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Impact 0110: Fitness and women empowerment

Nadiah AJ · 20 August 2021
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Nadiah AJ is a physical education teacher, and professional bodybuilder who organises bootcamps which provide a safe space for women. She has a passion for fitness and women’s empowerment where she engages in talking sessions to share more with the public. She shares what a day in her life looks like.

4:00 am

On weekdays, my day starts really early at 4am. I always make it a point to spend some time setting my intentions for the day, to plan out the things I hope to achieve and do. I then make my bed, wash up, pack my food and bag for the day and leave home at 4.20am.

4:30 am

I am usually the first, if not among the first few people at the gym. I take about 40 minutes to complete my fasted cardio as planned in my competition training programme. If time permits, I sometimes set aside some time to do some stretching as my muscles are always sore from training almost every day. I usually start my time at the gym quite sleepy but will leave the gym feeling energised and excited for the day!

5:30 am

My schedule is usually a rush after completing cardio. I squeeze in time to wash up for work and gobble down my breakfast. This is followed by a sprint to the bus stop to get on my 6am bus to commute to work!

6:45 am

My time at work usually begins with replying to emails and getting my mind mentally ready for work. Having my mind properly set for my day makes it easier to run lessons for my students at school.

7:00 am

I step into class at 7am. Seeing and hearing my students greet me with their smiles make work days easier whenever I feel physically exhausted. Some days can be physically taxing as a Physical Education teacher but I enjoy what I do and seeing my students learn and have fun in school makes me happy.

I also schedule my meal times in between lessons to make sure that I am on track with my nutrition plan. Besides training, it is also crucial that I follow a regimented nutrition plan to complement my training programme.

3:00 pm

After I have completed my administrative duties following curriculum time at work, I commute to the gym for my second training of the day. I weight train with my coach 2-3 times a week and weight train by myself on other days. This helps me keep in shape and to learn new techniques that I can apply when coaching my clients as well! 

Women empowerment through fitness is something I’m passionate about. On some days, I will spend my time planning out Booty Camps, which are fitness bootcamps specifically targeting women who want to make a change in their lifestyle. I find a sense of fulfillment when I see other women step out of their comfort zone to try new things, in this case weight lifting. I use this avenue to address misconceptions about strength training and change the view that women cannot be strong because it makes them less feminine. 

I always try to share with my clients my motto for training which is: Beauty in Strength, that these two things are not mutually exclusive and that strength is indeed present in beauty! 

Some of the attendees of my Booty Camps have come up to me to say thank you for showing them that they are strong and capable, which keeps me motivated to stick to the path!

5:30 pm

After my final training of the day is completed, I am rewarded with a refreshing protein smoothie. Being on a tough regimented schedule has allowed me to truly enjoy the smallest things in life, like protein smoothies or 30 minutes of free time to nap or read.

6:00 pm

I begin my commute home and stop by the grocery store to pick up items I need to prepare my food for the next day.

7:30 pm

Once I’m home, I take a shower, then set aside about an hour to cook my meals for the next day. During competition season, I am unable to eat out for 4-5 months and can only eat according to the nutrition plan that has been carefully calibrated for my goals. I try to take some time to catch up with my family or friends, but the main sacrifice during my competition season is not being able to spend as much quality time with them as I would like.

Also during this COVID-19 pandemic, with gyms being closed due to the safety measures, it has been difficult to hold the live Booty Camps. In order to keep the ball rolling, I create workout videos and tips to post on social media to help facilitate the fitness journeys of my clients! 

These videos are usually snippets of the myriad of workouts that I have done during the day and filmed, I’ll usually just write a caption to explain what I am doing as well.  

9:00 pm

My phone will alert me that it is close to bedtime and I usually use the last few minutes of my day to either journal, read or watch a short episode of Netflix to wind down for bed. At this point I am physically exhausted and look forward to a good night’s rest. Time to sleep and repeat all again tomorrow!

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