Tuesday, 29 May 2012

COBC PIONEER INSTRUCTOR: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH NAWAL AINI ZULKIFLI

Nawal Aini Zulkifli is the eldest daughter in a sibling of 4. She has an elder brother, Rafiq Zulkifli whom is a year older, 2 younger brothers named Ahmad Hairi Zulkifli and Ahmad Faris Zulkifli and a younger sister, Nawal Rafeza Zulkifli. Nawal Aini graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts with Honours from the University Technology Mara in 1999. 

Upon graduation, Nawal Aini had a short stint as a company secretary at a management consultancy firm in Desa Sri Hartamas and later as a Manager at a Fiat Dealership in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. She gave up her career to dedicate and devote herself to her family after giving birth to her one and only child, Aaraf. When Armin and his partners took the license for the Chief's Original Bootcamp, jokingly Nawal Aini said, "Dr Malek, Staff Sarge Dann, Farhanah Bamadhaj, Rose Emini Pahamin and even Armin Baniaz Pahamin did not give me any choice except to be an instructor because they all knew of my passion in fitness and health".

Nawal Aini Zulkifli, whom have been a gym goer for more than 10 years started working out at the gym just to be healthy and fit but as time passesby, she wanted more and found herself becoming more competitive especially in her running. Nawal Aini began participating in various outdoor activities from marathons, dualthons and even a triathlon. Todate, she has ran eight 42.2km marathons, four 30km races, fourteen 21km races and more than thirty 10km races. Nawal Aini Zulkifli has won many top 3 and top 10 placing in Women's Open category locally and in overseas. The last being the Bali International Marathon in Indonesia where she completed her full marathon being the number 9 best under the Women's Open category.


Before becoming an instructor, Nawal Aini was a trainee under the same program when the licensee was under a different owner and management. She chose the program in addition to her life long membership at the gym for  a few reasons. First, because her workout at the gym had plateau. The gym and the running was not giving her the result that she wanted. She was desperate to improve her running time and have tried everything including paying for more than 50 Personal Training PT Sessions at both the Fitness First and True Fitness but nothing seemed to work. Secondly, the motivation and aspiration was slowly diminishing. She needed the extra push but just did not know where and how to start. Bootcamp was Nawal Aini's life changing experience. Her fitness level and physique has drastically changed since she joined the Bootcamp in just 6 months. Her running time had improved by leaps and bounds with just only Bootcamp training 3 x a week. 

Being at the Chief's Original Bootcamp was not an easy thing to be. Alot was expected from her, her superior and especially her recruits. There is no shortcut at the bootcamp, not even for a lady. There is no short cut simply because instructors at the Chief's Original Bootcamp is expected to workout with the recruit and some recruit are very strong. When there is a stronger recruit, naturally she would drive herself to be stronger but being surrounded by endless people that share the same passion and interest sparked her enthusiasm further. Nawal Aini kept herself continuously active and healthy to motivate and aspire her son to stay fit and be healthy too. Her son was her primary source of motivation.

Since Nawal Aini joined, within 6 months she had lost more than 10kg in weight, her clothing size went 3 size down, her running time improved drastically and she is more physically toned. Being a mother, maintaining the physique and having the energy for housework and errands can be very challenging and demanding at time. This was all made easy with the energy and stamina gained at the bootcamp. 

To become an instructor at the Chief' Original Bootcamp, Nawal Aini attended and passed the Level 1, Military Leadership Certification by Australia OBC Global Master Trainer Chief Brabon, at an Original Bootcamp Academy in 2009. 6 months later, Nawal Aini passed the Sport Science Level 1 Certification by the National Sports Council. After being a section commander at the Chief's Original Bootcamp for more than 1,000 hours and attended various grueling in-house training, she was recommended by the management to be promoted as a platoon commander to Chief Brabon. A minimum 1,000 hours as a section commander and an equivalent if not more, in grey as a trainee is a prerequisite for a promotion to become a platoon commander. This is important to ensure that instructors understood the wants and need of any recruit by being a recruit themselves. It is important for instructors to feel what the recruits are feeling undergoing the same program and also to inculcate the COBC culture and aptitude.

Chief Brabon will then assess the recommendation for promotion and depending on the promotion, Chief will then pass or fail the candidate based on the candidate's overall knowledge of the whole concept and program, techniques and form, and for a platoon commander, in the candidate's ability to conduct, coordinate, command and reach out to everyone in a platoon that can be as big as 60 recruits in a session. What is also important is the candidate's ability to perfectly deliver the program that was designed by Chief Brabon for the whole network. After satisfying all the criterias, Chief Brabon promoted Nawal Aini Zulkifli to the rank of Sergeant. Such is the stringency for any promotion that Chief Brabon kept to maintain the highest deliverable in the global network.

