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Introducing Amy Lu

Amy is a Group Fitness Instructor at Les Mills Auckland City and Newmarket. She is also on the National Team for BODYPUMP® and SPRINT®. Outside of the gym, Amy works as a Doctor at Auckland City Hospital in the Emergency Department. 

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WHY DID YOU BECOME A LES MILLS GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR?

When I was starting Uni and started going to Group Fitness it was a time where I really didn't feel OK to be myself. I was very in the closet and my mum had a particular idea of who she wanted me to be. With me being me, I just fulfilled that. There was an instructor at some of the classes I went to who was just so free and feels absolutely OK with who he is and able to share that with people. We would never talk because I would always be too shy but when I was in that room, It made me feel OK to be whoever I thought I was. That's a really powerful feeling. I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to become a Group Fitness Instructor when I was working in Whangarei. So I took the opportunity and I took it on openly because I thought it was my chance to help other people feel like that too. Creating a space where someone can belong is so important to me.

WHAT DOES YOUR WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?

On Monday I've got SPRINT® 6:10 at Auckland City and then 7:10 BODYPUMP® at Newmarket. On Tuesday mornings I've started to do calisthenic mobility strength training. If I have time I might go to a Tuesday night BODYPUMP® class. Wednesday morning - I've started going to Olympic lifting lessons and that's just to help me up-skill with BODYPUMP® and that's been amazing. Thursday morning I teach BODYPUMP® again and Thursday afternoon I teach RPM®. Friday is a dedicated rest day, I don't do any exercise at all. Saturday morning I do a short SPRINT® and Sunday I teach BODYPUMP® again. It's a lot!

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK YOU?

I get the "Are you a Doctor?", "yes...", "How do you do it...?" haha.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE HAVING TWO JOBS?

I think it's hard, you know, like I don't always feel like I've always got it balanced, truthfully. You guys see what you see but I'll have days where I'm finding it really difficult being at either place.

HOW DO YOU TRAIN, SWEAT COMMIT?

I train with a purpose. I put in a lot of blood sweat and tears behind closed doors. And I'm committed to creating world class fitness experiences for our members.

WHAT DOES LIVE FORWARD MEAN TO YOU?

I think it's about doing what you can, now, for the future that you want.

WHAT IS IN YOUR GYM BAG?

I carry around 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, my bike shoes and my lifting shoes. I have about 5 different changes of outfit. I have Amino Energy. My mic bag (two mics, in case one fails...) mic belt, phone, keys, ear phones. A rolling ball for stretching. Towels. And a skipping rope. I have a lot.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

This will pass. No matter what happens, it will be OK.

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DO YOU PRACTICE MINDFULNESS?

No. My mind wanders all the time. I think it's because starting anything is hard when you have to get into a habit and there's all these other things that you feel like you should be doing and it just ends up being put to the side. But I read my self-help books...

HOW DO YOU RECHARGE?

I have to be by myself. I'm quite introverted and I need a lot of alone time. So being at the hospital and being here (Les Mills) does drain me. So I spend lots of time by myself either watching reality TV or going to a class, or listening to music.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU GET STRESSED AND THE NEGATIVE CREEPS IN?

I nap. I avoid and I nap. Or, I'll watch reality TV and I'll watch a lot of it - like MKR (My Kitchen Rules), Married at First Sight, Love Island, Heart Break Island... So I pretty much just avoid and then once the stress gets overwhelming I deal with it and just do the task that I have to do. Great management techniques!

HOW MANY HOURS OF SLEEP DO YOU TYPICALLY GET?

Haha. So, I do what I call "high intensity interval sleeping". So I work night shifts (at the Hospital) and then I'm usually here teaching classes during the day time. If I need to go to appointments that breaks up the sleep as well. So I'm usually sleeping about 2-3 hours in little chunks which isn't good and eventually I need a day on the weekend usually where I just sleep for like 14 hours. I love sleeping...it's my favourite!

HOW DO YOU TRAIN FOR YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING?

I think my view on training is more for the mental aspect as opposed to the physical. I don't care how it affects my body - more importantly I think it's that mental strength, it's that determination and all of those things that you hope to have in the real world. All those things you can do through training. You can train yourself to be stronger mentally and you can train yourself to manage stress better.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO TRAIN AND TO TRAIN OTHERS?

The training I do is mostly for my classes. So if I'm going to BODYPUMP®, I'm actually going to learn from the Instructor. And if I'm training I'm just trying to get better and the movements myself so I can be a better role model in my own classes. I think it's really important for people to train as a way for them to feel confident about themselves. There are not many places where what you put in is what you get out. As people train more and get better at the movements you can tell they're also getting more confident about themselves. Ultimately that's what we're doing. We're giving people the confidence to achieve - whether it's in the gym or outside the gym.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THOSE STARTING ON THEIR WELLNESS JOURNEY?

I think just be patient. And be kind to yourself. And just realise that the people that you're seeing on Instagram or who are teaching classes or ripped people in the gym, that hasn't happened overnight. That was a really good thing for me to realise that it's taken these people probably three or five years to be where they are. One cheat meal doesn't define your whole journey. It's more of the overall direction. So be patient, be kind and try to enjoy the process if you can.

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WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?

I am not a morning person at all! So, I literally sleep until the very last second that I have to get up. I always have to take a shower before I go anywhere. And before work or before teaching classes, I have to wash my hair. And if I have time I'll grab an Up & Go or something on the way.

WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO PRE/POST-WORKOUT SNACK?

I don't eat before class because I threw up before... (no more). If I'm absolutely knackered, I'll have an Up & Go. After class, I usually try to get a protein shake in pretty quickly, just to help me with recovery.

WHAT DOES YOU DAY ON A PLATE LOOK LIKE?

Lately I've been eating a lot of HelloMister (Vietnamese Street Food). So I'll teach my class in the morning, then I'll have some rolls for morning tea, have Uncle Boons for lunch, then have another roll for afternoon tea. Then if I'm feeling rich, I'll go to Cali Press and get a smoothie as well. But I'm very sporadic. I just eat when I can. And then for dinner I just have lots of microwaved egg whites.

IF YOU HAD FIVE MINUTES TO MAKE A MEAL ON THE GO, WHAT WOULD YOU MAKE?

Oh, I can't cook! So I usually just blend. Protein, blueberries, peanut butter and I'll just blend it and take it. Or microwaved egg whites and soy sauce.

WORDS TO LIVE BY?

If it really matters to you, you find a way to make it work.