About me

Women’s fitness and me 

Understanding the differences is important if you want to find the exercise routine that works best for you. 

Everyone has unique nutritional requirements

that keep them running efficiently. When you don’t pay attention to your own needs you might be setting yourself up for hormonal imbalances, deficiencies, and adrenal fatigue. For example, women who train very hard and restrict their calories can stop menstruating. Also, women who suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia also tend to stop having periods. Mental stress can stop menstruation due to the stress put on the hypothalamus, the area of your brain that controls hormones and regulates periods. The end result is often infertility and brittle, weak bones.

Most common imbalances are thyroid conditions, adrenal fatigue, and PCOS. For these we need to offer the body a state of healing. Women have to be careful with overdoing workouts such as HIIT, long distance running, or CrossFit. These workouts may give excess adrenaline and cortisol spikes that wreak the delicate balance that your body may be trying to achieve. Intense workouts can be especially hard on women’s hormones.

I got interested in the difference between men’s- and women’s fitness because

I experiences hormonal imbalance myself

Begin 2016 I suddenly stopped menstruating for six months. After waiting for it to come back I decided to get it checked out with the doctor. He diagnosed me with PCOS (short for polycystic ovary syndrome). For me it meant that my ovaries contained follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries failed to function regularly. When I got this news I was shocked. I was planning for children in the future and with having PCOS this might be more difficult. I went on hormone medication to help my body to get back in balance. This meant mood swings, acne and emotional ups- and downs. A year of medication and more balanced nutrition and exercise got me my period back. Now I am committed to spread information about women’s fitness and how we should treat it differently.  

For the most part, exercise is actually really good for your hormones. The problem arises when you overdo it.

Balance is key,

for example alternating yoga or pilates with cardio, and weights can protect the adrenals and balance hormones. Also, warm up and stretching are as important in an exercise routine as burning calories.

My philosophy

I think being fit and healthy is about being able to step out of bed without pain. It is about being able to carry heavy groceries with ease. Walking stairs without getting out of breath. Having enough energy to get through the day. And feeling good in your own skin when you look in the mirror.

As a personal trainer I am focused on helping women integrate health and fitness in their life. I want you to experience the strength that comes from fitness, both mentally and physically. I want you to feel amazing about yourself and to make well being, balance, and positive mindset a priority.

You deserve to feel confident.

My story

I am Danielle van der Leest. I grew up in Utrecht, The Netherlands and within my family sports and nutrtition have always been a main focus. Two of my sisters were in the top level of gymnastics and the other one played in the national women’s youth soccer team. I found it always difficult to focus on just one sport. During my youth I tried out many different sports: gymnastics, ballet, hip hop dance, swimming, running, tennis, soccer, and snowboarding. In the end I decided to stick with tennis and running. Nowadays I also added yoga and weight training to my routine.  

In 2014  I moved from The Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I finished my bachelors Media, Communication and Information, at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and started my first full-time job in Market Research in Malaysia. During this time I also did some fashion modelling on the side and to keep in shape I worked out a lot. Furthermore I discovered Spartan’s obstacle race and fell in love with. It motivated me to work on my whole body and required different training techniques. I did a lot of research on different training methods and got more knowledgeable. Some friends started asking for advice on training and I realized I really enjoyed helping them. When moving to Singapore I decided to give up my full-time job in Market Research. I started my personal training career at Fitness First, which allowed me to study and work at the same time. Coming to now; having a number of fitness certifications and determined to keep learning. I find that following courses and acquiring certifications gives me different insights on training, fitness and health. This enables me to give my clients the best support they can wish for. 

My certifications

  • Julie Wiebe: 
    • Piston Module 1
    • Female Athlete Ready for Impact
    • Pelvic Floor Piston Foundation
  • FIT Singapore – Women’s Fitness Specialist 
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 
  • ACE American Council on Exercise: 
    • Certified Personal Trainer  
    • Pregnancy and Postpartum Instructor Training 
  • Spartan – SPARTAN SGX 
  • Fitness First: 
    Personal Training Foundation
    Certified Fitness Coach
  • CPR/AED 
  • GFSS Go Further Service Standard 
  • PTonthenet:
    • Bodyweight Training Coaching   
    • Introduction to Functional Equipment   
    • BOSU® Balance Trainer 
    • Power Programming   
    • Loaded Exercises & Movement Based Training   
    • Understanding Fascia’s Role in Movement and Training   
    • Indoor Rowing Technique and Programming   
    • Small Group Personal Training Movement Preparation

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