Her daily schedule as a bootcamp instructor includes waking up as early as 4am every morning to drive the van, pick up the equipments at the store, drive to the destination alone in the morning darkness and arrived in time to prepare the field for the program of the day. The earliest session start at 5:45 in the morning and she would usually arrived at 5am. Nawal Aini admitted when she is alone at the field in total darkness, she is scared and sometimes being on a football field alone at 5am does felt freaky. There are times when the football field was occupied by intoxicated men and she had to woo them away but this is her commitment to her passion. Every session would last for 1 hour but sometimes we do have two sessions in the morning and that would end at 8am. After her session, she would go back to do her house work and errands, before cooking for lunch and left to pick up her son at school. After lunch, she would send her son for extra curricular activities or tuition and do her grocery shopping before getting ready again for another bootcamp session either as an instructor (if on duty) or as a recruit to workout. After the session that end at 7:45pm, Nawal Aini would rush home to prepare dinner and retires at 10pm to have enough sleep before waking up again at 4am the next morning.

The hands-on mother said, "being multi-tasked as a mother, a daughter, an instructor and a recruit is very demanding and challenging especially with only 24 hours in a day but when all are being done with passion, somehow the time seemed to adjust and balanced up by itself. However, knowing how to prioritize would make alot of different".

The women who can do a better push up form than an average guys at the bootcamp continued, "Being in a men's world especially with the tough workout regime, is never easy! Sometimes I had to put in more focus and effort to be where I am now but the key word is discipline and consistent. With consistency in working out followed by a good dieting, everyone and anyone can gained a better athletic performance, workout form and technique as well as the best of physique".

When asked on some beauty tips, Nawal Aini said, "It is imperative that we have enough sleep, eat well, get well hydrated, be happy and smile!! That is the key to beauty". 

For a better fitness, Nawal said, "Be realistic, Fix a goal! Focus on achieving the goal, educate yourself on the goal and be surrounded by a strong positive and supportive people".

On dieting, "Don't be too hard on yourself, if you feel like it, occasionally do indulge in what you want to eat but breaking meals into 5-6 smaller meals a day is far better than three big meals. Always plan your meals ahead or you find yourself driving through Mc Donalds drive-in. Drink lots of water and get good supplements. Personally, I eat many small meals a day that comprised of mostly proteins, lean mean, grilled or roasted with lots and loads of salad and vegetables.

Sarge (COBC) Nawal- Commanding a big platoon takes a lot of patience and experience.

Nawal Aini's actual passion is in staying healthy, keeping fit and continued exercise. Being an instructor was never a dream but it is a newly found passion. Nawal will continue to be an instructor for as long as the Chief's Original Bootcamp existed. "In 3 years, Nawal believed COBC would exist in every state in Malaysia or at least that is what we planned. It is better to provide opportunity to other local Malaysian than a foreigner in a foreign country", continued Nawal.

Nawal Aini whom regularly enjoys a good quality time with her family loves going places for good food, good movie or just dining at home. "We enjoyed both dining in and dining out for as long as we are all together. It is never a place that is good but its the company", said Nawal Aini. Nawal Aini loves to cook too. Before everyone was on any diet, she would cook all varieties. Her favorite meal to cook ranges from the traditional Kelantanese nasi dagang, nasi briyani to the varieties of exotic sinful dishes. Now, when everyone is all health cautious, Nawal Aini would alternate a grilled or roasted different type of lean beef, lambs, chicken and fish.

Nawal Aini's motivation that fueled her burning desire to workout was the memory of her late father. She lost her father to cancer.  Nawal Aini never fail to workout and always wanted to be healthier and fitter so she has the extra energy to take care of her son if he fall sick. "When dad passed away, I was only a student and my family was broken and tormented. When dad lost his battle to cancer. I was so traumatized that I promise to take good care of my health and this brought me to adopt my current healthy lifestyle at the Bootcamp. I can't afford to fall sick. I have to be healthy, strong and I want to be around to see my son grew up, graduate and have his own family.  No one can  predict what will happen tomorrow but we can take all precautionary measure and stay healthy", said the physically strong but a fragile Nawal.

When Nawal Aini is neither bootcamping as a trainer nor a recruit, she will be singing!! Yes, the robust and all rounder women loves to sing. She would usually sing pop and jazz when she is bored, stress or happy but she only sing for herself and probably to her family. However, occasionally Nawal Aini would invite her close friends over to the house for a good jamming session. Other than singing, bootcamping and cooking, Nawal Aini enjoys reading and once a month she dress up to kill (according to party theme) at our monthly party!!! Such is the flamboyant life of a bootcamper!!

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