Fitness Files: The First Month

Fitness Files (Image fron

I survived my first month of my new fitness regime. I blogged before my plans of hiring a personal trainer, signing up at Body & Seoul to take FightFit, and taking things slowly. Some of my plans didn’t fall through, but I am satisfied with what I’ve accomplished so far. In fact, my dad was so impressed with what I’ve been doing that he offered to pay my trainer for next month. Yay! Thank you, Daddy! That aside, here is a summary of my first month.

Week One

My first session with my trainer, “Master Yoda”, was more of an assessment session. He had me do the following and here are my results:

1) 10 minutes on the elliptical as warm-up.
2) 1 minute timed modified push-ups — I did 33.
3) 1 minute timed sit-ups — I did 11.
4) Measured my flexibility — getting into the stretching position gave me a horrible abdominal cramp, no thanks to those sit-ups!
5) 1.5 miles on the treadmill — I walked on average 2.8 mph and completed 1.5 miles in 30-something minutes.

A few days later, I tried FightFit at Body & Seoul, and I ended up pretty much hating it. Don’t get me wrong, the workout was intense and I can see its benefits, but for a beginner like me, some of the exercises were way out of my range. The instructor had us doing a series of workout in quick succession, and while I did fine with the warm-ups and the jump rope segment, I had difficulties with all these complicated moves that required balance and strength, and I could not keep up to his speed. My instructor didn’t really modify anything for me. I struggled until I reached a point of anger and frustration.

The next day turned out to be a lot better. I befriended a parent to one of my second graders, and she and I decided to have walking dates. Our first one had us walking 3.3 kilometres (2 miles) through Itaewon and Hannam-dong, and it took us about an hour. It was a nice walk, but the pace was slower than what I was used to, but that’s fine. In the end, I walked home to a total of 4.3 kilometres (2.7 miles).

Week Two

My second session with Master Yoda was a bit more intense. He had me do the following:

1) 30 minutes on the treadmill — I alternated between walking (3 mph) and jogging (4 mph) every five minutes. I walked 1.74 miles in 30 minutes.
2) 20 modified sit-ups with a ball and 10 modified push-ups for five sets.
3) 1-minute planks for three sets.
4) 30-seconds leg waving for two sets.

Couple of days later, I decided to give pilates a try at Body & Seoul, and that class turned out to be much better! My instructor was much more understanding, and she knew I was a beginner. She even told me to not overdo it, and she showed me modified moves. Seriously, after FightFit, I found pilates much more bearable! Yes, I struggled in this class, too, but I felt like it wasn’t as rushed as FightFit, and I feel that this will benefit me more in the long run. In fact, I decided to take pilates for the remainder of May.

Week Three

My third session with Master Yoda was even more intense. He had me doing the following:

1) 40 minutes on the treadmill at a 15% incline and at 2.5 mph — I burnt 400+ calories, walked about 1.5 miles, and kept my heart rate at 156+. I feel like I’d climbed Namsan Mountain for this bit.
2) A series of leg raises and sit-ups — I did four sets. I started with 20 each, then 15, 10, and 5. By my fourth set, I struggled with those sit-ups.

I attended my second pilates class a few days later, and that went well. The instructor was still nice and wonderful. I did my best, but I know I have a long way to go . . .

This week saw me walking to and from work a lot, and I also walked in the evenings because I didn’t have the horrendous 5:30am work schedule. Walking to work takes me about 20-25 minutes. My evening walk consists of doing laps around my flat. I do three laps, and that takes me about 18 minutes.

Week Four

My fourth session with James actually left me feeling sore the most because he had me do these:

1) 30 minutes on the treadmill — I started at 2.5 mph and increased the speed 0.2 mph every five minutes. I walked 1.49 miles in 30 minutes and reached the one-mile mark at 21:20.
2) 20 kettlebell swinging squats (20 lbs), 20 kettlebell steps (10 lbs in each hand), 20 ball crunches, and 30 kettlebell side crunches for three sets. Holy cow. My thighs and back were killing me the next day!

I will do pilates in a couple of days, and in between, I will be doing some of the routines Master Yoda taught me.


Master Yoda is a wonderful trainer. I love how he’s so encouraging. He does push me, but not to the point where I’ll get angry and pissed off like that FightFit instructor did. I feel that Master Yoda is a great investment, and I’m so glad I sought him out. Honestly, if I could afford it, I’d meet him at least twice a week, but once a week is all I can afford currently. Seriously, though, he’s a super nice bloke.

