SRI RAN­JINI MEI HUA,

33, RE­SEARCH MAN­AGER

Shape (Singapore) - - Shape Your Life -

Her close friends and fam­ily said she “looked like a man” when she started strength train­ing fre­quently. While Ran­jini was ini­tially af­fected, it didn’t stop her from what she was do­ing. “I fig­ured I’d rather be strong and be able to do pull-ups and things like that so I didn’t bother about what other peo­ple thought about my body,” says Ran­jini.

She used to dis­like go­ing to the gym. “I didn’t know what to do at the gym and the pre­dom­i­nantly male space was in­tim­i­dat­ing,” she says. She would only head to the gym if some­one ac­com­pa­nied her.

She later be­came in­trigued by her progress in strength train­ing, and has never looked back since. “When I first started, I strug­gled with the bar­bell, but with more prac­tice, I could lift more,” says Ran­jini. “Each time you get stronger, you can lift more – that was what mo­ti­vated me to keep go­ing.”

She was the small­est and light­est girl at the 2017 Strong­man Log Lift Cham­pi­onship. De­spite that, Ran­jini suc­cess­fully lifted a 45kg log over her head, close to her body weight of 48kg then. “I was the scrawni­est girl there – all the more I had to prove my­self,” she says.

She self-prac­tises cal­lis­then­ics. The work­out that makes use of body­weight re­sis­tance ex­er­cises like hand­stands and in­ver­sions is chal­leng­ing to pick up with­out proper guid­ance. But Ran­jini is able to do so with her ex­pe­ri­ence as a pi­lates in­struc­tor. “In pi­lates, I learnt about pro­tect­ing my joints and main­tain­ing good form, so I know when I am tired and com­pen­sat­ing with the wrong mus­cle groups,” says Ran­jini.

Her in­dul­gence? Cakes… and more cakes. Choco­late truf­fle cake, car­rot cake, on­deh on­deh cake, cheese­cake – you name it and it’s on Ran­jini’s list of favourite cakes to eat. She even has her own sig­na­ture raw choco­late brownie recipe for cheat days.

She strug­gles to keep up with her mum dur­ing su­per­mar­ket trips. Fit­ness runs in the blood – her sib­lings have al­ways been ac­tively in­volved in sports like taek­wondo and track and field while her dad used to lift weights. Her mum? “My mum is as fit as a fid­dle,” says Ran­jini. “When I fol­low her to the su­per­mar­ket, she walks so fast that I strug­gle to keep up even though she’s shorter than me.”

Sri Ran­jini Mei Hua jug­gles her full-time job with teach­ing yoga and pi­lates, as well as hit­ting the gym up to thrice a week.

FIT FASH­ION Polyester elas­tane strap bra, $59, Polyester polyamide Bond Rever Leg­gings, $199, Polyester All Mesh Hood Jacket, $239, all from Calvin Klein Per­for­mance. Run Ma­trix Shoes, $249, from MBT. STYLING DOL­PHIN YEO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY AN­GELA GUO ART DI­REC­TION RAY TICSAY HAIR JENNY LEE AND NOR­MAN CHAN FROM MON­SOON US­ING SCH­WARZKOPF PRO­FES­SIONAL MAKEUP RINA SIN US­ING NARS AND JOHN LEE, FAC3INC, US­ING LAURA MERCIER

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