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 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


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 02: Strength and Gym Monthsary!

Only a few days left and it’s almost my gym monthsary. I’m super proud that I haven’t missed a single training day! HOORAY! #Consistency

Last weekend I cheated with some Dark Chocolate Ensaymada (a Filipino pastry). I made up for it by catching up on cardio the next day until my Garmin watch tells me that I’ve burned 1,000 calories making up for the calories I consumed from the Ensaymada. Oh! If I can have the superpower of eating but not getting fat – that would be awesome.

I track my progress using my Garmin during my workouts. It’s nice to have if you are meticulous. I like it because it tells me how many calories I burned and the steps that I took during the day. To make things interesting I’ll show you my workout stats.

Here’s how my week went.

Monday

Warm-Up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Cardio (2 sets of): 
30 Single Battle Rope 
30 Double Battle Rope
15 Slam Ball

Workout Target Areas: Chest and Triceps

Chest:
15 Push-ups (2 sets)
12 Flat Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Incline Dumbbell Press (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Pullover (3 sets)
12 Pec Deck Machine (3 sets)

Triceps:
12 Triceps Press Down (4 sets) *added a set from last week
12 Rope Push Down (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Extension (3 sets)
15 Triceps Dip (3 sets)

*All repetitions increment in weight per set

Obliques / Abs:
20 Plate Side Bends (5 sets)

Notes:

  • Today’s workout surprisingly went by quickly.
  • My coach had me do pushups at the beginning to see how I’m doing with my strength development. He complimented that it’s good that I can now do FULL pushups starting from half! I’m so proud of myself
  • I haven’t really been paying attention to the amount of weight that gets added on every set but this time I could not believe that I’m starting to lift HEAVIER stuff than last time. Guys! I’m gaining strength!
  • I don’t feel like my body is losing weight as fast as I want it to be. I think I need to adjust my diet again or I’m just being impatient. Consistency is really the key.
  • When I was doing the triceps dip, I could barely even do the “dip” without my arms collapsing under my own weight because those targetted muscles are tired already. I just grit my teeth until I finished the sets.
  • I only did plate side bends at the end because I was able to do some core workout at home the day before.
  • Coach said we’re going to change my homework fasted cardio since to make it more challenging.
  • For me, the chest and triceps area is the hardest to build because I rarely use them in my sedentary career as an IT professional.
  • I’m glad to have known a few people in the gym. They’re all very supportive.
  • When I got home I had a funny moment in the shower. I can barely move my arms to put soap around my body especially my back! I couldn’t stop laughing at my predicament in the shower. Here’s to gains!

Wednesday

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary bike

Light Cardio: 7 min. Jog (from 5 minutes last week)

Workout Target Areas: Back and Biceps

Back:
12 Barbell Deadlift (3 sets) 
12 Barbell Bent-over Row (3 sets)
12 Seated Row (3 sets) 
12 Lat Machine Pull Down (3 sets) 
12 Behind The Neck Pulldown (3 sets) 

Biceps / Arms:
15 Cable Pull Down (3 sets)
12 Standing Ez Bar Curl (3 sets)
12 Hammer Curl (3 sets)
12 Cable Curl (3 sets)

*All repetitions increment in weight per set

Core:
100 Crunches 
100 Side to Side
100 Leg Raise

Deadlift with my constipated looking face

Notes:

  • I’m so proud of myself that I completed the 7-minute jog without stops. I was also faster this time around.
  • I can feel myself getting stronger especially when doing the deadlifts and bicep curls. The same weight I struggled with before is easier to lift now. Seeing this, coach added more weights per set despite my little complaints.
  • Coach told me that I’m getting stronger, which I gladly received.
  • Coach Thea, my coach’s wife told me that I’m getting slimmer. I really couldn’t see it for myself but I feel lighter on my feet. She told me that fat loss is my goal and relying on the numbers on the scale isn’t advisable since getting weight off has many factors. I could be gaining muscle weight and losing fat but you see the result in your appearance and fit of your clothes.
  • I did the deadlifts with ease this time nailing down the reps with proper form most of the time. Lifting the bar is easier with the right posture. I bought a belt online to help support my back when doing deadlifts.
  • I notice that my left biceps are weaker than my right even if I am left-handed. I think this is a bit peculiar.
  • Finished strong with the core workout. If would never have done a hundred of each four weeks ago.
  • A storm entered the country today. I had 2nd thoughts about going to the gym but my motivation to not miss a training day was stronger. It was an amazing blessing that the rain only hit hard when I got home.
  • Having a good night’s sleep tonight!

