The Lab Trainer Revealed – Coach Melissa

Melissa (4)

The Lab Trainer Revealed – Coach Melissa

Melissa (4)

Back at it again with The Lab Trainer Revealed!! This time we move on from our Head Standing Star Cleaner Khun Ray and sit down with another lovely Lab Fam, Coach Melissa.

We talk her personal training journey, her fitness goals for 2017 and her rebel attitude to fitness philosophy.

So, grab your coffee, take a seat and enjoy the read 🙂

Date of Birth: 16, December
Age: 37
Nationality: South Africa
Bangkok Resident for: 3 Years


1.In a few words describe your fitness philosophy:

The challenge is the chase. The journey is the joy. Always strive to become a better you. Stand for something or step aside!

2. How long have you been a personal trainer? Was this always your ultimate goal?
I was a teacher for ten years. Mainly International Schools in different countries. I came to a point one day when I realized that I really wanted to do something else with my life.

I joined The Lab as a client in May 2015. After eight months of training and soul searching I expressed I wanted to become a Lab trainer. So I made it my goal to become a trainer. I completed my PT certification in February 2016. I had to go through an interview process and three months Lab Academy internship.

And finally in June 2016 I became a Tier 3 trainer. I also got a life coach in the process to help me with goal setting. I went through a transformation process to live a more fulfilled life. I followed my passion. Change does happen in a moment, I don’t think it has to take years.

3. Can you tell us a bit about the Personal Training qualification course you did? How and why did you decide to get a life coach — how did it change you/benefit you? 

Many people in BKK go to Fitthai to complete the ACE personal training course. I competed my NASM pt course with Rob Cook from Newmoves. I chose Rob as the course involved a lot of practical.

A life coach assists you in reaching any goals you set for yourself. I worked with Gwion Jacob one of the trainers at The Lab. Gwion has his own Success Coaching program and it takes 12 sessions to complete. Yes, it benefitted me in many ways. My thinking changed and I became more focused on what I want. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.

4. Have you always had a passion for fitness/Where does your passion for fitness originate?

Yes, I’ve always had a passion for fitness. I started weight training at the age of 14. My father had his own gym and that is where it all started for me. Training is part of me. It makes me happy!

5. What would you say is your particular style of training?

I think when it comes to fitness you have to do cardio combined with resistance training to get optimum results. High intensity training is one of my favorites. You can apply this kind of training in many ways.

6. What does your typical day of eating look like?

I eat the same food most of the time. Vegetables, salad and protein with some good carbs like rice berry. When I have a cheat day I make sure I work out.

7. What does your cheat day workout look like?

I normally do 30 minutes sprint training. Or burpees and kettlebell swings.

8. You teach a lot of morning group classes, would you consider yourself a morning person?

Yes, I prefer getting up early in the day (not always a pleasure). Well, 4 days a week I have to get up at 5:30 to start the early morning classes and I have a PT client who trains 6:30am, 3 days a week. Don’t really have a choice.

9. Best tip for finding balance between strength and flexibility?
We all need basic flexibility to function in life: we reach for things, bend down to pick things up. When it comes to executing dynamic movements or strength exercises, we need more flexibility to increase range of motion. You have to make time for stretching and most people don’t stretch long enough.

10. What does “balance” mean to you?

Balance means balancing out the healthy and the unhealthy in life. Going for healthy choices majority of the time.

11. What is your opinion on Vegan diets/keto/paleo — other diet trends — their efficacy /inherent dangers or perks? Do you follow any of these diets?
I used to follow the paleo diet a couple of years ago and it worked really well for me. Then about a year ago I decided to give up meat as I don’t like the way animals are farmed. Seen too many videos that really put me off eating meat. My protein intake consists of protein shakes, fish and eggs.

12. Have you had any particular challenges as a trainer in group classes or personal training? And how did you overcome this?
Yes, people’s fitness levels are so different and some people are beginners in training where others have been training for a long time. That is why we offer regressions and progressions in our classes. When I first started it was a bit challenging going from client to trainer. Standing
in front of all the clients is very different from being a client. My confidence has grown a lot since then and I also have more experience in dealing with groups of people.

13. How do you keep up with your own fitness in your free time?
Well, I work out before classes, or whenever I find time in between. Probably between 4 to 5 days a week but I don’t train for hours and hours. I like working out 30 to 45 mins. I enjoy doing other classes by other Lab trainers from time to time.

14. What’s your fitness goal for 2017?
To stay fit and challenge myself in new ways. Run faster, endure a little more and go a bit heavier in weight. I’d like to continue my education in the fitness industry. I am doing a HIIT Specialist Certification in the Philippines in April this year.

15. Tips for developing rapport with your clients?
I greet people with a handshake and always ask their names. Sometimes it is difficult to remember everyones names but I try. When I have big group classes, a good tip is just go through and make eye contact with everyone. I think my energy and openness towards people helps a lot. There is always passion, lots of energy, laughing, smiling and jumping, and I think that means everyone is happy cause they work up a good sweat and they feel really positive and energized.

16. What do you think is the biggest misconception about fitness?
That you have to do long gruelling workouts. You can get results with thirty minute workouts 3 to 4 times a week. I was actually doing research the other day and watched a video by Dr.Mark Smith, who explains how to loose weight and get healthy in just 12 minutes a week. You can find the video on youtube: Very interesting, all the subjects who took part lost weight and their fitness level increased by 28%.

17. How do you think Lab differs from other recently opened gyms with similar concepts of functional training/traditional large gyms e.g. Virgin? What type of clients does The Lab attract that differs from its competitors?

From what our clients have reported to me, the Lab trainers are very friendly and knowledgeable. Clients come and keep coming to us we have created a family like community. The variety of trainers we have: the different backgrounds, training styles and experiences we offer clients makes us unique. We are always improving ourselves through continuous education and we adapt and grow as a business to give our clients the best.

18. Do you think HIIT is here to stay?
Yes, HIIT has it place. It is not the only kind of training out there that is effective. HIIT is not for everyone, for those who enjoy it- it will stay.

19. Are there any fitness people or athletes that you look up to or inspire your training?
Yes, I have an idol, her name is Erin Stern ( She’s a lifetime natural athlete. I watch a lot of her training videos. She always makes me want to train more.

20. What do you think is the “Worst” thing for us health wise?
Not moving enough. I think that sitting down for long hours a day it’s definitely something that’s bad for people.

Learn more About Coach Melissa

21. What made you move from China to Bangkok?
I came to Thailand on holiday in 2012. I loved it and decided to apply for a job here. I’ve lived in 5 countries and think of Thailand as my home.

22. As a South African you’re quite far from home, do you get to travel back often? What’s one thing you miss most from your home country?
I go to SA once a year. I miss my family.

23. You are stranded on a desert island, knowing you’ll be rescued in one month — what three items do you bring with you to keep you occupied?
My best friend, my dog (unfortunately she died of cancer a couple of years ago) and lots of good red wine.

24. You get to have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) who would you invite and why?
– My brother who passed away 20 years ago, definitely him.
– Pink (the musician) – I used to listen her music a lot when I was younger and I worked in London at MTV as a receptionist. That’s where I got a chance to meet her.
– Lastly, maybe my guardian angel. I would like to say thank you for everything and talk about the future.

25. Do you use social media? Tell us your social media handle (name) if you’d like to share it.
Yes, Facebook & Instagram – @mreptstwentythirtym


Thanks for tuning in for another session of The Lab Trainer revealed.

Don’t forget to shoot us your questions or suggestions, we thrive on feedback!

Til next time Lab Rats 😉

– The Lab Team

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