Meet Scottsdale resident Amen Iseghohi, owner of amenZone, an innovative gym with a back-to-basics approach to fitness. You won’t find weights or machines at amenZone, just tires and your inner primal instinct. At amenZone you find inspirational quotes instead of mirrors. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, to African parents, he was raised in London until the age of 8, when his parents decided to send him and his sister to West Africa. They did this so Amen could gain the fundamentals of life and learn the culture of his ancestors. He was looked after by his grandmother, a former athlete who distilled her active lifestyle on him. The compound on which they lived was filled with tires, which his grandmother often used as a metaphor for life: movement. His time there stuck with him in his journey through college in England, professional rugby and even a successful career in corporate America. It was through that career that he ended up in Arizona, and the rest is history. Having never lost his athlete’s mentality, he opened up his gym and has been doing amazing work ever since, including motivational speaking and helping to fight childhood obesity. We are honored to have had the opportunity to sit down and speak to a great man.
Arizona Foothills Magazine: Why are you living in Scottsdale?
Amen Iseghohi: Who wouldn't? Frankly, I came here by way of Tucson and only had plans to stay here temporarily, but as many who also come here with the same intentions, I ended up staying. Coming from a major city like London, Arizona was an acquired taste. I took pleasure in turning an uncertain situation into a positive. I immediately focused on the advantages of living in Scottsdale. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.! As with anything in life, if you are busy being positive it becomes difficult to see any negatives. It’s shocking for some to believe that I actually started off in corporate America. With a background in business I worked my way into my passion of using fitness to change lives starting right here.
AFM: How did you get into motivational speaking, and what do your sessions entail?
AI: My experience in corporate America, and as a successful entrepreneur in the health and wellness industry, has helped my maturation process into being an accomplished motivational speaker. As the owner of amenZone Primal Training (voted best place to workout by Yelp!) and founder of the amenZone Foundation, I was nominated “40 under 40” by the Business Journal for the positive impact made on my community. I have been hired for speaking engagements and wellness events from different ends of the spectrum; from great organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, the U.S. Army, police units, to large business corporations such as Quickens Loans. My events are always highly energetic, inspirational, motivational and very informative. My rates are anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000.
My message is inspirational, motivational and centered around self-care. The importance of keeping employees mentally and physical healthy has become the most vital investment a company can make. By creating a healthier lifestyle, corporations are creating healthier employees that improve their overall productivity and are able to save money on healthcare expenses. Research shows that for every dollar invested in employees wellness, the company saves $3-$5 in health costs.
AFM: What is your vision of the future for amenZone?
AI: My ultimate goal is to continue to be a great ambassador for self-care, speaking at corporations nationally and internationally as the amenZone brand expands to expands to other major cities in and out of the states.
AFM: What’s your diet like?
AI: Breakfast is my favorite meal. I often start my day with a breakfast high in fiber chosen from different wholegrain varieties such as oatmeal. I absolutely avoid meals high in saturated fat. I love fruits, and have found several ways to enjoy my vegetables by making them fun to eat. Dried fruits or nuts have always been healthy snacks for me to pick on. I drink about 2 liters of water daily to avoid being dehydrated.
AFM: What is your workout routine?
AI: My schedule is extremely hectic, so I created a Primal gym at home consisting of tires, a boxing bag, a pull-up bar and a medicine ball. I exercise every working day as early as 4:45 a.m., and usually off to work by 5:30 a.m. I see everyday as another opportunity to get it right, and do better than the previous day.
AFM: What work are you doing with children?
AI: I began the pursuit of my passion by training and sharing my self-care philosophy with kids. With over 12 million children overweight and obese in America, I made it my personal goal to help reverse this epidemic. It was immediately obvious to me that a grassroots effort was needed to fight this locally and nationally epidemic. I created the amenZone 501c3 foundation to help me reach and as many children as possible. We truly believe the lack of self-esteem also plays a huge role in this issue. Having started with one child and one tire at cactus park in Scottsdale, we have now reached thousands of children and partnered with great organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Scottsdale Healthcare, and several native Indian communities, just to mention a few.