Alfred Ra’oof is (among many things) a trainer and natural body builder, and my company is lucky to have him come in twice a week to do a fitness boot camp class in our little gym. Alfred and his wife also run Victory Get Fit Club in Federal Way, where women can go for fitness camp and classes.
Right when you meet Alfred you can tell he knows what he is doing, but I think that his ability to relate to people is even more impactful. He hasn’t always looked the way that he does now. He is very humble and very human. I admire his commitment to health, and his spirit of continuous learning to better himself and his clients. He knows how hard it is to put the chip bag down – he doesn’t pretend that it is easy. He just does it.
I have known Alfred for about five years now and not only did he lead me to my infamous skinny year of 2014, but he has also given me a lot of insight to the world of health and fitness. In 2014 I followed his meal plan closely and trained really hard in his class and on my own. For those of you who, like me, weren’t blessed with a beautiful metabolism, you may know that it takes a hell of a lot of self-discipline and a dedication to the grind to get the results that you want. But with his help and support, I was able to see that it was possible. Alfred has great determination and keeps it real – I hope you are just as inspired by his words of wisdom as I am!
Your dad makes the most delicious bean pies. Did he pass on the family recipe to you?
Yes, my sister Lijah knows how to make them. My daughter goes to California every summer to help him as well. He sells his pies in 4 farmers markets and sells out frequently. They are amazing.
*Alfred has delivered me one tiny pie before and they are, in fact, very amazing*
There is so much noise out there in the health industry – so many different fads and trends and claims on how you should eat or exercise. How do you know what to listen to and what to ignore?
Being a fitness professional is an experimental practice. Everyone’s body is unique. All the fads and trends have a taste of validity. This is what I’ve found. The safest and most effective long-term approach is eating clean, prepping your meals every 3 to 7 days, taking the time to find food you look forward to eating and adopting an exercise program that’s safe and effective.
What are your thoughts on finding balance in diet and exercise?
Health and wellness must be prioritized. Each person must take the time to determine what they can realistically fit into their life regarding exercise. You need at least 4 to 6 hours of exercise to see serious results. Once you determine your workout schedule you must commit and follow through. Now the food is what it is. There’s a lot of stuff we should never put in our bodies.
You do natural body building – how much of a commitment is that and how many hours would you say you spend per week meal prepping and working out?
I spend about 2 hours per week prepping my food. I’m currently 3 weeks out from my next show. I work out 6 days per week. Workouts average 1.5 hours each which includes cardio. In my off season I work out 4 days per week for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Do you ever have days where your motivation disappears? If so – how do you get back to being motivated?
Of course I do. I’m human just like you. I watch something funny, take a nap to reset, then go get it done. Now if I’m exhausted, I take the day off. Rest is very important. Your body will let you know when you are getting close to burning out.
If you didn’t have to worry about a meal plan for your competitions – what would your dream meal be?
Do I only get 1 meal? No way, Jose. So, I get that dream meal one or twice per week. Its technical name is a refeed. Every Sunday I get a 3 hour window to eat as much of anything I want with the exception of sugar, gluten, dairy and of course alcohol (which instantly turns to sugar when consumed). The best part is I don’t eat any of that, so my refeeds are heaven on earth. Last Sunday’s refeed was 1 Chipotle veggie bowl, 4 corn tortillas, 2 pieces of gluten free cinnamon toast, 1 grilled cheese sandwich on gluten free bread with vegan cheese, 3 egg vegan cheese omelets, 2.5 cups of white rice, 3/4 bag of a 16 oz bag of corn chips (a lot). I never limit myself to just one meal.
What is your favorite recipe to make with protein powder?
My protein waffles are freakin’ amazing. 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 cup of ground oatmeal flour, 3/4 cup Willie’s Tri Pro Protein powder (the protein powder is the magic in the recipe).
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Being married to my wife for 19 years.
What is the best part and biggest challenge of being a small business owner?
Keeping things fresh and exciting for clients while on a budget is a huge challenge. The best part is seeing our clients create change mentally and physically. That is truly priceless.
What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to someone who is trying to get back onto the bandwagon of health after letting things slip away?
- If you don’t know what to do hire a professional. It will save time and heartache.
- Set realistic short-term goals and celebrate each and every victory with a social media post (not food). Others will see your success and help keep you on track.
- Be patient, you didn’t get to where you currently are in 2 weeks so please remember you will not reach your long-term goal in 2 weeks.
You played football in college – what was the best lesson that that experience taught you?
- I can do anything 1 more time.
- Under pressure we get fresher (he who stays calm under pressure typically wins). Practice allows you to be prepared during tough times. This practice will keep you calm because you have an idea as to what will come next. Panic comes from being uncertain.
What is something that really matters to you?