Athlete of the Month: May 2015

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Jason Booij


Who is Jason?

I am a competitive age group triathlete that enjoys the hard work and dedication that goes into training and what you get out of it. After joining the Exercise Solutions team over two years ago seeking for some proper guidance and wanting to be top of my game I have managed to achieve a lot whilst still having a balance in life, training and work. Recently I was awarded an elite license and that is something that has always been on my list of things to do, at least race a few times in the elite category and see what I can do. With a full time stressful job, the mix of both training and work are never easy but you make a plan and it’s worth it in the end, so let’s see what I can do in the 2015/2016 season!

RACE ACHIEVMENTS Racing Calendar 2014-2015

  • Awarded Ironman All World Athlete (Top 5% of my age group worldwide at Ironman and Ironman 70,3)
  • Bela Bela (1st place 25-29 year)
  • Tri rock Durban (9th overall, 2nd age cat)
  • 5150 Germiston African championship. (2nd place 25-29)
  • Trinity sports Triathlon series (3rd overall)
  • Gauteng champs 11 January 5th place, I qualified for SA champs and made Gauteng triathlon team.
  • Selected for Gauteng Triathlon SA champs in 1ST May in East London- 2nd place 25-29 Ag, 8th person across line.

When did you join Team ES?

In early 2013. I decided that that was time to get more serious and focused with my training.

Favourite Workout Fuel:

Gu Roctane

Favourite killer session from your coach:

  • Swim- pyramid sets
  • Bike – Some crazy interval sets
  • Run – Friday morning hill repeats.

My favourite cheat food/meal is:

Pizza and beer!!

My biggest accomplishment/ result to date:

Coming second at SA Champs and Qualifying for World Champs in Chicago in September.

What puts Exercise Solutions apart from other coaching and high performance centres out there?

A lot, I think the major factors for me is the environment in which we train. There as many quality athletes at ES and training alongside them really helps to motivate and push yourself. The team culture is another really big factor for me, there’s no drama or issues and just a really great bunch of people looking to train hard and improve. The hands on coaching is also a really big draw card as there are always coaches constantly monitoring sessions and seeing how you progress thought the sessions as well as season. Also what i really like is that ES caters for all ability of athletes, from beginners to much more serious competitors, it’s a great place for any athlete to improve.

What are you big 2015/2016 season plans?

ITU World triathlon Champs in Chicago in September for now, I’m really focusing on that this year and will give ironman 70.3 another shot next year.

Sponsors to date:

Puma running.

Last words:

Cheers to a kick ass 2015/2016 season, see you on the road!


Mr. Active teams up with Exercise Solutions

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David Katz joins the successful exercise scientists and sports physiologists as their running coach

Based up in Johannesburg, David Katz and Exercise Solutions are teaming up to take your training to the next level. While not reinventing the wheel, they place a big importance on testing. Knowing how your body and heart operate is the best way to get the most out of your training. A sports Journalist and Producer by trade, David “Mr. Active” Katz has been actively involved in South African media for close on 10 years. His real passion however is Health and Fitness. Through his Mr. Active segment on Saturday mornings on Radio 702 and Cape Talk 567 over the last three years; he has continued to share this passion, while growing his own knowledge. David has been running for over 10 years, but advanced this love with his first half marathon, at the 2007 Two Oceans. Since then he has gone on to run a host of half’s, a hand full of marathons, and attempted a Comrades Up Run. Discovering heart rate based training has taken his running and health to the next level.

Exercise Solutions started up in 1995, the brainchild of Zac van Heerden, former Portugal, Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns conditioning specialist. Zac has build a team of experienced sports physiologists around him, that cover various aspects of assessment; including heart rate testing, body composition, biometrical analysis, and musculo-skelekal testing.

Exercise Solutions, has helped countless athletes to not only achieve but better their goals. From Comrades marathon to the Cape Town Cycle Tour, from IronMan to the summit of Kilimanjaro, let us help you put “your” bodies science to work.

You can find out more information on the website or follow us on Twitter @Exercise_s /Facebook

Why Ironman?

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Thanks to our very own Mike Simpson we got this great recap on ‘Why Ironman?’ which so many triathletes get from someone who could not comprehend how or why you would want to do all that in one day, a 3.8km swim, straight into a 180km cycle and then a marathon of 42km… His recent Ironman South Africa 10th Edition journey and finish below…


The question most often asked by an audience when exposed to the phrase, “I’ve entered the Ironman.” What people don’t realize is that they answer that question in the ensuing cascade of negatives which erupt from their mouths in disbelief; “it’s too hard, it’s so long, I could never do that, that’s insane, you’re crazy!” That my friends, is the point.