Friday

Warm-up / Cardio: 100 Jumping Jacks

Workout Target Areas: Legs and Shoulders

Legs:
12 Dead Squats (3 sets) 
12 Seated Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Romanian Deadlift  (3 sets)
12 Seated Leg Curl (3 sets)
12 Weighted Calf Raises (3 sets)
15 Weighted Lunges (3 sets)

Shoulders:
12 Dumbbell Lateral Raises (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 sets)
12 Front Plate Raise (3 sets)
12 Rope Face Pull (3 sets)
12 Machine Upright Row (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Shrug (3 sets)

*All reps increment in weight per set

Core:
100 Seated Crunches
100 Seated Flutter Kicks

Dead Squats (Seriously constipated face haha!)

Notes:

  • I thought the warmup of 100 jumping jacks was very easy but little did I know it was enough for the workout ahead.
  • I am now given heavier weights to starts my set with. I AM GETTING STRONGER!
  • The Dead Squats are now easier for me to do. The weight on my last set was 30 kilos! 
  • Doing the Romanian Deadlifts was interesting because it targeted both my hamstrings and core.
  • The Weighted Lunges made me realize that I need to work on my balance more because each step was a little bit of a challenge, especially with this new movement.
  • My shoulder muscles are getting developed too because I can now lift the weights I struggled with before.
  • The Dumbbell Shrug was deceptively easy to look at but it was challenging to execute.
  • Finished strong with the core workout! Never give up!

New Fasted Cardio Routine

Coach made my fasted cardio a little bit more challenging. I’m excited to try it out! These cardio exercises are what I’m supposed to do every morning before I break my fast. It’s to make up for days without going to the gym. Kinda like a fitness homework.

Stretching
Warmup: 2 min. Jog In Place

3 sets of:
20-30 Running Lunges
15 Burpees
30 Criss-Cross Climbers
30 Plank Jacks

Finisher:
100 Leg Raises
2 min. Plank

That’s it for this week! Overall my takeaway is to be patient with my own progress and just keep improving every time.

Featured Image Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash


Fitness Friday 01: The Journey Begins

Well, I’m not actually beginning from scratch. It’s just that many of my friends are asking me how I did it and what keeps me going. I thought that by documenting my fitness journey in my blog, you can journey with me in my fitness goals. These kind of posts will pop up on Fridays and describe how my past week went focusing only on fitness. 

I only started going to the gym last October 16. I train with Coach Joel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The days in between are rest days so I will not be focusing much on them unless I did something out of the blue.

To give you a picture of where I am right now here are my stats:
Starting Weight: 123.38 kg (April 2020)
Current Weight: 100.2 kg (weighed on October 16, 2020)
Goal Weight: 68 kg (within healthy BMI range)
Current Diet: Low Carb Intermittent Fasting (16:8 window)

Monday

My Monday workout menu

Warm-Up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Cardio (3 sets of): 
10 Alternate Step Board 
30 Single Battle Rope 
30 Double Battle Rope
10 Burpees 

Workout Target Areas: Chest and Triceps

Chest:
12 Incline Barbell Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Flat Bench Press (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Pullover (3 sets)
12 Pec Deck Machine (3 sets)

Triceps:
15 Triceps Press Down (3 sets)
15 Rope Push Down (3 sets)
15 Dumbbell Extension (3 sets)
15 per side Dumbbell Kickback (3 sets)

Core:
100 Leg Raises (5 sets of 20)
90 Seconds Plank 

Cooldown:10 min Stationary Bike 

Notes:
Doing the burpees was hard though I still completed them.
I am thankful for the supportive and positive people in the gym.
Very grateful for my spotter who encouraged me to finish my sets. Hats off to you!
I did the 90-second plank without any breaks. Hooray!
Coach told me that it looks like I’m losing weight and gaining strength. We will have a weigh-in on Friday.
Did my meal prep for the remainder of the week. 

