Hungarian physiologist in pursuit of fitness dream

Ruben Alaverdo

CLAD in a black leather jacket that highlighted his athletic figure, Ruben Alaverdo breezed into a coffee shop in Bao’an District with a smile on his face on a brilliant spring day.

Trained as a physiologist in university in his home country, Alaverdo came to Shenzhen 14 years ago on a work invitation from a local fitness and beauty salon. All three of his colleagues who came with him had returned home before their contracts expired, but Alaverdo stayed.

“The first year was very difficult,” he recalled. “The weather, the culture, and the food, there were too many things we had to adapt ourselves to.”

He was fortunate, Alaverdo said, to have made friends with a few expatriates who taught him about doing business during that time. In 2007, Alaverdo started his own trading company in Hong Kong and the business has since expanded, exporting a wide range of Shenzhen-made products such as electronics and LEDs (light emitting diodes) to foreign countries.

Once crowned at a national fitness competition in Hungary, Alaverdo has always had a passion for bodybuilding.

Working out on a daily basis, he also has visited quite a few gyms in Shenzhen and has never stopped updating his knowledge on the new findings in the field.

Alaverdo said he has used the bodybuilding theories he knows to reduce his body fat by 7 percent. Without resorting to using the technical jargon, he is good at explaining the theories behind his training methods in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

Before he came to Shenzhen, Alaverdo worked in his home country helping train Olympic athletes and he had hoped to share his knowledge by opening a gym of his own.

“I went to many gyms in the city and found some good ones,” he said. “I found there is a common problem with some businesses here: they lack a passion for what they’re doing.”

People in Europe are prone to choose a career by following their hearts. “If a person has a passion for food, he chooses to open a restaurant. If a person has a passion for fitness, he opens a gym,” he said. “Unlike here, people usually do it only because it makes money.”