5AM’ers Launch Weight Loss Challenge


Studies have shown that millions of people around the world pledge to lose weight as a New Years resolution at the beginning of every year.  Research also confirms that more than half (54%) of those people fail to follow through with this annual goal of healthy living.

A certain group of people in Samoa are determined to follow through with their goal to lose weight, exercise more and eat healthy. They are affectionately known as the “5.A.M.ers” and their motto is “Only the Dedicated”.

Dedicated they are because the alarm clocks are set for 4.00 – 4.30am, and they start their days with the 5am tabata class run by the 1Touch Ministries team at JPs Vaimea.

This week, the “5-amers” have launched a weight-loss challenge to help each other, and anyone who wants to join, to achieve their ideal weight within 3 months.

General Manager of Federal Pacific Insurance Namulauulu Sami Leota, who is a regular to the 5am class explains that the challenge will go for 3 months and is open to anyone who is interested, but does focus on the ‘early risers’ who make it to the 5am and 6am classes at JPs Vaimea.

“It is open to anyone who would like to join. The winner is based on the percentage of your weight loss. After 3 months, the overall winner will receive $1,000 tala. There is a monthly weigh-in to manage progress and that winner will get $200 tala. There is a $10 tala entry fee and that will go towards a celebration dinner for everyone at the end,” said Namulauulu who is also the President elect of Samoa Rugby Union.

The group have held similar challenges in the past and because they exercise together everyday, the winners have managed to maintain their weight. Unasa Mesi Schmidt was the overall winner of the previous challenge shedding 22 kilograms. Unasa has managed to maintain his weight through regular exercise, and this week, he starts the new challenge at almost the same weight and looks to slashing even more.

“I went from 154 to 132 kilos. I’m about 135 kilos today.”

Unasa Mesi Shmidt (second from the right) lost 22 kilos. 

World Health Organisation statistics places 8 Pacific Island nations on the Top 10 Most Obese countries in the world and Samoa is a close 6th place behind Nauru, FSM, Cook Islands, Tonga and Niue. Non communicable diseases account for 70-75% of all deaths in the Pacific Islands and most of those deaths are taking people prematurely below the age of 60, and are preventable.

The JP tabata classes are hosted by Pastor Lenny’s 1Touch Ministries team of Personal Trainers, who also run the Boot Camp programs in Samoa. Every morning from Monday to Friday, there are 2 classes held at the JPs Vaimea gym, one at 5am and another at 6am. On Saturdays, however, there is one class at 6am.  The atmosphere is friendly and inclusive, and there are people of all shapes and sizes, high-fiving and supporting each other during the workout sessions.

So if you are looking for a group to help you achieve your goal to lose weight as we begin 2019, set your phone alarm, and start your day at JPs, and join the 3-month challenge.