“Women really want these types of spaces where they not only feel challenged, but feel comfortable doing so.”
Last Friday, I sat down with Asmaa Badr for Bamrec’s second Fireside Chat on Instagram Live. As our conversation progressed, Asmaa took viewers through the process of founding Anissa Women’s Fitness, her solution to the fitness slump many of us have experienced due to the pandemic.
Taking Inspiration and Running with It
As weeks turned into months and COVID restrictions left everyone at home, Asmaa—an avid gym-goer—felt the struggle of living a life in quarantine. With her home simultaneously becoming a workplace, gym, and rest spot, she knew that a change had to be made. Constructing weekly workout schedules, Asmaa followed Youtube videos for physical activity. However, she quickly grew tiresome of going through the same routine, and felt like something was missing. That’s when she decided to create Anissa Women’s Fitness, a fully-virtual fitness platform where women can tune into exercise classes and participate in fitness challenges. What she hoped to bring back? “The personal aspect that you get from going to the gym or seeing people play sports,” explains Asmaa. By connecting trainers with women of all ages, Anissa Women’s Fitness cultivates a community where fitness is an uplifting journey, not a burdensome one. Whether an individual thrives in group training, or prefers a more personalized approach, they ensure that experienced and professional trainers provide a satisfactory and valuable experience. Each month, members can participate in the AWF fitness challenge, where they attend 15 classes to receive a full refund on their purchase. In addition, the variety of classes—like yoga, pilates, and conditioning—allow for a curated and refreshing fitness experience that never gets dull.
More than exercise sessions, Asmaa makes sure AWF gives back in other ways: master classes in mindfulness and nutrition, game nights through Zoom, and partnerships with local small businesses foster an even greater sense of community among members and trainers.
Not Just Exercise: Bringing Representation to Fitness
As a woman-owned, Muslim-owned platform, Anissa Women’s Fitness brings visibility to groups often over-shadowed in the fitness community. Posting exercise challenge videos on Instagram, Asmaa redefines what it means to be a hijabi woman in the fitness-sphere. In addition, AWF emphasizes providing an environment where women can feel comfortable exercising, no matter what point they are in their fitness journey.
With Multiple women tuning in to break a sweat, thousands of views on sport challenges, and even the release of an AWF clothing line, keep your eye on Anissa Women’s Fitness: they aren’t disappearing anytime soon.
Check out our Fireside Chat with Asmaa on Bamrec’s Instagram!