Interview with Heba Ali about her hybrid training routine, career and fitness

Women's Best Interview Team

Reading time: 7min

Name: Heba Ali

Location: USA / NJ 

Height: 167 cm

Birthday date: 22/08

Can you share more about yourself? When and how did you discover your passion for fitness (and health)?

From a young age, I raged to achieve greatness in everything I set my mind to. 

When it came to sports, I began where most people do, inexperienced but with a burning desire to get better. I worked out recreationally since I was 13 years old but decided to take my performance to the next level in my junior year of high school when I joined Track. I chose this sport because running was my biggest weakness and I was aware of it. The challenge for me became to conquer the anxiety, fear, and vulnerability that came with running, all of which were mental obstacles. I remember thinking to myself “If I can transform myself from being a poor runner to an elite runner then I will truly discover the power of my mind and body”. 

So, that’s what I did. I had no advantages and accepted no excuses. I faced many shameful loses, but I used these failures to fuel my drive to become even better. I took responsibility for myself by not relying on my coach or teammates to make me better. At 16 years old, I studied for my private training certification although, I wasn’t old enough to be certified, I knew that the knowledge would excel in my performance. It worked. Two seasons later, I was one of the best 800-meter runners in my school, making it 1st place at States in the 4×800 relay. I enjoy sharing this story to inspire those who fill that they can’t achieve certain goals because they lack resources. I had no advantages, what set me apart was accepting my weaknesses and being fueled by failures. Failure kills hope and motivation if you allow it to do so. It’s how our brains are wired, and if you can wire it to learn and become better from failures then you won’t be defeated. I knew my performance transformation wasn’t the outcome of my physical work alone. My transformation was led primarily by a courageous acceptance of my weaknesses and using the negative emotions that came with failing such as vulnerability, fear, and anxiety to fuel my drive even more. Instead of continuing Track in college, I decided to dedicate all my energy and time to personal training and Psychology studies. I became obsessed with cognitive psychology, which describes the foundation for virtually every aspect of who we are by examining our cognition (what we do, say or feel).  When I started my company, I knew it would evolve into more than just a private training company, which is why I termed it ‘Evolve Nation’. Self-evolution never ends, it’s a continuous cycle and that’s the beauty. After helping hundreds of my clients improve their health, I decided to scale worldwide by hosting my seminars to target a greater mass. My seminars entailed the physical component of hybrid training, which is my unique style of training that implements cardio, strength training and functionality. In addition to this, there is also a lecture component that discusses nutrition, training and psychological matters. Hybrid Training is suitable and flexible for individuals and allows them to continuously challenge their enjoyably. More recently, I’ve started public speaking to share my extensive experience and knowledge around Psychology, fitness and overall health. As I continue to evolve, I hope to inspire the nation to experience its self-evolution and break boundaries each and every day.

What is your biggest achievement?

This is a challenging question for me to answer because what I perceive as a big achievement now differs from what the 18-year-old me who devoted each hour every day to win the states 4×800 relay. Now, I would say that my biggest achievement is developing the mindset I have at an early age. I know some will read this and not really grasp the meaning behind it, but for me, it feels like I won the lottery in life. 

What is your secret to MOTIVATING yourself to work out?

Motivation comes and goes. It’s easy to put in work when motivation is there, but when it’s not, things get much harder. Discipline is what keeps me on track when motivations fade and believe me it does. In addition to this, I’d say that the high level of respect and value I have for my health is what keeps me active. 

What are the best 3 advices you would give to your supporters and the people inspired by you?

  1. Know who you are and what you genuinely want (most people conform to societies beliefs of who they should be and how they should act)
  2. Put yourself first. It sounds like a selfish act, but when you’re in a good state, you’re able to better serve those you love
  3. Do everything that scares you. We hear it all the time that “fear holds us back”. And truly it does. It holds us back from learning more about ourselves, experiencing more in life and building new relationships with others.

What are your favorite 3 fitness exercises?

  1. Power Cleans 
  2. Burpee Tuck Jumps 
  3. Battle Ropes

How often do you work out a week? And what is your workout routine/schedule?

