Fitness Friday 13: Loose Clothes and a Sweat-Drenched Animal

I have a happy problem. None of my clothes in my wardrobe fit right anymore.

Every top I own now awkwardly fits. They all look sloppy on my body with the sleeves looking to loose and the length is too long. Same goes with all the pairs of bottoms that I have. They’re now many sizes too large and I have to fold the fabric around my waist and cover them with a belt that I can now wear on the last hole.

I bought new clothes with the expert assistance of a friend who has been a close witness to my weight loss journey. I only got myself a pair of pants and a top that is versatile enough to transition as I lose more weight. It makes me happy that department store clothes can now fit me, I don’t need to go the plus size section and be limited by the choices there, they are also more expensive.

It’s like I have given myself a new chance to reinvent my style and the way I present myself to people. All the hard work is worth it.

Monday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Back & Core

Back:
12 Assisted Pull-ups (3 sets)
12 Deadlifts (4 sets) *last set 5 reps, 95 kilos
12 Bent-Over Barbell Row (3 sets)
12 Bent-Over Plate Row (3 sets)
12 Seated Bar Row (3 sets)
12 Close-Grip Lat Pull-Down (4 sets) *last set 5 reps, 100 kilos
12 Behind-the-Neck Lat Pulldown (4 sets) *last set 5 reps, 100 kilos
12 Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Row (3 sets)
12 Incline Bench Dumbbell Row (3 sets) *new

Cardio (3 sets of):
2-min. Side-to-side Jumping Jacks
2-min. High Knees
2-min. Climbers
30 Ab Crunches



Notes:

  • An intense start to an insanely intense week! Coach added more weight and back routines than usual.
  • Doing that last set of 95 kilos on my deadlifts was challenging but it made me feel empowered!
  • We’re trying to shape up my back more and give my body a straighter line. My posture certainly has improved in the past 4 months I’ve been going to the gym.
  • The post work-out cardio really made me tired. Before, we only used to do 30 jumping jacks, 30 high knees, and 30 climbers – now, I need to do the continuously for 2 mins straight which was HARD!
  • Completing the sets made me feel so great it’s like I’ve reached another milestone in my fitness journey.

Tuesday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Chest and Shoulders

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

Shoulders:
12 Standing Military Press (3 sets)
12 Lateral Raise (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Front Raise (3 sets)
12 Face Pull (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Cable Upright Row (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Shrugs (3 sets)

Core:
100 Advanced Leg Raises

Notes:

  • In contrast to the previous day this was a little bit more tame.
  • The weight that I’ve been struggling with for my chest workouts now feel lighter which means I have gained muscle! Yes!
  • For the shoulders I find doing the front raises hard to do with progressive weights so we stayed on the same weight on a couple of sets to not sacrifice form.
  • It’s important to not sacrifice form over the weight because injuries can happen and you won’t be able to target the muscles.
  • My shoulders are now getting more defined and not rounded off anymore. I’m pleased to see them in the mirror because of the shape it gives my body.

Thursday (Drenched Animal)

Warm-up: 15 min. Stationary Bike

Cardio Day

2 sets of Animal Flow:
20 lengths of Duck Walks
20 lengths of Lizard Hops
20 lengths of Bunny Hops

4 sets of Cardio:
30 Battle Rope
20 Slam Ball

2 sets of:
50 Climbers
20 Pushups
50 Leg Raises

Notes:

What the workout for this day was supposed to be like
  • This was my longest cardio session in the gym to date! Usually, it will only take 2 hours max but this time, I finished in 3 hours.
  • Originally, the coach set me out on 3 sets of animal flow, 4 sets of Cardio, and 3 sets of the last routines. He ended up taking away some of the sets upon seeing my struggle at being an animal.
  • Doing the animal flow exercises was SUPER HARD! They all involve leg work and requires you to be close to the floor. I have to travel from one point of the gym to the other while in “animal” form.
  • The duck walks got me out of breath after 5 lengths. It really put my weight on my legs and I have to keep myself balanced with my hands behind my head. By the end, I wasn’t doing it properly anymore because I was already doing wide lunges close to the floor. Everything from my waist down was stretched.
  • Doing the lizard hops movement was UNBELIEVABLE! I never even knew my body could move that way. It engaged other muscles I haven’t been using often. I think that’s why it was difficult for me. I was on all fours like a lizard and “hop” alternating my hands and feet.
  • The bunny hop was the easiest but after doing the two, I’m amazed I can still muster enough energy to hop like a bunny from a squat position from one end of the room to the other.
  • After two sets, I was drenched to my underwear in sweat and most of the people who went to the gym at the same time as me has already finished their day.
  • The reaming cardio sets were easy enough for me to finish faster since I’m more used to them but my exhaustion was already creeping up on me.
  • Coach told me we’re doing weak point training the next day so I can rest.
  • I dare not eat too much after this animalic work out so I just had two sticks of barbecue, walked home, and took my well-deserved rest.

