Friday, November 10, 2017

One-on-One Personal Training - Finally, I Have My Visible Abs!! | Operation 健康アップ

It's been about 10+ months since I started training one-on-one with my personal trainer, Superman and sorry I haven't been updating much on the blog {more so on Instagram and Facebook so do follow my progress there if interested}.

But then I recently had my progress measurements and felt insanely happy that I finally have some visible abs that I just had to put it down in my blog for memories' sake hehe. Oh man, you have NO idea how long I've wanted this!! Having a strong and ripped core is like.. my #forevergoal haha.

Even at my leanest in Genesis Gym, I never saw my abs like this. There's still a long way for me to get leaner and hopefully be able to get my stubborn lower abs to come out of hiding and see them even more visibly. From the above pics, you can see how I've progressed from the first day I started with Superman on 3 Jan 2017 at 23% body fat, to how I can see parts of my upper 2 or 4-packs, and obliques on 3 Nov 2017 at 16.9% body fat.

{However, do note that from my training with Superman, I've learnt that measurement numbers.. even body fat percentage numbers, don't always give a true picture of your health, body composition and fitness. I'll touch more on that in a later blog post.}

I want to show you though that the most significant change came after 12 Sep 2017, when I became even more committed to keeping to my food calories at 1,450 calories/day. I'd say I was 98% committed and exceeded my daily calorie intake slightly less than 10x {??} during that 8 weeks period. And in that period, I lost about 2% body fat just by making a change in my diet, with no change to my workouts.

Before that, I was maybe 80-90% committed and exceeded my daily calorie intake almost weekly, especially during the weekends, and sometimes by more than 1,000 calories!! #eeks

So my point is even with minimal lower body work {because of chronic back/knee injuries}, non-existent met-cons, a little cardio {stair-climbs}, the better quality food intake and painful 98% adherence to my daily calorie intake really made a huge difference in getting me much leaner. The truth is, if you want to lose fat, your nutrition should be your number one focus. What you do in the gym takes second place.

Yes, building muscles to lose fat is important, but if your nutrition is not on point, all that is moot too.

Yesterday I reached a happy milestone 🤗 I finally hit 55kg! This was the FIRST fitness goal I set out for myself {before I knew more about building muscles & body fat composition etc} when I first started training regularly in Jul 2015 but even at my leanest & strongest in Genesis gym, I never hit this weight 🙊🙈 It was ok too, since in the grand scheme of health & fitness, the numbers on the scale don't matter.. but honestly at the back of my mind, there's always a nagging thought of wanting to reach this goal... It's been a long and hard road {not only because of the tedious workouts, but mainly because I'm such a foodie and controlling what I eat can be quite painful!} so I'm really glad.. no, ECSTATIC actually! to finally reach this milestone at my current strength and leanness. Even if it took me nearly 2.5 years!! 🎊 Many thanks to my family and trainer Superman for the support, motivation and sometimes tough love they gave me all this time. And also to my blog readers and friends who drop me messages of encouragement too. Thank you all!! 🙌🏻🌸 #sakuraharuka #aifitnessdiary #trngwithb #fitfam #dontgiveup #finallydone
A post shared by Ai Sakura  (@aisakuraharuka) on

Having visible abs is a superficial goal, no doubt, but it signifies a lot of the work and endurance that went into it. It's not just about working hard, but working smart too.

During my time with Superman, there has been a number of ups and downs. Sometimes as I'm getting stronger and nearer to my fitness goals, something unexpected happens and sets me back. There are periods where I'm one step forward, and then two steps backwards so as much as I am happy with my achievements in the gym, there have been many frustrations too which kind of put me off writing about it.

Case in point - since end September, my left wrist and right shoulder got injured at the same time and that really limited the number of exercises I can do to a very, very small pool especially since I've a chronic back problem. Since then, I haven't been able to do a single pull-up, push-up or even pronated shoulder press and Superman has to help me lift the weights up for certain exercises because I can't even support them on my own.   

It's never fun getting injured and after training my upper body for the past year or so since my back injury started to be more's a wonder that my upper body didn't break down even earlier. The first day I went in with these fresh injuries, there was a moment with Superman and I just stared blankly at one another when we realised that there's so much less that I can do now.. BUT even when I felt so low, he stayed positive, redesigned my programs AGAIN and we trudged through as best as we could.

I really did feel pretty low and frustrated, especially since I was progressing in my pull-ups and shoulder presses. I can't do deadlifts or back squats anymore, and then it just felt like even those exercises were "taken away" from me. Sigh.

Anyway this year has been pretty tough mentally and emotionally with all my injury setbacks that hampered progress in most of my fitness goals. However, when I can't train as hard or as often as I want to, there had to be a shift in mindset to training smarter, focusing more on recovery, getting my nutritional diet in check, and overall being more positive and stronger mentally.

When your gym progress has stalled or is stalling, you tend to want to work harder in the gym to get it moving again.

However, it's actually more beneficial to not do that, and instead focus on what you're doing outside the gym. It took me a while to understand and practice what Superman and the boy have been trying to tell me the past year to slow down, sleep more and eat better... and I do think I'm in a much better place now than when I first started, thanks to their support and guidance.

These abs were built this year not with insane, heart-pumping killer metcon workouts or heavy weights {both of which I'm unable to do at the moment}, but with smart workout programming, diligence in keeping to my nutritional diet calories with more quality food, and making an effort to rest more. Factors which also help me in rebuilding my body and recovering from my injuries.

For now, I'm looking forward to ending 2017 on a high note, and starting 2018 all fresh & injury-free! ❤ 

One-on-On Personal Training Updates:

Genesis Gym Personal Training Updates:
The Beginning - Signing Up for Personal Training


Stacy said...

Wow oh wow! You go, girl!

--andy-- said...

Power on Ai!
The hardest thing to control (or change ) is nutrition :)

Requires a lot of discipline to monitor what we eat daily, I just run more and hope I can eat more :p

Happy to see you achieving your goals.

cheers, Andy

An Apel a Day said...

Wow! Congrats! You look great!

Theresa Mahoney said...

I'd be happy to have your "before" abs lol. Girl, you look ah-mazing! You are so right. You need a good eating plan if you want to lose the weight. I think that's my husband's problem. He works out daily (sometimes twice a day) but he loves food so much and that is hindering his weight loss goals. I think once he can get a grasp on food intake, he'll see those pounds finally fall off.

Young Smarties said...

Your picture and story motivate me manz! I am trying to get back my abs too!
You rock!

KarMie's blog said...

Looking good mommy!!! Finally a great achievement unlocked... Go celebrate and dig in on a buffet now, Lols!!!
I'm in the same boat as you... Foodie!!! I just love to eat yummy food...

Jamie chaw

mail4rosey said...

My oldest boy works out often and hard, he has for years. He's strong and muscular. He rarely sees abs. His brother works out once in awhile, and during those times gets abs quickly that are very defined. It's a source of playful contention between the two. Me? Abs, aren't happening, lol.

Abs look great, and congrats on the accomplishment!!

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

you are doing such a tremendous job! You should be proud of yourself, dear..

Unknown said...

O.M.G.!!!! Look at that transformation of fitness!
You and your hubs are truly inspirational! Time to set goals and not just resolutions! Thanks for sharing! I was also looking at your timeline - the perseverance! Kudos!