October 27, 2014
Former professional basketball player and Bahamian national team member Jimmy Mackey is one of the newest certified fitness instructors in the country, and already his work is paying dividends for his clients.
Mackey, the only master personal trainer in the Caribbean region, has trained a number of elite Bahamian athletes, preparing them for various competitions. The list reads like a who's who among the upper echelon athletes in the country. He does his work out of MacFit 360 Personal Fitness Gym, located in the newly built Independence Business Park on East Street South.
"I just figured for myself that personalized fitness sessions is something different that the country needs right now," said Mackey. "I just decided to go with the concept of a personal training studio - clients could come in and get that specialized attention, getting assistance from a trainer at the elite level. Elite athletes now know that they have a place where they could train. We have a lot of equipment that the big gyms have, even testing equipment where we test athletes' metabolism, their vertical tests, speed tests, and all the other lil small stuff that matters. We also test nutrition, get athletes eating the right foods. We have state-of-the-art equipment available, and the energy is out of the roof."
In addition to being the region's only National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Master Trainer, Mackey is also a certified nutritionist, a certified massage therapist and a certified suspension trainer among others. He specializes in sports performance training and rehabilitating, with a strong focus on speed, agility and quickness. When he obtained his corrective exercise credentials, one of the key areas was imbalances in the human body.
"Imbalances in athletes is a common area of concern," said Mackey. "When I started working with Ramon Miller this year, I found out how weak he was in terms of his core strength and his balance. Without those two, it's difficult to generate a lot of power as an athlete. Once he got involved with me, and started working on his conditioning, he noticed that his speed was faster than it usually is around that particular time of year. I just told him that it's just that all of his weaknesses got stronger, and that made him a faster athlete. Even when he broke his ankle, you couldn't even tell that he broke his ankle because he was performing at such a high level."
Miller, the local hero from the 2012 London Olympics, was in top form earlier this year before suffering that untimely injury at the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Relays at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. He broke his ankle prior to the heats of the men's 4x400 meters (m) relay, but still turned in the fastest split for Team Bahamas. He was working with Mackey at MacFit 360 up until that point.
"One of the challenges that I have, and this surfaced with Ramon as well, is that people say that I'm from The Bahamas, so I really don't know much, but here it is I have the credentials to prove myself. I just started pushing myself to get certified, and to be recognized as an elite and master trainer is a huge honor. It makes one want to push harder to get certified further with what's trending in the industry," said Mackey.
In addition to Miller, Mackey also worked with Bahamian professional basketball player Jaraun "Keno" Burrows, the senior women's national basketball team and TWD Athletics Club just to name a few of his clients. His organization, MacFit 360, is named after him, and is open to the public six days each week, from 5 a.m to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Mackey got started as a personal fitness trainer here in The Bahamas about six years ago, moved to the United States to get certified, and has now returned home. His gym, MacFit 360, has been open for about a year.
"A lot of people love the smaller gyms now, the personal training studios, and that is what MacFit 360 is all about," said Mackey. "Being a master trainer, I think that you should be able to train anybody. I would definitely encourage other young people to get involved with fitness training, as long as you have the passion for it. You have to have a passion for this to take it to the next level, and be the best that you could be.
"I took it all the way to being a master trainer, and I'm the first one in the Caribbean. I was just selected out of thousands of trainers around the world to be featured in one of the biggest fitness magazines in the world. I just want to add some awareness to my Bahamian people as far as health and fitness is concerned. I want to implore my Bahamian people to act now and get healthy now, to fine tune your diet and nutrition and get away from all the fatty stuff; just live a healthy lifestyle, and push yourself in everything that you do."
Mackey is encouraging athletes in particular to visit him at MacFit 360 in the Independence Business Park and see immediate results.
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