Working out: Are you doing it right?

Average Joe Gym manager Mohd Shahir (left) said dedication is of the utmost importance if one wants to see progress after signing up at a gym.
Average Joe Gym manager Mohd Shahir (left) said dedication is of the utmost importance if one wants to see progress after signing up at a gym.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — If you are looking to get healthier this year, every little pointer on how to achieve it is easily available online.

But what if you’ve tried all the moves doled out by those buffed-bodied gurus and there’s still no sign of rippling muscles or toned calves?

Well, don’t give up just yet because what you gather from the self-help health websites may not resonate with what’s happening on the ground and there are many things you might need to reconsider.

Here are some helpful views and advice from experienced professionals who have seen it all:

Commitment is necessary

Average Joe Gym manager Mohd Shahir, who’s clocked in about 10 years in the fitness business, observes that some Malaysians who have signed up for gym memberships do not follow through with their regimes. “They will turn up in full force at the start of the year but attendance will slowly taper off from March onwards,” said Shahir, adding that dedication is of the utmost importance if one wants to see progress after signing up at a gym.

Perseverance pays

FitWorx (Amcorp Mall branch) manager Ezham Zikri said most people are hazy about what it entails to obtain their desired goals. Most are too impatient for results.  “When they sign up at a gym, some assume they’d see results in three or four months. And when they don’t, they lose motivation,” observed Ezham, adding that busy work schedules play a part in poor gym attendance too.

Gyms are there to help

In the past, women have shied away from gyms thinking they would develop muscles like body builders when they work out but gyms are really where one learns the proper way of exercising and building mass.

Online work-outs have disadvantages

There are plenty of online tutorials out there offering free coaching and promising great results but there is nothing quite like sweating it out with a personal trainer spurring you on.

  • An online tutorial is a one-way communication. Who would tell you what to do should you pull a muscle while doing a high impact regimen in front of your smart TV?
  • While those videos may show hosts with great bodies, supposedly achieved from doing the very routines they are teaching you, the reality is viewers are unlikely to have the online instructors’ fitness level or stamina and may fumble during the workout. “There is a beginning from which everyone has to start,” said Ezham.

When hiring a personal trainer may be cheaper

Those hell-bent on shedding the extra pounds have been known to “invest” heavily in the right foods.

Likewise, for serious body builders, acquiring an enviable physique isn’t cheap as they would need to eat six times a day, and consume proteins, supplements and amino acids.

However, with the help of a personal trainer in an established gym, weight watchers may be able to reach their goals faster as they are guided in the art of gaining mass healthily or reducing fat mass without being malnourished.

FitWorx (Amcorp Mall branch) manager Ezham Zikri said most people are hazy about what it entails to obtain their desired goals.
FitWorx (Amcorp Mall branch) manager Ezham Zikri said most people are hazy about what it entails to obtain their desired goals.

Of food and bad habits

Food plays a fundamental role when it comes to having a healthy body. Shahir couldn’t stress enough that starving is not an option; neither is eating excessively. The key to a fit body, he said, is through moderation.

However, with the availability of 24-hour mamak joints and online takeaway services, people are eating a lot more.

You could do the best crunches for the longest time or run on the treadmill for an hour every single day but these won’t make a difference to your weight if you continue having bad eating habits.

“As a result, there are more cases of obesity even among children,” said Ezham. “People should learn to eat in small portions as well. Processed food is, of course, a no-no as opposed to homemade ones.

One more thing, many Malaysians don’t check food labels; being careful goes a long way towards making the right food choices.

That said, should you still find yourself struggling to get that enviable body that you’ve been dreaming of, take stock of what you’ve been doing wrong.

List down your daily patterns and, if you have the means, get professional advice on how to improve your well-being.

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