Earlier this year, Puma brought together trainers from all over the Middle East for a first-of-its-kind Puma Middle East Team Faster Summit in Jordan. In attendance were five Saudi-based fitness trainers, out of which four were women, a reminder of the evolution of the Kingdom when it comes to fitness and wellness as well.
While in Jordan, we sat down to chat with Lojain Alrefae, a Saudi fitness professional and lifestyle fashion designer. Alrefae has been a full-time fitness trainer for over eight years and co-founded Mulu Athletics, the first Saudi athleisure brand. She shared her thoughts on the current growth of Saudi Arabia as a fitness and wellness hub.
What got you started in the fitness industry?
The discipline of fitness transformed my personal life and allowed me to discover a new mindset and uncover my true strength. I wanted to spread awareness about the power of this discipline by helping others achieve their goals.
Over the past eight years, how has the fitness scene evolved in Saudi?
With every year that goes by, there is an increased awareness and participation as individuals in our community start prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. The number of specialized and talented Saudi fitness professionals has drastically increased. The government is building a strong foundation with an emphasis on health and wellness through campaigns, fitness studio licenses, outdoor parks, running and bike trails, and fitness-related events.
What are some of the more recent fitness trends in the Kingdom?
As Saudi is still a growing market, we’ve seen the recent introduction and now growing demand for spinning classes, HIIT training, CrossFit, various types of Pilates, and yoga.
What do you feel is your contribution to the Saudi fitness scene?
My contribution has been to spread awareness around approaching fitness as a lifestyle and helping individuals achieve their goals no matter the obstacles.
Any advice for someone who would like to start teaching fitness classes in Saudi?
Do it with passion. Aim to really connect with individuals and understand their struggles and how you can help them because, in Saudi, the strength of our community is built on trust.