Friday, August 3, 2018

One-on-One Personal Training: Lowest Body Fat Composition So Far!

I've come to the end of my 2-months fitness challenge set by Superman and so, it's only fitting that I report on the results haha. All things considered, it is pretty encouraging ( ᐛ )و

Superman reminded me countless times in the last week after my measurement that this was not the end though... My weight and body fat tends to fluctuate a few kilos/ percentages throughout the year because usually around May - Jun we have our birthdays and school holidays, and Nov - Feb we have our family travels and festive celebrations when I tend to let loose on my diet and training more. Doesn't help that I'm a "fast-fat-gainer" too haha... #thatslife

However, he and I are quite xian to not maintain my new baseline for long so this time, we're still going to try harder to even better this and hit a higher target for my body fat recomposition {while keeping muscles} before really trying to concentrate on building my strength again.

This is the second time I did what I call a "fast fat cut" with Superman so things were kicked up a notch these 2 months, especially for my diet, which I'd explain a bit more below.

The challenge was meant to be short, and the calorie deficit I ate for these 2 months are not meant to be long-term so after this I will be slowly increasing my calories again to maintain my new base line and results, while still trying to burn fat at an optimal, albeit probably slower, rate.

The Results
I started the fitness challenge in beginning of Jun 2018 at 59.5kg, 18.2% body fat. At the end of the fitness challenge in late Jul 2018, I weighed 56kg at 16.6% body fat.. this is my lowest body fat composition so far with Superman, as before this, the lowest I reached was only 16.9% in Nov 2017 {before all the end-year holiday feasting and celebrations where I usually gain a few extra kilos hehe}.

The 0.3% may seem minute, but when you are already at a lower body fat percentage {fyi, average healthy women generally have a body fat percentage of 21 - 24%} and have already been training for some time like me, it is harder to lose fat. Simply put, as you lose weight your body attempts to “conserve energy” by slowing down your metabolism and adapting to the changes so that makes those last few kilos of fat even harder to lose. Le sigh.

Throughout the challenge, even though my body fat percentage has decreased, I've somewhat maintained my muscles and my strength has been increasing as seen by my weights progress during my gym workouts. I am still able to increase weights, if not reps, session by session. I even managed to PR my 5x5 weighted chin-ups at 12.75kg, and 1RM weighted chin-up weight at 26kg even though I haven't done heavy chin-ups for a long time.

At my lowest during the challenge, I weighed 55.4kg. So, to be able to lose about 4kg and 1.6% body fat in 2 months while preserving valuable lean muscle mass at my level, wasn't too shabby (´∇ノ`*)ノ

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Gym Workouts
Recently, the boy commented that I haven't been posting much on my gym training. Well, I haven't been doing it on the blog regularly for a couple of reasons {mainly lack of time}, although I post slightly more on Instagram and Facebook so do follow my progress there if interested..

It's not that I'm not proud of whatever progress or #smallwins I have, but it's just that at this moment, I feel better to keep my head down, have less distractions, work hard and smash my goals quietly. Even if there's no applause from anyone but me, Superman and my family, it's ok because at the end of the day I'm doing it for me. To be a healthier, stronger and happier me.

Another reason I don't do weekly or monthly updates like I did when I was in Genesis Gym is because my workout programmes hardly change... so nothing much to report on? haha..

Because of my chronic lower body injuries {back and knee}, and upper body injuries that pop up now and then since I work on them harder due to said lower body injuries, there's a very limited pool of exercises that I can do comfortably, and progress consistently.

Superman thinks very hard before adding in a new exercise for me to try because of my higher risk of getting injured now, so we usually stick to the tried and tested exercises that work for me. It may be boring to some to do the same thing week after week, but if I can still train safely and improve consistently, I'm fine with it. After all, I don't need any fancy or creative workouts.  

By eliminating the excess, we can focus more on the necessary.

Only if I plateau, or if I've overworked or injured somewhere, will he redesign the programmes to adjust to my current body conditions. Anyway, these 2 months I've kept to my training I reckon 98% of the time. Here are my current gym workouts...

Upper Body Workout with the latest weights I've lifted:
A1. Weighted Supinated Chin-Up, 5 sets, 5 reps - 12.75kg
A2. Dumbbells Seated Shoulder Press {Neutral}, 4 sets, 8 reps - 16kg
B1. Pull-Ups, 5 sets, 5-10 reps - Bodyweight
B2. Feet Elevated Push-Ups, 5 sets, 15-20 reps - Body weight
C1. Bicep Curl, 5 sets, 8-12 reps - 7.8kg
C2. Lying Tricep Extension, 5 sets, 8-12 reps - 7.8kg
D. Reverse Hyperextension, 3 sets, 12 reps - 5kg

Lower Body Workout with the latest weights I've lifted:
A1. Front Squat, 5 sets, 8 reps - 48kg
A2. Standing Unilateral Hamstring Curl, 4 sets, 10-12 reps - 4.5kg
B. RDL, 4 sets, 8-10 reps - 58kg
C1. Bulgarian Squat, 4 sets, 10-12 reps - 12.5kg
C2. Bench Glute Hip Thrusts, 4 sets, 12-15kg - 15kg
D. Reverse Hyperextension, 3 sets, 12 reps - 5kg 

Food Nutrition
Although he could, Superman does not give me meal templates to tell me exactly what to eat and when to eat it. This would not work for me as it's too rigid and might be too pressurising to fulfill since I'm not a full-time professional athlete, and I am such a foodie! 

