Getting back in shape after giving birth is a long process – I’m definitely starting to agree with the “It takes 9 months to make a baby and 9 months to get the weight off” school of thought, as even though from the outside I might look back to normal, on the inside it’s a different story. Apart from just getting the weight off, there’s the loss of muscle tone and just general sagginess (ugh!) to contend with… Not eating is the easy part – getting back in the gym is (for me) a huge problem. I find that because I’m so busy I can always make excuses why I can’t find two hours in the day to get to the gym, change, work out, shower and come home, when I can just get on with starting my day and dive right into work or taking E to an appointment or playdate. I know I’ll feel better afterwards, but I’ll feel pretty good after just a coffee and a muffin, so where’s the motivation?
I’ve never been someone who loves working out, and even pre-pregnancy I was really never in good cardio shape, so the idea of personal training at first sounded really scary. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to like the idea of having a set appointment I couldn’t break, and also of having some personalized help to tackle problem areas. In the gym I can tune out by watching a DVD, and kind of “phone it in” by staying at a very comfortable level of effort, whereas with someone to push me, I would work harder. I was just getting into the idea when I got an email from brand new personal training company Fiji Fitness, offering me a free trial with their head trainer, Joe Nabou.
When I first saw Joe’s picture (above) I was a bit intimidated – especially knowing he is a world-class rugby player… Did he really want to watch me limping around Hong Kong park moaning and groaning? Would he try to push too hard?
I met Joe in Hong Kong Park (a popular site for personal training). The great thing about training there is that you can get a locker for free from the Hong Kong Sports Centre – just go inside and show them your HK ID and you can use the changing rooms, meaning it’s great if you’re coming from work. Joe showed up with huge bags full of slightly scary-looking equipment, but was so friendly and smiley I felt at ease immediately, and was so happy he’s a good chatter! He asked me a few questions about my fitness level, and told me he trains a lot of mamas and enjoys it. He also has some clients who he has worked with from a point of truly extreme unfitness, so I didn’t feel quite so bad about my puffing and panting.
We started off with a very gentle warm-up, to the point where I started thinking, “Oh, I’ve got this – I can go faster than this”, but then he gradually ramped up the pace of the exercises until I started to really feel it! With little rope ladders to lay on the ground, and stretchy band things (you can tell I’ve got all the fitness lingo down), we did all kinds of upper and lower body exercises, always just to the point where it felt challenging, but never so much that I was bent double in pain. The hour sped by, and we finished off with core work and stretching.
The best thing about Fiji Fitness is that it’s the perfect set-up if you’d like to try personal training with a little group of friends. The cost per hour for 1-4 people is HK600, meaning if you get three other friends together you can each pay just HK150. If you want to add more friends on, there’s a charge of HK150 for each extra person, making it very reasonable. Joe can also come to wherever is convenient for you – Hong Kong Park and Bowen Road are suggested locations, but he also trains a group of mamas who work out on the Kowloon harbourside, so there are plenty of options (including in a gym or your own home). I am definitely very keen to do it again, so will be trying to persuade my mama friends to arrange a set time each week to work out with Joe!
You can also enjoy a free trial to meet Joe and see if Fiji Fitness is for you, by emailing Lisa at [email protected], or by calling 6207 3043.