Brown Buttabean: Want to get active? "Don't think, just start!"

By James Perry

Dave Letele and the Brown Buttabean Motivation team took the proactive step before the lockdown and moved their regular boot camp fitness sessions online.

He estimates more than 100,000 people tune in to one of the 20 classes posted to Facebook each week. 

For Letele, keeping the mind active during lockdown is as much the goal as keeping the body moving is.

"It's a very worrying time. We're all very stressed out about it but you come into a session stressed, and you'll leave feeling better. That's to me the mental health side of what we're doing through isolation. That's the most important part. 

Normally, Letele says, around 2000 people attend the community boot camps held in various parts of the country. But due to the threat of Coronavirus, and many of those people being "the most vulnerable" it was decided those sessions would be cancelled. 

Some join in on the online programmes to maintain their fitness regimen. However, Letele believes some people have had a form of health-related self-isolation for years. Now with an online platform designed for the home he says they can now begin their journey to better health in the privacy of their house.

"They're too embarrassed to come out of their house, their health is so far gone, they don't know where to start. So for me, what's pushing me to keep going is if you can imagine how amazing would it be that someone starts on our beginner session that's been in isolation for years gathers up enough confidence to come out of isolation when we come out of isolation?

The programmes are simple, and just like the community boot camps require no special equipment. 

"I lost over 100 kg without using any equipment," he says of his own journey.

"All of our equipment is around our hips, around our bodies. We don't need any other equipment. Everything we do online and in-person is all bodyweight exercises. It's push-ups, squats, and everything that we do. It's how I lost my weight, and it's how we've helped thousands of people."

Along with his wife Koreen, "Mama Bean" and son Fabian "Mini Bean", Dave has also taken some of the classes to television appearing on TV3's Amped. 

"We're blessed to get that opportunity and to come out and get our kids active and have fun together and understand that exercise doesn't have to be something that's not fun. It should be something that's fun and includes the whole family."

As the country enters the fourth week of the nationwide lockdown, and motivation might be starting to wane, or stresses of family and home life might be setting in, Letele says simply sticking to a routine will see them through. 

"Get up, do your stuff have your breakfast and then get ready for training. We've got so many trainings you can do, or you can go online YouTube or whatever the case maybe. Go outside, go into the garage or go into your backyard or go into your back deck or go into a room where the kids aren't around, and that's your time. Get it done, so you're sticking to that routine. 

His last piece of encouragement for those who are looking for motivation to get moving is even simpler.  

"Don't think, just start!"