Are you always on the lookout for new gyms, studios and trainers to workout with? Well, so are we. That’s the foundation of Stay Fit 305 after all – to be your guide to the best South Florida trainers, gyms, studios, health foods and fitness events. We love featuring new trainers. These are the individuals pushing you to your limits when you want to give up, and who you thank when you’ve reached your goal. This week, get to know fitness entrepreneur and professional MMA fighter, Asim Zaidi. Asim is a Miami native, with his hands in a pair of successful business ventures – Fast Twitch and Apple A Day.
Can you tell me a little about your athletic career?
I started amateur fighting in 2004 for the US team division and I now fight professionally. I have won three National and two World Champion fights.
How long do you train?
I train a mandatory five hours a day and an additional two hours of video study.
Who is your role model and why?
Georges St-Pierre from Montreal, Canada. I actually joined his team and have always admired how humble he is. George has always spoken about fear and how he uses that to train harder. Before each fight I’m scared to death, but I have now learned how to manage my fear.
How did you get involved with Fast Twitch?
James Meder was my coach for seven years. After we met sparring, I told him I was interested in investing in the business. Now I am a part owner, but James is the mastermind behind it.
What is your role in Fast Twitch?
I’m an adviser and I just started teaching privates, teaching Jiu-Jitsu, MMA and Martial Arts.
How do you feel about the direction Fast Twitch is going?
It’s unbelievable the direction Fast Twitch is going. We have facilities in North Miami, South Miami, Miami Gardens and a fourth coming to Deerfield Beach. All facilities operate using our Fast Twitch training methodology.
Can you tell us more about the new Deerfield Beach facility?
It’s a 70,000 square foot space partnership with DS Sports Plex featuring six basketball courts and eight volleyball courts. Fast Twitch will be activating two unique spaces, with one area focusing on strength and power development, and the other area focusing on movement and speed development. The facility will be home to DVA Volleyball, one of the area’s top basketball organizations, an entertainment lounge, and many other amenities.
I know your dad has been a stalwart in Miami Beach owning Apple a Day. How long has Apple a Day been in business and how are you involved?
Apple A Day has been in business for 26-27 years. It was a supermarket for most of it’s time but I decided to convince my father (Rizwan Zaidi) to turn it into a cafe. I do the marketing for the cafe and was involved in the remodeling.
How has the family business (a health food café) helped you as a professional athlete?
I eat 6,000-7,000 calories a day because of all the training. I follow a Vegan diet four days out of the week, and the others I’m Pescaterean. One day out of the month I eat animal protein. Since making these changes, my endurance has gone up and I never need to nap. It really helps to keep me moving throughout the day.
How are you able to juggle business and training?
I learned to have a strong work ethic from my father. You have to have drive, willpower and passion for what you do. I love it all and these are my passions.
Fun question – what is your spirit animal?
White Tiger – it’s a majestic and calm animal. When it’s ready to act or hunt, it stays calm and gets the job done.