In this post, I’m going to share with you how I went from fat to ripped in 3 months back in 2015. And I will write in a story telling manner, like I am sharing it with you face to face.
Let’s go back in time when I was working as the gym manager at Anytime Fitness Marine Parade in 2015. By the way, Anytime Fitness Marine Parade is a fantastic neighborhood 24 hour gym! Those of you who are living in Marine Parade area or nearby should definitely check it out if you are looking for an affordable and quality gym.
Now, let’s get back to my physical transformation. Besides working my full time gym manager role from 1pm to 9pm, I was also juggling morning personal training clients, cooking my meals daily, learning motorbike lessons and building a business on the side.
Can you get any busier than that?
In the left photo taken in January 2015, I was in a bad shape, weighing at 82KG with a body fat of about 15-16% and clear loss of muscle mass – I had a bad strain from training in December 2014 which prevented me from continuing training hard. It affected me psychologically and I lost the motivation to train.
Basically, I got into a rut and just let go. In January, I looked in the mirror and decided the rut had to stop. It was then I decided to get back into training and managed to get down to about 12% body fat in end March.
I was to gain quality lean muscle until 86KG, but I became impatient and started to dirty bulk. And that got me way too fat as my body fat went up to about 20% and my weight to 89KG in June.
And that’s how I looked in the middle photo. At this point, the inbody machine (measures your body fat) showed I had 44.7KG of muscle, but all that fat is covering it up. So if you are thinking of dirty bulking, don’t do it. Success is never quick nor convenient.
In the ‘After’ picture on the right, I’m weighing at 81KG with a body fat percentage of 6.9% and 44.4 KG of muscle based on the machine (freaking machine cost almost 5 figures). It might not be 100% accurate, but it’s the best I can get. Not that I have someone to help with caliper testing or luxury of a DEXA scan.
Even though I dropped from 89KG to 81KG, I managed to maintain most of my muscle mass thanks to the training and diet program!
Here’s how my training and diet program look like in a typical week:
- 5 weight training sessions (split)
- 3 to 4 fasted cardio sessions 30 minutes each right after waking up
- 2 HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions of 12-15 minutes
- Cooking my own meals daily (I wasn’t perfect all the time; there were times when I ate out and I just selected the healthiest options I could find)
- Carb cycling
- Gradual calorie deficit as my weight dropped
- Several supplements (multivitamin, omega 3 fish oil, glucosamine with curcumin, BCAA, acetyl l-carnitine, pre-workout, whey protein, meal replacement powder)
- Yes, calorie counting is a must. Otherwise, you are just guessing your way to results
Check out what most of my meals look like
Many times I questioned myself what was I doing, getting myself all hectic and tired. I was tired everyday not getting sufficient sleep and it was tempting to give up. Give up on cooking my own meals, sleep in more so I can slack off on my training, postpone personal training sessions and motorbike lessons and what not.
The recommended amount of sleep is 9-10 hours for those who are training very hard and I was far from getting sufficient sleep, but you just toughen up and do what you can. If you want something bad enough, no excuses will stop you.
I have gone through failure and defeat before, knew what is it like to give up and go back to square one. And it’s not going to happen again. If you give up, you are just wasting precious time that you will never get back. You can always make back money, but not time. So if you are thinking of giving up, get back up and keep moving forward.
One of the best investments I made was engaging a coach. I might be a coach myself, but I engaged a top bodybuilding coach for I believe no matter how good you are, everyone needs guidance and accountability. Even the best athletes in the world have coaches so if you have a goal to achieve, better seek a coach or mentor and you will have a higher chance of success – as long as you do what is told.
When we look at those who have great physiques, we look in awe and desire to have it as well. But if you find out what they had to do to reach where they are, you might get flabbergasted and give up or you might just get inspired and take action. Good things come to those work their asses off and never give up.
The most important question is – If you are not getting the results you want, are you doing what needs to be done? Plain old mind sickening hard work, investment of your time, money and effort, giving up on things that distract you from your goal (social media, meeting friends, parties and what not).
Are you constantly being a student keeping your mind open to new information and doing what needs to be done instead of doing what is easy and comfortable? If you could have the results you wanted, you would have gotten it already. Otherwise, listen and do what needs to be done. No pain no gain!
Do You Believe In Yourself Enough
Having been coaching for 7 years, I realized the main reason why many people do not get the results they want are due to lack of discipline and motivation. For some, the lack of self-motivation and discipline stems from the lack of self-belief.
They might not realize it, but their internal self talk is telling them that they can’t do it, that what they are trying to achieve is out of their reach or too hard.
They might say that they want it, but unconsciously they do not believe that they can do it. And when you think that you can’t, you won’t have the internal motivation and discipline to do what it takes. And vice versa.
So even before you get started, decide to do it right or not at all. Get yourself into the right mindset by reading/watching to motivational books and videos, and find a support/accountability group – like a tough coach who doesn’t let you off the hook easily and hold you responsible for your own actions.
And even if you have plenty of self-belief, but still find it hard to have the discipline and motivation, reassess your environment and the people you hang out with. A positive environment and ‘support group’ can do wonders.
Dig Deep And Push Yourself Hard
It’s amazing what happens to your body when you give it what it needs and treat it like a temple. Looking at my left picture, anyone could have said I have bad genes or it will be hard to achieve a great physique.
You will never know what you can achieve until you actually get in the trenches, dig deep and push yourself.
There will be obstacles, there will be doubters, there will be mistakes, but with hard work, there are no limits. And you will find out what are you really made of along the journey. In the end, the biggest enemy is the one looking right back at you in the mirror.
We only have one life, why not push yourself to the limit for once, find out your maximum potential and see where it takes you?
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