Moalong Yaden, a fitness trainer and co-owner of Bodycraft Gym. (Morung Photo)
Dimapur | May 17
As a young boy staying away from home and pursuing education in Sikkim, Moalong Yaden quickly developed the habit of drinking. In the second year of college, he became sick and that was when the doctor recommended him to start working out. After getting discharged from the hospital, Moalong was taken back when he checked his weight and found that he was only 113lbs.
He started playing football as a form of workout but shortly realized that football was not his game and he quit. “One of my friends suggested me to go to the gym but I was embarrassed since I was too skinny! To help me out, my friend got me one-kilo dumbbells and that is how I started working out,” Moalong recounts who is now living a fit and healthy life.
Today Moalong is a fitness trainer and co-owner of Bodycraft Gym in Churches Colony, Notun Bosti, Dimapur. Rongseninla Walling, an intern at The Morung Express talked with Moalong to learn about his journey and the importance of fitness training for a healthy life.
RW: Can you tell us about Bodycraft Gym? What inspired you to start your own gym?
MY: Bodycraft Gym is a Skyline group initiative started by Hinoto Chophy, Aito Chophy and myself. The gym offers a variety of cardio and strength training. In the year 2016, Hinoto and I thought of starting a business together. We are close friends since high school and he has seen me evolve my passion for fitness and bodybuilding so he suggested starting a gym together. The backbone of the gym is Hinoto and his brother Aito, who are also the co-owners and handles the marketing and financial aspect of the gym. He manages all the social media accounts and promotion of the gym through advertisement. I am the head trainer and take care of the client servicing.
Apart from social media platforms, what marketing strategy do you employ to attract clients?
Well, the reason for opening the gym was to promote fitness as well as educate and promote healthy lifestyle mainly to the millennial. Bodycraft Gym’s main focus is to spread awareness on healthy lifestyle and staying fit. As of now, we use social media as a tool to promote our gym but mainly it is just through word of mouth. We still have not tapped into print media for promoting our gym. But we do have plans of spreading awareness by organizing seminars in schools and colleges in the future and we will definitely promote awareness on fitness and healthy lifestyle especially in the town area.
What are the goals for the Bodycraft Gym?
Our goal is to set up gym in other districts as well. We are thinking of Kohima and Mokokchung. We are doing exceptionally well and everyone appreciates the effort we put into and I do get a lot of followers and friends who suggest me to open a gym in their districts. So hopefully, in the next few years, we might open gyms in Kohima and Mokokchung.
What are the challenges you have faced lately in your business?
It is not a current challenge but I do have a lot of clients who are medically unfit. I have clients who have cholesterol problem, blood pressure problem and obese clients and for them coming to the gym is quite a challenge.
If you are a young person workout is not a problem, but for an obese they do not feel comfortable coming to the gym. Our main priority is to focus on those kinds of clients to keep them motivated and help them achieve their goals. At the end of the day, when you see the clients attain their end result it gives us the pleasure to know that we have been part of their journey to attaining a healthy and fit lifestyle.
What is more important in running a successful gym- fitness enthusiast or business savvy?
For me, client servicing is my priority. I might lack in some areas of fitness, workout or nutritional knowledge but if I built good rapport and connection with the clients, that is more important in keeping the gym successful in the long run. We make sure that we listen to our client’s and try to understand them because we believe in the importance of client servicing.
How do you keep your clients motivated to workout throughout the year?
We have a Whatsapp group chat where we make sure that all the members are added and always make sure that we send some kind of motivational or spiritual video that will keep them motivated. It is not easy to call every member and keep track of them but we make sure that we reach out to them through the group chat.
How important is nutrition to you? Do you suggest your clients to follow a better diet to improve their fitness goals?
Nutrition plays a very big role when you are working out. Even if you are not working out, you need to maintain a proper diet to stay fit. I make sure to ask all the clients about their medical history or how stressful their work is and accordingly makes a diet chart for them and even for a walk-in customer who wants some diet tips I make sure that I suggest some diet tips or a diet routine to follow. For the regular clients, we make sure that to keep track on how well they maintain their diet because diet plays a very important role when you work out.
How would you structure a training program for senior citizens or for those who are overweight?
20% of our clients are obese and are low blood pressure. I need to make sure to make a diet chart, keep track of their diet weekly and also monitor how much weight they lose or how much energy they are burning.
What are the three essential exercises you suggest for all your clients?
Eat on Time, Sleep on Time and Workout on Time- these three things will definitely help you stay fit. If you do not take your meals on time, you will either lose or gain weight. Exercising on time is equally important. You need to get up on time; if you oversleep or sleep less your body will not respond to the fitness training. There are different exercises which we recommend depending on the body type.
As the co-owner and head trainer do you feel pressure to be in perfect shape?
Yes, I do and make sure that I stay in shape at all times. The younger members look up to me so it is an additional responsible for me to train myself well and stay fit and healthy. Sundays are cheat days… sometimes I go out and enjoy fast food and sweets but from Monday to Saturday I give my hundred percent into my training and help others to keep motivated to stay fit.
What is your typical workout routine?
There are two-phase of workout routine- one is offseason where I am not competing and just make sure that I put on weight and exercise only once a day in the evening and that will be my weights. The second one is during my offseason where I don’t follow a strict diet. I eat whatever and whenever I want during my offseason, but during my peak season or contest prep, my entire diet plan is precise and spot on. I cut down on my carbs and eat more protein and fiber containing diet. I work out twice a day from Monday to Saturday, morning workout will be cardio and evening workout will be weighted.
Any advice or tips you would like to share with the readers?
Fitness is not about bodybuilding, it should be a lifestyle. Nagas consume a lot of unhealthy and processed food, the air is polluted and so we fall sick every frequently. There are young people who suffer from diabetes and man below thirty who suffer from sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure. These signs show that our lifestyle and environment is not healthy. What I would suggest to all the readers is try to eat clean food and cut down on consumption of meat or meat products. Include a lot of green vegetables in your meals and also eat a lot of fruits. Try to go for walks in the morning or evening.
Where can everyone keep up with Bodycraft Gym?
On Instagram and Facebook @bodycraft gym
Any final thought?
When people think about gym they think that it is a place only for man, but actually it is a place for all genders, irrespective of all shapes and size. If you are overweight or if you have a medical issue, or if you have a mental health problem, you need to come to the gym, because it is a place for letting yourself loose and keeping yourself healthy.
Rongseninla Walling, a post graduate in the Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing, YMCA New Delhi is currently an intern in The Morung Express.