When you're beat down, pick yourself up and find what drives you
Updated: Oct 27, 2019
As a personal trainer, I usually find myself engaged in conversations about fitness, health and lifestyle. Some people will ask for advise, some will share their lifestyle choices, and some will have an opinion that what they are doing and have been doing for years is the right way.
I would like to start with my story, what motivated me to become a personal trainer and what drives my passion. Starting here makes my training philosophy more real and not from a place of a text book.
Since the age of 4 years old, my mother enrolled me into a ballet group, it was a thing that little girls did back then. I did ballet until the age of 14 and then switched over to pop-rock dancing. At the age of 18 I had a fall which ruptured my Achilles then sent me to surgery and rehab for about a year. Unlike other dancers with similar injuries, I chose not to go back to the stage and gave up pursuing my professional dancer aspirations. My physiotherapist gave me exercises that will strengthen my ankle and calf muscles and advised me to join a gym. At first I hated the gym, it hurt and I felt weaker than everyone else I saw there. The decision not to dance made me feel depressed and unhappy and remarkably the gym became my outlet. It helped me rebuild what I had lost, what I would like to call the three core principles of life - mental, physical, spiritual. Using these three core principles, which I now call my R3, (R = results and 3 = the core values), I challenged myself to build my body for fitness competitions, however during this time I married, fell pregnant and once again I gave up on my goals, using those situations as an excuse.
For years after my marriage and first child, I found myself floating in and out of gyms, desperately trying to resurrect my R3. I would go strong and be focused for about three months then the same pattern would emerge, I would give up because something always seemed to come in and interfere with my mind and spirit.
For years I was an active rider on the fad diet rollercoaster and active user of random internet fitness programs. Some worked, some didn't. None of these programs were ever customised for me and none of these programs kept me accountable. What it did do was take a monthly subscription with no results.
My dad was my turning point, and now my mother too, are reasons for me staying true to myself and to my R3 I once set. I watched dad deteriorate rapidly after his stroke and heart attack. He once was a very fit man, he did mountaineering, dancing and managed a soccer club. One day he just stopped because "life" just got in his way. He didn't eat the healthy food he taught us to eat and unfortunately he got lost in the package and manufactured food system and eventually his sedentary and unhealthy choices claimed his life. My mother too once active, playing net ball then managing her own net ball team, doing mountaineering and dancing also found herself victim to the sedentary and manufactured food system. Now at 91, she is a victim of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Spending time with her and seeing her in pain are three conditions I do not want to inherit.
Armed with the knowledge I gained from both my parents who were once fit and healthy, I finally realised there should be a right balance between physical exercise and nutrition. Tired of the fad celebrity diets, I became inspired to study Nutrition Therapy and Personal Training. I wanted to know how the body works. As a matter of fact what makes the human body tick, mentally, physically and spiritually!
You see when the right balance of volume, frequency, load, movements and nutrition is prescribed properly, everything comes together.
Working with clients both online and in person, I have been able to perfect the R3 system and customise it to each individual based on age, body type, previous injuries, training level and experience. What I have found mind-blowing is that people in their 30's, 40's and 50's have all been able to hit PRs (Personal Results) they never were able to do in their 20's all while getting or maintaining a lean body composition. Now of course to achieve their PRs in fitness, nutrition played an integral role too. While typical diets are bland and repetitive, R3 allows for flexible dieting just to make things more interesting. My personal diet consists of fibre, micronutrients and supplementations to fuel my performance, gut health and anti-inflammatory response.
Since seeing first hand results in my own mental, physical and spiritual health and that of my clients, I have made it my life mission to share my knowledge with as many people so they can understand how the gym not only benefit their health and body but every aspect of their being. R3 is the ultimate builder, inside and out.
R3 is not just another fad diet or another generic fitness program. It is specifically tailored to fit a clients needs appropriately especially if they are unbalanced in any of the core areas. Each client on the R3 system is required to master each skill to the best of their ability. MENTAL - PHYSICAL - SPIRIT
When about my nutrition and supplementation philosophy my answer is: I have three main meals per day consisting of protein, carbs and fats and one protein shake either out of convenience or after a workout. On weekends I would have a cheat meal and a few drinks. This helps me to keep sane and happy. As for supplements I take a Multivitamin daily, Creatine and beta-alanine, Acetyl L-Carnitine and Turmeric. Sometimes in my morning shake I will throw in a greens powder to make up for the nutrients and minerals which may be missing from the vegetables I have regularly.
So how do I adapt this training and nutrition philosophy to clients? Each client is unique and their training volume, intensity, frequency and rate will be different. Nutrition is based on how many days a week a client will train and I also take into account their age, daily activity and what they can commit to. It's crazy to see how transformations in either one, two or all three of the core values happen. Sometimes transformations isn't necessarily going from fat to supermodel.
In order for my clients to get results is to truly understand them, their motives and their true "why". Knowing "why", they are doing this can have a massive impact on change. I understand this! Once I knew my "why" (I didn't want the pain and suffering of my parents - stroke, heart attack, arthritis etc) - this was my place of pain, I found my solution.
So how do you make your goals a reality?
1. know your why
2. have a gameplan
3. be consistent
4. surround yourself with like-minded individuals
5. find good mentors
6. listen to your gut
We owe it to ourselves to be the best version of ourselves. What a shame it would be to reach the end of our life without reaching our true potential.