Fitness Tips And Other Lessons From Our Previous Cover Guy Finalists

by | Aug 28, 2018 | Fitness

With our Cover Guy Competition in full swing we thought we would go way back in time to give you the tips from some of our first Cover Guy finalists. Think you’re on their level? Check out our Cover Guy competition here!

Tyron Hatch


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When he was younger, Hatch avoided the beach because he was conscious of the extra weight he was carrying. Then he started rebuilding his body.

In fact, he invested so much into this body renewal that it ended up leading to his occupation as a personal trainer. Hatch doesn’t preach fitness, he shows it through his own training and inspires his clients to transform their bodies and lifestyles. He’s a walking, breathing billboard that advertises the fact that anyone can turn their life around, one exercise at a time. Here’s some of his training tactics, free of charge.

Related: These Training Tips Will Help You Become Our Next Cover Guy

Top Tips

1. Train the way you enjoy it the most. “This ensures longevity in the gym. If you are enjoying lifting weights, then keep doing it. Don’t close yourself off from trying new things, but don’t substitute the things you enjoy. Try to find a happy medium between the two.”
2. Try to do cardio on an empty stomach in the morning. “Your body is running on reserve energy stores and it’s the most effective way of burning fat. Be careful not to be too intense with this as you will lose muscle mass. Try keep your heart rate around 120 bpm. Then, as soon as you’re done, get that breakfast in your body!”
3. Make sure you have intense leg workouts. “Even if you’re more of a functional training guy, nothing has more benefits than compound leg movements (like dead lifts and squats).”
4. Always remember what muscle group you are training. “Seems like a silly point, but if you are performing a bench press and you are feeling it more in your shoulders or triceps, you need to change the way you’re performing the movement. Ask for some advice. Work on your weak points and you will thrive in your training!”
5. Train for your goals. “Set your goals and then devise a programme with those goals in mind. Don’t do bodybuilding training if you’re hoping to be an Olympic sprinter. Keep your goals constant, but don’t allow your training sessions to become routine. Keep your mind fresh by trying new exercises with your goals in mind.”

Fitness Myth

“One of the things I’ve learnt the hard way is that no supplement (no matter how expensive and imported it is) is going to give you bulging muscles and a shredded 6-pack. It still all comes down to eating clean and working hard in the gym. If you could take a wonder pill, then there would be a lot more people with perfect bodies walking around. There’s no quick fix to getting your dream body. It comes down to the sacrifices you are willing to make, and how much you commit to your goals.”

Related: The Crucial Tip You Need To Know From Our Cover Guy Winners Over The Years

Bongani Mahlangu


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Fitness isn’t just a lifestyle choice for Mahlangu, it’s part of his job as a model. Every six months Bongani has a fitness assessment that he has to pass. To do this, he trains in the gym everyday, and gets in plenty of exercise through playing basketball, running and swimming.

Top Tips

1. Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. “Don’t wait to get hungry before you eat breakfast.”
2. Start your day with a glass of water. “Drink enough water as it helps keep to keep you hydrated – especially during training as it keeps you energised. Water also helps flush out toxins.”
3. Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. “Fruit juice is often sweetened, but fresh fruits have natural sugars and are a good source of vitamins.”
4. Don’t skip meals. “By doing that you’ll be preventing yourself from overindulging in junk and fattening foods.”

Related: Cover Guy Competition 2018: How To Enter Plus Fitness Secrets From Our 2017 Winners

Fitness Myths

1. Looking fit equals being fit. “Fact is, not all fit-looking guys are fit,” says Bongani. “In the past I thought I was looking and feeling fit, but once I was taken through my paces by guys that are really fit I realised I wasn’t. It’s not about vanity, you need to work hard to be fit.”
2. Fitness is not determined by the number of hours you spend in the gym. “If you overwork your muscles, you’ll lose them rather than build them up. Too many hours in the gym means your muscles won’t have enough time to rest and rebuild. An hour or less in the gym should be ideal if you don’t spend too much time resting.”

Chris Hepburn


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If Chris Hepburn isn’t trail-running in a nearby forest, or doing a makeshift boot camp circuit on the mountain, he’s networking to find the next big business break. Harness some of his energy and his breakthrough training tactics to overhaul your workouts.

Top Tips

1. Work the muscle, not the weight. “Rather focus on strict form over moving heavier weights. Always pick a weight that is light enough to allow you to keep strict form, but heavy enough to work the muscle till failure (this excludes those pretty coloured weights covered in rubber).”
2. Keep the intensity up! “I don’t go to gym to socialise, I go there to work. Always have a purpose and a plan and execute it efficiently. I don’t know if it has anything to do with genetics or some weird science I know nothing about, but I tend to find that it’s the guys who like to talk the most at gym that generally have the largest man boobs. Coincidence?”
3. Cheat. “Your body will adapt to a restricted diet and halt any progress you are making. By cheating from time to time you keep your body anabolic and your metabolism firing.”

Related: Get All The Nutrients Your Body Needs By Stocking Your Cupboard With These Five Foods

Goran Jurenec


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Goran Jurenec makes money from his looks – simple. If he doesn’t keep in shape, it affects his bottom line. He doesn’t just follow a healthy lifestyle because he wants to (which he does), he does it to keep the money coming in.

He studies the latest in fitness and health research to keep himself at the top of the modelling game. You probably don’t have to strut along any catwalks, regularly anyway, but you do want to follow a healthy lifestyle. Read on for Jurenec’s hard-earned (and exhaustively-tested) fitness and health truths.

Don’t Skip All The Good Tasting Foods

Eating healthily doesn’t mean you need to eat food that tastes like cardboard, it’s about balance. “The fact that I love food makes it easy to choose,” says Jurenec. “I like burgers, pizza and Thai food with coconut milk, but when I really need to take care of my nutritional needs, then I always choose grilled fish (like salmon or tuna or, alternatively, calamari) with grilled vegetables.”

Jurenec also makes sure that he has enough energy before workouts with pre-training snacks, and then eats again after training within 30 minutes. “As a pre- or post-workout meal, I prefer to have one piece of fruit and a small protein shake,” he says. “But if I am craving something salty, I will make an omelette with five egg whites and one whole egg!”

Related: How You Can Get Ripped Like Mark Wahlberg In Mile 22

Injury Is The Real Enemy Of Fitness

Jurenec can’t afford to miss his workouts, so he ensures he does everything to avoid any serious injuries. “My fitness goals are to stay healthy and in shape my whole life, to prevent injuries and disease and to be cover-ready still in 30 year’s time!” says Jurenec. “It’s really hard to train when you’re injured or have serious muscle stiffness, so I always warm up with jogging or skipping ropes and warm down properly with stretching.” Jurenec also ensures he does plenty of cross-training to continually provide new muscle challenges. “I recommend skipping rope work, core exercises, running, plyometrics, interval training and lastly, my favourite, Thai boxing,” says Jurenec.

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