Friday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Legs & Arms

Legs:
12 Dead Squats (3 sets)
12 Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Hamstring Curl (3 sets)
12 Leg Extension (3 sets)
12 Calf Raise (3 sets)

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

Triceps:
12 Triceps Pushdown (3 sets)
12 Triceps Cable Extension (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Kickback (3 sets)

Weak Point Training (Back):
12 Incline Bench Dumbbell Row (3 sets)
12 Bar Seated Row (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Row (3 sets)

Notes:

  • We didn’t do hip thrusts and lunges as part of the workout since these were already targeted on the animal flow routines the other day. Plus, they’re sore.
  • Biceps and Triceps went well even if I still struggle with the weights a bit especially with the preacher curl doing the biceps.
  • I like how may posture has been corrected since we’ve been targeting my back for weak point a few weeks now.
  • I weighed in today at 92.4 kilos. My recorded weight last months was 94 kilos. I only lost a couple of pounds though I also did gain muscle, my clothes became looser, and my body has a more defined shape.
  • It was an amazing yet intense weak. I feel like I pushed my limit a little higher and I’m proud of myself for doing that.

Nutrition

This week, I wasn’t able to do meal prep being a little preoccupied during the previous weekend. I must say, it’s more difficult to adjust meals around because I didn’t have the base calories down. I’m guilty of eating more sweets today than usual because of meetings and presentations that I’ve been having left and right. I also ate ramen last weekend – a generous helping of caloric reward.

The coaches in the gym also gave away a really sweet valentines day token! And yes, I ate them because I my heart’s been craving for sweets!


As I sit here with my bum still sore from my workout earlier, I can’t but smile at all the results that I’m seeing and feeling. I’m giving myself a huge credit for doing the things that I thought I could never do before. It’s amazing to see the progress I’ve made and get a taste of my health goals.

Like everything in life, if you want something to grow, you need to be diligent and put in the work. We can’t just stand still and read about but we need to put it into action – consistent action.

My deepest gratitude goes to Coach Joel, Coach Thea, and all of the FHG-ers who supports and encourages me in this journey.

If you wanna get something accomplished, go at it like a sweat-drenched animal!

Keep safe and healthy!
-Kalvin

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash


Fitness Friday 12: Make Time For What’s Important

This week has been a very busy one for me at work. I had several important meetings and urgent deliverables that I needed to attend to almost everyday. I had to do a video and voice recording for our community’s virtual music video. Also, I’m catching up on writing articles for my contributions to an evangelical social media account – Unmasked. It’s quite a long check list and a little bit overwhelming but these are things that I have wholeheartedly accepted. I’m thankful that I have things on my plate than none because I know that whatever I’m working on gives value to people and that in turn gives me fulfillment.

Despite the busyness I found that I just couldn’t drop the drive and idea of going to the gym. It has somehow been ingrained in my system to keep on going regardless of what I feel. Taking time and effort to stick to my goals is already pre-programmed in me for the week ahead. I have no reasons to stop especially when I’ve already come so far. I’m making time for gym because hitting my personal health goals is of high importance.

I’ve been shifting my gym schedule around this week and thankfully I found perfect slots that fit! So here is how my fitness journey went this amazing week.

