Fitness Friday 09: Three Months – I Can See The Gains!

The weather is getting colder than usual here in the Philippines. Cold weather equals bed weather, and sleeping in a bit is the most enjoyable thing to do. Because of this, I did all my workouts with Coach Joel in the afternoon. My body was up for it but I still prefer the quiet energy of the gym in the morning when there’s less people.

Now on my third month, I now can see many improvements on my body when I look in the mirror. I can now feel muscles in parts of my body where there used to be fat, especially around my arms and thighs. My stomach is still protruding but it’s way, way flatter now than when I started. All of my muscles are still covered by a layer of fat but they have more definition now.

My weight is still at around 94kg. It’s still the same from last year but it’s because I’m gaining muscle mass. The thing about losing weight is that we should not be super obsessive about the number on the scale. That number does not fully define your progress. Your weight can go up and down in your weight loss journey depending on your diet and how your body responds to a healthier lifestyle. Keep yourself on track and just continue with patience and you’ll eventually reach your goals.

Guys! Starting next week I’ll start sharing what I’ve been eating – all the good and not so good. I think it’s interesting to share my relationship with food as well as I continue on this journey. I don’t have a perfect diet plan but maybe sharing them will help me become more conscious and go for better choices.

Monday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Back & Cardio/Core

Back:
12 Assisted Pull-ups (3 sets) *new routine
12 Deadlifts (3 sets)
12 Seated Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Reverse-Grip Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Seated Row (3 sets)
12 T Bar Row (3 sets)
12 Barbell Row (3 sets)

Cardio (3 sets of):
1 min. Battle Rope Jacks
20 Slam Ball
30 Plate Side Bends

Notes:

  • It was my first time doing the assisted pull-ups. Assisted because one foot is resting on a barbell set a few feet above the ground so I wouldn’t carry my whole weight when doing the pull-ups. It was interesting to do since I’m basically pulling my own weight up.
  • Doing all the back routines really helped me with my posture. I’m amazed that the way I walked and sat straightened up even after this session.
  • The cardio at the end was tiring! It was my first time doing 1 min. battle rope jacks and I can barely do it non-stop by the last set. I had to rest a few seconds during the whole 1 minute.
  • I went home feeling accomplished with good posture.

Wednesday

DO NOT QUIT! This mural just makes you unleash more strength!

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Chest & Shoulders

Chest:
12 Incline Barbell Press (3 sets)
12 Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Lying Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Cable Crossover (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Pullover (3 sets)

Shoulders:
12 Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 sets)
12 Lateral Raise (3 sets)
12 Plate Raise (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Upright Row (3 sets)
12 Shrugs (3 sets)

Cardio (3 sets of):
30 Jumping Jacks
30 High Knees
30 Single Battle Rope
30 Double Battle Rope

Core:
100 Leg Raises
100 Ab Crunches

Notes:

  • I forgot to bring my fitness tracker so I wasn’t able to track my gym activities.
  • Coach added a made me do a few more routines than usual. Upping the game.
  • I’m happy with the way my chest looks. It’s giving my body a sense of proportion.
  • Coach commented that my shoulders are taking shape. I noticed this too! They’re more angular now than rounded.
  • The shrugs look like they’re an easy routine. Technically, it is but you have to control it so it targets the right spot while holding heavy weights.
  • I thought cardio was going to be easy but they made me spend my remaining energy for that day.

Friday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Legs & Arms

Legs:
12 Dead Squats (3 sets) 90 kilos
12 Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Romanian Deadlift (3 sets)
12 Leg Extension (3 sets)
12 Calf Raises (3 sets)
Weighted Lunges *new

Biceps:
12 Seated Preacher Curl (3 sets)
12 Standing Dumbbell Curl (3 sets)
12 Hammer Cable Curl (3 sets)
12 Concentration Curl (3 sets)

Triceps:
12 Triceps Bar Pushdown (3 sets)
12 Cable V Pushdown (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Kickbacks (3 sets)

Cardio (3 sets of):
1 min. Battle Rope
15 Ab Roller

Notes:

  • Coach added a few more routines for me to do and I’m game!
  • I’m lifting 90 kilos for squats but this time I did all three sets with minimal help from a spotter. Usually, when I squat someone will put their arms around me from behind and clasp their hands around my stomach for added support in lifting the weight. This time around, I was encouraged by light taps on my elbow as I can control the bar better now. I’m proud of this development in strength and coordination.
  • Coach commented that my biceps are getting firm. They’re were like jelly before. Same with my triceps.
  • Doing the 1 minute battle rope was tough! It takes a LOT from you but coach says when they train for a race they do it for three minutes straight. Sore. Sore. Sore.
  • It was my first time doing the ab roller and it took me a while to get used to it. I didn’t know how to position my body without tipping over so Aldren lightly stepped on my feet to help me finish doing the sets. I even fell down on my stomach once! HAHA!

In the three months of going to gym, I’ve seen people of all shapes and sizes willingly submitting themselves to hard work so they can improve their physique. I’m thankful to have supportive people at the gym who has the same goal of becoming healthy versions of themselves.

