I Feel One Percent Stronger Every Class!


I have always been a keen cyclist, that is until l I moved to the UK. Having lived in a desert environment for most of my life, I knew there was no way I’d survive the freezing London winters on a bike.

My fitness journey went from a pounding heart rate of doing over 125 miles a week to walking back and forth from my sofa to the kitchen. A year into this lifestyle I started feeling dead inside. I met Abbas (Bhimji) on the London to Brighton ride where he pitched SJ fitness. I had no preconceptions as I didn’t even own a pair of trainers. I was objective in my judgement and watched a few Mahmood Mawjee videos. He had interesting content which I instantly related to. The only thing that stopped me from attending was thinking “this looks like an uncles class and I am no Mze.”

Once my daughter started Madressa I decided to attend one of the classes. My first class was with Safder, where we did circuits. He kept us engaged and feeling alive. I was instantly addicted to the feeling of high heart beats and immense pain.

SJ Fitness classes have a good mix of workouts from Easy to Hard. Nadir being the easier ones (or the ones I felt are easier) where we stretch and work on strengthening our connecting muscles. The ones I always thought were not important, but I now know otherwise. Safder runs body strengthening classes where we use our own body weight to build our endurance and inner strength. Finally, Mahmood really pushes you to keep doing a little more than you think you can. His motivational content during the classes leave you feeling stronger and hungry for more.

Apart from the usual reasons of a healthy lifestyle, the thing I have learnt from all three disciplines is that pain is temporary and the strength I achieve in each class is permanent. I feel one percent stronger every class! So ninety nine more classes to go and a visit to Sports Direct for some trainers is my promise to the SJ fitness team.

Azhar Ramzan