Learning to Live with the Nature

In conversation with Mr. Craig Heslop, founder, Tribal Fitness.


Teaching the Kingdom to live one step close to nature is the Tribal Fitness center located at Budaiya. Mr Craig Heslop, the founder and head trainer at this distinctive fitness place sat down with Bahrain This Week, opening to us a new world of fitness regime unlike the ones you may find at  a regular gym.

“My idea of opening up this place was to provide an umbrella under which everyone in the family including the grandparents, parents and kids can come together and regain their health.” Craig who has been here in Bahrain since last 5 years, is an avid traveler who was born in South Africa and later moved to UK, New Zealand, Australia and probably travelled half the way across the globe. “While travelling, I was able to collect diverse patterns of living from different places. Like the Maori tribes of New Zealand, where I could find the 89 year old grandmother working with agility of any youngster you may find in today’s world. Their secret is the physical labor that they do doggedly and consuming only what the nature provides them.”

Tribal Fitness, the name is very special for Craig for two main reasons. “The main reason for the name is the group of people working out with us. So it is like a tribe and we have over 120 fantastic members with us. It is difficult to achieve goals in fitness as an individual. But when you are with a group of people supporting you and working with you, it becomes a nourishing experience. The second reason is because we go back to the lessons of nature. Our emphasis is to follow the natural movements and food. Fitness industry is very complicated and people are confused as of what is the right thing to do. We simplify fitness here and make them easy and fun.”

When we asked him if there were other centers following his practices elsewhere in the world, Craig answered. “Not that I am aware of! What we follow here are the methods I had taken up during my travels and Tribal Fitness will always remain my child.”

During the conversation he also expressed his concern over the pediatric obesity statistics of Bahrain. “You can never blame the kids alone for being obese. If they see their parents in front of the TV all the time they would follow that. If the parents are involved in activities like walking or swimming, kids would love to do that too. It’s our responsibility to step up, be responsible and teach our kids how to live the natural way.”

“Bahrain is a great place to be. We all travel by car and often do desk job. But having a great lifestyle often comes with a cost and we become sedentary. We don’t have to go to a gym to stay at the baseline of health. Having a good walk, getting a good sleep are few of the things that can help out. The culture here is very different as it’s generally very hot in the summer and we tend to have the outdoor activities for late evenings. And some of my friends here find it so difficult to be in bed by 09-10 at night. But this doesn’t help you get the required Vitamin D and natural fresh air. And this practice ends up in ailments for the future generation.” Craig shares one of the major health issues found in this region. “But luckily things have started to change. Bahrain is waking up. The Bahrain challenge triathlon organized by HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa has put the right awareness to the public.”

“We organize private and group sessions like health holidays. Every individual has different needs and we adapt ourselves to their requirements.” Craig explained the sessions being organized at the Tribal Fitness. “Even in group workouts, we have strength based sessions, survival sessions, mobility sessions which are very popular among the elder ones who find it difficult to squat and sit down. We don’t throw out the same old program to everybody, but try to make it as tailor made as possible for every individual who trains with us.”

“All our programs, may it be the juniors or the adults, are based on natural movements. We just don’t make you run or crawl, but teach you to do it the right way. We don’t follow the same old boring things you do at a fitness center but would love to have our trainees run, jump, climb up the bars and enjoy every moment as they train to stay healthy.”

Sharing with BTW, the secret to remain fit and healthy, he noted. “Nature holds key to good health. I dare anyone to eat copious amounts of vegetation, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, and meat and try gain weight. It will be next to impossible.”

Mr. Craig Heslop and his co trainer Ms. Danielle Love have travelled a long way since last 5 years in the Kingdom. The warm welcome this nation has given to their venture has so far been at the fullest and the duo expects to give more to the kingdom by guiding the people of Bahrain remain young and healthy.

For more details, visit Tribal Fitness.