To lose weight, Ruan dropped the sweets and picked up gym.

HEIGHT 175CM

JOB BSC CONSTRUCTION STUDIES STUDENT

TIME REQUIRED 18 MONTHS

WEIGHT BEFORE 123KG

WEIGHT AFTER 95KG

THE GAIN

It all started when I was about six years old. My family went on holiday and I discovered sugary sweets. Before long I was eating as many as I could. Combined with the fact that I was inactive, playing little sport and watching lots of TV, I became overweight. In December 2005, I weighed my heaviest (123kg), with my body fat in the high thirties.

THE CHANGE

I’ve been a member of a gym for as long as I can remember as part of my parent’s family deal. I can count the number of times I went, though. In February 2005, I turned 18 and became too old to be a dependent on my dad’s gym contract. A year later, in an attempt to motivate me, my dad took out a separate contract for me and I felt obligated to make use of it. I started by doing the circuit three times a week and later I was able to increase it to two circuits, three times a week.

THE STRATEGY

As I began to enjoy gym more and more, I kept adding to the number of exercises I performed each time until I was unable to do them all in a single session. At this stage, I was working out four days a week with rest days in-between. I then decided to split them all into three groups, upper body, lower body and abs. In the beginning, I did each group on a separate day with one day of rest in-between, but this became too easy and I progressed to training all three groups twice a week, with Sundays as a rest day. Then I read in Men’s Health about training in 15 minute intervals, pairing two opposite motion muscle groups like biceps and triceps with a 10-rep max weight. You alternate between the exercises, doing no more than five reps at a time as fast as possible (without rest) until the 15 minutes are up. I applied this concept very successfully and gained strength, endurance and size.

THE RESULT

Altogether I lost 38kg and came down to 85kg. This took me about 18 months. Since then I have put on some muscle and weigh 95kg, follow a balanced diet and gym six days a week. I’m struggling to get my abs to show, but I’m still loving the challenge.

THE REWARD

I love gym. I can’t imagine my life without it. I don’t feel right if I am not a little stiff because I pushed myself the day before. Working out has boosted my self image and improved my self-confidence.