Baby steps before you step up
Contestants learn importance of easing into new exercise regimen
After more than 10 years of not exercising, he is trying to get fit again.
But incorporating exercise back into his life has not been easy.
That's why, within a week of joining the Get Lean, Get Strong Challenge 2016 in early April, Mr Justin David, 33, fell ill.
Last month, Mr David and nine other contestants were selected from a pool of more than 80 applicants for the challenge, which is jointly presented by The New Paper and fitness equipment specialist AIBI. (See report on left.)
He says: "I think my body needed time to adjust. It was a big change for me, going from my previous lifestyle to this kind of training."
As part of the challenge, Mr David, who is a warehouse assistant, has to attend training sessions at least twice a week.
But falling sick did not deter him. After recovering, he resumed training and made it a point to get adequate rest after each session.
He says: "I'm glad for the gradual pace of the training."
According to Mr David Devito, the trainer in charge of the challenge, the emphasis has always been to ease the contestants into an exercise regimen.
Mr Devito, who conducts the training sessions at his gym The Fitness Protocol in Geylang, adds: "Even though it's been about two months, we are only at 20 per cent. I want them to push themselves, but they should also take care of their health and not go beyond their limits."
When training sessions started last month, the contestants did only exercises that use their body weight.
It was only recently that they started using equipment, like the water rower by AIBI, which Mr Devito says "might just be the most efficient exercise ever".
He explains: "Rowing burns calories rapidly, making it a suitable addition to your workout regimen if weight loss is your chief priority."
EASY ON JOINTS
Rowing is also easy on the joints, and is appropriate for people of all ages and fitness conditions, including those who wish to take it slow.
But be mindful about your exercise pace, advises Dr Benjamin Tan, chairman of not-for-profit group Exercise Is Medicine (Singapore).
He says people like Mr David who have not exercised in a long time should get fit, but should do so gradually.
"One should abide by the rule of the principle of progression and go slow. You should only exercise at a level that matches your current fitness level, and it is important to have a correct starting point," says Dr Tan.
Mr David now makes sure he gets enough rest and eats nutritious food to complement his training schedule.
His efforts have paid off. Over the past seven weeks, he has lost 4kg.
"I'm thankful to David, my wife and everyone who has encouraged me so far," he says.
About the challenge
The Get Lean, Get Strong Challenge 2016 is a fitness competition that challenges 10 participants to lose as much weight as they can.
Under the supervision of noted local trainer David Devito, contestants will undergo an intensive six-month training regime worth $5,000.
This consists of one-hour classes at least twice a week at Mr Devito's gym, The Fitness Protocol.
Rather than focus solely on cardiovascular exercises like running, Mr Devito's methods have a strong emphasis on technique. They feature the use of kettlebells.
Participants also have to watch what they eat and adhere to a strict diet that Mr Devito and his team will plan and monitor.
The winner will receive prizes worth more than $6,000.
There are also prizes for the second- and third-placed contestants and consolation prizes for the other seven contestants.