Wednesday

A motivational mural on the wall

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary bike

Light Cardio: 5 min. Jog

Workout Target Areas: Back and Biceps

Back:
12 Barbell Deadlift (3 sets) *compounded 
12 Bent Underhand Row (3 sets)
12 Seated Row (3 sets)
12 Lat Machine Pull Down (3 sets)
15 Behind The Neck Pulldown (3 sets)

Biceps / Arms:
15 Cable Pull Down (3 sets)
15 Cable Curl (3 sets)
15 Hammer Curl (3 sets)
10 Dumbbell Curl (3 sets)

*All reps increment in weight in some sets

Obliques / Abs:
20 Plate Side Bends (4 sets)

Cooldown: 12 min. walk going home

Notes:
We did a lot of compounded training today so many muscle groups are actually targetted by a specific workout or machine. 
Coach and I talked a little about it’s really the combination of having the right nutrition and exercise that makes people fit. Lose one or the other to the extreme might throw you off balance.
I almost couldn’t finish the last workout for my biceps – the Dumbell Curl. I had someone spot me and carry a few pounds off the lifted weight just to finish the last set. 
Instead of doing a 10 min bike for cooldown I just walked home.
I notice myself getting stronger.

Thursday

Home Cardio:
45 mins Elliptical (13 resistance)

3 sets of:
30 High Knees
30 Climbers
10 Push-ups

Ender:
1 min. Plank (no stops)

Notes:
My elbows got scratched as they slipped off the mat during planking.

Friday

Drenched in sweat doing Deadlifts last Monday. Form needs improvement.

Weighed in: 98 kg (lost 2 kilos in 3 weeks, also gained muscle)

Warm-up: 10 min. Stationary Bike

Cardio (3 sets of):
12 Shuttle Run
12 Battle Rope (single)
12 Kettlebell Swing
12 Slam Ball 

Workout Target Areas: Legs and Shoulders

Legs:
12 Barbell Squats (3 sets) *compounded 
12 Seated Leg Press (3 sets)
12 Lying Hamstring Curl  (3 sets)
12 Seated Leg Curl (3 sets)
12 Weighted Calf Raises (3 sets)

Shoulder:
12 Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 sets)
12 Dumbbell Lateral Raises (3 sets)
12 Front Plate Raise (3 sets)
12 Reverse Pec Deck (3 sets)
12 Rope Face Pull (3 sets)
12 Barbell Upright Row (3 sets)

*All reps increment in weight in some sets

Cooldown: 5 min. Stationary Bike

Notes:
Went to the gym at night today I was looking forward to getting a workout in even after a long day.
I feel myself getting stronger even if I still struggle in lifting some weights.
My gratitude goes to Aldren who encouraged me to finish my sets today. Thank you bro!
I want to go to have a massage tomorrow but the place I go to doesn’t have any available therapists, what a bummer.
There weren’t many people and the gym was a bit quiet so I made a new friend Cesar. I found out that the only other person there was my neighbor! He gave me a ride back home. 

Until next time friends! Inch by inch it’s a cinch! 

Comment below on what you want to know about my fitness journey and I will try my best to answer.

My Weight Loss Journey, Skydiving, and Self-Love

“Motivation Is What Gets You Started, Habit Keeps You Going”

Jim Rohn

Showed my friends this picture the other day. One of them asked me a really good question.

“I’m curious, what motivates you (to lose weight)? Because what you’re doing is difficult to commit to.” He asked.

