THE gym in most countries is synonymous with beauty and health and Trinidadians take both very seriously, although only for a special date, the carnival.
With the arrival of thousands of Venezuelans in recent years, new ideas and proposals at the training level have been introduced to TT’s gym enthusiasts and professionals.
Newsday spoke with two coaches at the Millenium Gym in Tunapuna, Andy Rodríguez (Trinidadian) and Edimer Ordaz (Venezuelan), who in their analysis of training styles agreed on a big difference, in TT people focus on physical training once a year.
Rodríguez has more than 15 years dedicated to physical training and recognises that a lack of consistency among Trinidadians lowers the levels of depth and growth of body-building.
“When I started, everything was very different now, from the technical training to the diet to the modernity of the equipment,” he said.
Rodríguez recalls that 15 years ago there was less interest in body care and therefore fewer gyms and less investment.
“Trinidadians now like training a little more, however, this is not constant. People like it because they know that between nutrition and training they will have better body and health and that is why they dedicate themselves to preparing only two months before the carnivals, the rest of the year they forget about training and diets,” he said.
Ordaz, a Venezuelan coach with more than 20 years of experience, recognises that in Venezuela aesthetics is closely related to training.
“There is a lot of emphasis on aesthetics, women and men are constantly in gyms, they are training throughout the year, two or three times a week they do legs and are educated on how to train to improve some aspect,” he said.
With little government and financial support, one of the major differences between body-building in TT and Venezuela is a lack of competitions.
“There are fewer competitions here, only four bodybuilding events a year,” Rodríguez said.
This has caused many of the TT athletes to look for alternatives in other countries.
“There is little support and publicity for body-building, that slows the growth possibilities of the sport a bit,” said Rodríguez
In Venezuela, there are multiple competitions.
“In each city there are competitions between gyms, then between municipalities, then states and national championships, a whole competitive system that promotes local talent,” Ordaz acknowledges.
Both coaches agree that TT has enough human potential to impose itself sportingly in the region, as long as advertising and support strategies are started to be promoted in each speciality to encourage the population.
“Training must be constant, multiple competencies and economic, educational and moral support must grow so that people feel that motivation towards sport,” concludes Rodríguez.