Calisthenics Champion Chinyere Sam Talks To M&S
What are your major accomplishments?
- Brooklyn, NY, Pull Ups Jam Competition 2010, 2nd Pl Women’s Pull-Ups, Push-Ups &Sit-Ups
- Brooklyn, NY, Pull Ups Jam Competition 2011, 2nd Pl Women’s Pull-Ups, Push-Ups & Sit-Ups
What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with fitness and calisthenics?
I was a leading competitive track athlete for over 17 years. I represented my primary school in Guyana, South America (my home country), my high school in Barbados, Caribbean, and my college in the United States. While in college I was introduced to weight training and calisthenics by my track coach.
After graduation, I continued working out and within a few months after moving to New York City I met the founder of Barmasters Xtreme, Hassan A. Salaam. Barmasters Xtreme “is a physical fitness, mind altering extreme exercise company.” Their focus on the importance of strength training and their approach to physical fitness without weights is what led me to join this organization.
I’m currently the only active female member in the group, and I train in many different forms of calisthenics such as pull-ups, push-ups, dips, sit-ups etc. I am also a Certified Aerobics Instructor & Personal Trainer serving clients in New York City tri-state area.
I love everything about my sport and working as a fitness trainer. I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to inspire and motivate many to become physically fit and healthy.
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is my strong belief in my mission; which is to help women, especially African American and Latino populations, to combat obesity by teaching them how to live fit and healthy lifestyles. According to recent data, approximately over 66% of Americans are overweight and over 32% are obese.
Obesity constitutes a significant health hazard. It is a contributing risk factor for heart disease, and influences the development of hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol abnormalities, and Metabolic Syndrome. These statistics mean more to me than just numbers, because being an African American woman, I’ve watched too many people suffer from these diseases; and I believe it is my purpose to assist these disadvantaged populations to live longer and healthier lives.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
My goal is to be an international professional fitness model and a global advocate/speaker for fitness, health and wellness. In the future I intend to own a few businesses, one of which incorporates building the BODY BY CHINYERE brand and also to become an actress.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and get ripped?
Be sure to get a lot of stretching, cardiovascular/aerobic exercises. Calisthenics also is a great form of exercise for anyone to get involved in. Not only does it give you that ripped great muscular definition in your abs, arms, back, etc. but it gives you strength, endurance, energy and power!
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
Some of the muscle building mistakes that I’ve come across with my clients are, they’re not warming up the body to loosen up the muscles which prevents injury to the body. Some warm ups can include stretching, light jogging, and breathing exercises. Also, some people who are new to working out, tend to lift very heavy weights that their bodies are not used to which can cause injury.
Lastly, another mistake that I’ve noticed with people looking to build muscle, is not eating/drinking the required amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. All of these are essential for the body to use as fuel, when building and repairing muscles, red blood cells and other tissues.
What are some of the biggest training mistakes you’ve made?
Some mistakes that I made early in my own physical fitness training career, was beginning my workouts without eating or drinking anything for a few hours prior. This would cause me to be extremely light-headed, dizzy and very dehydrated. Also, I’ve tried to lift heavier weights than my body was used to, which resulted in a sharp jerk and strain to my back.
Which workout has worked best for you?
The workout that I can say I’ve had the most success with and I love the most would have to be calisthenics. After I graduated from college I used to go to the gym and use a lot of weights in my workout routines. But, I soon noticed that I was looking very muscular indeed, but I did not have the strength and power I wanted to achieve.
After starting calisthenics I began using my own body strength to tone and sculpt my body while gaining endurance, strength, energy, power and agility.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
Do a lot of cardio/aerobic exercises at least 3-5 days a week. Sit-ups, legs raises, push-ups, abdominal curl and abdominal crunch twist are some great exercises for the abs. Also, you need to eat nutritiously healthy meals and drink lots of water.
Do you believe recomping is possible (gaining muscle while losing fat), and if so, is it as difficult as most people think it is?
Yes, it is very possible. I’ve trained many clients whose goal was to lose weight and tone the body. My strategy for my clients is to use their own body strength to build muscles and sculpt the body.
I incorporate a lot of cardio/aerobic exercises and some calisthenics workout such as push-ups, sit-ups, dips etc which have resulted in clients losing body fat and building muscles at the same time. The results have been astounding.
If you could be one athlete or person for a day, who would it be and why?
I would be Oprah. I’ve admired her for years, where she came from and how she got to be where she is today. Oprah has inspired millions of people worldwide. She had a goal and she was determined to accomplish it. Her journey was not easy; she had many hurdles but overcame them.
I believe she was a gift from God to motivate and inspire many. When she speaks, people listen. I want to be a woman like her. I believe that the Lord has blessed me with great gifts and talents and wants me to use those talents to do a great work in the health/fitness industry.
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?