Monday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Back & Core

Back:
12 Assisted Pull-ups (3 sets)
12 Deadlifts (3 sets)
12 Bent-Over Plate Row (3 sets) *new
12 Close-Grip Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Seated Row (4 sets)
12 Dumbbell Row (3 sets)
12 T Bar Row (3 sets)
12 Behind-the-Neck Lat Pulldown (3 sets)
12 Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown (3 sets) *new

Core (4 sets of):
20 Crunches
20 Bent Knee Crunches
20 Pike Crunches
20 Heel Touches

2 min. Plank (finisher)

Notes:

  • I think it’s good to start my week with back day. My posture just zips right up after the gym session
  • Coach adjusted the weight on my deadlift so I can have better control of the bar when lifting and do more reps for the last set.
  • Instead of doing the bent-over row with a barbell we switched to plates. I find doing it with plates a little easier than with the barbells. The trick is to control raising the plates so you target the right muscles.
  • Yes, I still don’t like doing that T-bar.
  • Doing the straight-arm lat pulldown was educational. At first it looked easy because you have to explosively pull the bar down towards your thighs and then add resistance to the bar as it raises. That resistance on the release is what you call “negative training”. Instead of putting pressure on muscles during the “contraction movement”, you put control and resistance on the “release movement.” This, according to research generates more tears in the muscle resulting to better gains.
  • The core routine after lifting weight was intense as it targets the upper, lower, and middle abdominal muscles as well as the obliques.
  • I’m not quite sure but I think I went over my calorie intake today. I feel a little hungrier than usual. I didn’t restrain myself much and even enjoyed two slices of bread with peanut butter.

Tuesday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

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

Shoulders:
12 Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 sets)
12 Lateral Raise (3 sets)
12 Plate Raise (3 sets)
12 Face Pull (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)

Triceps:
12 Triceps Pushdown
12 Reverse-Grip Triceps Pushdown
12 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets)

Cardio:
15 min. Bike

Notes:

  • Forgot to bring my Garmin this day
  • Doing the sets for chest is a little bit easier now compared to last week. Keeping negative training in mind, I tried to apply in all my sets. It does make a ton of difference.
  • While I was stretching out my chest doing a T pose, my coach noticed my arm flabs. He added a 3 triceps routine after my shoulder to get them more toned. I will still be working on them on Friday.
  • What I noticed about my body while I was doing shoulders was that my arms are not of the same length! my left arm is slightly longer than my right. This triggered an aha moment for me because it may be the cause of my wrist pain. I’ve been trying to keep them even when lifting although they are not. I need to adjust my posture to compensate this somehow.
  • Negative training while doing the shoulders was challenging but you can really feel the tension in the targeted muscles.
  • By the time we got to the triceps, I was amazed that I still have energy left to do the sets.
  • Coach ended my session with a 15 min bike since we also included triceps.

Thursday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Cardio (4 sets of):

15 Agility Ladder
15 Cones Drill
30 Prisoner’s Squats
30 Criss-cross Climbers
15 Burpees

Target Areas: Weak Point Training (Back)

12 Bent-over Plate Row (4 sets)
12 Seated Row (4 sets)
12 Dumbbell Row (4 sets)
12 Behind-The-Neck Rope Cable Row (3 sets)
12 Cable Row (4 sets)

Notes:

Cones drill and agility ladder
  • It was such an intense cardio session. I was partnered up with someone to do it with and both of us were swamped!
  • I had an amazing feeling of accomplishment after finishing the four sets of the grueling cardio routine.
  • We focused on targeting the back for our weak point training. It’s good to workout your back for better support and posture.
  • Applying the negative training is something to get used to especially that I am now more aware of it and its effects. It helps to know about what you’re doing so you can appreciate it while you’re doing it even if it’s hard
  • My diet is somehow all mixed up this week since my sister sent us a package with groceries and treats. I had to recalculate my caloric intake so I won’t over eat.

