Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi, am called Asontia Alex, but my trainees call me Coach Lion, am 29 years old. Am from Cameroon, but moved to Germany in August.
Am a professional fitness trainer, a model and an actor, and I moved to Germany to widen my brand internationally, am single and have no children yet.
Was 2nd runner up Mister World Cameroon, Buea edition 2018 in beauty pageant, and was crowned Mister Strength Africa 2019 in Nigeria.
Have been into fitness for 17 years, since I was 12 years old, but I have been a professional fitness trainer for four years now.
Growing up I was this kid who used to be bullied by his friends and classmates and I was always left out from activities because they said I was too weak, that got me frustrated as a child.
At one point, I had enough and decided that I was going to change the way people saw me, so I met my elder cousin who was a bodybuilder then, and told him I wanted to be strong and be able to defend myself from bullies.
I wanted to be that person that others will love to look up to in the society and have hope. The ever first training my cousin gave me was to do push-ups everyday for one month and that’s how my fitness journey began.
Then I realized there was more to fitness than just to protect myself, it became a passion, lifestyle and helped me to leave a healthy life. People loved the way I looked and were asking me questions on how to become fit, so I thought it was important that I started sharing the knowledge I have acquired for years with others and help them get their dream bodies. So I started a training course and became a professional trainer.
Back in my school days, I used to play almost every sport; handball, ping pong, I used to be a footballer and later switched to basketball, which is my favorite sport now when am not in the gym, I guess am just gifted when it comes to sports in general.
In fitness, I have no sponsor but in modeling and acting I have an agency in Cameroon called, “1NEntertainment Modeling Company” that sponsored all my movements within and out of the country. Through this company, I was able to get roles in music videos by some of the most popular music artists in Cameroon and in movies as well, which was a great achievement for both the company and I.
The pain I feel when working out is just so amazing and when it gets too painful, I smile and say to myself: It’s worth it.
Describe a typical day of training
My driving philosophy is no pain, no gain. To be able to make a difference, you have to get out of your comfort zone. That’s why I train five times a week for three hours, — the time may be more or less depending on the program and my motivation on that day.
I always like to challenge my body and not let it get so used to a particular workout routine or exercises, there is a period I train for strength, a period for resistance and a period for fitness, but my favorite program is resistance workout.
Every week I try new exercises but there are some key exercises that I’ve never missed and I work just one body part a day and abs every after workout.
I mostly train in the gym but once in a while I do outdoor training to strengthen the core. I mostly train alone because most people find my training period too long for them, but whenever anyone comes to join me, I’d be happy to work with them.
Before workout, I just listen to motivational songs and am ready, Have never been a fan of eating or taking pre-workout of any sort before working out, which is dangerous but I developed that habit because I go to the gym very early in the morning.
I like to train hungry and after training I drink my protein shake called, Optimum Nutrition Anabolic ISO Whey Protein, eat then get some rest. But I don’t advise my students to do train without eating something little.
I don’t really do much of extra cardio because my long training hours help to replace that and to me every exercise is the best as long as it brings results.
How do you keep going and push harder?
FOCUS and BELIEVE are the two words that are always in my mind during my training. Help to keep my mind steady to reach the goal, and if I haven’t completed my program for that day, I don’t go home.
When I feel giving up, I remind myself of why I ever started training in the first place, how far I have come, those out there who look up to me to be inspired and where am heading to.. Sometimes I just listen to motivational songs such as ‘‘ Hold Strong, Hungry, Beast by Rob Bailey, Remember The Name by Fort Minor, Fight Back by NEFFEX ,’’and that gets me in the mood to train.
Training to me now is a lifestyle. When I don’t train, I feel guilty, it’s like the whole of that day has been wasted, my goals keep me going everyday.
The biggest challenge I’ve ever faced was to kill that negative energy in me. Negative thoughts like: Don’t train today, go out and have fun with your friends, why are you killing yourselves everyday in the gym when you can just relax home and enjoy life. I kill these thoughts by constantly reminding myself of my goals and motivation.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Right now, am in a very energetic stage in my life especially when I see all what I have achieved so far, I just have this positive energy in me that keeps me going.
Five years from now, I see myself owning my own gym and being one of the best trainers in the world, to be able to train, transform more people regarding their goals and to impact more lives positively. I plan on doing so through hard work and trying to better myself everyday.
