I received an email from a representative from ETB Fit, a sports nutrition-based lifestyle business, requesting me to share how I prepare to get through my fitness routine in a post on my blog. This opportunity came at a perfect timing since I have been meaning to post about how I keep up with my fitness lifestyle while having a 40 hour desk job and still keep myself sane (and moving towards my goal – strength and aesthetic).
ETB Fit rep sent me a few questions to get started so might as well do the entire post in a Q & A format.
What’s your training schedule looks like?
I do weight training 4x a week with upper/lower body split.
Tuesdays and Saturdays are Lower Body
Thursdays & Sundays are Upper Body (Sunday is one hour Kettlebell circuit session at Long Beach Kettlebell Club).
On the days I don’t go to the gym for weight training, I always spare 15-30 minutes in the morning before going to work by doing light activities such as mobility drills, Jane Fonda glute workout (bodyweight and band) and some core stuff.
And at work, since I’m entitled of two 15-minute breaks, I utilize them by doing light walking outside the office. Plus it’s very nice now (summer and breezy).
Wow, so you’re pretty much active daily. What time do you usually train and how long?
Tuesdays and Thursdays I usually at the gym by 5:30am. That means I have to get up around 4am to get ready.
Saturdays and Sundays I usually sleep in a bit so I don’t get to gym until 8am.
You are such an early bird! What time do you usually go to bed?
Weekdays I usually go to bed around 9pm. Weekends I usually go to bed a bit later, sometimes around 10-11pm. I try to get around 7-9 hour sleep. 10 hours if I’m super tired and it usually happens during weekends.
What foods do you eat pre workout?
In general I mostly work out in a fasted state since I feel better that way, plus I work out early in the morning. A cup of black loose leaf tea with 1 Tbsp heavy whipped cream and 1 tsp coconut oil, all mixed with an immersion blender usually my go to pre-workout fuel. On Saturdays and Sundays, I mix up 10gr whey protein isolate to tide me over a bit since I workout at a much later time (8am vs 5am). That also ensures that I won’t be fasting more than 12 hours since my last meal the night before.
Note: I haven’t tried ETB Fit pre-workout supplements nor any of their products.
What music do you listen to during your workout?
NONE. Yup you read it right. I dislike wearing headphones during my workout as I find them very distracting to me. I don’t even wear my glasses when I am working on my sets. So the music I listen to is pretty much whatever the gym has on..haha. I am pretty good at tuning out my surrounding environment. Besides that counts as practicing how to concentrate, right?
How do you switch up certain routines daily/weekly to stay motivated?
I have an online nutrition and fitness trainer, DebbyK, who’s been coaching me for the past 3 years. You can read my ongoing testimonial here. Currently she has me doing 5/3/1 Wendler program to improve my back squats and conventional deadlift, plus some accessories work to go with them. I think having a knowledgeable coach helps me to keep myself accountable. Plus with her coaching, I actually see results the way I want to, which is the key factor to keep me motivated. Not to mention, I learned a lot from her in terms of nutrition and training and slowly it becomes natural to me.
What do you eat or do after your workout to make sure you got the most out of your workout?
As I mentioned, I do well working out in empty stomach most of the time so I don’t do intra workout fuel. After a workout, I usually have my whey protein isolate with some leucine, creatine and Green Vibrance probiotic (for my gut health) and a bit of stevia for taste. An hour later, I usually eat my regular meal.
What type of diet you are on?
I dislike the word “diet” so let’s call it an eating plan. To be honest, I am on my OWN eating plan. I don’t have any name of it other than it’s an eating plan of eating mostly minimally processed foods such as vegetables, meat, healthy fats, some fruits with occasional indulgence.
Can you give us an example of your typical day of eating?
Sure. The easiest way for me to do this by putting up some photos of my foods with captions
Typical eating on workout days:
Pre-workout – black loose leaf tea with 1 Tbsp heavy whipped cream + 1 tsp coconut oil (added 10gr whey protein isolate if on weekends) blended with an immersion blender to emulsify the cream and coconut oil with the tea.
Post workout – whey protein isolate with leucine, creatine and Green Vibrance powder plus a bit of stevia powder for taste mix with some water
Breakfast/Lunch – veggies with protein and healthy fats. Any green leafy veggies medley mix (raw and cooked), meats (chicken, beef or canned tuna), eggs
Dinner – Roasted fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes (Hawaii Purple Sweet potatoes are my most favorite) drizzled with coconut oil and rice flour, rice noodles (mostly stir fry with some meats and veggies), Korean rice roll (Gimbap – store bought – super yummy)
Once a week I do get some treats from the local bakery or any sweets that I used to love when growing up in Asia.
Typical eating on non-workout days:
Upon waking up: black loose leaf tea with 1 Tbsp heavy whipped cream + 1 tsp coconut oil
Breakfast: usually a few hours after I wake up (about 2 hours later) – veggies with eggs and some meat. yup I eat veggies even for breakfast!
Lunch & Dinner: veggies with protein and healthy fats. Any green leafy veggies medley mix (raw and cooked), meats (chicken, beef or canned tuna), eggs
Thank you! Any other tips you would like to suggest?
First define what’s your goal (make sure it’s realistic enough) and then set your priority straight. My goal is strength and aesthetic so I prioritize my nutrition and training program around my schedule. I also make sure that whatever I am doing is sustainable so it will become a second nature instead of torture. Getting enough sleep and figuring out what type of eating plan that I enjoy also helpful in the long run. Last but not least, having a very knowledgable coach is very helpful so you won’t keep spinning your wheels going nowhere closer to your goal.
I hope this post helps anyone who’s looking for tips to stay motivated in his/her journey getting closer to his/her goal.