Use These 12 Simple Tips To Maintain Your Year of Living Stronger
Yes, we might be a few months into the year, but that's no reason to carry on living how you are, waiting for the next New Year's resolution. Use these 12 tips to build strength and get ripped.

March 8, 2018

strong man sweating and doing a plank

Yes, we might be a few months into the year, but that’s no reason to carry on living how you are, waiting for the next New Year’s resolution. Use these 12 tips to build strength and get ripped.

1. Take Your Training To New Heights

Rock climbing has quickly become one of the hottest fitness trends this year as it challenges more than just your physical capabilities. Prepare to be mentally and psychologically tested with reputable rock climbing branches scattered all over the country.

Local Hangout
City Rock has just opened a massive, world-class indoor climbing gym in Randburg, featuring over 2 000m2 of high wall climbing, 28 000 grips, 124 rope anchors, nine automatic belay walls, an area for beginners and kids, and 500m2 of bouldering space. “Climbing is exercising while having fun,” says Robert Breyer, the owner. “It’s physical, but involves mental problem-solving and requires you to overcome the fear of falling. It’s a really multidimensional sport.” If you’re in Cape Town, they’ve got a Woodstock branch too.

Take it outside
South Africa is a playground of outdoor climbing options that offer a huge variety of grades (difficulty levels). So once you’ve got your indoor training and skills up to speed, head over to Climb ZA ( to find some outdoor routes. We’ve tried Legoland in Montagu, and we’re hooked.

Bring it home
Consider yourself a handyman? Build your own climbing gym, right in your garage like local climber Hadley Weight’s wall and set up your own with different hand and finger holds to build your strength.  Be sure to invest in a bouldering cushion (or mattress) to catch you when you fall.

2. You Don’t Need A Ticket To Run

Need a bit more motivation to run? Why don’t you try these apps and compete with people all over the world. Running from virtual zombies is not only fun, but one hell of a workout too.

Related: Here’s What Running Really Does To Your Knees

3. Don’t Ditch The Kids Or Pets

Latest studies suggest that you’ll gain a lot more from exercising with the whole family and your pet. There’s a lot you can achieve by working together as a unit, try an obstacle course or two. Take the whole gang for a day trip to your nearest park and have some outdoor fun.  You’re not only getter bigger and stronger; you’re building a stronger relationship with your family.

Click here for how to use the kids (and pets) to get fitter and leaner

4. Don’t Pay Big Bucks For Small Gains

A big excuse for non-gym goers was, “it’s just too expensive”. Well, now they’ve become even more affordable with gyms such as Virgin Active and Planet fitness offering more affordable options to what they like to call “dry gyms “which are basically barebones of the more luxurious gyms.

Find better value

Big gym chains like Virgin Active and Planet Fitness now offer streamlined, basic gym services called “dry gyms” for less (there’s no pool or saunas). Virgin Active has Red clubs ( and Planet Fitness has JustGym options (, where you can sign up for as little as R179 a month (depending on the location).

Just keep in mind that most of these gyms are found outside city centres. Or you can try out a new player, Viva Gyms ( where you’re looking at R240 a month, but they also offer a month-by-month membership. They’ve got decent equipment and even cardio class options. They’ve got six branches covering Joburg, Pretoria and PE; and they’re running a buy-out service where they help you move from your current gym. And then there’s the wellness-focused Go (gohealthclub, at R259 a month.

Vary it up

FitKey is an app developed by Josh Shimkin and Evan Walther. “I wanted to make these cool independent fitness gyms and studios easier to find and easier to try – as well as make it more affordable to mix up a workout routine,” says Walther. It offers a monthly membership to hundreds of gyms in Joburg and Cape Town for R495.

You can hop between gyms to try them out (three classes per month max) but get this: when you find one you like, you’re free to do as many classes as you like at that one gym. Available for Android and iOS. Check it out at

5. Ride Fat. Get Thin

Ever wondered what happened if you combined a bicycle with a monster truck? Well this is the result – Fat Bikes. These offroad monsters handle soft sand and snow like they were road bikes gliding along the road. Due to their chunkier size, these fat bikes require a lot more strength to handle. Try your luck at some of SA’s best fat bike treks and discover new gains.

Fat Attack

Three-day stage race from Morgan Bay to Wavecrest to Mazeppa Bay Hotel in the heart of the Wild Coast, 31 May – 3 June 2018.

West Cost Phat Bike Adventure

Three-day fat bike adventure (32km and 40km) in early October. And yep, fatties are available to rent.

Fat Bike Tours

Based in Gansbaai, this company offers four different routes, all with wild, unforgettable scenery.

Related: How To Supercharge Your Cycling Endurance With Weights

6. Build A Better Body Outside

Gyms aren’t the only places to build strength, nature provides all you need to build a better you. All you need is a few simple things and viola, there’s your perfect workout to be incorporated on the beach or the park. Just be careful of showing off your barrelled chest at your nearest playground, that’s just creepy.

7. Sweat The Small Stuff

It’s pretty impressive watching people performing heavy deadlifts or bench presses using weights that are heavier than your average man. But, that shouldn’t be your only focus. Your gains would increase so much more if you focused on the weaker areas of your body. It’s better to have no weak links than a few strong ones.

Click here for why you should sweat the small stuff in gym – and how to do it

8. Embrace Outdoor Challenges

Being indoors can become repetitive, it’s time to take your workout outdoors and experience the many obstacle course races that challenge every part of your body and mind. With the many different severities to choose from, your physique will be tested accordingly, most of these events are also family friendly, so make a day of it.

Click here for a list of obstacle course races in South Africa.

9. Mix Fitness With Travel

Kicking back on the beach is the ideal way to spend your holiday abroad. It’s always good to unwind, until you lose yourself in the buffets and local cuisine. Be sure to check out the local scene to find the perfect races and challenges as well the best hiking trails. That way when you’re on the beach you won’t be sporting a boep.

Click here for 6 says to mix fitness with travel and tick off your bucket list at the same time

10. Run The Best Hiking Trails

Trail running has become the best alternative to cardio exercises as it allows you more than just a linear approach to your destination meaning the route you take can greatly alter the difficulty and the gains of a run. Fancy yourself a breath of fresh air and smells of pine and cedar? Then be sure to hit a trail near you.

Click here for the best trail runs and ultramarathons you can do in South Africa

11. Don’t Take Winters Off

We’re not bears, so we shouldn’t be hibernating in winter. During this time the couch and the bed become our worst enemies. Don’t skip winter, this is the best time to build lean muscle and to be ready for when summer hits.

Click here for the 3 things you should do instead

12. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Most of all, the biggest trend for this year is not to take yourself too seriously, be confident and motivated in wanting your dream body, but don’t get too caught up, opt for social events such as the colour run to rejuvenate your interest in getting stronger this year.