I work out 6 days a week. My workout routine varies each quarter of the year since Hybrid Training entails several styles of training. I go through a powerlifting phase to build power, and then I’ll transition to bodybuilding and functional strength training so I can target my speed and strength. My daily routine usually starts with going to the gym first thing in the morning and then hitting rehab exercises later that day to aid my body’s recovery.

What does your diet look like? Do you commit to a special diet? (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, low carb, low fat)

I don’t believe in diets. I do believe everyone is different and so each person is responsible for discovering what kind of healthy foods they actually enjoy eating so they don’t have to feel deprived of living a good life. For myself, I eat everything that comes from the Earth in moderation. I train for performance so it’s essential that I fuel my body will all the nutrients it needs to perform and recover. 

Do you have cheat days? If yes, what is your most favorite cheat meal?

No, I eat flexible, so I don’t schedule a cheat day. 

What supplements do you use? And what is your favorite Women’s Best product?

Vegan Protein Powder is my favorite Women’s Best product. I utilize protein powder at least 2x a day to help with meeting my protein intake requirements. Some ways I integrate protein powder into my meals is by adding it to my smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, pudding or acai bowls. I also supplement with the superfood mixes, bcaa’s, hair vitamins, glutamine, wheatgrass, and pre-workout.

Many people find it hard to eat healthy on a daily basis. How do you make sure to keep a healthy diet in your everyday life?

As I mentioned earlier, the best way to sustain a healthy way of eating is to find healthy food options you actually enjoy and look forward to eating. If one argues that they can’t eat the same thing every day, they can consider using different sauces/spices to change up the flavor of their healthy meals.

What has inspired you towards social media? When/how did you start it? And what is your favorite platform (Instagram / YouTube / Facebook etc…)?

The reason for starting up Evolve Nation was due to the obvious scams and unethical business practices being implemented in the fitness and health industry. With a rise in demand for help, human health became the trade-off for economic advantages. Big manufacturers and fitness “gurus” quickly began to maximize on this demand by developing “quick fix” products, deceiving food labels “fat-free” which has resulted in a misleading representation of what health is and how it’s achieved.  In addition to the false advertisements, the industry fails to promote the importance of mental/emotional health; both of which are essential for optimal health. The reason for this is because there isn’t as convincing and profitable as promoting a bottle of weight loss pills is. As a result of this, Evolve Nation was developed with the intent of revolutionizing the representation of health by shifting the attention away from only the “aesthetic” aspect and towards both mental health and wellness. Instagram is currently my favorite social channel because it’s convenient and allows me to connect more with my online family. 

How do you think the mindset we have to affect what we can achieve?

Virtually everything we do, feel, or say is an outcome of our cognition (mind). Therefore, if we lack awareness or control of our thoughts, we become very weak and inefficient. Having awareness allows us to better regulate our emotions so we don’t make poor decisions in the “heat of the moment” and allows us to better analyze and understand a situation from a logical perspective. By having control over our minds, we can also gear our attention on what we want rather than having our attention constantly disturbed. Better relationships with one’s self and others are other byproducts of having an intellectual mindset. Our minds control every thought we have about a person; think back to when you made poor assumptions about someone that turned out to be false. Or think about times when you could have ended a relationship or lost your cool but instead you refrained from emotionally reacting to the situation. The difference between both scenarios is simply determined by thought. If we lack awareness, then our minds will continue to operate through our subconscious, which doesn’t always make the best choices. But if we can be aware of that then we enter a conscious state and begin to rationalize thus projecting better behavior. 

You are famous for your hybrid training routine. Can you briefly explain why you choose this type of exercise over regular gym training?

I created this form of training because it always leaves some room for growth. With many training styles integrated into my training routine, I always have an area to work on and improve. Aside from this, I love nature so bringing my workouts outdoors always puts me in the right state of mind. Fun Fact: When I became my career as a personal trainer, I bought a pickup truck and loads of gym equipment and traveled to different parks to train myself and my clients. 

What are your future goals?

My overall goal in life is to use my knowledge and skills to improve human health from the inside out. Therefore, I plan to continue to share content intended to introduce fitness as a tool to condition the mind and body continuously. In addition to further expanding Evolve Nation seminars globally to reach greater masses. Lastly, to create a foundation devoted to providing the educational resources for self-development which is lacking in the academic system. 

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