Maria MitovaInterview with Hernando Zuleta, a Columbian Professor in Economics who has taught in Brown University in the United States, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, AUBG in Bulgaria and is currently teaching in Columbia. Hernando used to live in Sofia to help raise his kids and he found SPIDER SPORT in November 2014. He brought his son Marti with him and they have been a great team, supporting each other’s progress.

Hernando Marti i Maria

Having gone through the cultural shock of unfriendly, sad people in Bulgaria, Hernando calls SPIDER SPORT an isolated “oasis”, where everyone smiles. He says the club and its members are different from the society he describes in his paper “The Sadness of Bulgaria.” It’s also a plus that the trainers at SPIDER SPORT speak excellent English. Finally, as a professor, Hernando is impressed by the scientific principles that lay behind the training system and nutrition guidance at SPIDER SPORT.

Hernando has been training with me for 6 months and has made great progress:

1) His abs got much stronger: from 30 seconds plank he could now do real renegade row with 6kg.

2) His back muscles got stronger and he can now do 11 clean pull-ups to the clavicle compared to 3 chin-ups only 6 months ago.

3) His legs are much stronger, which will help him avoid injuries. From squats with 6 kg, he can now do 4 sets x 63 kg. His deadlift is at 70 kg and lunges at 45kg.

4) His Side Press and Milko Bench Press are at 16.5kg compared to 8.5kg in the beginning. His Curl and Arnold Press is at 14kg.

5) He has been applying the High-Fat Low-Carb nutrition principles to himself and his family and has gained 2 kg of lean body mass and lost 2 kg of fat.

I have also greatly enjoyed our interaction outside the training studio. Hernando gave me a book on the role of genes and training in Sports performance and we exchanged ideas and literature on economics, health issues and practical advice on life in Bulgaria and abroad.

Sprinting Hernando

Here is SPIDER SPORT through Hernando’s eyes:

1.  What makes SPIDER SPORT Health and Conditioning center different that other fitness centers? 

Before going to SPIDER SPORT I went to 4 different gyms in 3 different countries. In general, these were big gyms with lots of equipment and nice things.  But all these places were “self-service”  gyms.  This is the main difference! At SPIDER SPORT you begin with a complete diagnosis of your physical condition. The first thing you learn is your measures: optimal lean body mass based on height and bone structure, weight, current lean body mass and fat percentage, etc. Then you go training with your personal trainer and start realizing how weak you are.  After the first day your trainer knows exactly how to put you in shape.

The second big difference is that the program is designed in order to get the maximum of you. This design includes a complete explanation about food and the way in which you feed yourself can help you improve your health and training.

Third, with only 1 hour of training you make much more than what you do anywhere else in 3 hours.

Finally, you feel the improvement really fast.

2.      How did you find out about SPIDER SPORT?

My wife read about SPIDER SPORT in a in-flight magazine and she was very impressed. We came and signed up for a free trial and then, I started training with Maria Mitova and my son joined us.

Marti side bend

3.      Did you learn what is the proper nutrition and we you able to apply the know-how to yourself and share it with others? 

Yes. The lecture was given in a very understandable manner and I received practical advice for grocery shopping and organizing my meals.

4.      Describe the progress you feel in your body and condition for the 6 months you have been training in SPIDER SPORT. 

The first time I was not able to complete 3 pull ups properly. Now I can do 11. There was a big change in my abs; they feel and they look stronger. In general, I feel much better, I can do things that I could not do since I was 20.  I am 45 now.

Needless to say, I am highly motivated.

Squat 63kg

5.      Do you feel you have received knowledge and tips that will help you train yourself in a functional way continuing to improve your results even on your own while you are in Columbia?

Yes, I think I can stay in shape with what I know. Maria taught me the basic principles and will send me a sample program to continue my training.

6.      As an Economic Professor, please comment on the science behind the training system: our analytical approach and the training methods based on formulas, relating people’s physiological performance indicators.

Indeed, this is one of the points that attracted me. There is theory and empirical evidence supporting the model of training. For example, the stamina calculator developed by Milko helped my steady step-by-step progress on my pull-ups.

7.      How would you describe the interaction and connection you build with Milko and Maria?

Great! They are extremely nice people, highly skilled and very professional. I will miss them.

8.      What about the people who are part of the club, clients that you have interacted with?

Nice people. It was also motivating to see how they train. Everyone is smiling and friendly.

Marti Side press

9.      Share a few words about our approach to kids and the importance of a trainer in a kid’s life?

My kids are sports fanatics (like me) and they have lots of energy. I want them to be good, fast and strong. But I also want them to be healthy and to avoid injuries.

Martin, the older one, plays soccer and sometimes he was having problems with his Achilles’ heel. During his first visit to SPIDER SPORT he learned a simple exercise which practically eliminated the problem.

10.   Anything else you feel like sharing with SPIDER SPORT, the foreigners in Bulgaria and in general the people here, in Columbia, Australia and all over the world who want to find a way to take care of their condition in the long-term?

I could try to explain what I think is important, the main lessons I learned. But you have to experience this to fully understand it. I better say that I recommend SPIDER SPORT to anyone.

One last thing:

Some years ago my friend started to play golf. I said, as long as I can play soccer I will not play golf. I had an injury a few years ago I thought it was time to begin with golf….But thanks to SPIDER SPORT I know golf can wait.