I’ve been wanting to keep fit for the longest time. I had wonderful plans to eat healthy, to exercise regularly and had great goals set before me to achieve. Along the way, if I look fab, that would be a super bonus! And I thought it would be easy to keep the goal in mind. (esp with class reunions in the rage now!)
Alas, as a mummy, how does one find time to exercise? It’s hard with the many many spellings and tingxies to settle, the fractions and ratios to explain, and there’s still the growing up pains of friendship and mobile phone usage to work out delicately. We don’t have the luxury to work out at the gym to tone those muscles and get rid of flab. We definitely don’t have the means to set up machines at home so that we can work on them in the wee hours of the night. So how can mummies ever keep fit?
Imagine my scepticism when Elinn S Ahmad from E’s Fitness approached me. She’s the founder of a boutique gym and has been a Gym Personal Trainer since 2002. She offered her gym facilities and unlimited access to her various fitness classes and wanted to show me how busy mummies can keep fit. But can I? I was quick to point out, I’ve no time to meet her for any training sessions. The best I can work out is going to her gym one hour a week. That’s max. I remember my email reply, “Now tell me how can you help me?”
Hahahaha I felt I became the single biggest challenge ever thrown to Elinn. While I had determination and focus, I had no time to offer her. It was not possible to meet her more often. And she can’t give me exercises to do at the gym, cos I’ve no access to any gyms (none at home, none in office).
Curiosity got the better of me when Elinn said, no problem. She didn’t want to explain over the email and suggested meeting up to work it out. And that was when my well-meaning friends told me that she probably wanna see me in person to assess if I’m beyond hope. Hahaha!
Well in my first ever meet up with Elinn, I was struck by how unassuming and non-judgmental she was. (I was very consciously sucking in tummy to try look as fit as possible!) It wasn’t necessary. From the onset, she could tell what my areas of concern was (my core, butt, arms and tummy). And all she needed was AN EMPTY ROOM to work on me.
WAH!! No fancy machines needed, no strange contraptions and no weights. She just needed me to be committed to that once a week session with her and do daily homework at home. Her experience as an ex- Singapore Taekwondo representative and personal passion to train gym newbies like me made it very easy to agree to her terms. And I needed to trust her that she won’t push me beyond what I can do. Sounds like a really good deal ya?
Ohh I told her my worries. I think these are the usual ones from all mummies, if not all women:
Me: I don’t want to have bulging muscles
Elinn: Look at the female athletes in the Olympics. None of these very fit women have bulging muscles. That’s because to have such bulging muscles, you need to take drugs. And you can’t take drugs in the Olympics. You see, women do not have sufficient testosterone to have bulging muscles. That’s why you need to take supplements if you want such muscles.
Me: I don’t want to have aching body cos I still need to go thru life the next day (e.g. carry the kids, fetch them to school, do housework etc)
Elinn: I will not stretch your muscles and leave them aching. I will personally do a warm-down massage for you after each session. I will stretch your entire body after each session so that you don’t ache much the next day.
Me: I really have no experience with gym at all. Failed NAPFA all my life
Elinn: It is people like you that I enjoy training. Working out is not a torture. It is a time to find missing muscles, learn to use your body correctly.
And I was sold. We started our fitness journey and it’s been 4 weeks now.
So far, it’s been 4 different weeks of workout. Here’s a glimpse of a typical session:
This one is on my own. Just do a 5-10 min run on the elliptical machine. Objective is to get the muscles warmed up, and heart pumping.
Then one of the first things was to do a Proper Squat. I was really quite excited to show her that I can do a squat (I mean how tough can a squat be??) Well, I realised Elinn ain’t impressed with speed. From day 1, I learnt it’s not about how fast I do the exercise, but how right I do it. She reminds me again and again that it’s not about the number of times I do the exercise, but how my form and posture is when I do it!
I had friends who asked if I used a special video mode to slow-mo my video. Ermm excuse me, this was recorded at real speed!
Elinn was on hand to show me the right posture, the right angle, and most importantly, she always asks which muscle do you feel is working? Based on what is aching, I would tell her. And if it’s wrong, she would press a little here, push a little there to get me to the correct posture
Elinn is also big on explaining the whys and hows of each exercise. And I find that so helpful to know why I need to work on that Left Lower Back and strengthen it!
And because I’m at the gym, we got to work with actual gym equipment. Knowing how noob I am with it, Elinn was very careful to start me very slowly, and with exercises that I can easily achieve.
One HUGE thing about the equipment at E’s Fitness: It is specially curated by Elinn, to ensure there are no duplicates, and they can help each person work on the hundreds of muscles we have in our bodies. This is amazing, because the gym is a boutique gym. It is not one of the large, run of the mill, chain gyms with many treadmills, bench presses, leg curls, rowing machines etc.
A boutique gym is usually smaller, with little or no gym equipment. But not in E’s Fitness. Check out their equipment! And imagine when you come here to train, the trainers here are all around to help correct you or show you how to use those machines!
And finally after every workout, we have a warm-down massage! (this is my favourite part!)
That’s how my 1hr is for the past 4 weeks in the gym. And I am so happy to report that my body barely aches! There’s a slight strain on my thighs or butt when we focus on those areas, but they are gone by the next day’s morning when I wake up! It’s a wonderful feeling!
And of course, I have daily homework assignments that Elinn hands out. It’s basic strength building, or core-focused exercises which progressively get harder as the weeks go. Amazingly, the progress is obvious to her! There was one week that I missed out 3 days cos of a busy work schedule, and she knew it when she saw how I moved my body at the gym! #CannotBluffThisTeacher
What have I gained in this first 4 weeks? Well, Elinn picked on how I moved from sitting to standing position, and had to teach me how to stand up! She worked on my standing posture, corrected how I distributed my weight. And above all, my stamina improved, core strength more developed, and I found a few muscles that never saw the light of day!
So join me on my journey to be fit & fab. If I remain faithful in doing my exercises, I can show you lovely lovely pictures of having a perkier butt, toner arms and generally a much fitter me! (much faith involved here!)
Here’s leaving you with one of my favourite quotes I got from another gym nut at E’s Fitness:
Ohhh and do find out more about E’s Fitness and Elinn (she’s the E behind E’s Fitness!) at the website or contact them at:
Address: No 51 Cantonment Road Singapore 089752
Tel: +65 6222 6517
*Disclaimer: We were given a trial period of Personal Training sessions to review, and no monetary compensation were involved. All opinions are as usual, 100% my own!