Dr. Habib Noorbhai (Mr South Africa 2017) is a Researcher in Sports Science, a presenter, speaker and humanitarian. He completed a BA in Sport Psychology (UJ), Honours in Biokinetics (UKZN), MPhil in Biokinetics (UCT) and a PhD in Exercise Science at UCT.

In 2013, he was among South Africa’s top 100 brightest young minds and in 2015, he was nominated among Mail and Guardians top 200 young South Africans. He was also included in Fast Company South Africa’s Top 30 creative people in business for 2017.

Habib has been featured on a variety of television shows, both as a professional and as Mr South Africa. Some of these included: Top Billing, Mela, thrice on Expresso, eNCA and SABC News. In 2015, he had his own sport and health show on OpenViewHD and a radio show on Hashtag Radio. He is also a frequent expert guest on Cape Talk and Radio702 discussing relevant topics on sports science, exercise, health, community engagement and leadership.

Habib also founded a non-profit organisation in 2013 called The Humanitarians, a volunteer-based organisation, whereby various community projects and programmes are conducted through sport, health, education, sustainability and innovation. These programmes are also conducted through Habib’s current reign as Mr South Africa 2017 to spearhead change and making a difference in society.



Habib Noorbhai - Top Quote

How is Biokineticist, Habib Noorbhai, planning for the Mr South Africa 2016 finals?

How is Biokineticist, Habib Noorbhai, planning for the Mr South Africa 2016 finals?

When acquiring a health and fitness goal, the concept of inviduality is key. At some point, a person who has trained for a long time gets accustomed to their bodies and knows how their body would respond to various exercises, eating habits, sleep and recovery. In essence, certain exercises or eating regimes that one does cannot be based on a mesocycle (short-term based). It has to be consistent and form part of one’s lifestyle. However, when athletes and individuals are preparing for sports or events, the last 4 weeks of preparations are crucial in leveraging their performance. I call it: from 4th to 5th gear of training.

Among other qualities, Mr South Africa is striving to find the perfect aspirational man; balanced in health with a fit physique. One can define health in numerous ways. Example: If you have rock hard abs and are well defined, are you healthy? No, this implies a fit and adequate physique. Health can incorporate various clinical and health measures such as normal blood pressure ranges, heart rate, glucose, cholesterol and body fat percentage. If one has an FBC (Full blood count) done at the hospital, they would be able to gauge their health values ranging from cholesterol and triglycerides, kidney function, liver functions, white and red blood cell count and more. I ultimately believe, that if these are within normal ranges, then one can define themselves as healthy.

Moving on to my personal 4-week preparation for the Mr South Africa Finals, which takes place on the 24th November at the Rand Airport in Johannesburg; it involves smart training, a low carbohydrate eating plan, adequate sleep and pre and post measurements.

Smart training
Frequency: 5 days / week (gym) and 1 day active rest (hike) and 1 day complete rest
Intensity: Moderate to high
Type: Endurance-based with an emphasis on strength
Duration: between 60 and 90 minutes all-inclusive

20 minutes on either cycle or treadmill, alternating between 5 days
Treadmill: Speed – between 10 and 13; Incline – 1; Programme – normal
Upright cycle ergometer: Speed – above 100 rpm; Level – 2/3

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Weight training

  • Bicep curls 2 x 10 reps
  • Tricep overhead extensions 2 x 10 reps
  • One-arm bent over-row 2 x 12 reps
  • Chest press 2 x 10 reps
  • Shoulder press 2 x 10 reps
  • Push up with weight and burpee 2 x 20
  • Front squat with weight 2 x 10


  • Split squats 2 sets x 10
  • Lunges with weight 2 sets x 15
  • Three-medicine ball push ups 2 x 8
  • Box jumps 2 x 12


  • Mountain climbers 2 x 1 minute
  • Russian twists 2 x 30
  • Ab curls with weights 2 x 30
  • Planks 3 x 1-minute

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I swim 12 laps (50 meters length) after training. These include freestyle, backstroke, breast-stroke and butterfly (3 each).

