Up close with Riyo, Uchop and Angki
Let's read about Riyo, Uchop Matt and Angki as they share stories on their life-changing fitness experiences everyday. Notice the common threads that run through us all, and celebrate what makes them unique. Find out what brought them to fitness, and what inspires them to be involved in the movement for a fitter planet!
“Each and every class is unique and special.”- Riyo
The most popular question she is asked is, “Why did you become an instructor?” Her usual answer is “WHY NOT!!” Originally from Japan, Riyo is Les Mills Asia Pacific BODYBALANCE® Program Performance Coach, Les Mills Tone™ Presenter and Les Mills Barre™ Trainer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Throughout her 15 years in the fitness arena, she strongly believes that every single class can create a positive impact. Many may have thought that instructors merely train and guide the class members, but in reality, they go above and beyond.
Instructors are usually the role model to the club members and more. They are “the leader of the pack”. They motivate, encourage, and build a ‘home team’ where class members can always come back to.
Riyo enjoys seeing class members walking out of the studio with big smiles - all the more reason why she continues to teach till today. For her, each and every class is unique and special in its own way. One memory that she keeps fondly is about one loving, mid-aged foreign couple who attended her BODYBALANCE® class years ago. On the last day before the couple left to their home country, they wrote a note to her, thanking that her class had helped them while they underwent a tough medical procedure in Malaysia. Such kind words encouraged her to propel further. It is now apparent to her that life is so good when she can serve people around her by injecting positive vibes and helping them to live healthier life.
When comes to her pastime, she loves to chill out with her baby dog, Miley, with a cup of good coffee. Occasionally, you would find her in Bali visiting her favorite café and temples in Ubud.
“Let your passion lead the way” - Uchop
Mohd Yusuf Mat, a Les Mills instructor who would bring his passport wherever he goes (which is very rare for many of us) and has a special liking on chocolates find his passion in Les Mills.
Best known as Uchop Matt, he is a BODYJAM® and Sh’bam® Presenter. Having an immerse pleasure and joy when comes to dancing, he just has so much of energy to dance his way the moment the music hits the ground. All these started when he was introduced to participate in a BODYJAM® class 10 years ago. Never did he know that the introduction to BODYJAM® would bring him to where he is today.
As a Les Mills instructor for 9 years now, he is proud to say that his life has changed to be better. Not only his life has changed, he is glad that he could influence his family and friends to lead a healthier and active lifestyle.
When asked about the thought of becoming a Les Mills instructor, he said “Teaching BODYJAM® itself fulfills me. It gives me joy through dancing and seeing happy faces in my class and know exactly how my members are feeling when they are dancing. I have never thought that I could be part of the Presenter team or even in Les Mills filming. So when I received the news that I was selected to be part of the BODYJAM® filming release 72 in 2014, I was ecstatic about it. It was like a dream come true!”.
Uchop believes that passion and patience are important for any instructors or even personal trainers to embrace at all time. These are the people whom the members look up to especially on getting the right snippets of living in a healthy manner hence, it is important for one to be passionate of what they are doing.
When winding down, Uchop loves to watch movies, spend time at home and does photography in fashion. If time allows, we will see Uchop travelling around together with his friends and families.
“Everything takes time, there’s no shortcut to greatness”- Angki
Have you ever come across a foodie who loves late snacking and gulping on the sweet desserts like chocolates, cakes and savory bread and was once a chubby child and starved herself later, hoping that she could be slimmer and fitter at one point in her life is today a Les Mills instructor?
Stephanie Angkiriwang or better known as Angki has so much to tell and share with all of us. Her weight was the trigger point that kicked her engine to start working out; all went well initially however, it got extreme that she did not know that her way of working out was totally wrong. Her mum was very much concerned about Angki and then, decided to bring her to see a nutritionist. Angki’s mum had also then signed up a gym membership for her.
“People keep asking me why I keep on exercising.” Well, it’s not about losing weight but it’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Ever since I join the Les Mills program, I have fallen in love with it. It is just amazing where every member in the class is so energetic. The bouncing vibes during the class have got me attending the class without a miss.”
Today, Angki lives in a very contented life by pursuing her dream job as a Les Mills instructor. She has been teaching for 8 years now and is RPM® presenter, CXWORX® presenter and BODYCOMBAT® Presenter. It was a roller coaster ride for her in these 8 years but she never, never gives up.
Her perseverance and determination have made her to who she is today. She pours 101% passion and love in her daily work and believes that she could make a positive impact to people around her. From day to day, she constantly improves her technique and ways of teaching as she wants her members to reap the benefit of the class. Holding firmly to her principle that is to keep hustling even when no one is watching, she feels everything is worth it at the end of the day especially when members went to her, sharing how much she has made a positive impact in their lives. It makes her realize that a simple girl with big dreams can help and inspire other people – that fuels her to work even harder.
When comes to her favorite moment, she is very blessed and grateful to get to know so many people whom some have become her best friends today.
Touching on her personal aspect, she shared a secret that she has a peppermint essential oil in her bag, something unusual. Her favorite past time are reading books and articles, listening to podcasts, music and once a while, loves to café-hopping.
Being an instructor is a never-ending learning process; it is a journey and one should enjoy the ride. Master the art of learning, practicing and applying feedback. Do not be scared of making mistakes and just have fun.