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Fitness is becoming a lifestyle for many Kenyans as they aim to achieve different things in life. Some might want to build muscle and look good while others might just want to be fit and avoid diseases that come with unhealthy lifestyle choices. We met up with Jamal this week on our #OutsyderHustle hunt. He is a professional personal trainer and gym owner aged 26 years old. He runs Royal Fitness Gym in South C, Nairobi. Jamal narrated to us his fitness journey through the years.

He began his journey immediately after completing his University degree at Moi University. With a Bachelor’s degree in Business management and no job in sight, he had to look for a way to make it in life. Being a person who loved working out catapulted him to take up the fitness journey. He got a fitness related certificate and started personal training. He says the interest people have in wanting to become healthy and fit ensured he got many clients.

He mostly trains’ people in aerobics, normal weight training, cardio, cross and boxing which is also sought after by many people. Jamal says most of his clients are women as compared to men. The reason being women are more comfortable when dealing with one personal trainer than different trainers. This is because one personal trainer concentrates on one client and that creates a bond which allows them to work together easily. The reason men don’t prefer personal trainers is because they’re more macho and require weight training as compared to aerobics that’s preferred by women.

Like any other business, the fitness empire has the potential of growing from a small enterprise to a large entity. Jamal attributes his success to patience, a lot of hard work and persistence. He actually says his profits have gone up in the past two years due to him growing a good client base. One can even start his or her own gym with the money one gets from personal training. It only depends on the mindset one has and their aim for the future.

There are also challenges that come with the fitness industry just like in any other business. Jamal highlights marketing as one of the challenges. Marketing one’s brand requires a lot of time and capital. If one doesn’t have access to the capital then marketing can be hard. Competition is also something one should watch out for. With so many people getting into the industry, one should keep their game at the highest level so as to ensure they get as many clients as possible.

Getting the finances to start a gym is also one of the biggest challenges in the fitness industry. This is the end goal for any fitness enthusiast. Putting up a gym and ensuring it runs successfully is the trickiest thing to do today. One has to start up slow and save up in order to begin from scratch. Never expect to start all at once, unless you are already a millionaire. Start slow, get equipment one by one and for sure success will abound.


Jamal gives his few ounces of advice to the youth who are thinking in the line of fitness. The fitness industry is diverse and one should select the line they want to follow and specialize in. This will ensure some focus. One should also be ready to face a lot of criticism. Fitness gurus are always said to use their gifts to get people’s wives or husbands. That has been the myth but it definitely should not be one’s aim in the fitness industry. Always stay focused. Jamal also tells the youth that to be employed one does not need a degree. One has to venture in what they love and have a passion for.

For more information on the grind grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian every Friday.

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