Coach Spotlight: Mario Pangestu

by | Mar 22, 2021 | Male, Trainers

We caught up with Mario Pangestu, our resident Strength and Olympic Weightlifting coach at Level Jakarta to talk about how he joined us, the pandemic, and why he’s known as “The Gorilla”.

Level Jakarta: Meet Our Coaches!

Welcome to the team! Tell us about yourself!

I was born in 1988 to a family of four brothers and I’m the youngest! I’m a Pelita Harapan graduate and from the age of 16, I’ve been going to the gym almost every day cause I like it so much. I didn’t hang out much cause I was too busy geeking out at the gym! Haha

Eventually, I graduated from the Australian Institute of Fitness but before that, I had a career in ILP International Language Programs as a marketing manager for their English courses. Not long after, I pursued my life calling in fitness coaching and built up the courage to jump into it full time.

In 2014, I started powerlifting and won third place in a powerlifting co. I also became Top 5 in Indonesia Strongmen. But now, I’m currently into Olympic weightlifting.

I believe that fitness really boosted by self esteem, confidence, and it’s such a positive thing beyond just getting ‘fit’ physically. It’s really been a big part of my life in healing my soul. It’s holistic, and I want to share this experience with other people.

What was it like starting a new job in the middle of the pandemic?

Really hard. Fitness is a service and it requires direct contact with other people. But I really believe that there’s a true silver lining in all of this chaos. With less working hours in comparison to before the lockdowns, I’m finding more time to be with my family and for some quality self-love. I get to reevaluate new ventures in my professional life, opening up new channels, and I’ve found that my schedule is much more flexible now.

We hear great things from the people who’re being trained by you— what’s it like working at Level Jakarta?

Thanks so much! Level is so different and just… cool! It’s exclusive in the most positive way. I feel so appreciated and heard as an employee at Level. Everyone is so supportive and humble, and I really feel the respect for one another.

I’m happy to meet like minded people. There’s a big sense of belonging to this gym.

Level Jakarta: Meet Our Coaches!

We see you’re big into Olympic Weightlifting! Tell us how you fell in love with the sport and how training has been.

Yass! I feel that Olympic weightlifting opens up my mind, brings my knowledge about fitness and strength to the next level! Before this, I was a powerlifter. I got injured often and I always solely focused on strength and getting my numbers up. After trying and getting into weightlifting, Now I know elegance and grace in lifting.

The stillness, mindset and the calmness of lifting- now that matures me even more in terms of experience. Because weightlifting is so challenging and complex, I’m learning so much about the tiny details in human movement, including mobility. Oh how stiff was my back before I did Olympic lifting!

Why the gorilla in @magorillaz?

Because my dad has always called me his little monkey ever since I was a boy. So from little monkey to a full fledged alpha beast!

Back when I was travelling to and from America, my ‘gorillaz’ represented brotherhood and family of one person to another. So the name became MA ‘Gorillaz’ cause you know… MA’ Brotha! Yeehaw!

Level Jakarta: Meet Our Coaches!

What does 2021 look like for you?

It will be positive! As long as I do my best everyday. I believe that if I do good things, good things will come back to me. Hard work cannot lie. Put in the effort no matter how small it looks!

Mario provides Personal Training services at Level Jakarta, and also runs The Resistance (it’s a class, not a political movement) on Saturdays at 10.15am, and The Refinery (also a class, not a gemstone factory) at 11.45am on Wednesdays and 11.30am on Saturdays.

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