Ex-Israeli Commando Now Schools Civilians In the Fine Art of Fitness

by Curtis Ledgers • Photography Kieth Munyan • Men's Workout Magazine

When survival itself is at stake, one tends to take training just a bit more seriously. For proof ask Israeli Dror Okavi, 26, who served three years in his country's armed forces.

"The world knows how something can happen at any time, and Israelis try to be prepared, but especially those in the military," says Okavi. "Being in excellent condition is expected. There is a lot of time given to training. I have always enjoyed it, so it was nothing for me. In fact, I was one of the drill instructors."

Okavi is still instructing, only now it's to clients as a personal trainer in Los Angeles. If his military training wasn't enough, Okavi was also a champion bodybuilder, capturing the Mr. Israel title twice. So he has the knowledge and experience to help all who seek his advice.

"I have found that many trainers ask their clients what they wish to achieve, and then give them a specific program and diet to meet their desires," he says, "I don't work that way. In my opinion, there is only one way to get in great shape. And that is to sacrifice mentally and physically. You must eat right, work out hard, sweat a lot and keep up the routine. Then you will be in fine shape. When you have reached the state, then you can fine rune your body for specifics like sports."

Sweating hard, says Okavi, is the key to health, and not coincidentally, the number one way to get muscles pumping and looking good. "Especially if you want to get your abs showing," he states. "Regular gym sessions that include sweating tone your body as well as weight training.

There are many men in the weightroom who can lift big numbers, but can't move well and are over-weight. They are putting way too much emphasis on pure strength, which they likely don't need. They are underestimating the importance of stamina and flexibility. Or maybe they're just too lazy to run or bike.

Breathing hard is not fun at the beginning, but as you get into better shape, it can be very rewarding to feel you heart pumping and recovering faster and faster. That is why all men should build up to."