Real Bodies: Fitness Interview with a Club Level Competitive Runner

Hi Everyone,

I’m starting a new mini-series. I will be interviewing fitness people around Singapore and getting their workout routines, diet, motivations, and realistic photos.

Of course, if during the interview, they share with me their problems or if I identify suggestions that they can implement into their routine, I try to let them know.

I want to share with you – what makes us fitness people tick, what are the efforts we put in to get a certain level of results, and what are the simple mistakes we make.

This is so that you know what possibly lies ahead in your own fitness journey.

The first guy I interviewed is: Devane, 35, 178, 66kg

He used to be in not as good shape.. These are his before and after photos from exercising for 6 years.



Only slightly impressive? That’s fine. Devane is focussed on his running performance and less on aesthetics. He puts a hack of a lot of work into his hobby. Importantly, he enjoys his time exercising!

How many hours a week do you think he exercises? Pause now and place a number in your head. This is an important number.

Ok? Got it?

Don’t cheat. Really, place a firm number, I want you to be able to evaluate your preconceived notions.

Okay. *Drum Roll*

He exercises about 7-8 hours a week, 6 days a week.

Were you surprised? If so, read on!

I bet some of you guessed that he exercises much less than that. Why is this the case? If you are honest, it’s because his physique isn’t that impressive.

But stop there! You already knew he was a runner from the headline of the article. Why do you have expectations of him to still look a certain way? You likely guessed he exercises about 3-5 hours a week?

You likely also assumed that all he did was run? But no, he also gyms twice a week by himself. (He is not my client) Further, he also swims once a week.

For many of us, we always subconsciously think results will come easy. But in fact, Results are usually not as easy as it looks, you have to get most things right to look a certain way.

Devane certainly does most things right, but unfortunately, just doing a few things wrong can significantly place a damper on the way he looks.

I will show you. Let me start by going into the details of his weekly routine.

His Training Routine – Weekly

2x Long runs (7-15km)

1x Speed work (500m slow jog, 500m fast pace run)

2x Gym Sessions (He exercises all his muscle groups, he doesn’t push too hard in the gym though as his focus is running.)

1x Swim (800-1200m freestyle)

This is some commitment. This is some effort!

His long runs are about 1.5 hours. And his other sessions are about an hour.

What about his diet?

His Diet

I interviewed him about his diet. His diet is like most people – not perfect!

He eats lots of beans, fruits, and vegetables. He takes protein shake twice a week on the days that he gyms. He eats mostly white meat, and some eggs. He has some tofu, and soy in his diet but nothing excessive. He also eats a small-moderate amount of nuts for healthy fats.

He, like many of you – reduces carbs, he tries to eat less bread, rice, and noodles. He even used to count calories.

He has a sweet tooth, so he does eat the occasional dessert, say 1-2 portions every week.

All the above is fine.

However, the major flaw in his diet is his alcohol consumption, he can drink up to 15 beverages of alcohol over the weekend. But when he does drink that alcohol, he reduces his intake of other carbs and fats.

Okay, nobody is perfect. Everyone has their guilty pleasures, at least he still finds a way to burn off all that alcohol and not have a beer belly at the age of 35. You see, many people who do not exercise, look much worse than him at 35, despite drinking even less alcohol.

My Quick Tip

But what can I say about his diet? For a sportsman, I would say not that good. The alcohol may have to go. It is likely the alcohol that is holding him back. If he swapped the alcohol for more lean protein, he would look better.

Look, I’m not saying cut alcohol completely, you do not need a perfect diet to improve! But swap some alcohol for protein.

He has shared with me that he experiences knee and lower back pain once in a while. I asked him about his running gait, style, and shoes. It seems like that is not the issue.

Since he shared with me his gym routine in detail, I found out possible muscle imbalances. His hamstrings and glutes are weak.

So, for his gym routine, I would recommend that he tries training the posterior chain more. Slowly, reintroduce deadlifts, hip thrusts, and include exercises such as the nordic ham curl to train the eccentric strength of the hamstring.

If he wants more aesthetics, I would ask him to focus more on the lateral delts as these muscles build shoulder width.

If he reduces the alcohol and trains the lateral delts more, he will be well on his way to a better v-shape physique.

Note: I did not recommend major changes to him. He will still be a runner and be able to run well. These are just some easy suggestions for a better aesthetic physique that he can implement now.

The Major Takeaway

Devane is an example of someone who puts in decent effort into his sport. He is a sportsman. But does he look like a sportsman though? Yes. But, not really in today’s instagram unrealistic world.

He is a classic example of someone who exercises a lot but because of a few inaccuracies, does not look as good as he could. Not many would have guessed that he is putting in that much effort. Why? I would largely say it is because of his alcohol consumption.

Nevertheless, that is his choice to make and I am not bashing his alcohol consumption. I am just pointing it out for the reader’s benefit. Afterall, he still looks above average for a 35-year-old man!

And, that’s it. Hope you enjoyed! If you have a fitness story to share, do contact me for a fitness interview! And you too can be featured here and get my commentary into your current fitness routine.

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