I Aim Fit

I Aim Fit

By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi

It was by utter stroke of good luck that one day in October 2017 my companion on the hiking trail recommended to me a gym that was quickly becoming the rage in the capital city of Pakistan. Thence started my epic fitness journey with AimFit and health wise I think it was the best decision I ever made for myself, and I will tell you why.

In the course of the last 2 years, I have had the opportunity to attend various classes at AimFit’s branches in Islamabad as well as in Lahore. The diversity in the workouts that they offered was not only a refreshing surprise but also, I strongly believe, a blessing for Pakistani women who have very few opportunities for physical activities as there are no gyms catering to them. Unfortunately, here in Pakistan people have still not grasped the importance of exercising for better mind, body and spirit. Therefore AimFit’s offering of world class group fitness classes in Pakistan is nothing short of extra-ordinary, and enormously praise-worthy.

The credit for this ground-breaking launch of a fitness house in Pakistan goes to two sisters, Mahlaqa Shaukat and Noor ul Hira Shaukat. Their personal fitness journey began when, while studying at Oxford University, they started rowing for their college. Feeling strong, healthy and fit got them hooked to the 5 am running and rowing sessions. After they returned to Pakistan in the summer of 2014, they realised that unfortunately adults in Pakistan, especially women, were missing out on their fitness. Lack of challenging yet fun group fitness centres prompted them to start a fitness movement and hence AimFit was born.

Now let’s talk about the classes offered at AimFit and how they can impact you in your quest for a healthier, stronger you. The instructors at AimFit always told us to match and mix our classes. Which reminds me of another fact: all the instructors at AimFit are awesome and extremely helpful. The classes that I took, included, YogaFlow, ComboFit, CoreBlast, DanceFit for cardio, Lift and HIIT. Which work out is the best for you? Let’s read on.

YogaFlow: A combination of Vinyasa flow, traditional Hatha, and Yin Yoga, focusing on strength, flexibility and recovery

Calories burnt in one class: 300-400
Difficulty Level: L1 & L2

YogaFlow classes compliment your cardio and strength workouts. In Vinyasa Flow Yoga, the poses run together smoothly and currently it is one of the most popular contemporary styles of yoga.  This class is suitable for you if you are physically stressed out and exhausted from over-work at office or home. This workout will help you stretch and strengthen all the major muscles in your body.

It is also ideal for those who experience muscle or joint pain after a cardio workout. The class will not only help you relax and de-stress but will also help your body recover so you are feeling fresher and stronger for the day ahead.

The best thing that I liked about this class is that it also incorporated Tai chi and Pilates moves with yoga. The moves stretched all our major muscles and I have to say I found that a little challenging in the beginning, but with time it became easier. The instructors told us that these yoga moves will strengthen and condition our muscles.

Each class had a dedicated core and back routine to help us get rid of the fat in those difficult spots. The session ended with a meditation track and that proves my point that these classes are not only good for your body but also for your mind and spirit. Dr Fatima Baig, Rahima Ahmad Siddiqi and Sheharbano Iqbal were some of the awesome instructors with whom I had the chance to work out in YogaFlow classes.

DanceFit: High intensity hip-hop and Bollywood dance workout

Calories burnt in one class: 500-700
Difficulty Level: L1 & L2

Do not let the name DanceFit fool you. It is a fun class, no doubt, but not as easy as you may think. The dance moves in these classes incorporated so many squats, lunges and high knees etc. that it simply became the best cardio work out you could have asked for. Seriously, it is the best alternative to cardio training at a regular gym.

The DanceFit classes introduced us to various dance routines making sure we had fun but at the same time the instructors kept us on our toes, literally, as they wanted to keep our heart rate up, so we would burn calories at a high pace. Another good thing about this workout is that new choreographies are introduced in each session. Once you become familiar with the routines, it becomes easier to follow each routine and you move faster to get better results.

If you want to become fitter and slimmer, while having fun at the same time, this class is definitely for you. There is a reason why DanceFit is the longest running and the most popular class at AimFit. You can burn around 500 – 700 calories in just one class and the best thing is that you don’t even realize it because you are too busy grooving to the music.

Best instructors in this class will definitely include the mind-blowing, super-instructor Mona Ali, the brilliantly talented Rahima Ahmad Siddiqi, and the awesome Laiqa Sami and Sundus Jamil to name a few. Tamseel Waqas was fun too but I did not have a lot of classes with her.

ComboFit: Medium to high intensity interval training with a focus on strength and muscle building

Calories burnt in one class: 300-500
Difficulty Level: L1 & L2

ComboFit was my first ‘difficult’ class. When initially I joined AimFit, I stuck with YogaFlow and DanceFit only because I thought other classes were beyond my physical ability. But then I learned that ComboFit was especially designed for beginners and those who have been out of touch with exercising for a while. Though I was not completely out of touch with exercise, I had not been regular too. The instructors were nice enough to not only explain the techniques for all exercises but also kept a close eye on our postures to make sure we did not injure ourselves. The best thing about ALL AimFit classes is that, throughout the classes our instructors give us more difficult options for each exercise. It is good to nudge someone on when they are ready to take their workout to the next level.

