Interview with client Alex Aramakutu. Alex was my first client in New Zealand 2.5 years ago and from the start showed the talent, dedication, and love for the gym to take her to this level. She recently competed in her first NABBA figure competition in Wellington, NZ.  She looked fantastic on the day and was a delight to work with. Eyes on you-serious respect earned here Alex well done, and well done to the supportive family also!

How long have you been training?

I joined the gym in April 2009 but only really starting training properly when I took on Aimee as my personal trainer in July 2009.

When did you decide to get into body sculpting?

In about October 2010 my fitness and weight were at a point that I thought maybe I could do a body sculpting competition.  I wanted to enter one before I turned 40.

What is the best thing about being into fitness?

The best thing for me is that it gives me time to myself.  I’m a working mum so life is very busy for me juggling the demands of a full time job with the demands of a young family.  Going to the gym or a run is time for me to hang out with myself………….its also a great way to de-stress.

What was the biggest challenge for you during competition season?

The biggest challenge for me was to stay as calm as possible at home and at work which was really hard when I was hungry and tired and I just felt really grumpy.

How long did it take you to see a change?

Within a few weeks of being on the diet I started noticing a change.  I’m lucky because I have a fast metabolism so my body responded quickly to the diet and I lost fat quite quickly.

Is there anything you would have done differently?

Next time (there will be a next time!) I wont have to diet for so long.  I allowed myself 12wks to diet but I actually reached my target fat percentage within 6wks.  This meant I was on a maintenance diet for 6wks prior to competition.  Next time I will leave it until closer to competition before I start my diet which should make the build up a little easier.

What was the food you missed the most?

Lollies !!!  I love soft lollies and in particular red liquorice.

What are the main foods you seek to keep lean and strong?

Protein works best for me.

What would you advise women out there who stay away from weight training for fear of ‘bulking’ up?

I had exactly the same fear when I started at the gym!!  But I’m living proof that there is no need to worry.  Since I took up weight training I’ve become far more toned and I’ve lost weight.  I’m leaner than I ever was.

Top 5 tips (diet and exercise) for dropping unwanted body fat?

Lots of protein in your diet.
Reduce the amount of carbs.
Include ‘good’ fats through avocado, nuts and seeds.
Weight training.
Regular cardio e.g walking/running/cycling/circuits.

What is a typical day in the world of Alex?

5.15am: off to the gym or head out for a run
7am: home from the gym and help to get the kids ready for school
9am: get to work after dropping kids off at school
6.30pm: home from work
6.30 – 8pm: dinner and catch up with the family
8 – 10pm: I don’t tend to watch much TV so I use this time to do some chores (such as washing) and prepare my food for the next day.  If I do have time I like to read my book or research on the internet.
Weekends are the best because they are not as structured as during the week – we all just tend to chill out and go with the flow !!

Any tips for fellow clients on fitting the gym into their daily routine?

Being flexible and planning ahead.  I was once moaning to a good friend that I could never find the time to exercise and her response was that if I really wanted to exercise then I would find the time.  She was absolutely right.  For a long time I went to the gym at night-time after the kids went to bed because that fit best with our family routine.  Now I get up early in the morning because that works best for us………….either way my friend was right – I managed to find the time to exercise because it’s important to me.

What influence has personal training had on your nutrition and gym routine?

A huge influence!!  When I first joined the gym I put on 5kg in a matter of weeks because I wasn’t using the equipment properly and I was eating more junk food because I was telling myself I was exercising more so I could…………………how wrong could I be!!  With Aimee’s help, I learnt how to use the equipment, what exercises worked best for me as well as a variety of exercises.  She taught me about what foods I should be including in my diet and which ones to reduce or avoid.

Would you recommend personal training?

Absolutely!! Even if just for a short time.  You can learn so much from a personal trainer who has practical experience.  Not all Personal Trainers are equal though.  Look for a trainer who is interested in helping you as an individual (exercise should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach).

What is the best thing about personal training?

For me it was having someone who was as passionate about me achieving my fitness goals as I was.

What is your biggest accomplishment, in or out of fitness?

Aside from my family, it has to be standing out on stage in September in my first body sculpting competition.

What does your fitness future hold?

Definitely more body sculpting competitions………………….and maybe some Personal Training 🙂

Alex Aramakutu

Age: 38

Occupation: Project Manager

In-season Weight: 55kg

Off season weight: 61kg

In season dress size: 8

Off season dress size: 10

Competition details: NABBA Wellington.

Figure Tall: 35+