Adelene Stanley-Cheah: “I train so I can dance better”
Name: Adelene Stanley-Cheah
Occupation: Freelance Artist
Personal Trainer: John Cheah
Time with Level: 10 weeks from October 2019
As a freelance artist who does everything from performance dance to creative directing, Adelene is moving all the time. She has ballet and contemporary classes and rehearsals virtually everyday during performance season and isn’t any less active off-season, during which you’ll find her practising yoga, running, biking or swimming.
Adelene had always trained on her own in the gym. This time, she decided to work with a personal trainer in preparation for her upcoming China tour with Inala.
“When you programme for yourself, you tend to only do the exercises that you like to do. When someone else programmes for you, you have to do the exercises no matter what, even if you don’t like it.”
With Adelene, John Cheah developed a programme that would help her strengthen her back and legs – two areas she felt she was weaker in. “I hate jumps but John makes be do them, since it’s good for me as a dancer to get off the floor”, said Adelene
He introduced the one and one-quarter squats to build tension in her quads, which would help her improve her jumps. Her programme also included deadlifts, which she was initially afraid of because of her weak back. Other exercises in a typical workout included deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, rope pulls, farmer’s walk and strict presses.
“With all the strength training, my back feels really solid now.”
Since she started, she’s found that her back has grown much stronger too. It used to worry her that with an intense dance schedule, her body would tire and one day her back would give way but now.
“Every week, I feel stronger and it’s proven by the numbers. Week after week, I’ve been able to max out my personal record on deadlifts or squats, which is amazing.”
She has also seen herself setting personal records week after week. Adelene never thought she’d be able to deadlift over 70kg, but in the last session she managed to hit 77kg (from her previous max of 60kg before training at Level).
“I would never have pushed myself (without a personal trainer).”
Besides motivation, another benefit of working with a personal trainer is that they can provide an external eye and an objective perspective. “People say the mirror is your best teacher, but sometimes you are not able to look at the mirror objectively. That’s where a good personal trainer comes in. This goes for dance as well.” said Adelene.
“It’s good to have someone correct your form, because sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing when you’re not. And sometimes you just need someone to push you – to tell you that you can do more.”
“The exercises that John programmes hits the nail on the head. Everything is just so well thought-out and personalised to you.
Adelene also found the personalised programming useful. “John tells you why he’s programming it for you too. He looks at your goals and tailors it to you and your speed.”If you’re not feeling 100% and he’d change some aspects of the exercises as well. Everything is very sensitive to your needs.”
When asked about her experience training at Level, Adelene said, “What I liked about Level are the friendships forged. Working out together brings people together. I find it really beneficial to train with people. It feels much better than training alone, which can be lonely. It’s also a great community and environment. It’s not a big gym where you sometimes feel a lot of pressure. Here, you can focus on what you should be focussing on.”
“What I liked about Level are the friendships forged. It feels much better than training alone”
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