Each ComboFit class focused on a different part of the body. The classes were usually divided between Upper Body, Lower Body and Core. So you had the option to go to the class which was a problem area for you. For instance, if you have bulky thighs, you might consider the Lower Body ComboFit class. In all ComboFit classes, cardio is followed by a strength and conditioning section. This work out included a lot of burpees, squats, lunges and other exercises that work multiple large muscles at the same time. The class ended with a yoga stretch or a Pilates conditioning circuit. So if you are new to exercise but want a complete body work out, then ComboFit is for you. Fatima Baig, Hiba Ahmed, Palvashae Hussain and Zainab Mansoor are some of the most splendid ComboFit instructors at AimFit.

CoreBlast: CoreBlast provides a two-fold benefit: aiding belly fat loss and helping strengthen your core

If the most worrisome issue in your body is your belly fat, then CoreBlast is just the right thing for you. I am a big fan of this class and cannot stress enough how effective it is to keep you feeling fitter and slimmer especially after you have had kids at some time in your life. I highly recommend this class for housewives.

This work out basically converts your body fat into usable energy. You do exercises that especially target the core and thus you lose belly fat. It also focuses on abdominal strength and conditioning. The truth is that the core is our body’s powerhouse and a stronger core results in stronger overall strength when it comes to various exercises. Thus CoreBlast works on our abdominal region so we can achieve a stronger and leaner abdomen! Liaqa Sami and Mariyam Liaquat rocked as instructors in the CoreBlast classes.

Calories burnt in one class: 400-500
Difficulty Level: L2 & L3

LIFT: Full body weights workout with 1000 barbell reps targeting all major muscle groups

Calories burnt in one class: 300-500
Difficulty Level: L3

I had taken HIIT classes for some time but it was not until late in 2018 that I finally had the courage to start taking LIFT classes. I wrongly believed, like so many other women do, that lifting weights would make my body masculine or bulky. I was so wrong. Once, encouraged by the excellent instructors at AimFit, I started taking the LIFT class, I never wanted to stop. It was a great feeling; for the first time I felt the strength in my body that I had never felt before.

LIFT helped in converting my body fat into muscle. That not only toned down my body but also made me healthier and stronger than I had ever been in my life. I cannot recommend this class enough, but this class is definitely not for the novices. You must first build your stamina through cardio classes like DanceFit and get some medium to high intensity interval training in ComboFit, and then after that you can consider doing LIFT classes.

AimFit is ideal for those who are looking to start their weight-training journey under professional and expert guidance. I also learned that weight training strengthens muscles, increases bone density, reduces pressure on joints, especially knees, and speeds up metabolism. LIFT is a Level 3 workout so it is recommended at least 2 times a week for those looking to tone and shape their bodies. This is not a cardio class.

The LIFT class is different from other classes in the way that it uses more equipment. The classes are conducted with a barbell and weight plates. There are a variety of different plates with different weights to ensure that everyone chooses the weight that they are comfortable with and challenged by. In each class, all the major muscles in the body, including quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, calf, abdominals, obliques, chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and back are worked.

LIFT is known for being the toughest weight training class in the world, hence giving the fastest results. I had the good fortune of having the power-house of a person, the relentless Zainab Mansoor as my LIFT instructor.

GritFit: High intensity interval and weight training

Calories burnt in one class: 500-600
Difficulty Level: L2 & L3

GritFit is the only class at AimFit that is conducted for men. It is a combination of HIIT and LIFT. I am sure it is as amazing as all the classes I have had the good fortune to be a part of. It is conducted 6 days a week.

 

HIIT Challenge: High Intensity Interval Training

Calories burnt in one class: 500-700
Difficulty Level: L2 & L3

OMG. HIIT (High intensity interval training) classes just blew me away. I remember the first time I took it, after 10 minutes into a HIIT class, I looked at the clock in the gym thinking that one hour of the class was over! That same thing happened in many of the following HIIT classes too. A HIIT class is equally challenging for beginners and even those who have been doing this style of training for years. The instructors pushed us to the limits and I am glad that they did. A HIIT class helps you achieve a lot more in lesser time because the workout is geared towards keeping your heart rate high through the entire duration of the class.

In a HIIT challenge, classes are conducted 6 days a week as a 6 week challenge of an intense workout. At the time I took HIIT classes, we had the option of doing them any number of times in a week. I usually took HIIT classes twice a week mixing them with other workouts during the week.

Though I did not do a 6-week HIIT challenge myself, although I had the intention of doing so, I still had the opportunity to talk to the women who had taken a HIIT challenge. They were all tremendously satisfied with the results they had achieved with HIIT workout. Most of them achieved the desired weight loss. Some of them were so thrilled with the results they that they kept on taking one HIIT challenge after another.

Another particularly important factor that we tend to ignore is our diet. The founders and instructors at AimFit ensured us that without a healthy diet, we would not exactly get the required results. Those doing HIIT challenge also get a diet plan which is according to their body type.

After joining AimFit, I also learned that health practitioners especially recommended HIIT for all women who had crossed the age of 35. It is proven worldwide, as the most effective form of training for simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain. If you want to work all the major muscles in your body with compound exercises and also get your heart rate racing then HIIT is definitely for you.

The super athletic and energetic Sundus Jamil instructed me in HIIT Classes. Some other brilliant HIIT instructors are Mona Ali, Hiba Ahmed, Palvashae Hussain and Zainab Mansoor.

Hope you enjoyed this review of one of the best gyms in Pakistan. Let me know about your fitness journey and your experience with work outs in comments.

I, for one, aim to be fit!


A crash course on Essentials of HRM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.