Hola Lab Rats!
We’re back with another The Lab Trainer Revealed, this time with Silom Club Manager, Coach Tony.
Did you know that Tony used to be an architect at an architecture firm…that is, until he discovered his love for fitness and health, leaving behind his desk-ridden career and never turning back. Read on for more about the Shredded 17 program and his simple yet effective weight loss tips.
I like to say keep it simple. I say stay true to yourself and be committed. Most of the time, people don’t get results they want quickly so they are not committed or they make getting fit too complicated, like adopting a diet that is too strict, a routine too difficult to follow or expect too much from themselves. They want to go all or nothing.
I think my motto is really all about finding a balance that fits your lifestyle and schedule, like committing to exercise at least 10 minutes three times a week, or 30 minutes two days a week. Try and find the appropriate workout and nutrition for your level and go from there. If you expect way too much at the beginning, you are setting yourself up to fail.
2. This attitude of keeping it simple in fitness and nutrition relates very much towards the main pillars of the Shredded 17 program. Can you tell us about how the program came about and what role you played in its development?
Shredded 17 is not completely focused on dieting, it’s focused on a lifestyle that people can carry on for the rest of their lives. I teach and guide people how to eat, reach their ideal weight, fitness goals, get into exercise at home (one of the harder parts of keeping active) and knowing how to choose the right foods. The program is 1 month, 29 days, so it is strict – of course – but it’s a learning process. At the end of the program, people can easily take all of these learnings and apply them to each of their long term goals.
I have been doing this sort of body transformation for 5 years now. I first started it at my previous employment. We had a lot of clients struggling with losing weight and they followed fad diets and various weight loss programs that are quick and fast but not healthy. They were starving themselves or losing weight but lacking nutrition. Sometimes they were eating too little, leading to yo-yo-ing. I don’t support unhealthy diets or lifestyles. I decided that I should put together a plan that combines nutrition and exercise while being healthy and applicable to anyone. I also wanted to make sure it could be followed in the long term, to help develop the type of good habits that last a lifetime.
Shredded 17 is a body transformation, it’s not purely about weight loss. People do also want to lose weight but the ultimate goal is about changing your body to become fitter, leaner or lighter. It also doesn’t matter if the participants are beginners or experienced as the program applies to anyone. If they are real beginners to any form of exercise, we provide a simpler routine and bring it down something everyone can handle, like a simple exercise they can do at home for 10-15 minutes with an easy-to-follow food plan. We also give them lots of personal support by putting them in a group with individuals possessing similar fitness motivations.
I feel like once they have this support group they start being more motivated to reach their goals because often beginners lack motivation or support. Being in a group with like-minded people gets them thinking and talking about the same thing and supporting each other. They compete in a friendly way. They push each other in the same direction, so they make the program work for everyone.
3. Which of your qualifications are you most proud of and why?
I’m proud of two things, the nutrition and strength training parts: cross-fit and Olympic weight training. They taught me the foundation of how to train strength and personal training at the same time, and how to apply this training to everyone. These programs are applicable all the way from beginners to athletes because they are adaptable to all body types and everyone needs some form of strength training.
My nutrition qualifications also help me as they are what I use the most with my clients. After all, we all know that fitness is made of 80% nutrition and 20% strength training. Many people at The Lab are interested in finding out their ideal diets according to their habits and body composition. What I do now is that when someone comes up to me, I ask them about their past relationship with food and nutrition. I ask them their weaknesses and strengths, what they tried before, what worked or didn’t work. After all, everyone is different right? So, I try to think of their past and current situation and try to think of the perfect program for that person. I’d have to say that nutrition, cross-fit, and weightlifting have been the most overall useful qualifications to me in my current role.
4. Can you tell us what a day of food looks like for you Coach and whether you have any cheat meals or guilty pleasures?
People believe that trainers are healthy 100% of the time but the truth is this not sustainable for most people. I eat healthy 70% of the time unless I have some specific goals in mind, like losing body fat or if I want to do a competition or photo shoot. In this case, I would put myself on a different routine, it would be eating clean about 90-95%. In general, I eat 70% clean and the rest are cheat meals. I like desserts like ice-cream and carby foods like burgers and pizza. I have cheat meals about once a week – so something every week – 3 times a month. I would say I’m strict with my diet about 5 days a week and maybe the other two less so.
I would advise people that have cheat meals too often to focus on just cutting down on the frequency as much as they can, and take each week by week and try to improve on that.
5. A lot of people are split on whether Thai food is healthy or not – What do you believe and what do you advise your clients regarding Thai food?
I like talking about Thai food! Most people tend to think Thai food or most Asian food is healthy but its quite the contrary. Thai food is one of the worst food to eat. I think back in the day it used to be healthier because everything was organic, no chemicals and few products were processed. One of the most important things to consider now is that every single Thai dish has sugar and MSG – especially sugar. There’s not a single Thai dish without sugar. Even if the dish is steamed, there will be some sugar in the sauce.
So I would say that the worst thing about Thai food is too much sugar, too much MSG, and too many ingredients. Western meals have salt and pepper to taste but Thai food uses many different types of sauces, flavors, and ingredients. There are alternatives though if you want to eat healthier Thai food, you just have to go to places where they cook food without MSG or with less sugar and no additives. There are more and more of these types of restaurants now. There are a lot of food delivery services that offer healthy Thai food. But in general, I would say that Thai food is not healthy, not for weight loss anyway.
Thanks for reading Lab Rats! Stay tuned for next week, where we’ll publish Part 2 of our interview with Coach Tony and get a closer look at his goals for 2017, as well as his thoughts on the current fitness trend in Bangkok.
– The Lab Team