Samantha Ryder is a firecracker! I met her a few years ago at a group training class. She was the instructor. She was and still is a ball of positive energy! This lady epitomizes what it is to be healthy and happy everyday. She helps so many men and women reach their fitness and health goals in her job as a personal trainer. Yet, she is probably the most humble person you will ever meet. 

With over two decades of experience under her belt, she is my go-to person when I have any fitness and health related questions, as her knowledge in these areas are vast. Everyone should have a Sam Ryder in their lives, that one person that can motivate you out of any slump and make you feel like you can do anything! Her positive approach to life is infectious and I am hoping it’ll rub off on you too as you read this…

Name: Samantha Ryder
Age: 42
Occupation: Mother, personal trainer, group training instructor

1. What inspires you to get out of bed every day?
I don’t actually need that much inspiration, I’m a morning person. I jump out of that bed, I love the sunshine and I just love everything a new day brings. I love my job, I’m very lucky to go to work every day and do something I absolutely love.

2. What does a typical day for you entail?
A typical day for me is, I wake up at 4am, I get up, I get dressed, I leave the house at 4:30, I start personal training my first clients at 5am, and I’m usually busy every hour on the hour and I am usually busy either till 12 or 2pm depending on my day. Then I get to fetch my son from school and spend some time with him. I am back at work later in the afternoon, either training more clients or teaching group training sessions at The Arena.

3. How did your health and fitness journey start?
My health and fitness journey started when I was very young. I exercised and did lots of extra-murals after school. But I used to go to aerobics classes with my mother. It was a pretty choreographed class and the lady who used to teach it did pretty much the same thing every time. The one day she didn’t arrive for the session. I was 12 years old and I thought to myself, I can do this. I stood up and said to everyone ‘I’ll teach the class’. That was the first time I got to teach a class and I absolutely loved it and all through school, I had this thought in the back of my mind that I would like to be a trainer and do something in the fitness industry. When I left school I immediately did an aerobics instructors’ course and from there I did plenty personal training courses, group training courses, bootcamps, kettlebells and I’ve been doing that every since I left school.

4. Why is health and fitness so important to you, and how do you prioritise time for yourself?
Health and fitness is important to me because it’s what I do every single day of my life. I live, eat, sleep, breathe health and fitness – it’s my job, it’s my passion, I love it. I don’t always haveSam poster pic time to workout myself but my job is very active, I’m on my feet all day long, I’m picking up stuff, I’m demonstrating stuff, I’m showing people stuff, so I am sure at the end of the day, I’ve had a workout, the same as what an average person would probably do. My own workouts are way more intense, if I get to workout great, if I don’t get to workout , I don’t really beat myself up about it. I try and be healthy most of the time with regards to exercise, eating, sleeping – I try to be consistent.
It’s quite hard when you have a small child, any free time I get I’d rather spend it with my son, so any gap that I get outside of that, I usually use that to train. In the spare time that I get it’s a choice between do I need to relax or do I need to train. In my competitive sport that I do, which is obstacle course racing, I just keep remembering there is always someone doing something so they gonna be better than you. They gonna be faster, they gonna be stronger.

5. What is your favourite way in which to exercise?
My favourite way in which to exercise is like a crazy person. I like doing mad things. I’m not a Pilates or Yoga type person. I like to do very high intensity training, I like to do stuff that is outdoors. I like to challenge myself all the time. Stuff that a lot of people would think is their worst nightmare is my thing ever, like crazy mad workouts.

6. Women often body shame one another and themselves – what is your opinion on this?
People have got their opinions about things. We just gotta be careful when saying things about people’s bodies because sometimes they could have an underlying medical issue or they could have something in their life that you know nothing about. So to say something horrible is always going to be hectic cause you don’t know what’s going on in that person’s life.

7. What would be your top three healthy habits you would suggest other women adopt?
– I eat well, I have ‘Fit Chef’ deliver my meals for me or I always have healthy options around me.
– I drink a lot of water, I don’t really drink anything else, only coffee. I don’t drink any alcohol.
– I am very strict about my sleep, because of the hours I work, I am in bed by 8:30pm.

8. Life is all about balance – what is your favourite indulgence?
There are so many things! I like to eat, I like good food and a massage, I am a massage queen – if anyone wants to give me massage – I am in!

9. Women have proven they can accomplish great things when given the space to do so – how would you like to see women do greater things in future?
Women can accomplish great things, they just think they can’t. They need to get out of their heads and they need to just believe in themselves and they can do absolutely anything they want to do.

Sam - Impi Challenge


Samantha is dressed by Tally Weijl.

Photography: Hemisha Bhana (shot on location at News Cafe in Rosebank)

Impi Challenge picture – her own

This FABUFIT Women’s Month campaign is in association with BelVita Breakfast Biscuits.

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