Success Stories

2016 Athlete of The Year – Ricky “Panda” Ngani

Age:31
Gender:Male
Occupation:Senior Manager
CrossFit since:September 2014
Goals when starting:

Weight challenge - lose weight.

Achievement:I have never felt healthier nor fitter in my life

Athlete’s Story

We would like to congratulate Ricky “Panda” Ngani for his achievements this year. He has definitely earned this title of Athlete of the Year.

 

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Before Ricky decided he needed to take charge of his life…

 

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…and the transformation

 

Panda has been dedicated, persistent and consistent. Over the past year we have seen him achieve amazing gains in both his strength and cardiovascular abilities. He comes to the box 4-5 times a week, puts in the work, no complaints, no excuses…

Panda started just like many of you may have on this journey to be a fitter version of yourself. He was overweight, had less than ideal lifestyle habits and was looking for a change.

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At the start of his fitness journey

 

The coaches feel that his story is one that is inspirational. So we have interviewed him, to share some of his thoughts on his journey thus far!

Read the interview below:

 

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I have joined CrossFit for a little over 2 years now.
How long did you start seeing real changes, from just trying to lose weight, to increased performance?
It all started when I had a ‘weight challenge’ with my boss. I went on a strict diet at the same time I started Crossfit, and experienced a significant change instantly. On this first phase, I was able to lose 8kg. Seeing this change in my body encouraged me to maintain my weight even when the bet was over. I started to realize that with self discipline, I continued to see progress in my body as well as in my performance in CrossFit.
What has been your biggest achievement in CrossFit?
It has never been about how much I can lift, and it still isn’t, it’s all about my overall fitness level. I have never felt healthier nor fitter in my life and I plan to keep it this way.

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Working on mobility and strength

 

How often do you come in?
Between 4-5 times a week
How is your nutrition?
About 65% of what I eat daily is made by my girlfriend, Sharon (thehonestgrocer.com). For breakfast she makes either vegan overnight oats, or a vegan parfait both consisting of fruits and a variety of superfoods. For lunch, I eat whatever is provided in the office or take outs. For dinner, Sharon cooks a variety of nutritious dinner mostly vegan/vegetarian. Whatever she cooks for dinner, it is always heavy on vegetables and protein with a combination of healthy carbs. When we do eat meat, we try to eat more lean white meat like fish rather than red meat. We also try to drink less alcohol on weekdays but we do indulge on the weekend, with some moderation. We always remind ourselves that exercising only makes up 30% of your weight while 70% is what you put in your mouth, so be mindful of what you eat. After all, you are what you eat.

 

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How about your sleep?
I sleep around 5-6 hours on average during the weekdays, but I do sleep in on weekend to catch up.
What other fitness activities do you do besides CrossFit?
I run or swim occasionally with my girlfriend.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
What I like the most is about staying healthy as a community, like 6221. It is always encouraging to exercise around people who encourage each other to be better, regardless of how much you can lift, or the movements you can do. Not forgetting the great coaching staff, of course.
What would be your tip to any beginner?
Do not be ASHAMED to scale down
Do not fall under PEER PRESSURE which will lead to long term injury
Be a MINDFUL and a CONSCIOUS eater
Stay ACTIVE
Be DISCIPLINED
Remember, the main objective is to STAY HEALTHY
Keep moving, ONE REP AT A TIME