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Kobe Bryant coach on fitness: Rachel Omolewu is National Physique Committee champion

The Fit Chic talks about staying lean, diet and the everyday advantages that come with healthy discipline

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Rachel Omolewu. The fitness trainer is all for eating everything, as long as people have the discipline to burn off the excess calories
Tabloid on Saturday

She’s known as the Fit Chic. She is a certified performance fitness trainer and nutritionist. She is the National Physique Committee (NPC) champion in the US and Rachel Omolewu will be the assistant basketball coach for Kobe Bryant’s team at the Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend in support of diabetes awareness in Abu Dhabi coming weekend — a team that includes American music artistes Soulja Boy and Marques Houston, and local radio personalities such as Kris Fade, Brent Black, Chikay and DJ Bliss.

“I’ve won majority of the competitions I’ve entered,” Omolewu told tabloid! via e-mail, explaining the difference between a fitness figure champ and a bodybuilder.

“Both fall under the fitness category. However, they are completely different physiques. Figure athletes train for muscle definition and symmetry while bodybuilders train for muscular size and shape. Figure requires small, well defined legs as opposed to the large, over-developed leg muscles in bodybuilding. With their broad shoulders and tiny waists, figure athletes have Y-shaped physiques while bodybuilders have X-shaped physiques.”

However, fitness to the three times fitness figure champ means performing daily activities more efficiently.

“Fitness is about balance and function, having the agility to carry a load of laundry up the stairs, the upper body strength to carry your child on your arm or carry multiple bags of groceries effortlessly and the ability to walk briskly through the airport to catch a connecting flight,” said Omolewu. “These are all tasks we face in a typical day. Maintaining my fitness allows me to use less energy to accomplish more in my day, thus improving my quality of life”.

How much would you say fitness is a mental exercise? How can one keep the inspiration and morale up to be fit?

It’s about 80 per cent mental! The mind controls the body, right? I manage my busy schedule by planning. If you plan to succeed, you must learn to plan. I plan my meals and workouts around my training schedule with my clients. When I’m travelling, I make sure I carry healthy, portable foods with me such as ready-to-drink protein shakes, nuts and tuna. I’ve been known to pull canned tuna out of my purse! No excuses when it comes to healthy eating — you have be disciplined and make it happen.

What should one look for when hiring a personal trainer?

Credentials, skill set and of course, output. You want to see results — recommendations from a former client are the best way to hire a fitness trainer. What better way to ensure you will get your desired results?

People often say if you work out, you can eat anything and everything. How much does controlling food/dieting work in getting fit?

Everything is about balance. More exercise increases the body’s calorific demand. Consuming high-quality food provides energy for workouts because food is fuel for the body. Plan your day to eat higher-calorie meals earlier to have longer time to burn it off during the day — have pizza or pasta at lunch then hit a high-intensity aerobics class, such as cross-fitness, in the evening. The extra calories will come in handy when finishing out the last few reps.