Dedicated member and gym-goer Joe Bouchahine opens up about his health journey at susf, talking goals, challenges and life outside of the gym.
Icebreaker question! What animal represents you, and why?
A wolf best represents me. They’re loyal, work well in a team and are protective of others; that definitely describes me.
How long have you been coming to SUSF and what keeps you coming back?
I’ve been to many gyms, but what has kept me coming back for the past four years is all the friendly, energetic staff/trainers who really take an interest in my wellbeing and assist me in achieving my goals. I can ask anyone for help and they will gladly drop what they’re doing to come and help me with workouts or answer any questions.
How would you describe what it’s like to train here?
For years I’ve been training at SUSF and it’s always been an easy-going, humble atmosphere. I’ve also grown many great relationships with staff and gym members.
Can you run us through some of your favourite exercises?
Work can be busy but I still manage to get my workouts in three times a week. I warm up with cardio using the treadmill, cross-trainer and more recently the stair-climber. Three months ago I started slowly incorporating free-weights again. My wife suggested to reintroduce them into my program because she knows how much I used to love them. The ‘pump’ is the best feeling and I hadn’t felt it in a while!
In-between sets I like to stretch my muscles, but I always make time to focus on stretching for 15+ minutes at the end of my workout.
What have been some health goals you have achieved while training here?
I’m very fortunate that my current employees encourage frequent physical training to break up the day, so I take the opportunity to come to the gym at SUSF. Because of it, I feel stronger and more fit. My blood tests for the past two years have been excellent, cholesterol levels are at a minimum and my general health is the best it’s been for years!
Were there any challenges you faced along this journey?
My goal was mainly to get fit and healthy again. Back in my 20s I used to be very strong, training five times a week, but as work commitments grew this frequency shrunk. After an extended period of no physical training, getting back into it was very difficult. Knowing what you’ve achieved before and trying to get back to that fitness level has its challenges. The staff and trainers at the gym have played a big part in my overall morale and fitness improvements. Trainers, Peter, LouLou and Hilary in particular, have been great with providing encouragement and guidance over the past few years.
What are your favourite things to do in your spare time?
I like to keep fit, hang out with my family and play or watch any kind of sport. My wife and I love to travel – we recently came back from Hawaii, which was a great experience.
What is your favourite “treat/cheat day” meal?
Every Saturday night I’m spoilt for choice and have an array of local restaurants to choose from like Chinese and Thai food, but ‘Mario’s Pizza & Pasta’ takes the crown! They have great food and it’s my favourite place to unwind.