Harizon Ramli

One-stop online center for fitness

With emphasis on contactless exercise, a new normal has emerged in online fitness training.

The Artisans Haven opens its virtual doors to its first one-stop fitness center that will focus on exercise, diet and nutrition.

To be run by American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified coach Harizon Ramli, this center will pool the expertise of four certified trainers online to assist clients.

“Our top three services will feature online exercises for fitness, videos to demonstrate the different types of training and  individual nutrition plans,’’ said Harizon.

Training programs include those for weight loss, hypertrophy for muscle gain and toning, post natal and the elderly.

Among the popular programmes are those for weight loss and hypertrophy; elderly clients also seek exercises for strength training and muscle building.

Before starting the exercise programme, clients will be assessed online where handouts on various exercises will be given to them.

They may be asked to do, among others, push-ups where the instructor will assess their strength, and exercises for flexibility.

The instructor will also conduct weekly check-ins on clients; in the case of weight loss programs, clients will update him on their weight and latest photographs.

Clients training online may need to invest in some gym equipment such as those for weight loss or high intensity interval training, a form of cardiovascular exercise alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

In the case of body builders, they need to be physically on-site at the gym, while the instructor conducts contactless training online.

Harizon has trained Japanese businessman, Ryo Kawai, for the World Fitness Federation (WFF) Grand Prix Asia 2018, where he won first runner-up in the men’s fitness model (short class) and second runner-up in the men’s fitness model (overall).

“With the pandemic, online fitness training has gained a renewed focus; many see that exercise can help them to manage stress and improve their health,’’ said Harizon.

Exercise releases endorphins, often called ‘feel good chemicals’ that can help to relieve stress and act as a ‘happiness booster.’

With the new norm in staying and working from home, it is important to get some physical exercise, which also helps to drive down obesity rates.

With less physical movement, some of the Movement Control Order (MCO)-related diets can also contribute to weight gain.

The National Health and Morbidity survey last year showed that 50.1% of adults in Malaysia are either overweight or obese.

Besides these benefits, online training, which is available 24 hours, saves travelling time and is more cost effective.

Harizon, who started out as a front desk consultant at Fitness First in 2008, had also taken up a personal training (PT) foundation course.

His certifications come with physical and written examinations, with a focus on providing training on a personalized basis.

Having taken part in several men’s physique competitions, his most memorable was the WFF Asia Pacific Pro/Am 2017, where he represented Asia and came out third in the men’s physique (tall class) category.

As an athlete director of the WFF, Harizon is also a judge for competitions where he focuses on aspects such as posing aesthetics, physique proportion, muscle balance and effort put up for stage presentation.

The last criteria, comparison of physique, requires careful evaluation as competitors are already within the top five, and come with their distinctive features.

Harizon has learned discipline and good time management from his stints at the Royal Malaysian Navy and in aircraft engineering where he has a Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, as well as his 12 years in PT.

His biggest challenge, to date, is this prolonged Conditional MCO period during which he has opened a grocery business called Ayam Tanseri in Wangsa Maju, selling fresh food and provisions.

While sales at the grocery are encouraging, he still conducts virtual training as well as PT at clients’ homes or private gyms.

“PT is a lifestyle for all times; as I guide and take care of my clients’ health and well-being, I will build on the trust and rapport that I have gained, in a proper and professional manner,’’ said Harizon.

With the future before him, Harizon is determined to build up his businesses so that his clients and his young family can all thrive.

By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Storyteller, The Artisans Haven.