Student motivates others to exceed their physical health limits

“Even though my father was a bodybuilder, I had to be independent when it came to my physical state and my health goal,” Yauw said. “I’ve learned more of what I know from myself. If I had the information I am now receiving as a student, things would have been very different.”

Translated by NANCY OY

En Español

The sweat dripped from his face as he tried to finish more reps. His objective looked closer, but he was ready to give up. His trainer motivated him to continue, so he used all the energy he had left and did more reps. Finally, he cleaned his face with a towel before placing it on his shoulder and walking towards the dressing rooms with pride for a job well done.

This is what his trainer has always wanted to see.

Yauw ayuda a Rahman a perfeccionar su forma mientras hace un ejercicio de estiramiento. Foto de Nicole Frost / El Nuevo Sol

Yauw helps Awon Rahman perfect his form while completing a stretching exercise. Photo: Nicole Frost / El Nuevo Sol

Hendro Yauw is a kinesiology student at California State University, Northridge who aspires to see people exceed their physical limits with the goal of improving their health, well-being and self-confidence.

Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Yauw always fought for his health and well-being. When he was an overweight child, he had self-esteem issues that affected his health. Everything changed when, in high school, he decided to visit the weight room and take his physical condition seriously.

Yauw has many specific objectives, but his mission is to improve the health and aptitude of others in a way he couldn’t when he was younger.

“Even though my father was a bodybuilder, I had to be independent when it came to my physical state and my health goal,” Yauw said. “I’ve learned more of what I know from myself. If I had the information I am now receiving as a student, things would have been very different.”

Yauw has begun his dream with people close to him. His best friend said Yauw inspired him to improve his health.

“Hendro told me his story and that motivated me to be healthier,” said his best friend Awon Rahman. “He is very motivating and works hard to reach his goals. Ever since I met Hendro, we’ve always competed to have better results than the other.”

Rahman graduated from CSUN with a degree in engineering. He has always been interested in physical aptitude, but having his best friend’s support has helped a lot. Yauw gave his friend the push that he needed to seriously keep his new style of living.

Yauw also inspired people who never worried about their physical health, like his friend Giano Fernández.

“I never exercised, but now I do cross country,” said Fernández. “Now I am sponsored by Reebok and have lost 30 pounds since last December, but I’ve also gained muscle weight.”

At first, Yauw came to CSUN to study physical therapy, centered primarily in rehabilitation and injury recovery. This discipline centers mainly on functions of minor muscles and fine motor skills. Yauw decided that wasn’t the path for him and changed his emphasis to personal training.

“The personal training has more variety career wise,” said Yauw. “I want to work in sports performance to help athletes increase their strength and recover. My dream is to work for the United States Olympic Committee.”

Right now, Yauw works as a strength and conditioning trainer for CSUN athletes, but he also participates in a program that works with another type of athlete.

“This semester I started working with the Diabetes Prevention Program in San Fernando,” said Yauw. “It’s a free program where the community, regardless of physical aptitude, gets together three mornings per week to work and learn about having a better style of living. I like this program a lot and being able to return to the community the same way I wish I could have been able to do when I was younger, when I started to worry about my aptitude and health.”

Yauw instructs a group of participants that mostly do not speak English. Not only does he have to explain the exercise’s purpose clearly, he must also do this with the language barrier.

“I communicate mainly with hand signs and pointing to the muscle the exercise will work,” said Yauw. “It’s difficult explaining the reason for the exercises in a language the participants can understand, when a lot of the participants speak a different language, which makes it more difficult.”

Yauw, además de ayudar a sus amigos a superarse en cuestión física y nutricional, también asiste a participantes del programa de 100 Ciudadanos del parque de San Fernando. Foto: Joanna Jacobo / El Nuevo Sol

Yauw, aside from helping his friends with their health and nutrition, also assist participants of the 100 Citizens Program in the San Fernando Park. Photo: Joanna Jacobo/ EL Nuevo Sol

One of the challenges that Yauw faced when he started the program was keeping the participants motivated.

“A lot of the participants have come only to stay standing and not do the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day,” said Yauw. “At first, it was difficult keeping them motivated, but now it’s much better. They start to see the results and now they are excited with the training. One of the participants lost 5 kilograms (about 11 pounds) and now she can’t stay still.”

For some participants, the success brings their own struggles.

“When the participants start to see results, they realize they can gain weight,” said Yauw. “Their progress constructs muscles, lean mass, that weighs more than fat. It can be difficult assuring them that their bodies are adapting to the stimuli in their muscles and later they will see a difference.”

Rahman y Yauw practican el boxeo en su casa. Foto de Nicole Frost / El  Nuevo Sol

Yauw (right), a student-trainer at the 100 Citizens program, and his friend Rahman practice boxing. Photo: Nicole Frost / El Nuevo Sol

Yauw’s own childhood connects him to the people he is helping in the program. A lot of the participants have diabetes or propensity to disease. He hopes to provide support and knowledge to the community since he didn’t have this kind of mentor growing up. His main objective is to offer help to others because he never had help when he wanted to improve his life.

“I’m learning as I go,” said Yauw. “I’m learning to be a leader and how to help these people enjoy exercising and healthy eating, not be afraid of it. Seeing their lives improve is huge, now I understand. A man has lost 60 pounds after he told us he was obese, he had hypertension and he was at risk of having diabetes. Now, he enjoys challenging himself.”

Yauw and other trainers in the program recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day, as well as a rich diet of fruits, vegetables, whole-wheat grains and lean proteins in order to live a healthier life.

“Type 2 Diabetes is preventable with the right physical aptitude and health routine,” said Yauw. “It’s my personal mission to assure that the whole world knows it.”

Tags:  #100CitizensCSUN 100 Citizens 100 Citizens Program 100 Ciudadanos City of San Fernando CSUN CSUN Kinesiology diabetes health Nancy Oy Nicole Frost prevención de diabetes Salud San Fernando San Fernando Park

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