Personal trainer’s instinctive method draws on old wisdom for the modern fitness

A personal trainer has drawn on the lessons he learned working in remote locations to help people train in a more instinctive, natural way. Nelson personal trainer Mohammad Aboubakr’s outdoor training sessions will build on the instinctive human movements that have kept people healthy for millennia. Aboubakr was born in Sweden and spent time living in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. In Cairo, he trained as an engineer and worked in oil and gas exploration. His work took him to remote parts of the world: deserts and offshore oil rigs. With no gyms or equipment, the fitness enthusiast was forced to improvise.

Aboubakr moved to Nelson about three years ago with his Danish wife and retrained as a personal trainer. He spent a year examining international research into the way different cultures live and work.

Mohammad Aboubakr’s experience in remote places taught him that you don’t need gym equipment to exercise. He’s drawn on this idea for his personal training business.

“What do the people that survive the longest eat? How do the healthiest people, train? What are their conditions like?”

He looked at Sherpas who carry 30kg loads on their backs, supported by forehead straps, and tribes who transport heavy baskets on their heads.

Traditional gym workouts are removed from the natural way humans move their bodies, Aboubakr said.

For example, a squatting machine has a narrow breadth of movement, whereas carrying a horizontal pole with two weighted baskets results in a more natural core-strengthening exercise, he said.

Aboubakr has created simple props to help his clients echo the movements humans have in life and work for centuries.

An outdoor setting will allow Aboubakr to make use of the natural landscape with exercises like dragging a weight through water or over ground, or resistance training on hills and sand.

He will also focus on unlearning bad habits, and making good habits part of your daily routine, not just something you do in an hour-long gym session.