‘The Most Important Thing to be Healthy is the Spirit.’

Hardi, 31, is a personal trainer from central Java who moved to Bali 11 years ago. He’s now working at Hammerhead gym, supporting people not only physically but psychologically so that they can have a healthier lifestyle. He shared his day with Carla Alberti de la Rosa.

The first thought that crosses my mind when I wake up at five in the morning is God. I’m a Christian and praying is the first thing I do to greet the day. I then take a shower and have a big breakfast. I prepare an omelette, because our bodies need protein to have complete energy, and I also have yogurt with oatmeal.

I try to be healthy as it makes me feel good, not only externally but also inside. I drink green tea. It’s very good for you because it lowers cholesterol and it’s rich in antioxidants. I tend to save rice for lunchtime. I’m Indonesian and I like rice – it gives me energy – but too many carbohydrates are not good for you. The best thing for the body is protein.

I leave my house in Denpasar around 6:35am and I go to work by motorbike. It usually takes me 20 or 25 minutes to get there, depending on traffic. I get to the gym around 7 and I train my clients. They make their appointments at least 24 hours in advance.

I train people differently, depending on whether they are fit or not. I think most people don’t do enough sport and some drink too much alcohol. That’s very harmful for your body. I never drink. For me it’s a symbol of sin. Those who are in poor shape lift lighter weights. When people don’t have motivation I have to encourage them and give psychological support. But it’s not easy when people don’t have an incentive to feel and look good. I try to teach them how exercise cleans our spirit.

My clients also do cardio, like cycling, running and cross training. But the most important thing to be healthy is the spirit: think positive and you’ll achieve anything. Many people start going to the gym in January because it’s the beginning of the New Year. They come in a couple of times and then they give up. It’s important to have a positive attitude and willpower.

Ninety percent of our clients at the gym are Westerners. We have some locals that use machines, and only one Balinese client that trains with me. It’s probably because of our location. In Denpasar, the gyms have a lot more locals working out, but we are in Legian and lots of expats live around this area.

I have a protein shake between breakfast and lunch because it keeps me going. Chocolate flavour is my favourite. My schedule changes from one day to another but I normally go home for lunch at midday. I cook chicken with vegetables, and sometimes rice. Cooking is one of my hobbies. I particularly enjoy cooking Western food because it’s simple and easy to make. As a treat I’ll have steak and mashed potatoes.

I go back to the gym after lunch and I continue training clients until 8pm. I work six days a week but I like my work environment. The people I work with are lively and have very positive energy. I like being a personal trainer because I’m helping people and changing their lives mentally and physically. I’ve been working out since I was 15 because I think muscular bodies look good. My trick for those that want to become healthier is to never stop advising and encouraging them, to constantly give them strength.

Around 8pm I go back home and spend time with my wife and 9-year-old daughter. She loves playing the piano. I’ll have a shower and then dinner around 9, usually grilled meat or fish. Sometimes I add a few vegetables but never rice as it’s not good to have carbohydrates at night.

I like to relax watching action movies and dramas in English. It’s not just amusing but also a great way to improve my English. I’d like to open my own gym in Kerobokan and since there are many foreigners living around that area, speaking English is always helpful.

When I have some spare time I go to the mountains. The air in Bedugul is so fresh, a great way to escape from the pollution in Denpasar. My brother-in-law adopted five children from an orphanage and it’s nice just to be around them when I can.

My day finishes around 11. I pray many times during the day, even when I’m walking in the street. But it’s right before I fall asleep when I feel closer to God and thank Him for having a good life.

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