HIIT-ing it Hard in 2018:
Workouts To Burn Of The Festive Calories
Had one too many pineapple tarts last month? Gilbert Lim from Virgin Active is here to help you get back in shape.
Over the festive season, you may have had several more pineapple tarts or slices of log cakes then you initially predicted
(not judging, we did as well!).
Fear not, though! The good folk at Virgin Active Singapore are here to save the day. We sat down with VA Tanjong Pagar fitness trainer Gilbert Lim to pick his brain for useful health tips and the most efficient conditioning exercises to help you make gains and lose weight.
Meet Gilbert Lim
Full Name: Gilbert Lim
Specialisation as trainer: Functional hypertrophy
Years in the fitness industry: 7 years
How he got started:
My name is Gilbert, people call me Bert for short. I'm a fitness professional and a trainer here at Virgin Active Tanjong Pagar.
I joined the industry at 16 years, but actually started working out at 14 and never looked back. I love the pump I got when I first lifted a dumbbell – that sorta tearing, aching sensation. I was also fascinated by how a bodybuilder could look so huge. How can a human achieve such musculature?
But for the first three years I was training blindly: With bad form, going through the motions. I reached a plateau in progress, and that’s when I dived into nutrition and training programming.
Soon I started to fall in love with the science behind training and nutrition, and I soon saw results by applying the methodologies available.
Err, what’s a ‘functional hypertrophy’, Gilbert?
Hypertrophy is a term where your anabolic cells – like muscles – actually increase.
‘Functional’ would be with regards to your movement activity: How well you move, how stiff versus how flexible you are. When you have ‘functional’ and ‘hypertrophy’ together, you will have a body that's not only efficient but it is strong.
We want our gains to be mobile, functional and flexible… Instead of just having huge slabs of muscle like The Hulk without any efficient usage of them!
Most of my client base want to achieve body conditioning goals like losing fat, gaining muscle and even going for physique/body building contests.
What drives his passion:
As a trainer, you’re basically in the gym the whole day.
So, you must have both drive and a sense of purpose to why you're there. When I wake up, I'll ask myself, "Why are you doing this?"
And the answer is always the same: When I help people in terms of their health and wellness, that sense of purpose drives me to continue doing my job.
For me, as a personal trainer, you must empower your clients to achieve their goals. A training session only lasts for 45 minutes, and I've no control of their lives outside of that.
So I don't want to be the sort of trainer who comes and just instructs my clients to do Exercise A or B. I like to empower my clients to work on themselves outside of our sessions.
What he loves about being a trainer at Virgin Active:
The culture here, definitely! You'll never see anyone leaving Virgin Active without a smile.
Not only are the members bonded, but you get that sense throughout the entire organisation: Staff, members, instructors, It's like a big family. And that's what I love about Virgin Active: Working, training and playing as one.
Debunking 3 Common Health Myths
Myth #1: Sugar causes weight gain
Fact: Excess calories cause weight gain. Sugar is hyper-palatable, meaning that it’s easy to binge on sugary foods.
Sugar also doesn’t have enough dietary fibre, which makes you feel full and also helps clear your waste system.
Calories will always be the main reason for weight gain. The guideline is quite simply: calories in versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you expend on a daily basis, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight.
Of course, when it comes to long term health, it’s not feasible to constantly eat sugar and fat.
I always preach a flexible dieting approach: 80% whole foods that are minimally processed, nutrient dense. The other 20% I’ll reserve for whatever I have a craving for. That's how I personally keep a balance without feeling like I'm deprived.
Myth #2: You must do cardio exercises to lose weight
Fact: Your training regime may benefit from exercises that are more intensive and specialised.
Cardio can be a tool for you to burn more calories, but it's not an essential tool to losing weight. When it comes to losing weight, nutrition always plays the most important part.
When you optimise your nutrition, and eat less than you burn on a daily basis, you have no reason to include cardiovascular activity on top of that unless you really like doing cardio.
I’d advise you not to spend 2 hours of your time staring into blank space and walking on a treadmill.
Instead, get your cardio fix from activities outside the gym: walking, brisk walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. All these amount to a substantial percentage of metabolism.
If you increase your productivity outside of the gym, you won't need to do cardio inside of the gym.
Myth #3: Detox diets are a thing
Fact: A juice cleanse or detox diet is pure marketing, and not very useful.
Our livers actually detoxify toxins, and we don't need some juice cleanse. Liquid diets actually lead you to expend water weight. You may see some changes in your weight, but that's due to water weight loss.
For the first few weeks people will say 'Oh, I lost 2-3 kilograms. Detox diets work!" But it actually doesn't, and it's not sustainable.
If you treat your liver well by eating minimally processed, nutrient-dense food, your body will naturally detox itself. Take care of your internal self, and you'll see results externally.
3 Exercises To Build Strength, Lose Weight And Feel Great
Exercise #1: Bodyweight Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You can place both hands either in front or behind your head. This will be your starting position.
Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
Continue down to full depth if you are able.
Quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.
Exercise #2: Bodyweight Reverse Lunge
Begin in a standing position. Your hands should be on your hips or hanging at your sides.
Look directly forward, keeping your chest up, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Initiate the movement by taking a step to the rear, allowing your hips and knees to flex and lower your body.
Exercise #3: Bodyweight Push Up
Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 36 inches apart while holding your torso up at arms-length.
Next, lower yourself downward until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Now breathe out and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest.
After a brief pause at the top contracted position, you can begin to lower yourself downward again. for as many repetitions as needed.