For this challenge, I was supposed to eat 1,300 calories/day. It is lower than what I had to eat for my first "fast fat cut" last year when I targeted to hit 1,450 calories/day, but actually, this round wasn't as grueling.

Maybe it's because I've already gone through one round of cutting, so I know what to expect, how to motivate myself when the going gets tough and how to eat during this period {see my 10 how to meal-prep tips} . Like my workouts, I eliminate the unnecessary and just have simple meals at fixed times most days. Now is not the time to worry or think about variety...

But I also found it not to be as grueling because there was more flexibility involved. Yes I know I said I'd try to eat clean and be 100% consistent with my diet plans for the challenge to see how far it takes me, but it was very hard to really give up all the food I love, even if for just 2 months. I mean... stupid McDonald's came back with their McGriddles {which I love!!} for World Cup 2018, and it's durian season!!! Need I say more?? Plus my office had a few parties and I can't be anti-social, right? #oops

For the first "fast fat cut", I was 98% committed, exceeded my daily calorie intake slightly less than 10x {??} during that 8 weeks period and ate significantly cleaner with much less sugar and junk food. This round, I'd say I was still 95% committed {better than my usual 80-90%}, but I also allowed myself to eat chocolate and junk food like KFC, McGriddles, Hot Cakes, popcorn, ice-cream once or twice a week, and usually within my calorie intake. Even if I went over my daily target, it's maybe still less than 500 cals. Not ideal, but this "moderation" made the lower cals much more tolerable and I feel, sustainable past the challenge period.

Come to think of it, I think this is the best diet I've gone through. In the past, I'd be whining and whinging a lot and getting frustrated over food I'm craving for and sometimes binging on. But this time, I think I've finally got things under control and figured out a way to really eat better, get the nutrition I need and make it work for me.

One thing didn't change though, is that I still hit my daily protein targets at least 98% of the time because I'm so darn scared of losing my muscles hehehe...

Challenge Thoughts
To be honest, I wanted to hit 53kg at the end of the challenge. Superman thought it was highly improbable though and definitely not feasible as the fast weight loss in 2 months probably meant I would also lose muscles, which is not what we want.

The main change to my workouts from my previous cut was that now, I am able to do lower body compound exercises like Squats and RDLs which definitely help me to build more muscles and burn more fat. I still don't do heart-pumping metcons but I do more moderate conditioning like stair-climbs and Assault Airbike cycling.

This probably helped to cancel out the snacks and junk food that I still ate during this period??

Initially I thought 1,300 calories/day was going to be very difficult, but once I focused and allowed myself lee-way to still indulge in my fave food, it really wasn't so bad. Since I started training with Superman, I've learnt various "food hacks" and ways to keep myself full while eating less and even if I overate, I can get back on my diet quicker and without that much guilt. The boy has been very helpful in recommending me high-protein, lower-cal snacks too.

Even with the lower cals, I did not feel any significant weakness during training and recovery rate was still ok. I guess if I really put in 100% in my diet I might have hit 53kg and maybe even 15% body fat composition, but progress is still progress, and I'm happy with what I achieved these 2 months.

As I mentioned above though, this challenge was a "fast fat cut" and I was meant to lose body fat at a faster rate. It is not something to do long-term as trying to lose weight too fast, can expedite loss of muscle - not loss of fat.

Personally, I do prefer these "fast cuts" or "fast gains" as an occasional boost because when a hard diet and/or training period is short, it is easier because you can actually focus to see the finish line and goal date. The faster results are also very encouraging. However, it is much more tedious and straining on the body and mind because you really have to stick to the plan for it to work effectively.

Also, I'd like to highlight as well that I did this challenge under the supervision of Superman, my experienced personal trainer. The program and nutritional diet plan were customised according to my needs and adapted on-the-go {e.g. going on refeeds, or taking longer rests} as my body conditions changed, so please don't follow.

You're welcome to contact me for Superman's details to help you in your fitness goals too. It's of course easier if I can direct you to his website haha but he doesn't have one and I doubt plans on setting one up.  And no, I don't earn any commission for any referrals haha. I just love training with him and am more than happy to recommend him. 

Superman does zero marketing and most of his clients are either people who have worked with him before when he was still in Genesis Gym and liked him so much that they followed him when he started his own business, or referred from current clients via word-of-mouth so I'm not the only one who speaks positively about him for sure (*^▽^*)


One-on-On Personal Training Updates:

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


mail4rosey said...

You always look great, but wow there's a distinct big difference going on. Talk about dividends paying off! congrats!!

mail4rosey said...

PS I saw your Instagram msg leading to this post. Such a wonderful, positive message to share!

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An Apel a Day said...

That food dish - yummy! I like that you're going after the weight loos, muscle gain. You do look wonderful.

I'm so glad I can exercise now. Last year sucked not being able to breathe, then have 2 doctors tell me I couldn't exercise or bend over.

Theresa Mahoney said...

I think whatever plan you are on, it's definitely working for you. You've come a long way in your fitness journey, and I'm so proud of you!

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