MANILA, Philippines — Summer is here and the oppressing heat in the city drives many to run off in search of cooling waters. While summer is a fun time, for those who are conscious about their beach bodies, it’s panic time. That is why they can succumb to the temptation of following fast fads to lose those unwanted inches quickly.
Fitness coach Juan Luke Vivar, fondly called Coach Luke at Hype 24/7 Fitness in Robinsons Magnolia, would not advise such a recourse. Throughout his decades of experience in helping others attain their fitness goals, he had observed that those who prepare for summer a month or even two weeks before the blazing sun hits the beaches, may achieve what they want in that short a time. But that may not be good in the long run.
Coach Luke said, “When you say fitness kasi, hindi yan yung pang mabilisan. It’s not like you worked out today, and in one snap, you are healthy already. Fitness is more like a journey, a journey to a person’s health. And it involves time management in committing to an exercise routine, and at the same time, yung way of eating, and getting enough rest.
“When rush it, you can achieve your goal when you do that, but the thing is, yung balik. Kasi may balik yan. For example, sabihin natin nag crash diet ka within a week. Yes, you lose weight so you achieve your goal. But when it you get back to your old routine, your old habits, babalik yan times two, or triple pa kung masamain ka. Ganun ang pwedeng mangyari.”
Now, when it comes to food, he emphasized that “you have to know what you are eating.”
“Just because you work out, does not mean you can eat anything you want. Cheat days are acceptable, maybe once a week just to reward yourself. But until you are able to meet your goals, eat properly. That means also that you should eat on time to maximize the fuel that comes from the food you eat,” he added.
Speaking of food, Coach Luke also shares a common misconception about diet.
“A lot of people think that when it comes to diet, they should not eat. Pag gusto nilang magpapayat, di sila kakain. Pag gusto nilang magpalaki, kain sila nang kain. But we have a certain nutritional requirements to reach whatever goal we have.”
Apart from good eating habits and exercise, rest is also a factor contributing to optimum fitness.
Coach Luke summarized, “Eat healthy and on time, work out, exercise at least three or four times a week. And yung pagtulog din, malaking factor din. Sleep at least seven to eight hours a day.”
For those who are wondering by now, how long will it take to get a person to get fit? Coach Luke says that it can’t be done in a month or two; it will take at least three months.
“There is a process when it comes to starting your fitness journey. You’re processing on the first month, on the second month you’ll feel it, and by the third month, you’ll see it.”
“But beyond three months, you cannot stop; you have to continue with your fitness routine. Well, you can have two reactions to this. Either you like what you’re doing, and it becomes a habit. Or magsawa ka. Pag nagsawa ka, eventually, wala ring mangyayari. Kasi sa three months na yun, di mo naman maa-achieve kaagad lahat ng gusto mong mangyari. It’s a process. It takes time, mga a year, or two or three. But at least three months if you’re really dedicated to it.”
So, what do you do after three months? How do you maintain it? He says the secret is consistency.
“Just keep doing the same thing that you’re doing. If you don’t see results today, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next month. But whatever you do, don’t stop. Kasi kahit di mo makita kaagad, kahit hindi ganun kabilis, eventually there’s a result. You will always see a result. Something will change, di siya pwedeng ganun lang. Imposibleng ganun lang kasi our body doesn’t work that way.”
“Do it for yourself. Kasi fitness is not for others, it’s for you. You don’t do it for others. Makikita lang nung iba yung results mo pero hindi mo ito ginagawa para sa kanila,” he said.
“Don’t even compare yourself with others in the gym. Look at them as a person who’s been in your shoes din, na they started na they don’t know anything; they hired a professional trainer (PT) just to guide them throughout their journey. Makakarating ka din dun sa kung ano ang na-achieve nila. So, wag kang mahiya, wag kang matakot, wag kang mainggit dun sa mga na achieve nila right now. Eventually, you will get there. And sooner or later, someone will look at you the same way you are looking at those before you. Someone na baguhan will also look up to you.”
The coach knows about what he is talking about when it comes to the experience itself. Athletic during his younger days but slowed down in college, he gained weight, too. At a certain point, he just wanted to do something about his body. And thus, his fitness journey began. It took him about a year to gain optimum fitness, and he has maintained it since then.
As his lifetime fitness journey continued, newbies at the gym would consult him about their routines. So, he embraced his calling and started taking personal training courses. He also earned certificates from the American Council on Exercise, a universal leader in Personal Trainer, Group Fitness, Health Coach & Medical Exercise Certifications, as part of his continuous career development.
Being a fitness coach, he finds fulfillment in “seeing changes in directions of clients.”
“Even if I am not their PT (physical therapist), I am happy when I can help them to know what they want to know about fitness. Fulfillment sa akin yung mga clients who don’t stop. They keep on doing it kahit na they don’t have time anymore. They don’t give excuses. And me being their friend, kasi sa totoo lang, mas marami kang magiging kaibigan dito sa gym, lalo na yung mga natulungan mo na. And they will be happy lalo na when they see results from what they do,” he shared.
Coach Luke sees himself as a gym owner in the future. But in the meantime, he is happy with what he is doing. As long as there is someone who needs help, he will help.
Having said all that, Coach Luke addressed the issue of some people’s fear of the gym.
“Unang una, hindi naman nakakatakot ang mga tao sa gym. You may feel intimidated kasi you’re a beginner in a big gym where there are good lifters or maganda na ang katawan. Syempre, think of it din na nanggaling din sila sa situation mo ngayon, so don’t be afraid to go to the gym.
“Second, try to do something about your health, about your lifestyle, isipin mo yung kinabukasan mo na pahabain mo ang buhay mo, pagandahin mo ang katawan mo, palitan yung mga bad habits na ginagawa mo before, change yourself. Give time for yourself. Di naman pwedeng habangbuhay, ginagawa mo ang mga bagay na nakakasama sa iyo, di ba? Syempre you have to do something para mabago mo yung sarili mo. Hindi ka tumatandang pabata; as you grow old, you have to maintain your strength.
“And, kailangan mong gumalaw, kailangan mong mag exercise. Kahit di ka pumunta ng gym. Gym need not be expensive. You can walk, jog, run, bike, do stuff like yung alam mong nakakapagod pero masaya. Like mountaineering, swimming, mga ganun.”
His main advice? Now is the best time to start.
“Now! As much as possible, now! Wala nang patumpik-tumpik, pag gising mo, magbihis ka, mag workout ka, lumabas ka, mag exercise ka sa labas, mag jogging ka, basta now! I- mindset mo na kaagad, pupunta ako ng gym, sisimulan ko na ito; wag mong isipin yung kahihinatnan mo, basta pumunta ka ng gym, may tutulong at tutulong sa iyo dyan, for sure. But kung wala, magtanong ka, hindi nangangagat yang mga yan. Tutulungan ka dyan.”
He added, “If you’re overweight, well, that’s a good reason for you to be at the gym. And if people laugh at you, wag mong pansinin. Shame on them. Kung mataba ka and you work out at the gym, that’s good for you! Kasi ikaw, you are doing something for yourself to change yourself, to change your life. Get up now! Go now!”
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