With her long, dark hair and slim, muscular build, Gina Mazzoni has a body most women can only dream of. The mother of two is also a hard working business owner and just a really nice person!
Having been a fitness instructor in Ballito for close to 17 years, Gina recently started her popular Gina G classes at Fitpod at The Studios at Lifestyle Centre Ballito.
With it’s funky, neon signage and trendy design, Fitpod seems like the perfect fit for Gina and her action-packed, full-of-fun aerobic workout classes. The exercise studios host a variety of instructors offering different disciplines, including yoga, pilates, martial arts and dance. It’s hard to believe, looking at her, that Gina is in her late forties and has a son aged 27 and daughter aged 17.
Born in Durban, with a French-Mauritian background, Gina (short for Georgina) comes from a family of six and has a twin brother.
Having grown up in Stanger, Gina moved to Ballito when she first got married at the age of 19. Always active and sporty, she played provincial hockey and enjoyed both club hockey and running after school.
After working in real estate in Ballito for a few years, Gina was approached by the owner of the gym she started going to (The Lockeroom).
“Pam suggested I become an instructor. I had joined the gym and started running again after going through my divorce. I was trying to get my life back on track. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of a gym and being around like-minded people. I loved the classes and vibe and I started giving it some serious thought.”
Gina met her now husband Graham and, after giving birth to her second child, her daughter Taegan, she decided it was time to change careers.
“I didn’t want to go back to a job with set office hours.” She qualified as a personal trainer and a group aerobic fitness instructor through the Exercise Teaching Academy and started teaching at The Lockeroom. “I found my passion. My classes were always full and I absolutely loved it.”
Initially contracting to the gym (and then to other gyms after that), Gina started her Gina G classes seven years ago. Her classes are high energy and she prides herself on the fact that no two classes are ever the same.
“I always change things up and keep it fresh. It’s important to keep your body guessing and not to let your exercise regime become monotonous.”
When Gina received a text message from Tash Barnard (from Tash B Pilates) inviting her to a meeting with herself and Bruce Rencken, she says she had no idea what it was about. “We met at The Studios, which was a construction site at the time, and they told me about Fitpod. I immediately told them that I was in. I didn’t even need to think about it. I knew this was an opportunity for me, that a door was opening and this was right from the beginning. And I have not looked back since.”
Gina has two classes a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7am to 8am and 8am to 9am. “My passion is focussing on the integrity of the exercise and encouraging women (and men) to dedicate a full hour just to themselves. You sweat, you work hard, the endorphins are pumping and you always have loads of fun! Although my classes are all-women at the moment, men are very welcome and I actually challenge them to come and try my classes!” Gina also offers one-on-one personal training at Fit24 gym.
“Being at the Fitpod has been incredible. It’s such a unique concept and a wonderful space. I’ve loved being exposed to people from all walks of life and, while we all offer different disciplines, all the trainers are like-minded people at the top of their game.”
As we enter the new year, Gina says she encourages people to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. And just to move their bodies.
“Exercise gives you so much. There is no judgement in my classes and I modify exercises where necessary. I’m not a qualified nutritionist, but I do offer suggestions and educate my clients on healthy eating.”
GINA’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR STARTING AN EXERCISE REGIME THIS YEAR:
1. Work with what works best for you: I often get asked what the best exercise is to do. My answer is to work with what is going to motivate and get you up and moving. Adhering to an exercise you enjoy is key. By enjoying your exercise regime of choice you’re more likely to stick to it and obtain the results you’re after.
2. Consistency: Start slow but keep going! Little, incremental changes week-by-week is key. Consistency = progress = results.
3. Support: Communicate with your family and friends about the decision you have made for yourself. Let them in on the new lifestyle you are working towards for yourself so you know you have their support and encouragement from the sideline or, even better, maybe you inspire them to join you!
4. It’s for you! Shifting that mindset and embarking on an exercise regime must be decided only by you! Do it for you and not for anyone else!
5. Small changes and time: Make small changes! Don’t deviate too much from your current lifestyle. What do I mean by this? Going big is great, but it could be detrimental to your journey, resulting in giving up before you even started. Give yourself some time. Be honest – if you are struggling with being unfit or overweight, it probably took time to get to this point. You cannot expect this to be reversed in a few days or a few weeks. Be kind to yourself by making small changes and giving yourself time.
Details: Gina: 082 781 6759, IG: @ginagtraining;
Fitpod: www.ballitolifestylecentre.co.za/fitpod, IG: Fitpod_
Text: Leah Shone | Photograph: Chris Allan Photo | Hair and Makeup: Volenti Laurentina