LOL Mondays: Let’s Try To Get Fit, Again

My New Year's resolution: get that superhero bod.

By Alywin Chew        1 January 2024

It’s that time of the year again when gym subscriptions spike because – let’s face it – “getting fit” is arguably the most popular New Year’s resolution to have.

It’s also probably the resolution with the highest failure rate, at least among my circle of friends.

Take my friend Tom, for example. When questioned why he looks just as rotund as before despite his claims of doing CrossFit religiously, he said:

“I wasn’t lying. I go to the gym only during religious holidays in Singapore.”

So, yeah, don’t be like Tom.

As for myself, I had at the start of 2023 set the goal of bulking up and building muscle and having an Instagram-worthy beach bod. Because mid-life crisis.

Unlike Tom, I was determined to achieve my goal. I purchased dumbbells and barbells and kettlebells and did the grind at home. Everything was fine and dandy for six months and I eventually saw some gains. But before I could progress any further, elbow and knee injuries threw a spanner in the works.

I only started training again last October. Whatever gains I made were pretty much lost. And this is why I recently decided to sign up for a gym membership and a personal trainer at SAFRA’s EnergyOne gym. 

I really surprised myself with that move. Because I’ve always hated the idea of going to a gym and being surrounded by people who remind me how out of shape I am.

Also, I’ve always thought gym memberships to be risky undertakings. Just look at the number of unethical gym operators that have absconded with their customers’ money after closing down.

Even my bank couldn’t believe I bought a gym membership. Because they called me and alerted me of a suspicious transaction the moment I paid for the membership.

So, why did I do this? Truth be told, the membership rates at EnergyOne are really value for money. Also, I reckoned I hadn’t been working out correctly, which explains the injuries. As such, I figured the most efficient way to achieving my goals is to have a subject matter expert lead the way.

I’ve since learned from an EnergyOne trainer that getting fit isn’t as straight forward as many of us think it is. Just because we are determined and hitting the gym often doesn’t mean we WILL get shredded, because there are many factors involved. 

One factor is diet. The EnergyOne trainer shared that losing weight and getting shredded is “80 percent diet, 20 percent exercise” – meaning that a healthy diet is much more important than working out.

Naturally, this didn’t sound very appealing because I’m a huge foodie. 

“I’ve seen people who eat a lot but also work out a lot. They look great. I want that kind of approach,” I said.

“Bro, it doesn’t work that way. You need to understand that every person has a different body type,” he said.

He went on to explain that genetics also play a part. This is why there are some people who can do the bare minimum and still have nice bods. This is also why there are those who just cannot put on mass no matter how much they eat and exercise.

According to the trainer, I am classified as “skinny fat”.

“Bro, you need to eat clean and work out to cut fat. And with the right weight training and diet I’ll get you looking ready for the beach in half a year,” he said.

“Okay. I want a chest like this,” I said, pointing to a topless image of Henry Cavill.

“Erm, not everyone can have a chest like Superman’s. Like I said, it’s got to do with genetics. You need to be realistic, lah.”

“Okay, fine. But I need an idea of what I would look like after six months.”

“Hmm. How about Spider-Man?”

LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

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