Build Up Hope

Men's Health (South Africa) - - WEIGHT LOSS - BY ARTHUR JONES

HE WENT FROM A CHUBBY STU­DENT BAT­TLING WITH A GE­NETIC CON­DI­TION, TO CHAN­NELLING ARNIE AND TER­MI­NAT­ING HIS EX­CUSES AND INHIBITIONS Ge­net­ics are cruel. They can grant you bas­ket­ball height, sprinter speed, or rugby power – or they can chal­lenge you with set­backs and ob­sta­cles. For Reyn­hardt Ger­ber it was the lat­ter, caused by a con­di­tion that left all of his lig­a­ments lax and pre­dis­posed to in­jury. While that caused Reyn­hardt knee is­sues and ham­pered his train­ing, it didn’t stop him. His so­lu­tion: learn­ing from his idol, Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, and en­ter­ing our Belly Off com­pe­ti­tion in 2014. Fast for­ward a few years, and there’s a whole new Reyn­hardt: stronger, leaner, and whole lot more in­jury-proof. Here’s how he did it.


“I was born with a con­di­tion that makes all my lig­a­ments too flex­i­ble, and it left me prone to injuries. I was also in­ac­tive as a child, which caused my con­di­tion to get worse, lead­ing to a knee-lig­a­ment tear at cricket prac­tice. I started see­ing phys­ios as well as doc­tors, and fo­cused on strength­en­ing my en­tire body. It failed; I had two more knee injuries in the next two years. I got more de­pressed, and strug­gled to train on my own, and to get re­sults – no mat­ter who I re­cruited.”

THE LES­SON Dif­fer­ent peo­ple are dealt dif­fer­ent hands in life. The first step for any­one: get past the ex­cuses, and start the work.


“A friend who was vis­it­ing in­tro­duced me to body­build­ing, and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. In ma­tric, I en­tered Belly Off. I made sign­f­i­cant progress, but still lost the com­pe­ti­tion. My shy­ness sank me, not my trans­for­ma­tion: my re­sults were bet­ter than those of the win­ner, but I didn’t have the guts to share my story. Know­ing I could’ve won broke me. But I never gave up. I got up the next day, and kept ex­er­cis­ing. I knew I would have re­demp­tion.”

THE LES­SON Per­sis­tence can over­come any­thing, from self­doubt to peo­ple who want to crush your dreams.


“I har­nessed that loss in the gym, ex­plor­ing new strate­gies and switch­ing up my meal plan. I wanted food that I en­joyed, but that would also help me build to­wards my goal. How­ever, I re­alised I wasn’t eat­ing enough. Some­times I was even starv­ing my­self, and it was hurt­ing my progress. I switched from eat­ing three large meals to chow­ing on five to six smaller por­tions. That sped up my fat loss and ramped up my mus­cle gain. For the first time, I felt like I re­ally un­der­stood my body.”

THE LES­SON Sup­ple­ment a healthy diet with proper hydration, and your work in the kitchen will pay div­i­dends in the gym.


“At first I went into this to earn the ad­mi­ra­tion of my friends and fam­ily. But I’ve learned it doesn’t mat­ter what other peo­ple think. I’m do­ing this for my­self. Tap into that mo­ti­va­tion from within, and you will be the hap­pi­est man alive. These days I’m no longer the shy, chubby stu­dent I once was. Now, I want to use my jour­ney to help in­spire other peo­ple in that same sit­u­a­tion to re­alise that they do have con­trol – it’s never, ever too late to change things and the world around you.”

THE LES­SON You don’t get fat by eat­ing one junk meal; nor do you get skinny by eat­ing just one salad. Give your­self time to suc­ceed.


We want to hear your weight-loss and per­sonal suc­cess sto­ries! Email us at tellmh@me­

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