“Good nutrition is key to a well-balanced training program, but it doesn’t have to be rigid and boring”
Junior is a certified Level 3 Personal trainer, a certified kettlebell instructor, a Level 3 Sports Massage therapist, and a certified group class instructor. He has been teaching for five years now and has even led the strength and conditioning sessions to the British champion in Taekwondo, who then went on to win the World’s Championship for the first time.
He specializes in body decomposition and strength gain and his exercise philosophy is that everyone should be in a shape that would allow them to physically do any physical hobbies they decide to take up. Junior trains in a power building style, based on strength while gaining muscle.
Having trained a vast group of people, Junior has mostly dealt with clients who have lower back pain or injuries, those who return from knee surgery, and shoulder injuries. Junior makes it a point to always scan clients before taking them up. This allows him to identify weaknesses and imbalances so that he can address it early and build on that foundation.
Junior makes it a point to continuously enhance his skills and knowledge by reading and watching new things. He has always felt passionate about training, and he feels that he could help others feel and look better both mentally and physically.
Most of his clients have become more like his friends. Sometimes, he goes above and beyond by accompanying them to do food shopping to show them what they should be buying. He constantly motivates clients through his energy demonstrated all throughout the workshop, and by explaining to them what each routine is and why they are doing it. He starts by first addressing overall activity levels. He starts it by setting targets as simple as getting at least 10,000 steps a day, for example. He then takes a look at food intake and muscle building, since a person with more lean muscle mass will have a faster metabolism.
He believes that good nutrition is key to a well-balanced training program, but it doesn’t have to be rigid and boring. For exercising at home, anyone can start with basic simple weight equipment such as any sort of weights like kettlebells, dumbbells, or barbells, and resistance or glute bands.
For those who want to get started, Junior advises that the frequency of your training completely depends on your level of intensity. The higher the intensity, the less times a week is needed. The lower the intensity, the higher the frequency for the training. It doesn’t matter what time you workout, as long as you feel like you have the most energy during those times, so you can have a high effort level. Rest is also very important, so you should listen to your body.
Junior believes that progress will be a huge motivational factor for clients, and setting targets or goals that are more than just “toning up”. For those with busy schedules, you could work on high intensity training.
For Junior, clients need to be serious and committed in wanting to reach their goal in order for their training to be effective.
“A calm mind, positive energy, and good health are only an inhale and exhale away”.
Claudia or Cloud as she is fondly called by friends and families is a certified Balanced Body Mat Pilates Instructor who has been teaching since 2017. She completed the Training Course at Balanced Body, an internationally recognised Pilates institution based in California. Having been an instructor for three years, Cloud loves teaching Pilates as it allows her to work with happy people.
“When you enter a studio, everyone is just happy and appreciative of the time and the workout you have given them. It allows them to take their mind off things and their busy lives - and just have a solid hour focused on strength and energy.”
Learning from Experience: Shifting to a healthier lifestyle
A perfect advocate of Pilates, Cloud can attest on how beneficial movement and exercise is for any injury to relieve and eliminate it. Having suffered from sciatica from a very young age and a herniated disc in her lower back, Cloud was frequently in pain, unable to move or even get out of bed, and constantly seeking treatment.
Through her own experience of how insufferable it is to live with pain day in day out, she can relate and sympathise with others in similar situations. Through Pilates and living a healthy lifestyle, she also tries to rehabilitate others and get them to see the healing benefits of regular exercise.
Interestingly, Cloud had a 360-degree shift, when she decided to change her career path being an Advertising Executive for 10-15 years and travelling all over the world. She got into Pilates, when she was living in Shanghai and engaging in this exercise made her enjoy her life even more. She enjoys the fact that people come to her with a problem, and she gets them solved through exercise. She loves being an instrumental part of the recovery process of others as well.
Learning Pilates from your homes
For Cloud, a successful training session is when a client has given their full attention to a class, worked hard and feels like they have really benefited from the session. She thinks it’s the best feeling in the world when a client says how much they enjoyed her class and has a big smile on their face.
Variety is important so Cloud tries her best to mix up the sessions every week, so there’s always something new and challenging to try but she also makes sure that she has incorporated movements that they are familiar with so they can automatically engage the core and optimise each movement to build strength and resistance.
