ig Ron, a legend in bodybuilding, has said his sport career goodbye after years of training and now became the head of the fitness association. A great change, you would say, but “Big Ron can do it all”, is what his fans are saying. We fortunately get the chance to talk to him for a while. Do you enjoy being head of the fitness association? “Like everyone knows, this is totally different than everything I did before. So at first, it was quite strange to sit at the office and do so many other things than I was used to do. Also my body was giving strange signals, because I didn’t work out as much as I did the last years. But now, a few months later, I feel quite good and I’m really enjoying it all, yeah.”
Which important competitions and tournaments are coming up? “On the 18th of December, the last contest of the bodybuilding for men and women is going to take place. After this contest, the winner of the competition of 2020 will be known. And in the beginning of the new year, the award for Fitness Man and Woman of the year 2020 will be presented.”
‘‘I never imagined myself being the head of the fitness association’’
Did you ever expected that you would end up where you are now? “No, but I think no one really does. I never imagined myself being the head of the fitness association a few years ago. But when I was small I never saw myself becoming a bodybuilder either. Things like this just happen, but I’m really glad it did!” What does the fitness association do? “Maybe the most important task of the association is connecting all the people that are sharing the same passion: fitness. But there are many ways to do this. We bring out a magazine every month and are keeping our website up to date. Next to this we, of course, are responsible for the organization of competitions and tournaments. With different activities we want to keep the fitness alive in the society.”
What does fitness mean for you? “For me, fitness is a way of living. And the years in which I was competing in bodybuilding tournaments, you could practically say that fitness was my life. You can do a lot of sports to stay fit, but fitness is more than just moving your body. Without perseverance it is an endless task to reach the top in fitness. You really can say that you need a strong mind as well as a strong body. But this doesn’t say that fitness isn’t for everyone. You can participate at your own level and this is what makes fitness fun. Also the fact that you can do it at home, if you have the right equipment, makes it really attractive for so many people.”
Which changes happened within the fitness since you started bodybuilding? “I have seen a lot of changes. In the past ten years, you saw that people had to work harder to earn enough money. This caused that most people were very busy, I also noticed this in my family and friends. But with more people using their car or other electric vehicle to displace themselves, working out is important to stay fit. Although people are finding it more and more important to stay healthy, with the decrease in time, working out is often forgotten. To solve this problem, people are buying fitness equipment to store at their house or they are visiting a gym that is nearby. There are also people that are enjoying their free time with long walks in the nature or jogging in the park.”
‘‘With the decrease in time, working out is often forgotten’’ Do you have any tips for the readers to stay fit with the Christmas coming up? “Christmas is a time of family and it often goes along with lots of delicious food. It’s okay to enjoy this as much as you can, but don’t forget that you have to burn all this energy you are gaining. So working out is very important in this time of the year. Jogging outside is maybe not very comfortable with the weather, but there are lots of workouts that you can do at home. And very important, don’t forget that working out can be enjoyable too!”
Automation Ever since computers exist, automation has been a huge part of the humans life. Be it calling someone on your smartphone or driving to work in your car, automation is everywhere. Life is not even imaginable anymore without these kind of products. The next step is introducing this automation into fitness. Fitness has had small applications already which support the user to gain information, as heart pulse trackers and distance trackers, or to gain convenience, as special screens with 3D views for enjoying that bike ride. As fast as it progresses, the more it can backslide. The perfect example of this is the smartphone app Buzz it up! This application basically vibrates your phone at different speed modes. The developers claim that if the smartphone is placed on any muscle and the application is started, the fat will decrease as the smartphone vibrates the muscle and activates it that way. For the older people amongst us, we know that a few decades ago something like this happened as well. On those telemarketing commercials there was a product doing somewhat the same as this application. It was a strap you could put on your body and the strap vibrated the muscles. This was proven ineffective as vibrating muscles does not turn into weight loss or muscle sculpting. Vibration only improves muscle strength and balance in elderly adults. The reason these commercials could go on is that elderly thought that it was useful as it did increase their muscle strength a little bit. This is not our concern though, there are more effective ways to do this as having a walk in the fresh air outside, even if it is only thirty minutes per day. In my opinion all this technology makes us weaker as human beings. I still remember the days these technologies were not here and people used human power to train their muscles. Training and exercising is the most natural way. It is intended to be like this and is thus the best way. All in all, Buzz it up! is a hoax. We do not recommend to spend any money on lies like this. If you would like to lose weight, there are clear ways to do so: exercises, exercises and exercises.
