Tag Archives: trainer

The times you shouldn’t go to the gym

This Monday past was a public holiday, so I arranged to go for gym training at 11am.  I have been recovering from a bit of minor surgery on my back, so the workout was planned to be fairly light anyway.  But, towards the end, when I was doing abs on the vertical crunch machine, I began to feel pretty bad. Nauseous. No good. My trainer stopped me after the second set. The session was almost over anyway.  A fellow gym-er remarked that my face had gone all pale.

I told my trainer that it’s never felt like this before – never on the ab machine anyway. I wondered aloud to him if it might be because of the antibiotics I’ve been taking, post-surgery, which has been playing mischief with my bowels too. He said that that might be it, and added that I really shouldn’t be doing training when on medication.

On the way home though, it dawned on me that actually the past occasions when this nausea has happened has generally always been in the daytime, e.g. in morning training sessions. And I began to suspect that it might actually be my high blood pressure medication. I usually go to gym in the late evenings – by then the medication has pretty much worn off for the day. But morning – it’s probably still in my system, relaxing my heart.

So if you’re taking medication, medicines – do be careful if you’re thinking of going to the gym, even if you feel fine.

You should also avoid going to the gym when:

  1. You’re not feeling well (obviously), or believe you’re going to fall sick.
  2. You’re exceptionally tired, e.g. did not sleep well the night before.
  3. You just ate, like within the last 45-60 minutes.
  4. On an empty stomach.
  5. When you’re on medication.

I’ll add one reason why you should go to the gym though: when you’ve had a long stressful day at work. Don’t bring that stress home – bring it to the gym, and burn it all away. You’ll feel better for it!


“You’re still not eating enough.”

Tsk. Words you wish you could hear while dieting, words you wish you never hear …. after dieting.

After months of trying, I still cannot reach the weight I’m supposed to be. My trainer says I have to eat more. MORE. Since the beginning of 2012, my weight has hovered at 66 to 67 kg.  It used to be that going to gym, I’d worry about not having lost enough weight. Nowadays, I am anxious that my weight hasn’t gone up. And it hasn’t. My trainer would like to see me at 70kg – still some 3 kg to gain.

On Friday I ascended the weighing machine at the gym, and felt a tinge of fear as the numbers rolled. To my disappointment, I had dropped another 0.1 kg since Wednesday. 66.8 kg.

Wait a minute, isn’t this a weight loss blog? What the heck am I taking about?? In case you’re new to this blog, my weight loss journey has been so successful that I’ve been told I need to gain weight. Gain muscle mass, to be precise. Remember, being underweight is not a license to gain fat.

So, go eat, my trainer tells me. Eat more, have more carbs, but not too much. Put on a little fat if you have. We’ll burn it off along the way.

Basically, I have been  put on a mission to gain weight.

So over the weekend, I tried my very best to avoid healthy meals. Just for the heck of it. Actually, my trainer does often suggest that it’s ok to indulge a little over the weekend. A lot of gym-going people do it.

It was ice-skating Saturday morning – I got my girl out of bed early so we could go to MacDonald’s before the session. I had a sausage egg McMuffin – I ate the whole egg AND the hash brown, without guilt.

For lunch, I had fried bee hoon with ngoh hiang, all fried! Not deep fried, but still fried.

For dinner, I had yong tau hu, my usual healthy meal… except this time with laksa gravy!

And I even had a slice of multi-grain bread with low-fat cheese, close to mid-night.

On Sunday, I enjoyed breakfast with my girls. I had three takoyaki balls, two slices of whole meal bread with peanut butter and jam, and share some cereal and blueberries with my littlest girl.

For lunch, a sinful bowl of mee rebus with TWO mini-sardine puffs – one of my favourite things from my Fat Era.

A small bowl of yong tau hu for dinner, a handful of wholemeal cinnamon crisps at 8pm. Then, a half-cup of milk with protein powder, a handful of blueberries and dried peaches, and 3 slices of papaya at 10pm.

Do I feel fattened? Pinching my stomach, not really. Maybe a little.

Fueling up before gym

Earlier in my training regime, when I tracked my eating item by item on paper, my trainer used to jokingly tell me that whatever I ate prior to coming to gym was all gone, when I looked exhausted after an exercise. He would always tell me that food, especially those refined carbs, would be burned away as fuel very quickly during gym. It was thus important to fuel up before gym.

EDIT: This applies more to those in my current stage – weight training. If you are in the weight loss phase, don’t eat too much, as it would mean you will gain more calories to get rid of, resulting in less weight loss. Remember I am currently too light for my trainer, so I can’t not eat – I might even lose more weight!

The best time is about 2 hours before the session. That’s when I can load up without any anxiety. My trainer’s original instructions a couple of months back was to eat 4 slices of wholemeal bread an hour before gym. (I can hear your groan – wholemeal bread?? How exciting. But really, I enjoy it. I enjoy times when I can eat carbs without guilt).

It seemed to improve my energy, and to some degree my weight. But I varied this a bit and found a nice formula:

2 hours before gym: 2 slices of wholemeal or multigrain bread, with peanut butter or marmalade jam. Optional: coffee or tea, one cup.

1 hour before gym: 2 slices of wholemeal or multigrain bread, same as above, or with a slice of cheese. Water.

Don’t eat too much towards the 1 hour mark – or risk indigestion during training. When I followed my trainer’s original instructions to eat 1 hour before gym, that’s what happened. It’s not his error per se, but perhaps because my stomach isn’t used to it. Either way, I find the 2-hour plan much more effective. It gives me energy for the session, and keeps my weight up…. just before gym, isn’t that convenient. It is also nice to be “snacking” on carbs at 5pm and 6pm.

And in case you’re wondering, after gym I’m definitely hungry again.


Low Fat!


Whoa, even my trainer thought it was an anomaly!  He made me take the fat machine test again. 16.8% OK, he nodded in approval, then it’s accurate. My lowest fat % ever.

Over the last 3 months, my fat percentage has hung around 17 to 19.something percent, never going below 17%. It was closer to the 18s and 19s in May and April, hanging around the 17s in June, and finally went below 17% today.

It’s been quite a journey, considering I was something like 28% one year ago. Do I have much further to go? I didn’t know, but my trainer said his own fat percentage is also around 15-17%, so in fact, I’m pretty good now. :)

EDIT: after this post, my fat went above 17% again and so far hasn’t deigned to come back to the nice grasslands of the 16s. -_-