Calisthenics King Alvin Lee says Fitness is his Therapy
Our second half of August 2018 cover lead is Alvin Lee Anyumba. Others may say he’s where ‘there’ is supposed to be. Alvin says he’s not ‘there’ yet. Focused. Disciplined. Hungry for perfection.
“I’m yet to meet someone that I’d want to be for a day… I’m still in search of my inspiration,” said Alvin, when asked which Kenyan, excluding a politician or a President, he would like to be for a day. ” I’m still socializing.”
25-year-old Alvin Lee Anyumba is a body-weight and calisthenics ( exercises involving gross motor movements – running, pushing, grasping…) specialist, who also spends a significant chunk of his time as a personal fitness trainer to celebrities and enthusiasts alike.
“People say I’m a go-getter, a dreamer. A perfectionist. And that I’m creative and innovative. I believe them, simply because they’ve seen those qualities in me.”
Alvin gets up and gets to his daily grind at about 4.00am each day. He says that while not many consider themselves morning people, including a few people he knows, they still push themselves to get up at ungodly hours, a push which he says he’s morphing into personal discipline, through passion.
“Why do you do something? What pushes you to do it? I’m naturally a nocturnal person, but the passion for my profession, coupled with the vision and dreams which I have for my future, cannot let me wake up past 6.00am. Ever.”
With a lot going on in his life (If you follow him on Instagram, you’ll see what I mean) the only thing that helps him juggle demanding days is – planning. “My planning is based on effectiveness and efficiency. I like to steer my profession, as well as my hustles and my relationships, harmoniously towards my overall personal vision.”
I asked Alvin what ‘calisthenics’ is, and why he comes across as THE Kenyan ambassador of it…
“Calisthenics is simply the art of mastering how to control your body in space. I love how it teaches me a lot about my body and its functionality. I may come out as the ambassador simply because I’m the one who documents my calisthenics journey the most.”
How does a big guy (muscular big that is) get so big? Rather bemusingly, he reveals that he had set out a goal for himself to get that huge, and he did! “I appreciate food. Using the knowledge which I’ve gained through reasearch and practice, on the right types, as well as how each flavour and nutrient affects my body, I optimize my workout regimen creating an enjoyable experience overall.”
Surely fitness can’t all be about gyming can it? – I ask. “Nope, not at all. People don’t often realise that there’s a more wholesome approach to fitness – mental fitness, spiritual fitness and intellectual fitness. All these variants work hand-in-hand for your overall fitness.
You perhaps get asked a lot what your motivation is, so I’m not going to ask that. Instead, I’ll ask, what demotivates you in your journey?
I’ve been doing this without attention from anywhere, and with attention from everywhere. Fitness is a part of me. It’s my therapy.
Rather pensive, he reflects, “In all honesty, I’ve searched my soul to establish whether there are things that demotivate me, and there’s nothing. I’ve been doing this without attention from anywhere, and with attention from everywhere. Fitness is a part of me, its my therapy. I take both negativity, and positivity, as a constructive challenge.
Featuring in a recent Trust condom Kuwa True commercial was something big for the Calisthenics Guru, because for many years he had faced a struggle of being an extra or part of a supporting cast, in performances which ended up never being seen on screen. In the commercial, he was the main actor. “I enjoyed the hustle, I enjoy my life story.”
At present, he’s pushing himself even further, saying that there’s a certain standard he had set for himself and he feels that he has not been consistent at getting to. He’s unwilling to reveal what his other projects are, preferring to keep them low-key, but he’s picked up a charity event called Fitness Wars, which is set for August 25th.
“In parting, some of the workout routines and techniques that I’ve consistently kept to through the years, which have shaped me up include Pullups, Pushups, Hanging leg raises and Pistol squats. These are my all-time foundation for mastering proper fitness, even before I took on weight training.