioners.They focus on final phase rehabilitation and prescriptive exercise programmes to balance muscle strength and length.
Johan is a consulting biokineticist and specialised exercise therapist with UFC Gym in Bahrain.He can be contacted at [email protected]