It took me a while to reply. Actually, I wasn’t able to really give him an answer. There were many things racing in my mind competing to become words that I couldn’t write anything back. Not wanting to give a less than satisfactory answer, I told him to watch out for my next blog post. So here it is!

My weight has always been a sensitive topic for me. I’ve been on the receiving end of countless teasing and have been made fun of because I didn’t weigh “normal”. I’ve also been judged and treated poorly by others. I was labeled “fat” and worse was being called “pig”. For me, It’s more bearable if the people who treat you this way are strangers. What hurts is when your friends and family draw this card out to spite you.

One of the most humiliating moments I’ve gone through was when our elementary school directress told me that I wouldn’t be able to go far in life because of my weight. Her face was a mix of disgust and amusement with a little bit of concern. I don’t know if she meant to encourage me but being in the faculty room with her at that time put on 1 billion tons of shame on my pre-teen self.

I carried that lie well into my adulthood. Thankfully, as I began to see my own potential and truth, I let go of it as I moved from one breakthrough to another. I hope that if ever we meet again, she’ll just stand back amazed at what I’ve accomplished with my heavyset frame.

Skydiving – A Meaningful Motivation

My weight loss journey is nothing special. You’ve probably read something similar.

I’ve been trying to lose weight for nine years. I’ve tried water fasting for a week (I don’t recommend this if you don’t know what you’re doing). There was a time when I became a vegetarian and ate like a rabbit for a month. I’ve also tried doing many kinds of diets – low carb, paleo, keto, and drinking expensive meal replacement shakes. I was also a regular at a gym that you can go to anytime during the day. Yes, I saw fast results but after only a few months I just go back to the way I was. 

I was not consistent and I hated what I was doing.

Only during this pandemic that I realized that my motivations didn’t have enough lasting meaning. I only wanted to lose weight for the sake of losing it, and because I hated my body. It had a negative effect. Diet and exercise, in a way, became torture instead of a means to become healthy. 

With the gift of pause that the quarantine has given us, I wrote personal goals I want to achieve before I turn thirty next year. I noticed that most of them would be easier if I get to a healthier weight. 

One that really jumps out of the list was SKYDIVING! 

This got me so excited that I’ve already booked a flight going to the sky diving center next year (I really hope all the travel bans are cleared out by then). The maximum weight indicated in the guidelines was 230 lbs. I’m proud to say that I’ve already gone past this goal and my weight is skydive ready!

There are many things that I was afraid of or never pursued because of my weight. If my weight is the only reason why I’m not fully living my life then I should change it. I should give my body the love and care it deserves so I can fully use it to fulfill my dreams, hopes, and desires and fully give to the world.

I needed to be consistent and love what I am doing.

A Habit Of Self-Love

With a new perspective and my motivations up, I needed to make it stick. To make it stick, I made a set of rules to keep myself going and eventually make it a habit. 

  • Never go more than two days without exercise
  • Always choose the healthier option
  • Thank yourself for the efforts you put in each day
  • When you’re tired and tempted to cheat – remember your WHY

Yes it’s hard to follow and I’ve failed many times, and many times, I fought to get back on track again. Anything that’s difficult can be overcome when you go back to your why. Having a meaningful motivation helps keep you on track. Use your WHY POWER!

Seeing the results of my hard work gave me more motivation to continue and lose more weight. My motivation has evolved from doing skydiving to self-love. Keeping myself healthy has become a good habit that gave birth to more good habits. The more that I took care, treated and loved myself, the more I became better at giving and receiving love.

I’ve worked hard to be where I am right now and I don’t want to go back to who I used to be. I still have a long way to go before reaching my ideal weight but I’m getting there.

Losing weight is hard. For some, gaining weight is hard. Life is hard. Change is hard. 

But persevering through all the hard stuff will make you stronger and better than you were before. Choose to win for yourself.


If you want to start building something new for yourself what’s your “skydiving” motivation? How does this make you love yourself more? What can you do to make it stick?


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