Striking a balance in life may be as simple as carving out time regularly to indulge in an activity, or two, of your choice. Yahoo Shopping chats with personalities who share their passion for a sport or wellness activity they enjoy, which helps them take on the world with zeal. We hope this monthly series will inspire you to find an interest that will add that sparkle to your life.
Aaron Mossadeg has been a TV and commercial actor in Singapore for nearly a decade now. Since his first lead role in Channel 5's time travel comedy, Future Proof, and as the lovable Julius Shelley in the award-winning long-form drama, Kin, Aaron is becoming increasingly prominent in the scene. As a certified personal trainer who was once a 'scrawny' kid, he hopes to use his platform to share his knowledge with anyone who wants to transform their lives through sports and fitness – something he’s been doing since his physical change caught the attention of his peers.
Yahoo Shopping: From your social accounts, we see that you engage in various fitness activities. Is there one, or a few that you love, and how did you get started?
Aaron Mossadeg: Turning 30 this year, I've decided to shift the focus from the gym to reconnect with all the sports I grew to love over the years and also to try new ones. It's also my way of injecting more variety and fun into keeping fit and getting leaner. But it has always been football for me since I was probably about 10 years old, and then skateboarding around 12. More recently, I've found an interest in Muay Thai, stunt fighting and bouldering, and they all have different qualities that blend so well together to keep me strong, lean and feeling better than ever!
What are the benefits of your preferred sports activities, and what do you love about them?
I started working out in the gym when I was 20 years old and found great comfort and pride in building an ideal physique for myself. I love that it's not something that can be bought or inherited. It's entirely up to you to sculpt yourself and your body reflects that effort. It's also great for stress relief and boosts my self-esteem!
Football and skateboarding are undeniable passions, so they're also great for burning off those calories because I don't feel like it's a chore to sweat. Like football, Muay Thai is an effective way to stay lean and light on my feet, and it's especially great when you find a warm and nurturing community, as I did at NeueFit. Plus, self-defence is such a valuable skill to have in life, but it can also be an asset for my course of work. To complement Muay Thai, I also attend stunt fighting workshops at Sandbox Training Ground which can work up a sweat!
Bouldering is another popular way to get stronger as I learn to lift and shift my body weight. It's also another motivation for me to get leaner, which helps me look better onscreen. And I love how it challenges your mind because each route is like a puzzle, and strength isn't all that matters.
How often do you indulge in them, and with whom?
Football and Gym: One to two times a week
Stunt Fighting: Once a week
Bouldering: Once every two weeks
I haven’t been able to go for Muay Thai at NeueFit as frequently as I’d like to because of my work and class schedules. However, I'm always thinking about it. And the same goes for skateboarding because I picked it up as a very social activity, so I prefer to go when my friends can also make it. The gym is the only place I like to go alone. Now that I've built my home gym, it's even better!
Was there any point you wanted to give up? Why and how did you bounce back?
Yes! I started to focus on strength so much in the gym in the last few years that I was slowly growing bigger and chunkier simultaneously. And it was very disheartening to realise that when I saw myself noticeably rounder on screen. That’s when I decided to return to my original motivation for working out in the first place. It was always about aesthetics, keeping fit and feeling great about myself. Not the ego when it comes to how heavy I could lift. And all that effort to keep the weight numbers increasing meant I had little time or energy for the other sports I enjoyed.
So I decided to switch it up this year. What people may not realise about bodybuilding is that it is pretty dull and repetitive. That's why it's common to be tempted to shift goals. For me, it was to get stronger because I was bored of just maintaining my physique, so it's crucial to constantly reevaluate your current regimen and check in with yourself to see if it's still in line with what you want.
What gear or attire do you need when engaging in sports activities?
For football, a solid pair of boots is so important. I always look for those with hand stitching at the front because it tends to last longer than glued boots. In the gym, I've stopped using gloves because you can quickly acclimatise your hands to the rough weights, especially when you have proper form with your grip. However, I'd recommend lifting straps for deadlifts and a lifting belt if you want to go heavy with significant, compound movements. On the other hand, barefoot is often better than sports shoes when deadlifting and squats as you don't lose energy transfer in the lift through the soft, heavily-padded soles.
For Muay Thai, I've realised just how much more comfortable it is to throw kicks and knees in proper Muay Thai shorts than regular sports shorts. And a solid pair of hand wraps worn tightly can provide a lot more confidence in throwing hard punches and preventing wrist injuries! After my knee and ankle injuries, a must-have for me when doing dynamic, fast-paced sports are my knee and ankle guards. The added support prevents old injuries from resurfacing and lets me heal over time without sitting out completely. Lastly, for bouldering, chalk is extremely useful for your grip, and while I'm generally okay with the rental shoes, it's crucial to find one that fits snug so you can feel stable and steady on the footholds.
Please share with us one thing you learnt from these sports activities or what you wish others to discover about them.
I wish to share with others that every sport has its merits, and there isn't one better than the other. Any workout is better than no workout, so you don't have to spend too much time thinking about it. If you don’t feel an undeniable passion and interest in something, move on to the next and find a way of working out that works for you. Then you won't feel like it's a burden, and you won't end up skipping workouts, feeling guilty, and, ultimately, not being consistent!
Yahoo roped you in for a series of workout videos on Can Make it fitness because of your credentials as a trained instructor. When and why did you decide to get certified, and what have you learnt as a certified instructor? Any learnings to share with Yahoo readers looking to get healthier and fitter?
I got certified in 2018 because I felt immense gratitude for how the gym changed my life, and I wanted to pass on whatever I learned. Taking the instructor certificate improved my knowledge. Unfortunately, it wasn't easy to juggle work and freelance personal training, so I decided to share this knowledge on my social media for free instead! You can check out #AMxFIT, where I post helpful tips and tricks on my Instagram, and, more recently, I've decided to dedicate my TikTok to all things fitness.
Diet or exercise? Which is more important?
Diet, in any case, will be more meaningful. I always believe that you can't out-train a bad diet. So if your goal is to stay healthy and trim, a good diet alone will take you there. But if it's to achieve a particular look or performance or speed up the process, exercise is a crucial addition to your lifestyle, not an alternative.
As a well-known figure, what is one way you inject positivity to the public?
I’ve been documenting this ongoing fitness journey of mine for a while now. I hope that being transparent about my fitness ups and downs and whatever I've learnt along the way will inspire others to stay active in one way or another, to keep trying and learn new things, and to find what makes them happy. It doesn't always have to be about the gym and muscles. Everyone has to find their preferred way of working out to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that it doesn't become a chore.
Feeling inspired by Aaron? Yahoo Shopping sets you on your way to finding the fitness activities you love.
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Non-Slip Grip For Gymnastics, Rock Climbing, Bouldering, Weight-Lifting, Strength Training
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