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POWER UP HIIT TO WOMAN UP – Azmiri Khair

It is your typical Thursday evening at the East end of London, where I find myself in the busy hub of Shoreditch, the recently vibrant, emerging up and coming mecca for hipsters, art enthusiasts and home to the novelty hang out spot known as the infamous Box Park, the new black as they say. This very spot is bubbling with potential for the next new trend. It is here where I find myself with a flat white Americano in hand to kill the exhaustion from your nine to five, notepad and gym gear. I had been anticipating attending a Power UP HIIT (High Intensity Interval) class for weeks, finding it difficult to juggle regular gym workouts alongside long working hours this new programme has risen to fame by promising results for those who want to have their cake and eat it too. My perfect opportunity came knocking when founder of CORE365 and HIIT programme Instructor Sara Abdullah messaged me to attend one of her classes, we have been working closely together to create a fitness network for Muslim women, allowing easy access to classes and instructors. Sarah’s sessions took place weekly in one of the most exclusive sites in London, the Rooftop gym. Advert reads ‘Designed for women to have fun and train hard. 650 muscles in your body worked out to the max, burn calories while you’re sleeping and increasing metabolism.’ I was instantly intrigued, the class proclaimed everything that I was in search for, a safe space to work out with high end equipment outside office hours, make connections whilst taking part in a rewarding yet enjoyable activity. I was not disappointed. In fact, it was exactly what I needed, by the end of the session each of my muscles were sore from the Kegels to those Burpees, but it was well worth it to see my jeans a little looser then when I walked through the doors, but more importantly I was grateful for the shared experience. The atmosphere of the session is what makes CORE365 unlike any other fitness class I had previously attended. It was designed by a Professional Muslim woman for the Professional Muslim woman, the fact that we finally had our own zone and also happened to the architect for it is nothing short of liberating. The overarching message that this company heralds is what many Muslim women are seeking, a place to call their own, to take the baton back on what fitness means to them and silence those stereotypes. Fitness, being an area highly male dominated Sara had walked in with full intention in shattering them and shedding light on what fitness really means to a Muslim woman, she enlightened me in her inspirational plight to establish her company, which is both a product of her personal journey, faith and mission for fitness to be easily accessible as well as judgement free. Sara had created something empowering; the company was built on the foundation for women to direct their own narratives on how their work out goals should be reached, encouraging body positivity and social connections. I could sense a growing community as women guided each other to have weekly and monthly targets, sharing praises and encouragements. We all sang the same motto ‘train hard, eat clean, one for all and all for one’ finding solidarity in our shared aim in living a healthier life. I also appreciated the diversity of women who regularly attended, despite starting out as a company geared for Muslim women, the message of embracing and celebrating womanhood resonated across the board. We are all cheering on Sarah Abdullah from the side-lines, it is about time that we had a Muslim Woman as the face of fitness, in fact it has been long overdue.


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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

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