Just recently, Facebook’s “10-Year Challenge” took the Internet by storm. Everyone seemed to have fun with it, but I refused to jump on the bandwagon.
It wasn’t just because the challenge seemed lame. 2009 was also the same year I got fat. I gained nine kilograms that one summer in California, which involved many hot fudge sundaes, late nights and absolutely no exercise. In the end, my clothes could barely fit and taking the stairs was no longer a walk in the park.
It was a lifestyle that was easy to get used to — the laziness, junk food and poor life choices. And it was a habit hard to kick, leaving me with a predisposition towards all of the above, even today. While I’m no longer the same person of 2009, the perils of age have also crept up. I’m turning 30 in less than five months, and you know what they say: Some things start to go downhill. You begin to lose as much as five per cent of muscle fat per decade. Less muscle means less mobility, and an increase in risk of falls and fractures. But the good news is, you can avoid it.
“Working out helps maintain your muscle mass, and it slows down the ageing process,” personal trainer Tsvety Ivanova says. “Many of the clients that I have are in their 50s, but they look better than most 30-year-olds.”
How To Look Better In 10 Weeks
Ivanova works at UFIT (Orchard), Singapore’s largest boutique fitness company. There, she specialises in resistance training, body composition and overall fitness levels, and she’s one of the many trainers behind the gym’s popular 10-week Body Transformation programme.
In a world of HIIT training and endless promises of workouts that will result in perfect bodies, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed when you think of where to begin. UFIT’s Body Transformation is an excellent place to start for anyone who wants to turn over a new leaf. And not just in weight. It irons out whatever issues you have neglected over the years, and it forces you to turn the bad habits around.
A woman she trained went from postpartum body to become fit enough to compete in the Ironman triathlon in six months. Another guy, grossly unfit at 150 kilograms and a binge drinker, lost 45 kilograms in 10 months. He was healthier and, without a doubt, happier.
One can remain disciplined for a couple of weeks, but 10 weeks is a test of faith. It’s actually the bare minimum to make lasting lifestyle changes. Going beyond the 10 weeks is, naturally, beneficial. No one is keen to hear this, but Ivanova recommends coming in for an hour, four to six times a week.
“Exercising twice a week is not enough,” Ivanova says. “You can make the time, and those who need the extra support should be here six times a week. We keep them on their toes.”
A post-programme report and list of guidelines will be given to you to follow at the end of the 10 weeks. Photo by Ronald Leong
You’ll Be Accountable For Results
Think of the programme as the parent who knows what’s best for you. You might hate it at first, but once you get the hang of it, hate will turn into gratitude. The exercises are crucial — intense but fun, varied and personalised. But nutrition and the immerse approach are also huge factors in the transformation process.
“Support is the biggest factor,” Ivanova declares. “I could always have a workout and nutrition plan printed for you, but 95 per cent of the time, people will not follow through.”
She points out that at UFIT, a nutritionist will make you accountable for what you eat, by being contactable 24 hours a day (same thing with the trainer assigned to you, by the way). Sneaking in a doughnut is a dubious affair, since you’ll be made to write down what you eat and drink. “Every day, you’re accountable to somebody,” Ivanova adds.
You’re probably not going to like it at first, but just think of how much better you’ll feel in 10 weeks, or perhaps, 10 years.
160 Orchard Road, B2-02
T: (65) 6835-7274
For the starting price of $5,468, you’ll get 30 personal training sessions, five nutrition consultations, a physiotherapy screening and a sports massage