My plans besides fitness is to push and evolve in my modeling and acting careers. Looking back at all what I have been through and where I am today is just so amazing.
God has been so faithful and I think it’s because of all those stages in life and things I went through that I am where I am today, doing what I love. So there is absolutely nothing I would want to change in my fitness journey if I were asked to start all over.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I really like going heavy but I always warm up first and start very light to activate my joints and the muscle group for that day’s training to avoid injuries.
I have never been a fan of resting when am injured, I just go on with my normal training routine but take it light and easy on the injured muscle, and I do some body weight recovery exercises to help in the recovery process.
I have always found it difficult to sleep for up to eight hours at night. I mostly sleep for about six to seven hours, which I know is not healthy especially as I train for long hours, so I always try to create time within the day to sleep to balance up.
When I travel to a place that I don’t have access to a gym, I do body weight training to keep the muscles activated until when I get back to the gym.
I really do not take any recovery supplements or tools, but I use the electric water massage bed at least three times a week.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I really do not follow any particular diet plan, I just eat clean and average. I consume more foods with protein, calcium, zinc and carbohydrates. On my training days, I’d eat twice but on days that I don’t train like weekends, I’d eat three times a day.
When in a social gathering, I get to choose what I want to consume and I always like to eat salad when am out especially on a training days. However, if I ever find myself in a situation where I can’t choose what to take, I will just take a bite or two of what is presented out of respect and stick to water drinking.
The only supplement I take is Optimum Nutrition Anabolic ISO Whey Protein, and I take 300grams a day with milk after training.
I train five days a week and on weekends that are my supposed cheat days is when I mostly have showbiz contracts, but on weekends that am free I consider them my cheat days. On days like that I eat three times a day and may have a bottle of beer or a glass of wine or whiskey with friends.
Have never been a fan of junk food so I don’t have cravings for them. I do have bulk and cut periods but most often I cut when my working schedule becomes too tight that stress and fatigue comes in.
But when I need to cut down, I just intensify my training to be more like cardio, drink a lot of water and follow a vegan diet plan, I can say 80-85% for that period. I follow a vegan diet plan because it helps me loose weight faster while still looking healthy.
When I feel hungry and it’s not time for me to eat, I’d eat an apple or grapes then drink much water.
Am not a fan of coffee but I take it once a while. As for alcohol, I drink only on weekends with friends and when am not preparing for any major project.
What has inspired and motivated you?
My dad was one of my greatest inspirations when I was a kid. He was in the military and I always admired the way his uniform will fit on his muscular body. He was respected and protective. I told myself I wanted to be like him when I grow up. But growing up I realize I could even do and become better.
What gets me going are the accomplishments I have had so far and my vision and mission of who I want to become and where am heading to.
I listen more of motivational talks from Denzel Washington, Steve Harvey and so on. I like to train with loud music and I listen to hardcore motivation songs by Rob Bailey, Roy Jones, NEFFEX, Eminem, 2 PAC and so on.
The best advice I have ever received is; NEVER SAY NEVER, despite the situation, environment, competition, challenges, always stay positive and that’s how I came about with my two slogans; FOCUS and BELIEVE.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Body building is a process, results come with consistency and hard work, don’t dream to become but work to become.
Do not rely too much on the things that you see on the Internet, not all is true. And never try to do what you see others do in the gym because you want to show off or impress someone, stick on what you can do or what the instructor asked you to do.
Don’t want to become somebody else because no two people are ever the same, rather work to build the best version of yourself.
There is no wrong exercise in the gym as long as you are conscious of what you are doing. There may be better ways of doing particular exercises, but you do what you think best works for you.
Focus on your goal and believe in the process.
Instagram, @asontia_alex - photo by Fatpictures
Are you taking on clients right now?
Training and transforming people is what I do, so yes I train clients directly as a group depending on their goals, individually for those who want private or special sessions and I also do online training.
Trainers have different approaches of training clients and clients choose to work with the trainer they think they can better work with or see results. So as a trainer, your results bring you more clients.
I always tell my clients that how fast or slow you see results on your body depends on how much work you put in. Also, we all have different body morphologies and there are some bodies that respond to training faster than others. So we have to put all those into consideration.
Where can we learn more about you?
Ready to get really fit and inspired?
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