Avatar photo

By


Fish out of water

We're all used to seeing top swimmer Cameron van der Burgh calmly beating his opponents in the pool.


He’s usually the picture of confidence, exuding an air of cool that makes him seem impossible to challenge. However, a new series called Cam You Can takes the Olympian out of his comfort zone, and tests his self-control and self-confidence. Here he speaks about the show, staying in shape, and pushing himself to new heights.

How, if at all, has participating in the show changed you as a person?

Participating in the show hasn’t really changed me as a person but it has definitely given me the confidence to try new things that I never thought I would do before. These challenges have been set in order to push my comfort zones to the limit. As Head & Shoulders Confidence Ambassador the team thought it would be quite fitting to put my confidence to the test. The H&S team thought it would be good fun for me and my fans to test my confidence out of the water.

Did any of the challenges test your physical fitness? Were you surprised by this?

No, not at all. A lot of the challenges tested my skills more than my physical ability. Swimming gives you a great strengthening workout, making most of the challenges more mentally challenging than physical. Most of the challenges tested my willpower and my confidence more than anything. This experience has been very different for me and at the same time very exciting. It’s tested my capabilities and confidence a lot, and I have managed to rise to the challenge which is a great accomplishment.

Pushing the senses. Cameron van der Burgh prepares for one of the challenges on his new TV show.

Pushing the senses. Cameron van der Burgh prepares for one of the challenges on his new TV show.

Describe your daily workout routine?

I train for six hours a day, so a typical day for me is as follows: From 8-10am I’m in the pool; 10-11am I’m in the gym; 3-4pm I do a pilates class or train abs; 4-6pm I’m in the pool training again.

With this month highlighting diabetes, which is often compounded by lack of exercise, what are your top tips for the average Joe who is trying to get into shape?

My top tip is to start – it’s never too late to get into shape. The first week is always the hardest but if you can push through that first week then it becomes part of your routine. Don’t over-do it in the first week because you are so motivated, pace yourself and stay hydrated.

Can you think of an instance in your career when confidence has tipped the scales in your favour when competing?

Every race I participate in. It’s all in your head; you need to have confidence in your abilities, your training, and your nutrition. Think about the bigger picture and give it 100%. Don’t psych yourself out. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Boosting your confidence so that you can move out of your comfort zone is what life is all about.

It’s about tapping into your core strength, testing your limits and reaching a new level of confidence. It is for this reason that I signed up for the Cam You Can challenge because what sets a seemingly confident approach apart, is the strategies you employ to overcome your nerves and use them to your advantage.

What is your advice to someone trying to get into your game?

Love what you do and have fun with it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There are many reasons to take your next workout to the pool – South Africa has a lot of young talented swimmers, all you need is confidence in yourself and then you too could be a medal winner. With the right level of support these young swimmers can go on to breaki records and winning gold too.

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.