The CrossFit Champion
Abdelrahman Abdullah, who’s famously known as ‘Cavio’, is an award-winning athlete and renowned CrossFitter that we cannot possibly leave behind when we talk fitness and entrepreneurship! As idiosyncratic as it might be to hear of someone abandoning a previously determined path in pharmacy to pursue an insatiable passion of fitness and strength, Cavio has done it all! Here’s the professional award-winning competitor on how he made it to the top in the realm of fitness.
By: Mayar El-Shamy
ell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a pharmacy graduate and an ex-soccer player. I worked in a multinational company for two years, after which time I realized that it was not what I was meant to do, so I quit my desk job to start a career in fitness. I always seek knowledge in fitness, strength, conditioning and nutrition. I believe that hard work pays off and that no matter where you start your journey, you must make sure you pave your own way.
As a CrossFit competitor, I have been titled the ‘2nd fittest individual 2015’ in Bahrain and ‘2nd fittest individual 2017’ in Egypt. It’s considered the ultimate fitness test for athletes, so I’m proud to have made such an achievement. However I hope that one day I’ll get to represent Egypt internationally. Aside from being a level 2-certified expert in CrossFit, I also do powerlifting, mobility, and Opex coaching.
You co-founded ‘Hit Egypt’, home of ‘CrossFitHitters’. How did that happen?
I used to train for soccer most of my life and my edge was always fitness. This came through training on my strength as well as conditioning; however, my partner, Sherif Nassar, and I discovered CrossFit four years ago, and we would practise every now and then to educate ourselves. We then started to teach our friends the sport, and here came the idea of ‘HIT’ for redefining fitness in Egypt and changing the method of what is fitness known for.
What sparked your interest in fitness?
I use exercise to relieve stress and help me ease any life problems I may be going through. I was so hooked, I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life, and share my knowledge and experience to positively impact the lives of many people around me. It has become my passion to always find out how to enhance people’s lives day-after-day.
Why did you decide to make fitness instructing your profession?
Almost three years back, I decided to quit my pharmaceutical career and switch to being a full-time coach and athlete. At the time, nothing was clear; the road was gloomy and all I saw were obstacles and bumps ahead of the way. I chose not to let them stop me and instead decided to never doubt myself or my abilities to go through them. I had a vision, and this vision could only be achieved by giving my all, which was exactly what I did. I always did my best and tried as much as I can to put a 110% effort out there. It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t, but I dedicate almost all of my time and energy on a daily basis towards achieving my goals and fulfilling my dreams. People sometimes tell me that I’m insane and that I’m risking my life. Others tell me that this career has no future to it, or that I should only do it part-time as a side job. But I have always seen it differently; I see that I either go all in or all out, and all in I went!
How would you describe your philosophy about being fit and healthy?
I wouldn’t call it a philosophy. Humans were born to run, lift, jump, swim…etc. Our bodies are meant for this.
To each instructor their own techniques and workouts. What makes yours so effective?
My daily goal is to develop athletes and teach them the proper technique and benefits of the sports on a daily basis, I believe that each day is an opportunity to develop, learn more and get better! For me, it’s more than just walking my students through a workout and coaching some techniques; my aim is to be a friend and life advisor outside the gym. My athletes are my family; they mean everything to me!
What makes ‘Hit Egypt’ unique?
As a team, we always strive for greatness and excellence. At ‘Hit Egypt’ we have several fitness programs for different levels and demands. Our programs varies from advanced CrossFit, weight loss and ladies only to yoga and our transformation program: ‘The Climb’/‘Fast Track’ for competitor athletes.
Is there a particular nutrition diet you advise practitioners to follow?
I always advise my clients to eat proteins and vegetables; nuts and seeds; little Starch, and no Sugar.
You surely have to fuel your body for your vigorous workouts. What is your typical meal for:
First thing upon waking up: Drinking water before having my oat meal
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with bread and a banana
Lunch: Any type of proteins with steamed rice or macaroni without any sauces.
Dinner: Proteins of chicken or cottage cheese, plus vegetables with olive oil.
Snacks or sweets: Fruits of apples, bananas and peaches. I get my sugars from fruits!
Favorite beverage: Fresh orange juice.
Does CrossFit training techniques differ for women?
Absolutely not! Most of the time, however, ladies prefer lifting lighter weights than men. But we definitely use the same techniques.
What are some common mistakes beginners make?
They may rush into things, lack the patience to wait and see results, or get too engaged in training and neglect the diet part!
Where can our readers find your classes?
I’m available at ‘Heliopolis Sporting Club’, ‘Concord Plaza’ and ‘Eight Fitness Club’.
Any advice for those who want to take up CrossFit but are a little intimidated by it?
Don’t be afraid of CrossFit! All CrossFit moves have already been tested for over 50 years! It’s all about who teaches them. So look for a reputable CrossFit coach, and they will take care of you!