Cloud shares that for online classes, there is a disadvantage of not being able to see the clients, so she tries to connect with clients by always being positive, making the classes interesting and educational, always explaining the “why” behind each movement and how it can benefit her students, no matter how challenging it might be at first. She tries to connect with them with her own personal stories and her journey of rehabilitation. Moreover, she tries to show encouragement through praise and exercising with them so they know exactly what a specific movement should look like. She enjoys throwing in a few challenges so students have a goal to work towards for the next work out.
Cloud agrees that the future is in technology and that there are many opportunities it can bring to all of us. There are plenty of people that don’t like going to the gym, some people (especially women), can feel intimidated or a good gym with good trainers can be very expensive for the majority of people. Teaching and offering classes online can make it accessible to everyone in the comfort of their own homes, or hotel rooms, or offices!
Instructors are very important because there is a lot of information on the internet, it’s even overwhelming - by simply choosing from the multitude of information available online - you may even be self-diagnosing. If you have an instructor, you get to communicate with an expert - someone who has dedicated their lives to understanding and learning about exercise and movement. Just like anything in life, you go to the right people for the right things - having an instructor will tailor-fit the right exercise for you. Everyone is so busy these days and unless you’re really disciplined - you’re not able to stick to your routine. With instructors, they help to motivate and change lifestyles for the better.
While Cloud enjoys physical classes, because of the interaction, the upside with Online classes is that you have more time to exercise and more choices. There are thousands of great instructors and videos out there and you can definitely find something that suits you. It can be more affordable and you can work out with your family or flatmates. It also gives you more time to do other things that you love, as you lose the commute.
“A healthy body is the home of a happy spirit and mind.”
Agi is a certified Pilates Instructor with an Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Instructing Pilates Matwork (QCF), a Level 3 Matwork Pilates Certification in the Body Control Pilates Method, An Active IQ Level 3 in designing pre and postnatal exercise programmes, 200 hours yoga teacher training diploma with Yoga Alliance UK, Dynamic Reformer Pilates, Bootcamp Pilates, and High-Intensity Interval (HIIT) Pilates.
Her extensive experience has enabled her to work and train people with different backgrounds and plenty of different injuries. To keep her updated with the latest trends, techniques, and development, Agi believes it is essential to keep on learning. She continuously joins professional development workshops and training sessions. Before the lockdown, Agi regularly joins teacher classes to improve in her professional.
Agi used to be a professional model, who turned into a fitness professional. She decided to teach Yoga and Pilates, in order to improve the wellbeing of others and to spread happiness. She always considered herself to be a sporty person, and as she grew older she gradually developed her passion for yoga and pilates.
Agi tries to deliver fun and various workout routines to motivate her students, and to make her classes more enjoyable. She believes that proper sport routine improves total wellbeing and the health of the student and of course makes one feel and look good about themselves. She helps clients find a physical and mental “zone” that serves as a platform for growth and self-improvement.
Agi recommends eating a healthy balanced diet and squeezing in at least a 30-minute workout 2-3 times a week to improve one’s overall well being.
A healthy body is the home of a happy spirit and mind.
For Agi, a healthy body is a home of a happy spirit and mind. With a little bit of willpower to exercise, anyone can improve their overall wellbeing.
Hayley is a dance and movement enthusiast who has a solid background in contemporary dance, movement, sports massage, Pilates, and barre. She took up Contemporary Dance in University and did Sports massage right after. With certifications in Stott Pilates and Total Barre, Hayley has been teaching Pilates for eight years now and has served as Head of Pilates at Physio Clinic. At the age of fifteen, Hayley entered the world of dance following the footsteps of her sister. Being a big fan of movement and exercise, Hayley is into technique, alignment and body positioning and is inspired by American and Australian companies which provide more challenging techniques. Delivering online classes during these times when everyone is stuck at their homes is something new for Hayley. At first, she felt rather nervous doing the classes online. But nowadays, she enjoys providing classes to people at the comfort of their own homes. Hayley believes that instructors like her help provide a sense of normalcy to people. Unlike simply following a youtube video, by having a set schedule and online class people have something to look forward to. Enrolling in online Pilates motivates people to stick to a schedule and push them to exercise and to move. It’s always nice to see and talk to other people, instead of just being stuck at home doing nothing. Her advice: Exercise at a pace that works out for you, don’t push yourself too much. Listen to your body. Movement is important since it calms down your nervous system. There will be days when your energy level will keep you active, but you will have down days where you will need rest. Just as exercise is important, rest and eating in moderation gives you balance.