Friday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Legs & Arms

Legs:
12 Weighted Hip Thrust (3 sets)
12 Dead Squats (3 sets)
12 Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Romanian Deadlift (3 sets)
12 Leg Extension (3 sets)
12 Calf Raise (3 sets)

Biceps:
12 Hammer Curl (4 sets)
12 Cable Bar Curl (4 sets)

Triceps:
12 Triceps Pushdown (3 sets)
12 Triceps Cable Extension (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets)
12 Single Leg Triceps Dip (3 sets)

Notes:

  • It still amazes me how much strength I’ve gained in four months. I’m lifting heavier weights now which I couldn’t even budge before.
  • I learned something new about doing the hip thrusts properly. I need to position myself correctly and be mindful of how I position my back and hips during the movement. This would be my third time doing it, I know I’ll eventually get the hang of it.
  • For the biceps we only did 4 sets of two routines. And trust me, they were extra challenging!
  • We’re focusing on making my flabby arms less flabby haha! So the triceps routines are really in it this week.
  • I’ve somehow gotten my caloric intake under control but things could be better in terms of the quality food I eat. We have a happy problem with our pantry I just need to be smarter in terms of eating.

Nutrition

As I have mentioned, my sister sent us a huge package of groceries and treats from the states. I have exercised a considerable amount of self restraint to monitor what I have been putting inside my body. My folks really enjoy eating the treats so I’ll just make eating the treats a few pieces at a time as a reward for a job well done. My sister also sent some healthy treats that I can use in my baking so I’m excited for that.

Yes, eat smart and not starve, or deprive yourself, else you’ll just binge.

I also did a meal prep this week which greatly helped me in my eating decisions. I know how many calories I’ve already eaten and adjust accordingly.


We have many things to do every day and all of us have different things that we attribute as “important.” Your “important” can be any of these things: taking care of your family, building a business, reading books, practicing an instrument, spending time with your friends, etc. Don’t let what’s important to you become lost opportunity because you didn’t make enough time for them.

If you really want something of great importance to grow and stay, you have to make enough time for them. Time doesn’t come cheap, wisely spend it on things of great value.

How did you spend your time today?

Making time for you,
-Kalvin


Fitness Friday 10: Same Person, Different Goal

Yes, they’re the same person.

Coach Joel posted this before and after collage made by Coach Thea with the caption “Same Person, Different Goal.”

Truth be told the person on the left didn’t really have any goals relating to health. Sure, I wanted to be healthy back then but the things I’ve been consuming weren’t. I ate what I craved whenever I wanted and didn’t have any sense of control on portions. My sleeping pattern was all over the place and my body was yearning for real rest. I was complacent with my health and there were days where I felt sluggish and lethargic. I was afraid of doing annual health checkups because I’ll be faced with the truth of my state of health. If I didn’t change, the nearest goal would be early death.

There was a part of me that wanted to accept defeat on my health issues, but the pull towards a healthier lifestyle was more attractive.

Come 2020, I really wanted my health to change. In the first two months I started running again. When the lockdown hit, I began changing what I ate and gradually eliminated rice from my diet. During April, I seriously got into my what seems to be a hopeless exercise routine. I terribly sucked at everything that I did. I can barely do ten wall push ups, I could only muster enough strength to do one leg raise, I could only plank for ten seconds, and a minute on the elliptical would leave me gasping for air. Doing the home exercises game me a sense of routine and sanity when the world was in the throes of the pandemic.

It was hard and painful but I continued doing it.

I wanted give myself something I never had before and enjoy what my body can fully do for me. The goal was to become a healthy version of me that can give more value to the world around me.

I enrolled in a gym last October to go all in and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Each week feels like a level up of some sort where I got to see myself improve. I’m thankful for all the people who have encouraged and supported me in my journey.

The first time you do something may be less than perfect, but whatever you do, never give up. Aim for progress, not perfection.

Now let’s go see what happened this week with my new routine.

Monday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Back & Cardio/Core

Back:
12 Assisted Pull-ups (3 sets)
12 Deadlifts (3 sets) *90 kilos
12 Seated Row (3 sets)
12 Bent-Over Barbell Row (3 sets)
12 Reverse-Grip Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down (3 sets)
12 T Bar Row (3 sets)
12 Barbell Bent-Over Row (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Row (3 sets)

Core and Cardio


Notes:

  • This week, instead of 3 workout days, we’re going for four. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • We added a day to target my weak areas and get them up to speed.
  • We started with a weigh-in. I weighed 94 kilos flat.
  • I struggled with the last set of the deadlifts. I only did two reps since we added more weight on the bar. It’s now at 90 kilos.
  • I’m finally getting the hand of the T-Bar Row. Thank you back muscles!
  • I think I was too tired that I forgot to record what I did for core and cardio. I vaguely remember doing Leg Raises and Side to Sides but it’s a bit hazy.

