Innocent Choga Fitness
Givemore Marume’s life is all about fitness. The fitness bug bit him right to the core; fitness is in his marrow. Marume (43) is a former four time winner of the National Bodybuilding Championships. He rose through the junior ranks to become a middleweight champion and later on clinched the light heavyweight and overall championship four times, in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006. Along the way he also won the Iron Man tournament four times.
Marume is a father of three, Candice (22), Damian (11), Jayden (7). As a competitive bodybuilder he was genetically gifted with near perfect proportions and symmetry. The most outstanding features on him were his shoulders which were as broad as a barn door, a back wide as a cobra’s hood, tapering into a midsection as tiny as a wasp’s, spotting unique intercostals (muscles between the ribs).
A natural middleweight who on average weighed around 80kg, but looked like a super heavyweight. He packaged a massive physique into his medium height with large bones on a wide frame. Initially he struggled and hustled to get into the light heavy category because he knew if he competed in the lighter divisions he would not be taken seriously in the overall .The judges were biased towards the heavyweight division.
After tournaments, I used to consult other athletes seeking to find out how they achieved whatever was outstanding on them. This was despite the fact that at times I would be holding the winner’s trophy. Most were happy to share their secrets, which I would analyse and pick any positives; however, I always had problems cracking Givemore’s code. He would not divulge.
We managed to share notes when we both represented Zimbabwe at a tournament in Namibia in 1992. Our team of five got the better of the Namibians and some of them asked us to stay awhile teaching them how to train. Givemore is very quiet but focused. I have never heard a negative word about anything or anyone escape from his mouth. Whilst some of us have been trying to run away from our sport and fitness calling, Marume has stuck to his guns throughout. He is like a young brother to me, so it is indeed an honour to be sharing his views on fitness.
Givemore says bodybuilding has given him the opportunity to stay fit for a lifetime. The strict diet and training is still ingrained in him even though he retired in 2012. He follows a healthy eating plan and eats the foods that his body is used to; foods that have little fat, sugar and salt.
He exercises five days in a week, but he has reduced his body weight in order to minimise the chances of straining his heart with excess bodyweight. Notably, most retired competitive bodybuilders reduce weight as they age, examples are Olympians like Lee Haney (57), Robby Robinson(71), Dorian Yates (55), Frank Zane (75) to mention a few. It is a deliberate act, not that one is finished as some people would like to say.
Givemore says, throughout the years he has been researching and learning about how the body and muscles function and respond to different types of foods. So he is grateful that the sport has given him this knowledge which he is using to help others in the gyms. He says the only negative aspect is the selfishness associated with the contest preparation phases.
His advice to anyone striving to attain a good midsection is to incorporate aerobic exercises like walking, running, swimming, cycling, and so forth to burn the excess fat covering the stomach muscles. For gym work he recommends abdominal crunches, leg raises, kneeling rolling wheel, hyper-extensions, and twists. He prescribes side bends and kneeling cable side crunches for intercostals.
He adds, “It is important to understand what your body needs. Our bodies are different in the way they respond to training, so it is beneficial to find out what type of training your body responds to better. Training is not all about competition but looking good and feeling good for yourself. You have to stay focused to achieve what you want.
“Currently the fitness trend has advanced due to the availability of the state of art equipment, a wider range of supplements and easy access to information on research in training and nutrition on internet. The fitness industry is growing, more people are getting involved.”
Givemore co-owns a gym with Tendai Chaipa, another former middle weight contender. Givemore is a fitness trainer and he also instructs spin classes, fitness pump and boot camp. Among some of the people he has trained are Leeroy Gopal, Prudence Katomeni Mbofana, Tsitsi Dangarembwa and Kenny Mubaiwa just to mention a few .
The National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness led by Mr Kenny Murungweni is implementing a strategy; creating a league that will result in more tournaments and at the same time honouring retired athletes who made outstanding achievements. They are assisting in hosting tournaments under these former athletes’ names.
These former athletes are expected to grow their tournaments in terms of sponsorship, price money, quality of participants and other conditions that will determine the magnitude of the tournament. So a tournament called Marume Classics will be held today at the Zimbabwe College of Music. It is the birth of this annual event. Yours truly has also been granted such an honour, but that is another story to tell.
Innocent Choga is a six time National Bodybuilding Champion with international experience. He is studying for a science degree in Physical Education and Sport. Email; [email protected]