The “Big Boy” Who Became a Fitness Enthusiast: Yanga Ngcayisa Is Changing the Way People Think About Exercise

The “Big Boy” Who Became a Fitness Enthusiast: Yanga Ngcayisa Is Changing the Way People Think About Exercise

  • Yanga Ngcayisa spoke to Briefly News about how fitness used to be a personal struggle for him growing up and took a lot to overcome
  • Graduating from Witwatersrand meant the end of varsity rugby, leaving the young man with no physical outlet resulting in weight gain
  • He later managed to commit to a workout routine and he has been moving ever since, inspiring the birth of his own brand Y Not
  • YNOT Workout Deck is part of Yanga’s brand which comprises a deck of 52 cards with various effective and challenging exercises to keep training unique

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Briefly News on your News Feed!

The best way to predict the future is to create it. The same can be said for the fitness enthusiast, Yanga Ngcayisa whose change in attitude and long hours in the gym, not only shed him some kilos but also paved the way to a flourishing future.

The Cape Town resident, who hails from Gqeberha, spoke to Briefly News about his health and fitness journey and how it has significantly changed his life and become a career.

Big Boy, Fitness Enthusiast, Yanga Ngcayisa, Exercise
Yanga Ngcayisa changed his mindset and out in the work to achieve his body transformation. Image: Yanga Ngcayisa/Supplied
Source: UGC

How it all started

Yanga’s first taste of fitness was through school sports in junior age groups such as rugby and cricket. He shared that growing up, he had always been the “big kid” on the team, making fitness in general, a personal struggle for him.

PAY ATTENTION: Never miss breaking news – join Briefly News' Telegram channel!

“I even felt anxious and nauseous at times just from the thought of it. It was at the age of 15 that I started early morning running to improve my fitness levels. At that point I just wanted didn’t want to be last during all the fitness sessions.”

Fast forward a couple of years later when rugby was no longer in the picture, the Wits Marketing and Management graduate felt as though he had nothing to work towards anymore and picked up weight.

“I had no answers to this bull until I decided to commit to myself. That is how my fitness journey began, I made a promise to myself to direct my efforts inward and to give back to myself. I have not looked back since.”

Building a brand

The athlete learned valuable skills to build his fitness and exercise expertise and brand, YNOT.

“My knowledge in fitness comes from my conditioning coaches during my high school rugby and junior level varsity cup rugby stints. I then did my own further research and learned from experience too.”

He is still learning and establishing himself in the health and physical fitness space. However, he does consider himself a trusted voice in the fitness space who has a lot to offer.

“As an entrepreneur and product innovator, I think one of the challenges I face is self-doubt. Things sometimes do not go as well as planned or they do not grow as quickly as you would like them to and that is where the self-doubt starts to creep in.
“The risk involved in embarking on a new project like the innovative YNOT Workout Deck is quite high as it is a product that is new to the market. You never really know how it is going to be received even if you think it is a great idea,” the young man shared.

The YNOT Workout Deck

The YNOT Workout Deck is a product of Yanga’s brand and is where fun meets fitness! It is a deck of cards that boasts 52 cards with various effective and challenging exercises to keep training unique every time.

According to Yanga, workout variation is an integral part of keeping workouts engaging and staying consistent. Without variation, training quickly becomes monotonous and less effective.

The goal is to complete the workout deck and further improve the time in which it takes you to complete the deck.

Gaining strength through struggle

Exercise is more than just a fun lifestyle activity for Yanga, it pulled him out of a dark space.

“It means a lot to me. Depending on my mood, it serves as an outlet or stress-reliever but other times it is honestly just fun to throw my body and some weights around. It is a pleasurable type of pain (only after the workout though).
“Through all of this, the main thing is that it honestly humbles me, keeps me grounded, and provides a different perspective on life. Through fitness, I have learned that on the other side of the struggle is your strength and that you just need to endure. You can apply this to any challenge that you face in life,” he shared.

Taking control

The 24-year-old shared that although life is not always fair, it is important to control the areas that you can.

“Fitness is an aspect of life which is in our control and has the power to transform someone’s mental state for them to take control or make a change in other areas of their lives.
I have the privilege to be a catalyst for change in someone else’s life and that is a massive honour – that is what I enjoy most,” said Yanga.

He draws inspiration from anything and everything around him as well as from looking back at how far he has come.

Big Boy, Fitness Enthusiast, Yanga Ngcayisa, Exercise
Yanga Ngcayisa is an athlete who has created an innovative product made for everyone to enjoy exercise. Image: Yanga Ngcayisa/Supplied
Source: UGC

Dreaming big

With various projects in the pipeline, Yanga aspires to have the biggest fitness and health brand in the world.

“I feel that all the goals and dreams I have are just checkpoints on my journey and the goal is to see people doing things for themselves after coming across my story. The highest human act is to inspire so that is my goal.

Proudest achievements

“Everything I have achieved so far has its own significance; from the weight-loss transformation to being featured on internationally recognised outlets such as Men’s Health and GQ. I would say the proudest achievement so far though is creating the YNOT Workout Deck as this is my way of leaving my mark and legacy in the fitness world.

It is something that took a lot of courage to do, and I had to overcome so much self-doubt to make it come to life. I hope this inspires others to do the same in the field/fields they love.

Lessons learned

Yanga has learned that training can teach you a lot if you allow it. It has also been the commitment to his own journey that has helped him understand the value of hard work, discipline, and consistency.

“I have learned that good things come from discomfort so instead of avoiding it, I started confronting it. Physical exercise makes you feel uncomfortable but, in the process, you are getting stronger, becoming more resilient, gaining more confidence, and most importantly you are gaining mental fortitude.”

The best piece of advice he’s been given:

“Do not take no for an answer – be stubborn on your vision but flexible with the details.”

Man shows off bizarre exercise routine, Mzansi can't deal

In a separate story, Briefly News previously reported that many South Africans complained that the nationwide lockdown was not good for their health and fitness.

A common gripe is that weight gain has increased, as people are forced to spend more time indoors.

However, Twitter user Fhatuwani Mukheli (@fhatuwaniMukhel) seemed to have no such complaints if his exercise video is anything to go by.

The young man displayed unbelievable fitness and strength with the breathtaking routine. Tweeps watched on in amazement as he pulled off some audacious moves.

Source: Briefly News

Online view pixel