Zweli has been scattered all over magazines showing off his immaculate body but few know the story behind his transformation. We find out how he got his perfect physique.
Compiled by: Staff writer
Late last year Zweli was crowned Mzansi’s sexiest man by the “Sowetan” newspaper. Since then he has been a media magnet, appearing on multiple magazines, parading his physique. However, the actor reveals that achieving his fitness goal took him years and without determination it would have remained just a goal.
For all those who have been inspired by Zweli’s transformation, this is a guide to achieving his goal. He shares details of his journey and a few tips that may inspire you to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Blacklight: Is there something that inspired you to transform?
Zweli Dube: I used to be quite skinnier than how I look now. I started traveling at the age of 20/21 when I became part of the “The Lion King” Broadway musical. I lived in Asia, Australia and I traveled a little bit of Europe. Being part of that exposed me to a new world. The dancers and actors were in good shape and so I got Inspired.
While I was away I also watched a lot of American television and I saw that a lot of black actors were always in good shape, and I wanted to come home and pursue an acting career. I thought to myself, if I transform then maybe I might get better roles.
I came back home in 2007, after my contract ended, and my real transformation started in 2010 because my role in “Muvhango” had started the year before.
Blacklight: What did you learn about the process?
Zweli Dube: Firstly, body transformation happens inside and out. When we start working out, we think we have to go to the gym every day or twice a day because we want to get big, which is not true. It’s the diet that is a very crucial aspect in the process of body transformation. Before even going to the gym, I would advise everybody to first know what a healthy diet means.
Blacklight: What exactly did it take for you to be in this shape?
Zweli Dube: For anyone who wants to be fit; there is serious education and commitment behind transforming your body. My trainer asked me in the beginning whether I am looking at a short term or long term goal, I said ‘long term’. I showed him a picture of Shemar Moore and said I want to look like that. He said “it’s possible, but do you have the discipline, the determination and the passion?”
I then had to prepare myself mentally for the long journey because it was not a short-term goal. I thought it would take me six months but it took me three years for me to start seeing the serious transformation. The first thing I had to drill into my mind was that this was going to be a lifestyle. One should not just think about December or summer, you have to integrate it fully into your life.
Blacklight: What’s your fitness regime?
Zweli Dube: I love doing legs. It’s not fun, because there are so many
different muscles in your legs. You have your calf muscle, your hamstring, and gluteal muscles, which make up your buttocks. But even though it’s not fun, that does not mean I do it any less. Actually, now that I am used to it, I enjoy it.
I love doing my arms, my abs and my shoulders because they are the most visible parts of my physique. I am also enjoying this gym called “Movement X” because they specialise in cardio. As much we love the weights, cardio is also quite important.
Blacklight: What do people need to be cautious of when starting to gym?
Zweli Dube: You don’t have to go to the gym every day. It’s important to rest. They say you should at least rest for two days in a week.
Blacklight: What do you eat?
Zweli Dube: I am one of the lucky ones. I get away with murder when it comes to my eating. I eat almost anything, but I choose to stay away from red meat. Yes it’s got iron but I usually will stay away from it for a couple of months and stick to protein, especially when I am preparing for shoots. I love my protein. That includes my fish, chicken and vegetables. And also I eat like eight times a day and that includes my fruits and my salads. So I do eat anything but within that bracket of those particular items. Also how it’s made is very important.
Blacklight What advice would you give to someone trying to live a healthier lifestyle?
Zweli Dube: To be successful in anything, you need to be inspired. If you want to wake up in the morning and go to the gym, do it for yourself, don’t do it because you want to be seen.
When you go into it make it a long term goal. There are no short cuts, unfortunately, even if you use steroids, you might get somewhere but there are serious consequences.
You need to eat right. You have to rest well – that’s very important.
Your partying life has to be cut down. You need to strike a balance between mind, body and soul.
Another thing, be yourself. Don’t be afraid to dream big. People say dream big or go home, I say ‘Dream big or die’.