Note: I do the above on all 5 days. For me, consistency where my body becomes accustomed to this on a routinely basis is key.

Low carbohydrate eating plan
There is a lot of debate in this area where if one needs to build muscle, then they need to have a required amount of carbohydrates for energy. I am not a Dietician but I am a scientist; research has recently emerged to show the evidence behind the association of low carbohydrates on sport performance / training. The basics of nutrition has taught us that 1 gram of carbohydrate provides 4k/cal, 1 gram of protein provides 4k/cal and 1 gram of fat provides 9 k/cal. One can still rely on healthy fats as a reserves source of energy fuel. Throughout the week, I choose from my 3 meal plans. Remember, this eating plan works for me and it may not work for you. If further advice or guidelines are needed, please consult with a Dietician.

Option 1:

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and 1 cup of coffee with full-fat cream
Snacks: biltong throughout the day
Lunch: Tuna with cottage cheese or Tuna with avocado and coriander
Supper: ½ chicken with vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkin) and mushroom sauce

Option 2:

Breakfast: same as Option 1
Snacks: Almonds
Lunch: Tuna with cottage cheese or Tuna with avocado and coriander
Supper: 250g steak with sweet potato and pumpkin

Option 3:

Breakfast: same as option 1 and 2
Snacks: Mixed berries and Yoghurt
Lunch: Tuna with cottage cheese or Tuna with avocado and coriander
Supper: Fish with spinach and cream cheese

Note: breakfasts and lunches stay the same (consistency) but suppers and snacks vary (so that its not monotonous). 2 liters of water is consumed throughout the day.
On average, each meal costs R30 which would work out to approximately R3400 over 4 weeks. This is obviously ideal for those within the working, middle or upper classes.


On average, 7 hours per night. This can range between 6 and 8 hours depending on the day in the week.

To prepare mentally, I pray, watch comedy 1 hour a day, read at least 2 hours a day (journal articles, blogs, a book, etc) and drive for at least 30 minutes during the day to improve focus.

Pre and post measurements

Body fat %
Weight / BMI


Blood pressure
Heart rate

Arms girth

Push ups per/min
Sit ups per/min

To vote for Habib, continue to SMS MRSA006 to 47439 (R3/sms)

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  • It was a great pleasure to supervise Habib Noorbhai. He has unique abilities that I have not previously experienced in any of the PhD students I have assisted. I have not ever experienced this combination of personal abilities and drives in any other student. Other characteristics that I appreciated are his ability to be fearless – he is not daunted by any task he sets himself – and his desire to push the boundaries of knowledge, regardless of the personal consequences.

    ~ Prof Tim Noakes, Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town

  • Habib was warmly welcomed by the Redbacks team and staff and fitted in well. He carried out his duties diligently and efficiently. The players and staff had only had praise for his experise and enthusiasm during the CLT20 tournament and this was much appreciated by all. Habib also showed initiative outside his core duties by assisting the support staff on training days and always doing this to the best of his abilities. During this time, Habib had been well-organised, reliable and responsible.

    ~ Simon Cain, South Australian Redbacks Cricket, 2010

  • The service that I received from Habib Noorbhai was more than satisfactory. Habib was considerate about the fact that I had limited assistance with very limited time. He was more than helpful in terms of structuring my work, checking the content, and all other features of my work. I would recommend his assistance to any other person who needs guidance in similar tasks. Mr Noorbhai was patient, understanding and encouraging at all times. I would like to thank Mr Noorbhai for his assistance with my thesis completion.

    ~ Nicholas Christelis, University of Cape Town student, 2014.

  • Whomever Habib speaks or presents to, he does so with such enthusiasm, practically and is highly adaptable to his audience and the genre. It is a pleasure to listen to his unique insights and perspectives. One can't help but feel inspired to do and be more after interacting with him.

    Taahira Goolam Hoosen, University of Cape Town, 2016