All my games teachers (we called them that, but maybe they are sports teachers or P.E. teachers now?) from all three schools I ever went to after the age of 11, were lesbians who hated me. It’s not that lesbians don’t like me. It wasn’t that I was particularly bad at sport when I was at school. I was just one of those unfortunate people who always had a lacrosse ball in my hand when I wasn’t meant to and never had one anywhere near me when I should have done. So suffice to say that organised sport and I have never been what you’d call close.
Despite the fact that I can run as fast as anyone if I need to reach the last size 10 Burberry mac in a 70% off sale, I decided that after the birth of my last baby in March I needed to organise myself to get properly fit.
Due to a huge lack of either character or self discipline, I am simply unable to do this on my own (before baby number two I used to run to the wet market from my house at 06:30am, with the idea of running straight home once I’d reached it; but invariably and disappointingly I’d stop for breakfast each time I got there and only just talked myself out of a taxi back…utterly hopeless).
So there was only one thing for it: someone making me do horrible things like squats and shouting at me until I did them. One word: Hayati.
Actually she is lovely and not at all shouty. She’s very committed to you as a trainer and expects it back. What’s more, she doesn’t stand for any of my stalling nonsense, which includes talking too much during workouts to try to distract her and let me get away with doing less work…to retying my shoelaces in the middle of my ten rounds of ten. You could say she has met my type before.
The gym is awesome. Most people in it are topless. Oh, and are men. Strongmen who enter competitions for being strong. They flip tractor tyres, they lift very heavy looking weights (the proper ones that are on a long metal stick and have two huge circle things at either end…like Popeye uses) above their heads and they shout. Often.
Enter the angmoh who has not exercised excessively for a while. I did used to worry that I didn’t fit in here but slowly you learn to love it; it’s like a big, forgiving family: nobody judges you, they quietly support you and everyone gets on with it and does their own thing.
What I particularly like about training with Hayati is that she’s not only inspiring but takes a very holistic approach to everything. It’s all about using your entire body to do simple yet effective movements and workouts to complement its natural design (diet is of course important too). There are no fancy machines at AlphaFit. There is no aircon. Think basic but brilliant: the most technical piece of equipment I have used in the last three months is a rowing machine.
There is a TRX (I have only just stopped calling it a T-Rex which I think is a much better name for this monstrous piece of gear that hurts like hell, whichever way you use it) and these awesome things that I love which look just like handbags – perhaps that’s why – kettlebells:
They come in all colours – each color denotes a different weight (they range from 10kg to 36kg) and you basically pick them up and throw them around in a controlled fashion, whether it’s an over head swing (pic above), a half swing (below) or whatever.
So although I may have accidentally stumbled in to the most hardcore training gym in Singapore (3 of Hayati’s clients are personal trainers themselves)…the remarkable thing is, I love it.
Hayati Nuffus is the owner and lead trainer of AlphaFit, found just off Sixth Avenue at Horse City, (behind Picotin) www.alphafit.sg.
Update: AlphaFit has relocated to 789 Bukit Timah Road which is in the same block as Balanced Living and Ikedea Spa. It is on level 2 above Little Diner.