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The fitness guru who dared to dream



MASERU – THERE are few things that Advocate Peete Libe is as passionate about as bodybuilding. Libe, from Boiketlo, Mazenod, took up body building from a young age. He was drawn to engage in physical training by societal influence as it was a norm at the time for young boys to show off their physique among their peers.

In the early 1990s, training in martial arts had gained ground in his community of Mazenod. There was a boxing club at Ha-Paki, the Mazenod Boxing Club, which held its practising sessions at Tšebelisano Hall near Swallows ground.

“My late brother used to go for gym sessions there and I got inspired by him as he transformed his body and had protruding knuckles which I envied,” Advocate Libe said. “I therefore joined my brother for the training there around 1994.”

Later in 2001 when he was in secondary school at the Mazenod Vocational School, now called Bishop de Mazenod High School, he met a teacher who practised kickboxing. The teacher had evolved into a trainer having trained in South Africa, so he encouraged young boys to take part in the sport. It was not difficult for Advocate Libe to heed the call.

The style of kickboxing at play was referred to as ring contact fighting art. Training intensively had become his daily bread. Later, he joined a bodybuilding team when he became a university student. He joined the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Health and Fitness Club, which he is still part of.

Having been in the bodybuilding profession for quite a long time, Advocate Libe has established himself in the industry and has also established a gym which has produced a number of big names.

“I am into the bodybuilding sport as a founder and personal trainer at a fitness club situated at Mazenod, Ha-Ngoatonyane,” he said.

The club is known as Parallel Dimensions Fitness. This club has produced some of the biggest names in the industry such as Mohapi Thinyane, who features in modelling agencies in Lesotho. Besides doing personal training sessions there, Advocate Libe also helps clients to attain their desired fitness goals.

“As a personal trainer, I assist members with bodybuilding exercises with a proper form in which those exercises are to be safely executed,” he said.

“I also assist with aerobics, cardio and calisthenics exercises for people whose fitness goals are not strictly body building, but want to lose weight, tone their bodies or enhance their body strength.”

Advocate Libe helps others with martial arts training for self-defence purposes as well as coaching people about proper nutrition for various fitness goals. People join the bodybuilding sport for various reasons. Some want to achieve short term goals such as attaining “the summer body” while others have long term goals of making it in the profession, he said.

Advocate Libe highlighted that fitness training can be a source of livelihood if taken seriously.

“Due to an increase in health and fitness awareness locally and abroad, there are many business opportunities opening up which include personal training, distribution of health and sports nutrition, software development of fitness apps, production of fitness magazines and fitness DVDs,” Advocate Libe said, dismissing claims that bodybuilding is only for “certain age groups”.

“There is no hard and fast rule or any age restrictions for one to participate in bodybuilding,” he said.

Advocate Libe said some people join body building programmes expecting immediate results with a lack of patience and do not last in the profession.

“All things being equal, taking into account the level of consistency and dedication, it takes about six weeks or two months for one to feel a difference,” he said.

It also takes about three to five months for close people to notice a difference, but developing one’s full potential takes time and dedication, “just like any other worthy pursuit” he said. A lot of people get injured during body building exercises due to lack of awareness of safety issues.

“It is therefore good to take safety into consideration before engaging in any bodybuilding exercise. For example, it is essential that people warm up before working on any muscle group. They also have to stretch the affected muscle after working out,” he said.

He continued: “They should adopt a proper form in doing any particular exercise. This means it is not about how heavy one can lift but how correct the exercise is done. The use of proper equipment and safety belts to protect the backbone especially in exercises that often require heavy lifting like deadlifts and squats come in handy.”

Equally important, Advocate Libe, is a dietary guidance.

“Diet plays a major role in bodybuilding. I would say bodybuilding is dependent on 50 percent of the diet one consumes, 30 percent of the workout and ultimately 20 percent of rest for muscles to recover.”

Without managing one’s diet, he said, a fitness journey would be useless. People join bodybuilding for various reasons but there are shared goals among these genders.

“It is more about looking good about one’s body which boosts confidence and self-esteem. Some people’s goal is to participate in bodybuilding competitions locally and abroad as a career.”

Advocate Libe is optimistic that the bodybuilding industry is gradually growing in the right direction, with athletes from Lesotho competing in global bodybuilding events.

“The level of bodybuilding in our country is currently growing because we now have people from Lesotho taking part in international bodybuilding competitions,” he said.

At the moment, Advocate Libe is fully committed to operations of Parallel Dimensions Fitness Club in Mazenod and is hopeful it would keep on growing to meet the contemporary demands of the bodybuilding industry and also nurture athletes who would make it to the international level.

Calvin Motekase

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