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A Passion for Fitness and a Lifetime of Love




You will recall Tawfiq and Naila, two fitness professionals as they encouraged us to share a fitness routine and partake in the Partner Workout Series FOLLOW THE WORKOUT HERE .  Bubba Mama caught up with this super fit, fun loving and very friendly couple who met, fell in love and married while working at Fitness First.  Read our interview with this lovely couple, as they share how keeping fit together and encouraging each other has figured has a big part to their strong relationship bond.

  • BM : Please can you tell us about yourself? Your background and what led you to choose fitness as a career?

Tawfiq: I have been a Fitness Instructor at Fitness First for the past 5 years, and am currently a Fitness Team Leader at Fitness First Paragon. I chose fitness because I am passionate about fitness and love working out. I also enjoy helping others achieve their fitness goals.

Naila: I have been a Group Exercise Instructor for the past 7 years and am currently a Group Exercise Manager at Fitness First Paragon. I enjoy motivating others to get fit, plus I get to do this through dance which I am very passionate about!

  • BM : How did you meet?

Tawfiq: We met through working at Fitness First Paragon.

Naila: It was pure coincidence! Although Tawfiq is a personal trainer and I am a group exercise instructor at Fitness First Paragon, we went for the same training course together so we had the opportunity to chat with each other. After that, our paths kept crossing as we lived in the same area and always went the same way back home together from Paragon. Eventually, we decided to just accompany each other on our trips home.

  • BM : When did you decide to marry?

Tawfiq: After being together with Naila for 5 years, I knew she was the one I would want to spend the rest of my life with. We decided to get married last year in September 2014.

Naila: When I saw how respectful he is towards my dad and how much he cares for my family, I knew that he was the one.

  • BM : Please can you tell us about your romance and your wedding?

Tawfiq: Our relationship became stronger when we started travelling together, especially to countries that we both have never been to before. The wedding was a happy and celebratory one, filled with of family, friends, relatives, and lots of food and fun of course. It was nice seeing everyone enjoying themselves and being part of our union.

Naila: Romance with Tawfiq has been one that has been growing steadily since the beginning, with us going through thick and thin together. Our wedding was like a carnival! It was noisy, loud and everyone was happy. Most importantly, our wedding was filled with love from all our family, relatives and friends.

  • BM : What makes your relationship successful?

Tawfiq: I think being patient and understanding with each other helped a lot in making our relationship successful.

Naila: I feel that it is important to understand and respect each other for any relationship to work.

  • BM : Do you take part in any sports/activities outside of work?

Tawfiq: Naila and I enjoy going for runs together from the Fitness First Paragon club to Botanic Gardens and back. Outside working hours, we also work out at the Paragon club together doing functional exercises, as well as weight training.

Naila: We will try to fit in time to do community work together as we both feel that it is important to give back to society.

  • BM : Are you competitive? And are you competitive with each other?

Tawfiq: I like to constantly push myself to achieve more and we don’t usually compete against each other unless it’s in a positive way that encourages both parties to improve together.

Naila: We don’t really compete with each other but we always strive further for our own achievements and support each other along the way.

  • BM : Why do you think exercising with a partner is beneficial?

Tawfiq: Exercising with a partner makes you feel more motivated. Throughout your fitness journey, there are always going to be bumps and up and downs. Having a partner to encourage you during your slumps and vice versa ensures that both of you stay focused on your fitness goals.

Naila: Exercising with a partner and supporting each other’s fitness goals helps enhance a couple’s connection with one another. It also gives the couple an avenue to support and motivate one another strengthening the bond between them.

BM : Are there any disadvantages to working and living together?

Tawfiq: Although Naila and I both work at Fitness First, we don’t work directly with each other, and she travels to other clubs to teach classes too so we are not always together during working hours.

Tawfiq: Naila being a group exercise instructor has encouraged me to expand my horizon to go for additional training to lead small group training such as Freestyle Group Training™ classes. Naila uses her experience of teaching in groups to give me tips on how to teach in small group settings, such how to give instructions to more than one person, as I’ve grown very used to one-on-one training as a personal trainer. I’ve also learnt to be become more aware of the different fitness levels in the class and how to cater to different people. It’s important for everyone in the class to feel comfortable – but are also challenged.

Naila: I enjoy Tawfiq’s presence and find there are more advantages working and living together. By working together, Tawfiq is more understanding to what my work requires me to do and is always there when I need him. As Tawfiq is a personal trainer, he often shares his knowledge about personal training and keeping fit, and has also developed in me a better understanding of fitness and how to training for more specific purposes, which has helped me become a fitter individual.

  • BM : Do you have any other hobbies/interests? What’s your favourite exercise/sport?

Naila: I have a passion for dance and I naturally love any high energy aerobic exercise.

Tawfiq: I enjoy sports such as volleyball, soccer and high jump.

  • BM : What’s your favourite class you teach?

Naila: My favourite class is BODYJAM® and SH’BAM®. These are classes where I get to lead others to enjoy the sensation of dance and just have fun while breaking into a good sweat.

Tawfiq: I recently started leading in Freestyle Group Training™ classes but I still enjoy the one on one interaction I have with my clients. I find great satisfaction in helping them achieve their fitness goals and journeying with them through their transformation.

BM : What do you most admire about your partner?

Tawfiq: I admire Naila for her ability to command the attention of a big class of 40 people. That’s no easy feat! Her passion for dance and her overall positive energy is something I really love about Naila.

Naila: Tawfiq is great with connecting with people on a personal level. I admire his patience and ability to motivate others and gain their trust.

BM : What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

Tawfiq: We hope to keep on inspiring others to make fitness a lifestyle. And maybe have some children along the way!

Naila: Apart from our career goals, we also hope to start our very own family soon.

  • BM : How do you spend your time outside of work?

Tawfiq: On the weekends, I enjoy going to the movies to relax and visiting my favourite food places with Naila.

Naila: When we go home, it’s all about spending time with the family and with each other.

  • BM : Is one of you more motivated than the other?

Tawfiq: I think I am! However, there are times where I appreciate Naila’s encouragement and support when I’m feeling less motivated.

Naila: Tawfiq is very self-motivated and is great in motivating others. He helps me push myself further to be the best I can be.

  • BM : Do you have any advice for couples who meet at the gym / through exercise/ sport?

Tawfiq: When working out together, you might find that your partner might be of a different fitness level from you. However, that is not a problem and you should take the opportunity to motivate and challenge each other to take both your fitness further.

Naila: Remember to always take it one step at a time and just focus on each of your personal best when working out. Enjoy each other’s company and you’ll be happy exercising together.




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