All success starts somewhere. When and how did you become so successful?
cora has become a big name in the development of fitness products. SPORT & FITNESS magazine wanted to find out the secret behind this succesful design bureau. So we conducted an interview with Tjits Tuinhof, a key player in the company. Why do so many people want to use your products? What is your big secret? I think the most important thing is that we design from the view of the user. This makes our products so pleasant to use. Our products are also high quality, they have a luxury feeling, yet are payable. And of course we pay a lot of attention to sustainability. We are the first in this market to produce products that are completely CO2-neutral, as well as is use as in production. That is also a very appealing aspect.
‘‘ It was quite overwhelming’’ 9
We started this agency about 8 years ago. The first year we had some projects, but nothing big. Then we started working with Trikke. This was a big assignment, really exciting for a young agency like we were at that time. But it went so well, everybody is using the products we developed with them. Nothing more satisfying than seeing so many people around you, using the product you designed! What happened after this first assignment? It really was a product for 2018, so we were not instantly famous. So after this job, it stayed quite for a little while. But when the product was being presented on fairs the reactions were so enthusiastic, it suddenly happened al really fast. Suddenly we had a lot of companies who wanted to work with us, and so many attention from the media. It was quite overwhelming. You say that there were a lot of companies interested in you. How did you react on this? Actually, we didn’t really do much with it. Trikke offered us a long-term collaboration which appealed to us. We enjoyed designing for this market, but especially working with them. Everyone at the company was enthusiastic about our ideas, and they were really open minded regarding to progressive ideas.
Previously, you said that you have your focus on the user. Can give us an indication about what the users want nowadays? I think everybody notices that we’re all getting busier. A lot of people have some difficulties with this, and become quite stressed. Besides that, they are also changing their priorities. Because we have less time, all the free time we have left becomes quite sacred. So now there is a want for products that enable us to do all the things we want, but more efficient to keep as much free time as possible. With our products, we anticipate on that need. This being stressed out also bring the want to be in control. Because of this, we offer products that give you a grip on your activities. It gives you control over all your own activities, but also on the time you spend to them.
‘‘ All the free time we have left becomes quite sacred’’ 10
As long I can remember, I have been chubby. My grandmother adopted me when I was a kid, because my parents couldn’t take care of me. Because she felt so sorry for me, she feed me all these delicious food. There were always candy and cookies at home. My grandmother loved to be the hostess, and was a very good cook. I gained more and more weight. In high school they laughed at me, because I was the fat kid. Then I got my degree in high school and went to college. I didn’t want to be that fat kid again. I wanted to make a fresh start. So I went to summer camp for three weeks, to lose weight. It was very tough and mental very heavy. I started at 210 pounds. After three weeks my weight got down to only 130 pounds.
I had been trying to lose weight for many years but all the electronic devices and diet supplements didn’t work. Simple and honest workouts really were the solution for me. It is unbelievable that I now can wear almost everything. I can go to the H&M and don’t have to go to the big size stores anymore. I still love food, and I don’t want to lose that part of me, because that part makes me myself. But I just needed to put that into a healthy lifestyle. And I did it! I still enjoy eating, but now I don’t have to feel guilty towards myself. It is an amazing feeling. I really want to give everyone the advice to take care of your body, be healthy! It feels fantastic. We’re seeing people in their 30s dropping dead of heart attacks. People really need to make a conscious decision. It will take time to lose it, but the result is precious.