When I first met Michael Olajide Jr - Co-owner of Aerospace High Performance Centre - I was a hot mess caught up in resistance bands, glide pads and my own hair, using a jump rope that was wound around me making me look more like a mummy than one of his Victoria's Secret clients. The second time we met, we bonded over Michael Jackson's greatest hits and they managed to soften the blow of what turned out to be one of the most intense workouts I've ever done. I took part in a few classes at Aerospace during my time in NYC, and each one was intense and newly demanding. But it wasn't the kind of intensity that you struggle through. It was the kind of intensity that makes you realise the power and ability of your body, as well as your mind. Each workout forces you to work your body hard, and requires intricate focus and concentration, which is such a release for anyone with a lot on their mind. A workout like this not only leaves you feeling fit and strong, but also instills a sense of clarity in the mind, clearing your head of stress and creating space to think more calmly and positively.
When asked what he 'does' he simply says "'Body Designer'. Lol. Actually I'm a very expensive trainer, but a good one :)". Everything he says in person is said with a smiley face, perhaps not what you'd expect from a former champion boxer. Michael is possibly the calmest, coolest and most down to earth trainer I've ever encountered. Despite his success as a boxer (earning four championship titles and becoming the No. 1 ranked middleweight contender in the world) and now an international fitness expert, he remains real and grounded - something which shines through in his whole approach to keeping fit and healthy. It's about wanting to work hard, not dreading your workout, and his classes are about having a good time, feeling proud and impressed by your own abilites and feeling good. Because, if it doesn't feel good, why do it?
Known as “Silk” for his exceptionally smooth footwork, hand speed and head movement, we naturally wanted to follow some of his day to day rituals in order to become the silkiest versions of ourselves, or at least try. Below, he let's us in on how he wakes up to ensure his high energy remains high, and to ensure he gives 100 per cent to himself and his clients, both mentally and phsycially, each day. The better he performs, the better his clients will perform, and the better everyone will feel.
"I start the day with a 6:30am client and end with a 7:30 pm class. I need to be physically and mentally engaged with my clients every second of their workout whether a group class or one on one, so I need to be focussed 100 per cent of the time. I alternate between training individual clients, large groups and also leading seasonal retreat across the world.
I shower the night before, so the first and pretty much only thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and race to the subway.
I rarely eat breakfast during the week but prefer to give my body a chance to wake up a little first. I wake up alert. I don't need coffee. I love being awake and it happens naturally for me. If I do have time for breakfast, usually on the weekends, it'll involve oatmeal, eggs and bacon, toast or leftovers from dinner the night before. My healthiest breakfast is raw eggs after a morning run. If I'm feeling in the mood for something more indulgent, I'll have a bacon omlette with a croissant, orange juice and maybe even a hot chocolate. Qnola products are new to me, but when I discovered them, three things immediately spoke to me. The name (I love creativity), the look (aesthetics is extremely important) and finally the taste. The taste lived up and even surpassed the physical qualities of the product, which made the whole Qnola experience amazing, and one I will definitely continue to enjoy.
The earliest I’ve ever woken up is 4:30am. I had to train a client who was on a movie project that required him to be on set early. The latest I’ve ever woken up is 1:30pm because I was up until 5am on set the day before. Consequently, I missed interacting with my sons :(.
The best place I’ve ever woken up is our training camp in Tulum. The mornings in Mexico are like no other. I would love to wake up there every morning, but as I can't, my ideal mornings include turning on some great music and slowly transitioning from the bedroom, to the kitchen, to sitting outside under the sun... all whilst eating :).
This morning I: made it to the train without rushing. Tomorrow morning I will: probably have to rush for the train. One thing I definitely need to do more of in the mornings is slow down.
In terms of morning advice, remember, the first thing you do or think when you wake up has more of an affect in setting the tone for the day than you might realise. So, start each day on the positive side of things. Either with a great workout, some form of meditation or anything else that balances your mood. This will have to be done on purpose, and you will have to mindfully make an effort to make time for this, but it will have such a positive effect on how you deal with anything that comes your way throughout the rest of the day".
. . .
Follow Michael's journey and his latest Aerospace Antics at @aerospacenyc. @michaelolajide. www.aerospacenyc.com. And to experience a piece of Aerospace if you can't make it to a class, stream or download the DVD responsible for getting and keeping the VS Angels in shape. It will change your life and more importantly your mind about working out.