CSG had the honor to interview Maje Ayida. Maje Ayida is the CEO of Eden Lifestyle, a Nigerian wellness company. I have followed Eden Lifestyle online for a while and also followed Maje on Facebook too and had to seize the opportunity to share his passion and knowledge with everyone!!!!!
1. Tell us about Maje.
Tough question. I would say I’m a very regular guy trying to live out his passion. I am a quiet person, though tend to go on a bit when it comes to talking about what I do for a living. I love seeing new things and have a sense of adventure though i’m quite content sitting at home in my own space. Family is very important to me, as are inter-personal relationships, a strong believer in treating people with kindness wherever possible. Activity is a must.
2. Do you have a transformation story or how did you get into fitness?
I have always been a sportsman, something that was instilled in me from my school days. I was fortunate enough to be made to try all manner of sports, from archery to horse riding, but I settled on rugby and, later on, basketball. I’ve never really been a gym person, so I find it hard to motivate myself to get up and go, but tell me there’s a game of basketball and i’ll drive cross-country to play for 10 minutes. While working in Abuja as a banker back in 2008, I became a little frustrated by the lack of fitness facilities and started to get the idea of starting a company with a focus on fitness. I had dreams of opening my own facility. At first I wanted to partner with an international gym brand , but then decided that I wanted my own. Thats where Eden Lifestyle came to life inside me. Fast forward to New Year 2010; right of the back of some heavy binge eating from Thanksgiving right through to Christmas and I was a few pounds overweight. I went to Cape Town, SA on holiday and everyone looked so lean and left me feeling like crap. At that point I vowed never to put myself in that position again.
3. What is Eden Lifestyle and what is it about?
Eden Lifestyle is a wholly owned, Nigerian wellness company. We provide consultation services in health and fitness, ranging from corporate and individual wellness to facility management services and events. One of the roles I most enjoy is walking into a company and changing their internal culture through interactive sessions. Our team is dedicated to transforming health and fitness in Nigeria.
4. What is your favorite form of cardio?
Basketball, there is no substitute. The game is my therapy, it’s my space, where i think of nothing else but putting the ball through the hoop. I leave my stressors at the entrance.
5. Where does your motivation come from?
To be honest, it must be from God, because some days I don’t know where the energy comes from. I guess i remember that I don’t want to put on weight, that people are now watching what I do, and ultimately that I want to live. I enjoy the feeling of being fit, the feeling of strength, it’s a little addictive.
6. What is your approach to nutrition?
I believe in portion control and a balanced diet. Breakfast is a must, fruit essential. I try to eat small meals throughout the day to keep my metabolism up, though i can easily overeat when it comes to my favorite foods. That’s really where discipline is key for me. Chinese food is my kryptonite.
7. What is your workout philosophy?
To be honest, I have zero structure when it comes to working out. It’s simple for me, workout as many days of the week as possible. Cardio over weightlifting any day, that’s just to make me stronger for my cardio. But one thing is certain, my workout time is non-negotiable, i preach it and i practice it.
8. Can you share a sample weekly workout routine?
2 hours of basketball 5-6 times a week, with 2 strength training sessions either in the gym, or at home with dumbbells or with natural bodyweight exercises. I try to keep this going even if I travel, I will always find a court or a gym.
9. What is your next goal?
To open Eden Lifestyle’s flagship Wellness Center. To date my focus has been to develop the brand, now the aim is to add to our services a destination, of a standard that our clients have become used to through our packages.
10. It is so difficult deciding on the right supplements. What is your take on supplements and which do you use if any?
I’m not a big fan of supplements, especially if you are on a well balanced diet, everything you need is in food. However, some things do need to be supplemented, especially vitamins, because a balanced diet is difficult ,especially out here in Nigeria. I take vitamin c and have used creatine before, but not at the moment. I recently did an article on this on my site, http://edenlifenigeria.com/a-short-guide-to-muscle-building-supplements, check it out.
11. What advice do you have for people aiming to get abs?
Don’t start with endless crunches, it’s a waste of time if that’s all you do. Start in the kitchen, start with what you eat, and focus on cardio. Everyone has abs, the key is the fat covering those sexy abs. You’ll know when to start working on definition, you’ll be deep in cardio-land by then.
12. Do you believe women get bulky through weight training?
Wow, I just did an article on this very topic for TW Magazine, I think i’ll put it on my site as well. So many women use this as an excuse for not stepping in the gym, ‘I don’t want to get bulky’ or ‘I don’t want to look like a man’. News flash, most men struggle in the gym to get that muscle you’re talking about, and women do not put on muscle the same way men do without some form of steroids. Women can do the same workouts as men with weights and in fact, if you want that body you’ve been dreaming of, then I recommend it. Please ditch those tiny pink dumbbells and get serious.
13. We heard you are a judge on Fasttest Shredder TV show, can you tell us about this show?
It’s a weightloss reality tv show, the first in Nigeria. The idea is to motivate Nigerians and Africans to start taking care of themselves, especially those that believe they are too far gone and have given up. It’s a direct insight into exactly what it takes to get in shape, the kind of lifestyle changes you need to make. It’s hard work, but the pay off is worth it. 10 contestants will spend 3 months in The Fasttest Shredder House with a team of trainers and nutritionists, competing for who can lose the most weight in that time. They will be put through a series of challenges and tasks to test their will, under the close supervision of the FS team. My role is as a judge and housemaster, so I will expose any cheating going on of the chocolate kind. We hope this show will inspire viewers at home who are stuck in sedentary lifestyles, an all-too-common problem in Nigeria.
14. What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique.
I think it’s important that the person look at this from a lifestyle change as opposed to just trying to fit into an outfit. Forget crash diets and focus on developing healthy habits. Secondly, put yourself under pressure and tell people what you are trying to do, make yourself accountable. Thirdly, pray. Simple.