My arse hurts. As in, it seriously aches. My legs? Trembling. Thoroughly shot. Stairs, especially going down them, are a nightmare.
"It's just DOMS," informs my personal trainer, Yasir Almakky Harun.
"DOMS?" I ask.
"Yeah, it's short for Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness. It's what happens when you stop slacking and actually put in some work."
Ouch. That hurt inside — where it counts.
"But, is it meant to hurt this much?"
"It will get better. You just haven't worked your legs in a while, so it's lactic acid build up," answers Yas. (I call him 'Yas' 'cos I'm Australian and I abbreviate everything.) "But your body will heal and you'll get stronger."
"And ripped right? Stronger and ripped?" I implore, rather too eagerly and definitely too loudly on a busy gym morning in Pure Fitness Asia Square. A dude doing dumbbell curls infront of the mirror looks over.
"Sure. But all in good time," says Yas.
"Yes, Yaaaaasssss! Yes!" I shout. Now the lady doing kettle bell swings by the window is smiling. I'm killing Yas, I can tell. Slowly, but not softly.
I used to be bit of a gym junkie back in my former life as a corporate lawyer — when fitness memberships were part of the package and mornings meant a HIIT session followed by a chicken sanger before sifting through contracts. But with the launch of Buro 24/7 in Singapore, the ensuing long work days and, as a result, "just 5 more minutes" of sleep in the morning, getting to the gym has been tough. Practically imposs. A mammoth effort that was only recenlty made possible by the moral obligation to not let Yas down.
"Are you on your way?" Yas would text.
"On the way!" I'd reply. In reality: Getting out of bed.
After a 5-session trial, and feeling the beginnings of a 6-pack buried under my addiction to TERRA vegetable chips (have you tried the 'Stripes and Blues'? Delish to the next lev), I've signed up to 25 PT sessions. I'm committed, man. It's time to get out of my lethargic funk and get back into shape. I used to sneeze like #cray on the weekends, the body giving up after a week of Buro 24/7, twenty-four-seven. But with my recent focus on exercise and clean eating, the only think I've sneezed at were those Crocs at the recent Christopher Kane SS17 show.
So let me inspire you (calm down, I'm not going to show you a picture of my topless torso) to lock down your own PT, with sage advice from Yas — as told through his candid responses to my nagging questions about progress, diet, and looking hot naked. Also, crucially important to self-discipline, here's a smattering of fitness 'grams from @zacefron to serve as lofty #fitspiration and as a visual reminder to... put down that fork!
1. When will I look like Zac Efron in Baywatch?
"Who's Zac Efron?" asks Yas.
"Okay, just picture a ripped fitness model..."
"Be patient! It's only been a few sessions. I've crafted a three month routine for you based on strength and power training. If you put in the work, you will gradually gain more control over your movements while maintaining speed, explosiveness and power. And yes, eventually look like Zac Efron."
2. How important is mental strength in achieving my goals?
"More important than physical strength. You have to drop your old habits and be very strict in order to achieve your goal within the 3 month time frame," advises Yas. "You can't allow yourself to be distracted by work events or hanging out with friends.
Commitment is key."
3. Can I still have a slice of cheesecake every night?
"You have a slice of cheesecake every night?!" exclaims Yas.
"And I still look this good — can you believe it?" I respond.
"Okay, I was just joshing."
"I meant, no, you can't have cheesecake at all," says Yas. "In fact, cut out all sugar and processed foods. I want you to eat a high protein diet — think: lean chicken breast, fish and steak (200 to 400 gram portions) — and eat smaller meals more often. Approximately four to five meals a day."
"What about carbs?"
"Don't cut down on carbs. You'll need the energy. Just focus on complex carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice. For snacks, have almonds, walnuts and protein bars."
4. So when will I learn muscle-ups? And be agile like a Ninja Warrior?
"For the first month, I will increase the intensity of your workouts gradually, and see how your body responds to free weights rather than machines. For the second month, with your body adapting to the regular workouts, I'll start including equipment for unilateral and bilateral movements. You will be working on isolations to focus on specific muscles. In the third month, your muscles need definition. I'll move you to functional circuit training including Bulgarian bags, Bosu ball, and kettle bells."
"Where are the muscle-ups?" I ask.
"Let's start with you being able to bench half your bodyweight, yet alone haul your entire body above a bar."
5. Should I feel sore after each workout?
"There's a difference between 'good' pain and 'bad' pain," advises Yas. "DOMS is part of resistance training, but if you're feeling sharp pain, then let me know straight away. It's important to rest and recover well too."
"I feel pain inside every time you smack talk me to do three more reps. Does that count?"
"Okay, give me 20 push-ups now."
Yasir Almakky Harun is a certified personal trainer at Pure Fitness Asia Square. He represented Singapore in the Classic World Men's Powerlifting Championship in Finland in 2015, and is currently the Singapore Powerlifting Open 2016 champion in both the Men's Master I and Men's Open categories. In short, he is legit.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.
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