MEET Farah Nofal
“Everyone starts somewhere. Begin today, set goals and set the path that you’ll follow to reach these goals, “ is Crossfitter and BeFit Egypt coach Farah Nofal’s motto. With a lot of hard work and dedication, she managed to follow her passion and is now one of Egypt’s favourite athletes. We had little chat with this inspiring young woman learning more about her athletic story.
Tell us a little about your CrossFit journey. How did everything start?
My Crossfit journey started about two years ago, I’ve always been active and athletic. I’m that person that wants to be good at everything and strives to progress and overcome my weaknesses. Crossfit and functional training was the perfect challenge for me and helped me meet my needs perfectly. I started Crossfit on my own at first. I would look up the workouts and figure out all the different names they use and hit the gym. At first all the Amraps, Emoms, Tabatas were like Chinese. A couple of weeks passed and I was hooked!
Did you always want to become a fitness trainer or did the idea occur to you recently?
My passion for fitness is endless. I was that annoying kid that tagged along with her dad whenever he was hitting the gym or went out to exercise. But growing up I never imagined I’d become a fitness trainer. I majored in Finance in college and the plan was to graduate and find a job that had to do with numbers. I thought that was what I wanted to do. But after graduating, I worked two different jobs, both desk jobs. I was miserable, sitting in front of a computer every day wasn’t for me. And that’s when it all started. I’m a big believer in turning your passion in your career and never having to work a day in your life. I started by getting my Certified Fitness Trainer certificate through the ISSA organisation. After successfully finishing it, it didn’t feel like it was enough. I still wanted more -more functional training, more Crossfit. That’s when I decided to quit my job and travel to the US to Successfully get my Level 1 and Level 2 trainer certifications at Crossfit.
Since CrossFit is becoming more popular everyday, what makes it so special in your opinion? How is it more effective than other forms of exercise?
There are several factors making Functional Training or CrossFit effective. It’s feeling the proper form and movements in your body rather than seeing them. To make your body and mind respond, you need to put in hard work. With CrossFit you don’t hit plateaus because the workouts are consistently changing and confusing your body. You never have to endure on an ab day or arms day at the gym again. Those can be dreadful. CrossFit is a consistent mixture of it all. Just because someone is buff looking doesn’t mean they’re powerful. Functional Training makes you strong all over and you compete with yourself. You log your workouts so that the next time an exercise comes up you can look back on what you did, and beat it! It’s that simple and it works. A typical CrossFit workout may include a variety of gymnastics, sprinting, and power lifting. These exercises are done with the weight of your own body, kettlebells and free weights. They’re done hard, fast and with little to no rest in between sets. The reason behind this is that you challenge your muscles more when you do short bursts. It stimulates them making them more effective than low intensity workouts. CrossFit is the whole package of speed, balance, and strength. You can’t get bored as you’re constantly switching things up.
Living in Alexandria, how did you get in touch with BeFit Egypt? Tell us more about your work there
I got in touch with BeFit through my Instagram account. I was in the states getting my L1 and L2 Crossfit certifications. Aly (Mazhar) reached out and introduced me to BeFit. It felt like a place where I want to be so I started as soon as I got back to Egypt, making the move to Cairo. My work there doesn’t feel like work. Being part of BeFit has been one of the best things that’s happened to me so far. I love coaching all of the different classes we offer with the best team in town.
What’s it like being the only Alexandrian at BeFit Egypt? Do you miss it back home?
At first, when I took the decision to move to Cairo and leave my life behind in Alexandria, it was scary – going to a new place where I hardly knew anyone. New job, new people, new home. But it’s been quite the experience. The BeFit Family has made the move so easy for me. Everyone has been so warm and helpful, more than I would have ever imagined. I’ve only known those people for about six months but it feels like so much longer. I definitely get teased for my use of Alexandrian words like ‘Mastika’, ‘Bey2alis’ and much more, but other than that it’s been great. Of course, I have my days where I miss my family and friends back home but I try my best to make time for them on my days off.
What’s your current fitness obsession?
My current Fitness obsessions would be Crossfit and Yoga. I know they are quit different and opposite somehow but to me they both complete each other. Doing both helps me find balance, physically and mentally. Crossfit is really hard core and intense, while yoga is still intense but it’s calming.
Tell us little about your diet. What does your average meal plan look like?
I eat clean. I stay away from junk food and processed food, and try as much as I can to eat whole natural foods. I’d say my diet is paleo-ish, but I still eat my grains and dairy products. I’m one of the lucky ones that love their protein and meats so following the caveman diet and cutting out unnecessary carbs isn’t challenging for me. I eat good fats such as nuts, avocados, nut butters and fatty fish. I try to eat to perform, get my required calories, fuel my body and stay healthy.
Any guilty pleasures?
Ice cream! Any flavor, any form, from froyo to creamy. And I’m not going to lie, I indulge occasionally. You can’t deprive your body from your cravings. However balance is key! I try to eat healthy around eighty percent of the time and remaining twenty percent I’m stuffing my face with ice cream! But really though, who doesn’t have a guilty pleasure!
How do you stay motivated to work out and eat clean?
Motivation comes from a lot of things, including the people around me. Once you start seeing and witnessing results, you’ll want and strive for more and more. That’s when you stay motivated and after a while it becomes your lifestyle – you grow healthy habits and it becomes impossible to let go.
For some staying motivated is more difficult than others, but my advice to them is ask yourself why you started and why you want this and you’ll find your source of motivation. Do it for yourself and only you! You deserve to be happy, healthy and take good care of your beautiful body!
Have you thought about competing at the CrossFit games? `
I wish!! But I’m no where near competing yet. Right now my biggest competition is myself. I’m working on my weaknesses and overcoming them one by one. Everyday is a competition and a chance to get better and strive for progress! I have a long way ahead but we all start somewhere and the sky’s the limit for what you can reach and what your body is capable of doing. A huge part of overcoming weaknesses is mental, so don’t break easily – practice and work hard day in and day out. We all fail, and it’s what makes us strong and better. The most important thing is how you use this failure, to push yourself harder.
Who is your biggest inspiration or role model?
I don’t think I can name one, but my biggest inspiration or role model is anyone who is strong enough to overcome a weakness or limitation and works hard towards reaching their goal. When it comes to my job and what I do, it’s the community and people we coach and interact with everyday. As much as we motivate them and push them towards their goals, they also affect our lives so positively and inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves every single day, working harder and educating ourselves to offer them the best!
As a successful young woman and an inspiration to many, what is the one piece of advice you would give someone at the beginning of their fitness journey?
I’d tell them that everyone starts somewhere. We’re all different and come with different backgrounds. But however we’re all the same in wanting to become fitter and improve our health and live better lives. So begin today, set goals and set the path that you’ll follow to reach these goals and find motivation in people and everything and everyone around you to keep going. You will never ever regret taking that decision. It might be one of the best things that will ever happen to you! Push yourself harder everyday, check off goals on your list today and set new goals around you. Your story will inspire others around you!