I think I get it now, why some people are gym addicts – being healthy is addictive!

You walk, talk, and breathe differently when you’re healthy. When we are healthy, we can benefit from our body’s design to the fullest. Health really is wealth.

We are only blessed with one body. Love it, and take care of it.

Until next week!


Fitness Friday 08: Pushing Through The Limit

Happy New Year!

Fitness friday posts are back after lying dormant during Christmas and New Year. The last two weeks were really festive but I still managed to do four workouts to balance my holiday binge. Surprisingly, I didn’t gain much weight from the holidays. Coach switched my routine. Instead of doing cardio before lifting weights, we now do post cardio so I can be more productive while lifting. The combination of muscle groups being exercised per session were also changed so my body won’t get used to the routine.

The challenge for me as the year starts is to push through my limits. I’m amazed with the strength I’m gaining week by week and the amount of weight I’m losing but I wanted to level it up. In order to get better at something you need to do it over and over again until you master it. Even after mastering it, you can still go beyond that boundary.

We are unbounded and limitless. We just need to exercise our self-discipline, commitment, and determination to move forward so we can see the heights of our own potential.

Monday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Back & Core

Back:
12 Deadlifts (3 sets)
12 Barbell Row (3 sets)
12 Seated Row (3 sets)
12 T Bar Row (3 sets)
12 Reverse-Grip Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Row (3 sets)
12 Standing Behind-the-Neck Pull-Down (3 sets)

Cardio (3 sets of):
30 Sprint
20 Slam Ball
10 Burpees

Core (3 sets of):
20 Leg Raises
20 Ankle Touches

Notes:

  • My first workout this new year! I found it so refreshing after having a few days break.
  • I feel a hint of protest from my body since it got used to resting during the holidays.
  • Doing the cardio and core workouts after lifting really did improve my capacity to lift weights since I get to have more energy to attack the sets.
  • I’m striving to complete the repetitions continuously now per set unlike before where I stop at doing 5 to rest during the set.
  • I was really determined to burn all the calories and get back to choosing healthy.
  • Only exercising the back muscles takes a getting used to for me since I don’t actively engage them much in my daily activities.

Wednesday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Chest & Shoulders

Chest:
12 Incline Barbell Press (3 sets)
12 Lying Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Pullover (3 sets)
12 Pec Deck (3 sets)

Shoulders:
12 Standing Military Press (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 sets)
12 Lateral Raise (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Dec (3 sets)
12 Face Pull (3 sets)
12 Upright Row (3 sets)

Cardio (3 sets of):
2 min. Sprint
1 min. Battle Rope
30 Crunches
30 Leg Raises

Notes:

  • The burn is real.
  • Coach has added more routines for me to do and I’m surprised my body is strong enough to take it now.
  • I still can’t get the hand of the standing military press. It’s one of the hardest routines for me to execute though I’m happy I still complete them.
  • My shoulders look edgier now compared to last time. I can now see the results of my hard work.
  • Doing 1 minute battle rope for cardio was extremely difficult! I can execute 20-30 fine but smashing the ropes on the floor for a minute was hard to keep up! I was sweating buckets!
  • It was a great session. I was tired but feeling accomplished.

Thursday

Cardio (3 sets of):
30 Side-to-side Jumping Jacks
30 High Knees
15 Burpees
30 Climbers
30 Plank Jacks

Finisher:
100 Leg Raises
2 min. Plank

Notes:

  • I was still feeling a bit sore so I exchanged the 30 running lunges with the side-to-side jumping jacks and 30 high knees. Running lunges were difficult for me to execute this day so I switched it with two exercises that I think have the same amount of intensity combined.
  • I still don’t like doing burpees.
  • Thank you body for doing what you need to do push your limits and become healthier.

Friday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Legs & Arms

Legs:
12 Dead Squats (3 sets) 90 kilos
12 Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Lying Hamstring Curl (3 sets)
12 Leg Extension (3 sets)
12 Calf Raises (3 sets)

Biceps:
12 Biceps Cable Curl (3 sets)
12 Hammer Curl (3 sets)
12 Standing Dumbbell Curl (3 sets)

Triceps:
12 Triceps Bar Pushdown (4 sets)
12 Triceps Row Pushdown (4 sets)
12 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (4 sets)

Cardio (3 sets of):
2 min. Bike (fast)
30 Elevated Climbers
15 Elevated Burpees

Notes:

  • My left wrist is a bit painful. I think I might have twisted it when lifting a weight. Coach recommended that I but wrist wraps to support it so it won’t be overexerted when lifting.
  • I’m still lifting 90 kilos when doing the squats. One thing I noticed this time is that I find it easier to lift it now and complete the last set without feeling like falling over.
  • When I squeeze my arms I can now feel more muscle than fat. Good gains!
  • The cardio session was intense! I’m glad to finish strong with this set

I’m really proud of where I am right now. It’s the result of hard work and determination to move an inch limit after limit. To go over and achieve something , we need to be intentional about it, whether it’s losing weight or mastering egg fried rice. Believe in yourself that you can do it.

