Maryam Abdul Razak
Occupation: Education development executive
1. What is your weekly exercise routine like?
I weight-train four times a week after work and on my “rest” days, I attend yoga classes to improve my flexibility and breathing.
2. What is your fitness aim?
I am naturally petite so my main goal is to build muscle, achieve a toned physique and become stronger. Think a 152cm-tall Jessica Alba.
3. How do you get over being too lazy to exercise?
I pack my gym clothes every night and store my gym bag in my car. This way, I am able to head to the gym straight after work. I don’t have to go home and change, which poses the risk of procrastination as I may laze about at home and be tempted to skip the gym altogether.
4. What is your typical breakfast?
I used to have the bad habit of munching on unhealthy snacks that were high in sugar and low in nutritional value or sometimes skipping breakfast entirely.
However, as I currently work for a cancer-related NGO, we have an in-house dietitian who conducts a health and wellness programme for employees.
I have learnt that a nutrient-dense breakfast is important as it will keep me energised all the way to lunch, help me focus on my work and prevent snacking in-between meals.
Currently, I have granola and fruits mixed in greek yogurt or peanut butter and wholemeal bread sandwiches for breakfast.
5. How long do you sleep at night?
Around seven hours a night - eight if I’m lucky!
6. What is your favourite fitness app / fitness tracker?
An app called Strong. It allows you to pre-programme your workout routine by choosing exercises from its database (it has every exercise known to man) and once you’re at the gym all you have to do is input how many repetitions or the amount of weights you used. It also compares your previous statistics to your current ones for ease of tracking your fitness progress.
7. In a week, how many hours do your work out?
It takes me around an hour to warm up and complete my workout routine. Since I frequent the gym four times a week, that comes to around four hours a week of weight training and an additional hour or two of yoga.
8. What is your favourite pre-exercise/pre-race fuel?
I love to munch on low-sugar muesli bars packed with yoghurt, fruit and nuts in the car on the way to the gym.
9. How do you recover from a hard workout?
Rest, a full night’s sleep and lots of protein to promote muscle repair and growth after exercise.
10. How do your prevent injury?
Proper form is very important when it comes to weight lifting. I have learnt that it is best to maintain a good form with a lower number of repetitions when performing exercises rather than achieving a high number of repetitions of the same exercise but with bad form.
Many trusted fitness experts post how-to videos on Youtube which I watch before performing a new exercise to ensure I get the most out of my workout.
11. What is your favourite source of protein and why?
I love tofu! So versatile, so yummy! Peanut butter also makes a great fruit dip when I need a nutritious snack.
12. What’s your favourite time to exercise?
In the evening. The thought of a good dinner after my workout powers me throughout my gym routine.