Ex-professional footballer, former investment banker, Rutgers University alumni and founder of BeFit; Aly Mazhar’s CV is pretty unique. The latter of his achievements has taken Cairo by storm, providing information, support and programs for Egypt’s health conscious.
We sat down with Mazhar to talk about BeFit, my personal body image issues and wildlife.
For those unfamiliar with it, what does BeFit offer to health-conscious Cairenes?
We try to cover all bases; as well as group exercise fitness classes and customised personal training programs, BeFit also offers nutrition plans based on prescribed targets and online health and fitness advice through our email, Facebook and Twitter accounts. We also offer corporate training programs and customised sports conditioning programs for professional athletes.
Outstanding. Here’s a clichéd question, somewhat; what inspired you to start BeFit?
The need and lack of credible sources of information for the health conscious people in Egypt. Like any other industry, our biggest challenge is educated service providers and people who really know what they are doing.
Your time at Rutgers and as a Stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing hotshot footballer must have put you in good stead, oui?
Studying sports conditioning while on a full scholarship playing varsity football at Rutgers University in the United States, combined with my 12 year athletic background, made me realise that there was a rising fitness demand that needed to be addressed in the market.
In light of the last question, a necessary question emerges: What makes Be Fit stand out from all the other health companies/initiatives in Cairo?
This is up to the clients to decide, but I honestly believe we try to formulate and tailor the program specifically to the needs of our clients making them get the best out of their training time as well as nutrition system.
And how have people reacted to BeFit?
People have responded greatly to BeFit. Throughout the first year, our programs have been doing really well and our regular sessions are always full. Not only that, but our camps and even our summer campaigns in the North Coast have been very successful.
Is everything I’ve been hearing about the BeFit Transformation Challenge true? I’ve heard phrases like ‘life-changing’ being thrown around...
The BeFit Transformation Challenge has not only transformed the lives of more than 280 people in both seasons, but has also resulted to a new appreciation for a healthy lifestyle as well as positioning health and fitness as a priority in their lives.
Do people get teary and emotional like in that awful show, The Biggest Loser?
Approaching the end of the program, you can see 30-40 people competing towards winning the challenge. Those people have achieved amazing results and the appreciation we get from them is just indescribable. I honestly believe that this is the best thing I have ever done in my life.
Alright, so here’s the deal; I spend around eleven hours a day in the office. I smoke like a chimney. I usually have one meal a day and it’s usually at midnight. I also don’t like how my calves look in skinny jeans and I have love handles –can BeFit can save me, or am I lost cause?
BeFit can save anyone!
So, you agree that I have love handles? Nah, just playing'! Gun to your head; McDonalds or KFC?
McDonalds for sure.
Oooo, controversial. Who would win a fight between a bear and a monkey with a knife?
Definitely a monkey with a knife!