Full disclosure — I am one of the people who Momstamped Tafiq Akhir.  You have to understand though that I really don’t like to exercise, so the fact that Tafiq has a class that is never boring, that I actually- dare I say– kind of look forward to going, is big. The class includes people of all ages and all levels of fitness and Tafiq provides full “wrap around” services- from group training, 28 day blasts, private consulting and more. I think he is terrific and sat down with him to learn more… Paulette
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Tell me a little about you– what’s been your journey to get here?

Growing up I witnessed the drastic weight and health issues my mother suffered from due to poor nutrition, inadequate exercise and unhealthy lifestyle choices. When I became interested in health and fitness and began learning about the health and wellness benefits, beyond the aesthetic benefits, it became my mission to help people avoid or at least minimize the types of health and weight issues my mother dealt with.

What do you think we are doing wrong with fitness? Or what are a few things we MUST do to “get it right”?
The primary thing, especially for women, that I believe is done wrong with fitness is “over doing it”. Exercising too much.
That is SO not my problem:

 Fitness should be effective and time efficient. Ways to do this is to:

#1 Make every movement count. Exercise with intention. If you are doing squats make every single squat the best that it can be. 
#2 Don’t compare your body or your ability to other people. Focus on changing your body and doing the things that are best for you and that are within your ability
#3 Include variety in your workouts. This will shock your muscles which will make your body respond faster, it allows you to get a more well rounded workout and it will prevent you from being bored with your workout.
working out with Tafiq
One of the things that I have loved about taking classes with you is that they are not boring and feel efficient (which I mean as a big compliment)- can you talk about some “quick hits” — like if someone only has 10 minutes in a day for fitness?
If you are short on time the best thing to do for an effective short workout is a total body interval. I recommend getting an interval timer app, my favorite is the Tabata Timer. It’s totally free. It’s already set for 20 seconds of exercise 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds which is 4 minutes. Work big muscles and do cardio for best results. Work your thighs with squats, then your chest and arms  with pushups. 20 second squats, 20 second pushups back and forth for the first 4 minutes. Then reset and do cardio core. Jumping jacks 20 seconds and plank 20 seconds for the second 4 minute round. That’s 8 minutes that you’ll work your entire body and it still leaves you with enough time to warmup for 1 minute before and cool down for 1 minute after.
Tafiq is offering a deal to the momstamp community– check it out here
I loved the recipes on the body blast– what is your go to recipe?
My go to recipe is turkey chili. I make my version with a ton of vegges tossed in. So it’s not only delicious it’s nutritious as well. Plus it a super easy one pot meal.
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Can you give me a carpool exercise?
One of the things I find myself working on with a lot of the moms I train is posture. The car is the perfect place to work on improving your posture and strengthening the rhomboids which are the muscles that retract your shoulder blades.
Sit tall and press your entire back into your carseat with hands on the steering wheel at 3 and 9. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and try to press your shoulders into the car seat trying to keep your lower back against the seat simultaneously. Hold this position for the duration of a stop light or for 30 to 45 seconds if you’re stuck in traffic that’s not moving. This will strengthen your rhomboids and promote better posture. 
working out with Tafiq

What’s your favorite “life hack” 
An extremely important life hack that I think is important for everyone, but especially for moms, is to take 1 hour a day for yourself. And it does not matter what you do for that hour a long as it’s something that is just for you. Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, listening to your favorite musician, reading a book…it does not matter. I truly believe that self care fuels self love. And when you give and give to everyone else and do for everyone else there is little left in yourself for yourself. No matter what I have going on in my life I always find an hour in the day for me. I started doing this about 4 years ago when I heard a motivational speaker say, “people always find the time for the things that are important to them”. Ever since then I make sure to find that time for me. After all, if I’m depleted how can I give the best of myself to anyone else. And that’s the same for you.

How do you stay motivated?
My students motivate me on so many levels. Knowing that I helped someone take their A1C blood sugar numbers from an 8.6 to a 5.6  and their doctor took them off their diabetes medication motivates me. Having a client tell me with tears in her eyes that I saved her life motivates me. Seeing a smile on my students face because they fill stronger and accomplished after finishing one of my classes motivates me. Just the fact that people ask for my advise about health, fitness and nutrition motivates me. it motivates me to want to be the best coach that I can be. Screenshot 2016-09-27 11.47.57

See what others in the momstamp community say about Tafiq here