Given the remarkable torrent of pessimism we’re exposed to on a daily basis from sensationalist, mainstream media we don’t, unfortunately, lack for reminders of our own mortality. Put more positively, we live in a world that challenges us to be the very best versions of ourselves we can be, all the time, everyday. A common exercise to orient oneself with ones goals is to ask the question, “if you had x amount of time left to live, what would you do?” Most people are readily able to list activities that would provide them with equanimity in death, knowing that they’d lived a full, and in their own worlds, meaningful life. But ask those same people years later how many of those things they’ve done? Not many, if any.

I decided long ago, I would not be one of those people. I would push myself to the very limit of living in as many ways as I felt I needed to in order to one day die a happy man. A good man. A man who lived, hard.

I had the privilege to watch an amazing woman complete this race called the Ironman, and after seeing what people had to go through to achieve this goal of theirs, I knew I had to do it too…Game on.

To paraphrase the all-time epic Guy Ritchie film, “Snitch”; “Every action has a reaction, and an Ironman reaction is quite a f^%$^ thing.” Consequences of deciding to compete are sacrifice, and pain. Pushing yourself everyday to the limit, constantly pushing through to the next milestone. Early mornings, a severe lack of social life, 15+hrs of training a week, and aching muscles begging you to stop. Consequences of deciding to compete are also glory, personal growth, and the realisation that you’re capable beyond the limits of your former self. When things are hard and they keep getting harder, but you survive and you keep surviving, you start to believe. When that happens, kiss your old self goodbye mate, you’ve crossed the veil and the only way to go is up and on.


Fast forward to April 6 2014. You’re standing on a beach with 2499 other versions of you standing around you. You don’t all have the same goal but you’re all there for one thing, finish as best you can. That kind of dream-catching-soul-igniting-ground-breaking-limit-defying determination magnifies to bring the very air you breathe to life. There’s drums beating ripples of excitement into your skin. Helicopters are rumbling, reverberating, acknowledging with a gesture of sound the gravity of the task you’ve set yourself to complete. Inhale, and the adrenaline is there. Exhale, and you’re laughing and screaming “woooooohooooooohooooo” at the top of your lungs because it’s time to tuck and roll baby!

Boom. The National Anthem sounds and a wave of heat washes through your veins as your soul pours its strength into your blood.

Boom. No going back now.

Boom. I can do this.


Words could never truly capture what it means to be an Ironman. For me it was about pushing the limit, giving a Herculean effort, giving everything I had to reach a dream…to show myself that I could. With every chance of failure, and believe me at times I thought I would fail, to keep going and to succeed was a life changing experience. I struggled for days afterwards to truly understand how it made me feel to accomplish this feat. In the end, I captured it as follows:


The path is not for those,

Who claim to be unafraid.

the path is but for the few,

Who venture when they would stay.

Glory lies not in wait,

Only scars that will not heal.

But when it’s greater things that matter,

It’s them that will not yield.

The shadows to them will whisper,

Of a heart beaten, broken and bent.

the heart defiant will cry,

That a life for a life would be spent.

For no matter the trials ahead,

The shield shall always be raised.

With courage to shine through their darkness.

It’s then that a hero is made.

These words for me were a representation of the human potential to be more than we ever thought possible, by simply taking a single step, and then another. To journey, to stumble. To fall, and lie. To rise, and conquer. Falter, but never die.

It was an experience, unforgettable. To the people who travelled this road with me, you’re all heroes in my mind. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. To you the reader, I wish you well in your first step, and the many more that follow.

To the ES Team, gladiators of 2014…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!


Exercise Solutions teams up with My Training Day

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For the past few months we have been working on growing from strength to strength and coming up with new ways to add benefits and give our athletes the best we can. After some carefully thought out options to increase our base, both in JHB and Cape Town, we thought what better way than to chat to the My Training Day Team in Cape Town and grow ‘our family’ of athletes, and team of all ready very experienced sports physiologists, coaches and nutritionists.

MTD is run by Kent and Claire Horner both top athletes and coaches with one of the biggest and most prominent squads in Cape Town and we are proud to announce our affiliation with them, enabling our JHB and CT athletes to have access to squads, training and more country wide. MTD & ES coaches will be combining their knowledge to give our athletes belonging to either MTD or ES the best coaching, advice and access to all the latest technology. Race specific sessions will also be structured so that any athlete travelling between JHB & Cape Town will have the full benefit of either squad.