The Maestro is in charge, his silent commands directing the flow of energy throughout the room.The music vibrates in time to the medley of human bodies moving, pushing, pulling, jumping, reaching — giving it their all. Shoulders, hips, triceps, legs, back, glutes, and of course those pesky love handles — the entire body gets a full ‘blast’ in this class. Video:
An Athlete with a DreamPrince’s passion for fitness stretches as far back into his youth as he can remember. At the age of 14, he got his first big break when a visiting coach from abroad noticed him after he lost a race. “I had my head down and was ready to cry, when this gentleman in a jacket called me over and said that he was impressed with what he saw in me,” reminisces Prince. “Then he asked, ‘If I called you in two weeks, would you be ready to go to the U.S.?’ ” Without hesitation, Prince accepted — never mind that he did not have a passport, far less an American visa, at the time. He sorted out these documents in record time, and with assistance from friends and his teachers at Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive School, he secured a plane ticket and spending money. “I called my brother and told him to pack my suitcase; I told my mom I would call her when I got to the U.S.; from the airport I then hopped on a Greyhound bus, which fortunately dropped me right in front of the coach’s house,” he says. “Looking back on it now, that could have all gone really badly. But even at such a young age, I knew not to let that opportunity pass me by. Nothing would stop me.” Prince received a partial scholarship for track and field at Fairleigh Dickinson University; and then spent one year under the tutelage of Coach Moon at Seton Hall University, both in New Jersey, U.S.A. He also trained under international coach Errol Bird-Jefferson from New Jersey. Prince’s experience working with coaches showed him the importance of having expert guidance to develop an athlete into the best version of himself or herself, and he became interested in enhancing these skills.
From Athlete to TrainerAt the age of 18, Prince entered the fitness arena and began perfecting his signature moves in aerobics and sports training for athletes. To date, he has completed courses in fitness including The Art & Science of Coaching at The University of the West Indies; The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) FA Fitness Course; and The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Medical and Research Centre (F-MARC) course. He has travelled to England, Germany and France to share Trinidad and Tobago’s native soca music to the world, demonstrating how the music can be integrated into aerobic exercise. It was in Germany, where he could not communicate in the native tongue, that he began using his hands to guide the participants through the exercises — like a “maestro” conducting music; body language that remains today as he leads his classes and trains athletes. As fitness trainer of the Joe Public Pro, Super League and Pro Reserve teams; Prince was integral to the nine titles captured by Joe Public between 2009-2010. He attributes the club’s resounding success partly to his emphasis on strength training. “From what I have noticed working in the industry, a sound understanding of sport-specific training is lacking,” he notes. “Some believe that you only need to lift weights if you are a bodybuilder. But a footballer needs to be undergoing specific training known as periodisation throughout the entire year — pre-season, during the season, and post-season — just to stay upright to run several miles during the course of a 90-minute game.” Another point of concern is the lack of knowledge concerning supplementation. “Many young athletes simply do not have the support network of family or enough funds to keep up with their dietary requirements,” says Prince. “Supplements can be used to their benefit, and coaches need to be aware and up to date with this knowledge, to better support the athletes.” One of his goals is to partner with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to introduce strength, power, speed and agility programmes for youths in the nation’s schools to provide support for athletes up to the national level. “We have endless talent here; endless, endless talent,” he emphasises. “But too often, the talent falls through the cracks because of lack of funding, or lack of focus, or lack of knowledge. We have not really developed the infrastructure to reap this talent as yet; that is where I see myself being able to make a difference.”
Prince Body Blast SculptToday, Prince has honed over two and a half decades of experience into the creation of the Body Blast Sculpt Programme, which he is currently in the process of franchising. From branded clothing, to the bespoke music mixes and customised step-up boxes, soon he will be ‘blasting’ out the word, expanding via franchising to create the dream he nurtures daily — a dream that only truly took flight after he lost his job as a gym manager, and decided to convert his vast knowledge into his own business. He credits part of his success to his wife Joanne’s involvement and belief in him, which helped fuel his entrepreneurial drive then, and continues to do so today. She is, oftentimes, a participant in his class — and has been since the early days when attendance was low. This is certainly not the case today. Gym patrons have to go early to ensure that they secure a ticket for his class, which currently runs at a few gyms including HyperActive Fitness Club in Arima, and Jungle Gym in Valsayn. Using a combination of free weights, barbells, step-up boxes, and other pieces of equipment; the Body Blast Sculpt class offers a total workout that will provide fast results, without requiring the bulky equipment of a gym. Persons of all ages and varied ranges of abilities can participate — he has, in fact, held classes with young tots as well as elderly persons. While the setup cost of a gym may be prohibitive for schools, the Body Blast Programme can be used instead to promote fitness among the nation’s youth. Similarly, for the corporate world, a key benefit of the class is that the equipment can be easily transported, thus enabling the programme to be provided on-site for employees. Prince currently works with Bankers’ Insurance Co. Ltd. in Chaguanas, through their CEO Mr. Vance Gabriel, a fitness enthusiast with the long-term vision and wisdom to invest in the health and wellness of the company’s employees and family members. “Having packaged my experience and expertise in the field, I have created something I truly believe in,” says Prince. “With everything I do — whether I’m working with a CEO, a student or a professional athlete — I am in the business of changing lives. Fitness has always been one of the best parts of my life; let me bring that experience to you.”
What You Need to Know
- Group training for companies is available, as well as personal training for individuals. Contact Prince directly for details.
- Classes can be found at Jungle Gym, Valsayn (upstairs Subway on KFC compound) and Hyperactive Fitness Club, Arima
- For future franchising inquiries, please contact Prince directly.