I love working out. There’s just something so freeing about being able to bust a sweat and it’s a feeling I appreciate. On days when things are particularly tough, that’s the time when I know I have to get a workout in all the more. So far in 2016, I haven’t missed a day of working out just because I love it.
I haven’t been particularly adventurous with my workouts though. A quick check on my workout calendar (yes, I do have one), would show a similar pattern of workouts that I rotate to keep the interest going. I generally dance and run but decided to be a little adventurous recently. In the same week, I tried out yoga for the very first time, and even lifted 10kg of weight—under supervision.
Both sports are completely different but the reason I had not tried either out before was because I always assumed they were easy and wouldn’t break me out in a sweat. One involves poses in various positions, the other involves lifting up something and putting it down again several times. I had assumed they won’t be much of a challenge—I was wrong.
Suit Up For Battle
Earlier in the week, Cedric, Sarah and I dressed up in our workout gear and headed to the Honey Badgers coaching facility, which is located along the highway on 10 Boulevard. “So many buff men” was my first impression, even before we walked in past the glass doors. We were greeted by Felix, also known as the “Badger Boss” of the outlet. My initial thoughts was that it would be just another gym complete with the equipments that any gym go-er would be familiar with.
When I saw weights, ropes, and flooring that resembled the deadlift area of a gym, I mentally braced myself. This wasn’t what I was signing up for, I thought to myself. We were passed an assessment form each and were required to fill up our fitness goals. I had always felt insecure about my arms ever since I was a little girl, and so my goal was obviously to tone them. Seeing the weights though, I was afraid.
Sarah reassured me, “You won’t bulk up, don’t worry.” Still, I was dubious and rightfully so. Need I remind you, we were surrounded my buff men. Really buff men. “What is your definition of bulking and toning up?” asked Felix calmly.
“We are trying to achieve your ideal. That’s the importance of the assessment, because we need to understand what it is you want to achieve here. Our mantra here is peace of mind, so when you come in here you don’t have to worry about whether you’re going to bulk up, or maybe not bulk up enough. We want to create the simplest solution, the simplest programme for you to get you where you want to be,” he added.
It was then that I realised that everyone’s definition of ‘toned’ is different from the other, and so is their definition of ‘bulking’.
Different Goals For Different Folks
That is what the team at Honey Badgers hopes to instill. Each individual that walks through the glass doors is looking ahead to a different goal . Some may want to be their own version of a “buff Arnold Schwarzenegger” and others may just want to be a “Rachel Bilson kind of toned”. No guesses as to which I’d prefer. The point is, if you went into the coaching facility with a fixed goal in mind, the team’s aim is to help you achieve it.
It all starts with an assessment worth RM35, which is used to gauge your physical fitness and personal goals. It can also be used as a simple guide should you wish to do your own stretching and lifting (provided, of course, you know the right form and method to do so).
We were introduced to Kelvin, who would be coaching us for the day. The assessment we went through was broken down into 3 different categories. There was the movement readiness assessment, body weight proficiency and external weight proficiency tests. Some of the exercises saw us stretching our calf muscles, twisting our bodies while holding PVC pipes, and doing modified pull-ups. Some stretches were harder than expected, flexibility was a crucial element in this.
I mentally told myself that I could do it like Popeye does, he’s a champion at weights and he eats spinach. I eat spinach too, so this shouldn’t be too hard, right? That was until I realised that I had to lift a 10kg barbell (the heaviest I’ve ever lifted were 2kg dumbells).
It took several attempts and plenty of correction from the coach, but I finally managed to lift it up in the air. Turns out lifting is not as straightforward as bending down and carrying it up, there is a lot of details involved in the way you stand, the way your wrist is angled, how you squat and position your back, and more—it all matters more than you’d think.
After the hour long assessment was over, we were brought over to evaluate our results. Each of us had our areas which we are good in, for instance, Cedric excelled in the pull ups, but at the same time, we were also reminded of our weak points and our areas of struggle so we could work on them.
After the assessment, should a client want to continue training at the facility and receive personal coaching, a programme will be curated to suit their needs. What makes them different from other personal training centres is that the programmes will be created to match the client’s time and frequency at the coaching facility.
This is, therefore, where bespoke fitness comes into play. Due to this flexibility, the price for the coaching can vary greatly between clients. “We have programmes ranging from RM60 to RM600!” Felix exclaimed. And they don’t only cater to people who are already very lean and buff, in fact, their programmes are highly customisable, even for the beginners and the noobs.
All in all, it was a well-rounded experience. We tested every major muscle in our body throughout the duration of the assessment and I realised that the most important aspect was to direct our mind and heart towards our end goal, everything else would follow.
Families Work Out Together
The same could be said about the team from Honey Badgers. They must have followed their heart, and perhaps their gut as well when they formed the eventual coaching facility. The team shared on their page, “We started off as a group of friends who trained together to prepare for the Viper Challenge 2013.” Their group was made up of people from different fitness levels but even so, their time together made them realise that they felt like family when they are around each other.
It was only natural to start something with people who make you feel that way. As for their unique name that sets them apart from other “manly sounding” gyms and coaching facilities, Felix had a pretty funny answer to that.
“I came up with a list of animals that eats vipers because of the Viper challenge and the girls in our group liked the name ‘honey badger’ because they thought that it was cute. At first, I wasn’t really agreeable to that, then one of my closest clients and friends told me to go with it because of the video and meme ‘Honey Badgers don’t care’.”
Eventually the name stuck, and now about 9 months in, they have built themselves up to 100 clients. They’re all about changing mindsets too, and this includes yours truly.
Before my assessment workout with Honey Badgers, I had assumed that this was strictly for people who are serious about bulking or drastically changing their physiques. As I only wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle and tone up in general, I figured I would never ever step into the coaching facility because it didn’t seem like something which would cater to me. Now I know that it’s not the case as even if my sole intention was to lead a more active lifestyle, I would have been able to gain my goal here.
A plus from my experience was that I did wind up feeling toner in the arms the next day and at that point, I had #noregrets at all. It was then that I realised—I did somewhat achieve my goal for the day now, didn’t I?