How Personal Training Levelled up Rukaiya’s Training


How Personal Training Levelled up Rukaiya’s Training

If you’re fed up with not seeing results or can’t commit the time to figuring out your own training style or fitness preferences, you may have already considered joining Third Space’s expert-led, one-to-one personal training (PT) programme.


Whether you’re looking to build strength, manage weight, rehabilitate or begin a more tailored approach to your sport, we’re here to help. But just don’t take our word for it. Below, Third Space member Rukaiya Rashid explains how training with Third Space Elite Personal Trainer Ayden Isaac-George over the past three-and-a-half years continues to make real change in her fitness journey, despite a previous tumultuous relationship with another gym’s “transformation” culture.  


Third Space: What made you want to start PT with Third Space?

Rukaiya Rashid: I had done PT at another boutique gym for just over a year. I did a “transformation” there, where they put me on a food and training plan. I had to cut out carbs for a month (including fruit!), and then reintroduce a small number of carbs after that. I lost a lot of weight very quickly at first but I was so hungry after that that I put it all back on plus more. 


I had two big injuries during that time. The first one was a fractured collarbone (it happened during one of my PT sessions) which healed after a few months. The second one was pain in my hip whenever I squatted. I remember I tried physio for months but it didn’t help. I just assumed that I wasn’t built to squat. Towards the end of that year, I was starting to feel incredibly frustrated. I wasn’t learning anything new and I felt stuck. I loved lifting weights but I wanted to learn to move better – and I wanted to find a proper coach to help me get there. 


Then I came across Ayden at Third Space. We had a couple of intro sessions and I can honestly say I learned more in those two sessions than I did from over a year of PT at the previous gym. It was exactly what I had been looking for: top-quality coaching. His focus was and has always been mastering the basics. I started to move better. My hip pain disappeared – because I was learning how to squat and hip hinge properly for the first time. I’d say my real transformation happened at Third Space.


Third Space: What’s been your biggest accomplishment so far?

Rukaiya Rashid: I move better and I’m strong. My body has completely transformed, too. It was a slow and sustainable fat loss. There was no cutting out carbs or anything crazy. Ayden just gave me some sensible macros to stick with as a starting point. It never felt hard. It actually felt effortless. After I got lean we adjusted my macros again and I started building some muscle. Now I eat upwards of 2500 cals and still have abs and I sit at around 53 to 54kg these days. It’s amazing what a good quality training programme and a sensible approach to nutrition can do to your body.


Third Space: How do you stay motivated and accountable outside of the gym?

Rukaiya Rashid: It’s easy. Everything has been done gradually, in a sustainable way, which is why I’ve stayed so consistent. With the training, we gradually build up to big weights. With nutrition, we make small adjustments and monitor the results over time. Nothing drastic and no quick transformations. So it’s been easy to stick to, inside and outside of the gym.


Third Space: What are your current goals? 

Rukaiya Rashid: To keep building strength and muscle and to continue improving my technique on the big lifts. A big focus this year has been working on improving mobility and I’m starting to feel the benefits. My squats and deadlifts are feeling smoother and I’m feeling a stronger mind-muscle connection when I lift. Also, Aiden has taught me that lifting weights (correctly!) is a skill, and one that takes time and experience to master. There is always something to learn and something to improve on.


Third Space: What other benefits have you noticed?

Rukaiya Rashid: I’m healthier and happier in general. I eat better, I sleep better, I’m fitter and I have so much more energy than I used to have. I’ve also learned so much about my body. Training with Ayden was one of the best decisions I made. I’ll never stop investing in my physical health.

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