OPEX Gyms Client: Yafa Elseri | Dabbling to long-lasting success
OPEX Gyms Client: Yafa Elseri
Abandoning her dabbler ways for long-lasting success
Yafa Elseri was a dabbler.
From personal training to boot camps to various other group class type of workout environments like Zumba, she tried all sorts of different forms of fitness, but never found herself wanting to commit to one in particular.
“You know, I did the typical thing where I went to the gym and got on whatever machine was available. There was no thought or purpose behind my workouts. I didn’t have goals. I was like, ‘Let’s just go in and move and hope for the best,’” said the 34-year-old Elseri who trains at OPEX Abbotsford (https://www.opexabbotsford.com) in British Columbia.
Then about four years ago, her husband Firass El Fateh got involved with OPEX and completed his Coach Certificate Program (CCP).
“I had never heard of OPEX, but he was like, ‘I’m going to start programming for you,’” she said.
It was the first time in her life she started digging into what she wanted to get out of fitness.
“I had never really thought about my goals. He was like, ‘Do you want to get stronger?’ And I realized I did want to get stronger, especially my upper body,” said Elseri, who works as a chiropractor.
At the time, Elseri couldn’t do a single pull-up. Before getting pregnant with her second child, who is eight months old now, Elseri could do 10 pull-ups. While she kept training throughout her entire pregnancy, she naturally temporarily lost some strength and fitness while carrying her child.
“I’m back to being able to do three chin-ups again, and my goal is to get back to where I was (before being pregnant),” she said.
At 5-foot-7 and 131 lb., gaining upper body strength has made a world of difference to her career.
“People see me and they think I won’t be strong enough to adjust them. I’ve had patients admit to me (after an appointment), ‘Listen, I have to say this. I didn’t think you would be able to adjust me judging by your size.’ They’re surprised by what I can do,” she said. “And when I was on mat leave, I had locums fill in for me, and my patients would email me and tell me, ‘I have a whole new respect for your strength because these other girls can’t do it,’” Elseri added, laughing.
Needless to say, her dabbling days are over.
“Firass knows how to build me up to things slowly, rather than me just joining in on a boot camp. Having the structure and the individuality, it’s exactly what I need,” she said.
Following an individual program was especially important during her two pregnancies, as her needs, as well as her temporary limitations, were even more specific.
“There’s a misconception that you shouldn’t work out when you’re pregnant, but you can still function, and I know the benefits of working out when you’re pregnant. It’s valuable for the pregnancy and during labor. I had a very smooth and quick labor and didn’t use any drugs,” she said.
When asked what her pregnancy would have looked like had she still been living her dabbler boot camp ways, she said: “It would have been a nightmare.”
Though her relationship with her coach is much different than most OPEX clients, Elseri said she and her husband still make time to have her monthly lifestyle consults.
“Oh yeah, we still have our consults. The kids will be asleep and he’ll ask, ‘What are your goals?’ And then we’ll come up with a plan for me to work toward them,” she said.
Right now her goals are simple: To get back to her pre-pregnancy fitness level, while her long-term goals are to continue to live a happier, healthier, fitter life.
“I can’t ever see myself getting bored with this. I have such better energy than before, and I feel like I’m able to give to my patients and my children all the energy they need. I’m not burnt out from running around the house chasing kids all day,” she said.
Elseri added: “With OPEX, you’re putting your money, time and energy into something that works, and something you don’t have to stress about. I don’t worry about what I do at the gym anymore. I just show up four or five days a week. It’s direct, it has a purpose, and it gets you amazing results.”