Apart from her 8-5 hustle as a business sourcing consultant, 25-year-old Zinhle Masango wears many other hats. She is an online coach, fitness motivational speaker, Planet Fitness influencer and NPL brand ambassador. Zinhle is also a mum and owns her own fitness company. She shares training, motivations and nutrition tips in this Fitness Chat.
Fitness Chat with Zinhle Masango
What is your fitness background; how did you get into fitness?
Growing up I was very athletic. I took part in track athletics, netball, softball, basketball and action cricket. I was a little bigger compared to my peers in primary school.
During my pregnancy, I gained 28kg and after giving birth in 2013 I became obsessed with getting my figure back and lost a significant amount of weight. At the time I was 55kg’s and maintained that weight until late 2015.
I then met my coach in 2016 who took me under his wing and made me the BEASTESS I am today. He put me on a very strict diet and vigorous training program which made me gain a whopping 11kg’s. I was VERY muscular, to be honest, and after fracturing my humerus bone and being hospitalized for 3 weeks I lost more weight. I had to take 12 weeks off gym (worst 12 weeks of my life) and after I fully recovered I came back and have been training harder than ever.
What are your fitness highlights so far?
So far I have done many health talks including Skyy Vodka’s Honours Event, I have done radio shows (YFM, 5FM, Kaya FM), TV shows (SABC 1 Mzansi Insider, SABC 2 Motswako The Mix), online and print publications (The Star, Fitnish, Women’s Health Magazine).
I have also been granted the opportunity to be a Planet Fitness influencer and the best accomplishment to date; NPL Brand Ambassador.
Can you take me through your weekly training routine; how often do you change it up?
I go to the gym twice a day. I do 30-40 minutes of cardio and abs every second day.
In the evenings I do weight training.
Monday: Legs (quads and calves)
Tuesday: Shoulders and triceps
Wednesday: Back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves
Thursday: Chest and Biceps
Saturday: Legs (quads and calves)
Sunday: Rest (unless I’m really bored, then I would go to the gym and train glutes and shoulders)
I change my routine depending on how my body reacts. If I see that my back, for instance, is lacking and my legs are growing then I would swap a leg day for the back.
But I usually stick to a program for 8-12 weeks.
Let’s talk nutrition? What do you and don’t you eat as part of your healthy nutrition plan?
FACT: I LOVE FOOD!!!!! I follow the 80/20 rule. I am very strict 80% of the time and pig out 20 % of the time. I have a cheat meal midweek and one on the weekend and enjoy that with a glass of red wine or gin and Sprite zero with lemon.
My diet is pretty simple and straight forward.
Breakfast: Cup of oats and 4 egg whites (sometimes with strawberries) with black coffee
Mid-morning snack: NPL Diet Pro Shake and some almond nuts
Lunch: Chicken breast, broccoli/sweet potato and ½ grapefruit/pineapple with black coffee
Mid-day snack: 2 rice cakes and natural peanut butter
Post workout: NPL Whey Protein Shake
Supper: Chicken breast/fish, broccoli/sweet potato, and ½ grapefruit/pineapple.
I usually pack all my meals for the day and travel with them as my job requires me to be on the road a lot. If it happens for some odd reason that I didn’t prep my meals then I would eat something high in protein, low in carbs and fat. E.g chicken strips and hummus, a salad, toasted low GI sandwich or a protein shake.
I am a pig of note and eat almost anything but in moderation. I am however not a fan of soda drinks and sugary cereals.
What top 10 foods would I find in your kitchen?
- Chicken breasts
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Veggies (Broccoli and sweet potato)
What does it take to prep for a fitness photo shoot?
I try to keep my body in shape all year round. I believe if you stay ready, you don’t need to prepare from scratch.
But two weeks before a shoot I would do an egg white diet where I literally just eat egg whites and cheat on a high protein/low carb meal every 4 days.
I am however prepping for an NPL shoot and this will take me 4 weeks and in the last week, I will do a water drop.
How do you stay disciplined Zinhle?
My body literally craves gym and healthy food. I noticed before that if I took a break from gym, I would feel sluggish and very lazy.
I also surround myself with “fitness-minded people” and follow a lot of fitness pages on Instagram.
What supplements are you currently using?
I use NPL supplements.
From the NPL Prolifestyle range I use:
Thermocuts 20 minutes before my major meals (for weight and appetite control)
CLA after my major meals (for body toning and immune and metabolic support)
L-Carnitine before my cardio sessions (burns fat and gives energy)
Diet Pro Protein Shake after my workout and as a snack
And from the Pure Series range I use:
Amino Pre-load Energy drink 30 minutes before my workout (serves as a pre-workout and increases lean muscle gains)
BCAA’s during my workouts (for lean muscle gains and muscle recovery)
What is your ultimate goal in fitness?
My current goal is to cut. I am currently sitting on 64kg and 19% body fat but am working towards a body fat percentage of 15.
On the flip side, I want to do something for the people. With my website launching, I want to give black people a platform to learn more about fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
I am also working on various projects like health seminars, launching new products, appearing more on TV and radio and basically building myself and Fitness Junkie as a household brand.
What keeps you motivated, do you have athletes that inspire you?
I honestly look up to my coach and now friend, Given Mthimunye. He has achieved soooo much in the sphere of fitness and he brought my sexy back hahahaha.
Female athletes include the likes of Bibi Buys who won her very first fitness show (division and overalls)
Massy Arias who is a new mother but has a banging body and literally exudes health and fitness.
What fitness advice would you have for someone who wants to look as jacked as you?
Firstly, you need to be mentally prepared. This journey takes patience and just take it one day at a time.
Secondly, you need to be willing to make sacrifices.
Thirdly, make sure you prepare! Prepare your meals and workout sessions.
Fourthly, don’t be afraid of lifting weights and try to get a gym partner.
Lastly, reward yourself when you’ve reached a certain goal.
If all else fails, you can contact me (chuckles).