Tuesday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Chest & Shoulders

Chest:
12 Incline Barbell Press (3 sets)
12 Lying Bench Press (3 sets) *last set 6 reps
12 Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (3 sets) *last set6 reps
12 Dumbbell Pullover (3 sets)
12 Pec Deck (3 sets)

Shoulders:
12 Standing Military Press (3 sets) *last set 7 reps
12 Lateral Raise (3 sets)
12 Front Raise (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Upright Row (3 sets)
12 Shrugs (3 sets)

Core and Cardio

Notes:

  • I still don’t like doing the Standing Military Press! GAHHH!
  • As you can see above there were some sets where I didn’t fully finish the 12 reps. We progressed to new weights and my body was still getting used to the new routines as well. Coach counted to what my I can take.
  • Again, I didn’t record the core and cardio session. I didn’t know what kind of tired spell hit me on this day!

Thursday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Cardio (4 sets of):

15 Agility Ladder
30 Single Battle Rope
30 Double Battle Rope
15 Plyo Box
15 Slam Ball

Target Areas: Weak Point Training

Upper Back
12 Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down (4 sets)

Middle Back
12 Middle Back Row (4 sets)

Arms (superset of 4)
12 Cable Curl
12 Triceps Pushdown

Lower Abs
20 Advance Leg Raise (4 sets)

Saddle Bags
20 Advance Leg Raise (4 sets)

Notes:

  • This day was super interesting since we’re hitting areas that I needed more improvement in. The areas were assessed by coach during our weigh in session last Monday.
  • We started with a heart-busting cardio. I graduated to a new height using the plyo box. I’m still a little afraid to jump high because I might fall over. I feel so accomplished that I finished the sets with a new box height!
  • Doing the routine for middle back was new for me. It was hard to pinpoint that specific muscle on the back while doing the routine so I need to practice form on this one.
  • I was drenched from head to toe with sweat when I finished.

Friday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Workout Target Areas: Legs & Arms

Legs:
12 Weighted Hip Thrust (3 sets) *new
12 Dead Squats (3 sets) *100 kilos
12 Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Romanian Deadlift (3 sets)
12 Leg Extension (3 sets)
12 Raised Lunge and Twist with Plate (3 sets)
12 Calf Raises (3 sets)

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

Triceps:
12 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets)
20 Triceps Dip with Kick (3 sets)

Notes:

  • After a long day of meetings, I was looking forward to go to the gym.
  • I started with a hip thrust. I’m still getting my bearings on this one. It’s interesting to do and it targets the glutes.
  • We increased the weight on the last set of my squats to 80kilos plus the bar weight – 100 kilos. The new weight was a challenge, I still needed to go lower but I was able to do it.
  • I only did a few arms workout today and that capped my night off! And hooray for no post-workout cardio!.

Nutrition

I don’t strictly count how many calories I’ve eaten but I am mindful of them. I don’t have a strict diet plan and I don’t measure everything to a tee but my rule of thumb is to eat less carbs and have more protein.

What I tried to do differently this week was to prepare meals in advance so I can just get them from the fridge and heat them in the microwave. The caveat of living with other people in the house is if they prepare something for you, you have to at least get some so they won’t be offended even if they know you’re in a sort of diet. So I’ve had my fair share of small servings of carbs like a cup of ramen noodles, a small slice of baguette with jam and peanut butter, a cup of pasta, a little piece of focaccia. These portions of carbs are what I estimate and measure so I’d know how to adjust my other meals.

Here are some pictures of some low carb food I’ve prepared. They are more or less 500 calories per meal.

Good thing I know how to cook!

Carbs isn’t really the problem but our relationship with food. Food is good but we need to treat it more as a source of nutrition and not a source of pleasure.


That’s how this weekend went. I didn’t really know I could keep up with four days of training until I tried it. Talk about pushing limits!

I want to leave you guys with a question.

What kind of person do you want to be? Do you intend to pursue that version of you as your golden goal?

Stay Healthy! Have a happy weekend!
Kalvin