Do you have “to lose weight this year” in your resolution?
Put a target number on it.
Put a healthy plan on it.
Put all of yourself into it.

Go beyond your limit.

Happy New Year! Stays safe and healthy
– Kalvin


Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Fitness Friday 04: To A Healthier And Stronger Me For Christmas

The gym is all decked up with Christmas decor!

Coach mixed the routine up this week again so my body won’t quickly adapt to the same workouts. It was fun learning new things though it takes a little getting used to. Still, I kept my head in the game and just stuck with it. Discipline and determination are the keys to good gains.

Monday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Chest & Biceps

Chest:
12 Lying Bench Press (4 sets)
12 Incline Dumbbell Press (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Pullover (3 sets)
12 Pec Deck Machine (3 sets) *no more steppers

Biceps:
12 Seated Preacher Curl (3 sets)
12 Hammer Curl (3 sets)
12 Seated Biceps Curl (3 sets)
12 <Forgot The Name> (3 sets )

*All repetitions increment in weight per set

Core / Cardio (3 sets of):
15 Running Lunges
20 Battle Rope Jacks
30 Crunches
30 Leg Raises

Doing Battle Rope Jacks. The ropes were heavy!

Notes:

  • I found it interesting that my coach put the cardio exercises at the end. As I finished the sets that day I knew why. The new combination of Chest and Biceps was challenging to do.
  • Coach commented that he was surprised at the development of my strength when I did the Seated Preacher Curl. It was a new addition to my routine but I executed it fairly well.
  • I felt so satisfied when I can finally complete the sets of the same that I couldn’t do before without a spotter. My strength is catching up!
  • The Battle Rope Jacks at the end was deceptively easy to look at but it makes you pant like there’s no tomorrow when you do it.

Wednesday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Back & Triceps

Back:
12 Deadlifts (3 sets)
12 Barbell Row (3 sets)
12 Seated Row (3 sets)
12 Behind-The-Neck Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Reverse Close-Grip Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Standing Cable Rope Lat Push-Down (3 sets) 

Triceps:
12 Dumbbell Row (3 sets per side)
12 Seated Tricep Extension (3 sets)
12 Triangle Press Down (3 sets)
12 Cable Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets)
20 Triceps Dips (5 sets)

*All repetitions increment in weight per set

Core (3 sets of):
15 Decline Crunches (w/ 5kg plate)
15 Russian Twist (w/ 5kg plate)

Notes:

  • This was a great day. I felt confident doing the deadlifts and all the other routines. The belt helps brace my waist and back for proper form.
  • I’m gaining strength in my triceps as well. I’m amazed at the progress that’s happening. I’m so proud of myself.
  • I remember not being able to do 5 continuous Triceps Dips but now I can finish 20 in one go! 
  • The Decline Crunches and Russian Twist is a new routine for me. THEY HURT SO BAD! I’m exaggerating but I told Aldren that I felt like I was dying haha! I completed the sets anyway all for the sake of progress!
  • Coach Joel told me that it’s important to master the correct form first before adding more weight. If we don’t do the correct form it will do more damage than good gains.

Thursday

Notes:

  • Ugh! Fasted cardio homework is really challenging! 
  • My balance is really being tested with the running lunges followed by the burpees.
  • Capping the workout with 100 Leg Raises followed by a 2 min. Plank gives me a great sense of accomplishment in the morning. 
  • Oh! everything just hurts so well!

Friday

Warm-up: 20 min. Stationary Bike

Pre Cardio (2 sets of):
15 Squats
15 Running Lunges

Cardio: Tabata with Coach Thea

Tabata workout series

Workout Target Areas: Shoulder & Legs

Shoulders:
12 Seated Shoulder Press(3 sets)
12 Lateral Dumbbell Raises (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Shoulder Plate Raises (3 sets)
15 Plate Shrugs (3 sets)

Legs:
12 Dead Squats (3 sets) *compounded
12 Leg Press (3 sets) *compounded

*All repetitions increment in weight per set

Core:
100 Crunches
100 Leg Raises

Notes:

  • To be honest I was feeling really lazy to go to the gym today. I think it’s because I moved our schedule from morning to the afternoon to make way for a meeting.
  • Coach Joel wasn’t there yet when I arrived but he gave me instructions to do 20 min. on the bike. 
  • Coach Thea took me in for cardio and I did Tabata with fellow gym-goers. It was a first for me though it was really fun! We executed a series of floor exercises with music. I was drenched in sweat when we finished and left a little puddle on the area I worked out on.
  • After Tabata, I lifted weights with Coach.
  • Working out the shoulders is challenging for me since I seldom use those muscles extensively on a daily basis. I am proud that they’re now getting stronger. What I couldn’t lift before, I can now lift with better ease and a few grunts.
  • We took it easy on the legs today since we’re going out on a hiking trip this Sunday. It’s my first time joining them on an outing. I’m excited!

To end, I want to show you guys a lonesome yet festive “Christmas Tree” I found on my walk home. Going to the gym and becoming a healthier version of myself is one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever given myself. I’ve never felt this good about my body for years! Here’s to a bright Christmas season for all of us!