I am also liking pilates a lot more this time. The first time I tried it years ago didn’t leave me a good impression, but the instructor is what really makes a difference. Unfortunately, I will not be able to do pilates during the summer because they’re only offered in the mornings, and I will be working full-time hours during the summer. Instead, I may try yogilates in the evening instead and hope that will be just as good.

As for losing weight — honestly, I don’t think I’ve lost any, but I do feel physically better than before, so that’s a plus. I look forward to continuing my session with Master Yoda, and keeping up an exercise routine at home and trying to walk more when I am not on that super early morning work schedule.

If you’re doing a fitness programme or regime, how was your first sessions and/or month? Have you felt discouraged and upset like I have with FightFit? What kind of instructors do you like? Share me your thoughts in the comments!


  1. I don’t subscribe to gyms and other studios, so I don’t know what it’s like to have an instructor. (I consult with some friends sometimes but I prefer to work out on my own.) Regardless, I think the start is always the most challenging for everyone. Just the idea of committing to exercising, when there are a lot more comfortable options like sleeping and leisure. But if you manage to achieve some level of consistency, it becomes a habit. When it starts to feel less like a chore, you get to focus more on what you need to do! :)

    • Yeah, I’ll try to stick to it and see if it becomes routine for me, but so far not really LOL. It feels like a chore to me still, but maybe it won’t later!

  2. Congratulations on completing your first month of exercising! It’s awesome that your dad paid for your next month’s plan! Keep it going and don’t let it go to waste :D.

    Your workout routine looks pretty good! I’m usually fixated to the elliptical for an hour @___@. Not a good idea XD. I know the feeling of feeling anger from workout struggles! That’s why I like to exercise at my own pace and do what I want to do.

    It’s great to see the improvement you’ve made throughout the weeks! The part about losing weight might seem a bit weird. You’re losing fat, but you’re gaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, but is in a smaller form. I’m trying to convince myself about that part!

    I went through a training session once. I ended up being super sore and it was pretty expensive! I like the instructors who exercise with you rather than watch you do the work.

    • Yes, I won’t let it go to waste!

      My instructor watches me, but that’s good because some of the exercises he has me doing . . . he needs to be able to spot me and make sure I don’t fall off something LOL.

      And yes, I try to remind myself that I may not lose weight because of the muscle gain. XD The number will change . . . eventually.

  3. First off, the trainer name is totally appropriate.

    Second, you totally kicked BUTT.

    They aren’t a good fitness instructor if they can’t modify the exercises for different people with different strengths and such. I would be mad and frustrated, too! I’m glad that the Pilates class was a lot better for you though! I’ve done a few Pilates “classes” online and I like them, grew a bit bored because I thought that they were a little too slow. But it might have been the instructor.

    My exercise regime currently is mainly just running. I need to include other exercises for a more rounded workout – especially some strength training. I’m hoping once we get everything unpacked I can focus on my health a bit more. You’re inspiring me to be healthier Tara :D

    • I can’t take the credit for the trainer’s name XD My friend calls him that, so I picked it up, too LOL

      Yes, it seems like the good instructor will try to modify things for their students and clients.

      I’m glad I’m inspiring you to be healthier LOLOL It’s funny since I’m actually the epitome of unhealthy XD;;;

  4. Good job on your progress! That’s great your personal trainer worked out and that he finds exercises that both push you and are reasonable :) It definitely sounds like having a trainer is worth it!

    That’s too bad about FightFit though. It seems like a neat idea, but it doesn’t sound beginner friendly at all. I’m glad pilates worked out for you better. I’ve heard a lot of good things about pilates and yoga, so I’ve been tempted to try them.

    I’ve been running on the treadmill or working out with weights every day. I think I’ve gotten into a routine because if I skip, it doesn’t feel right, haha. I find that exercising more has great health benefits and keeps me fit, but when it comes to weight loss, I have to alter my diet to see results. When I counted calories for the first time, it was so enlightening because many things were higher than I expected!

    • Yeah, FightFit is not beginner friendly at all, despite what the owner of the gym has told me. Maybe it’s with that particular instructor, though.

      Yeah, I should alter my diet, too, but I’ll do that maybe in a few months LOL

  5. No lie, that FightFit program is something I would do. XD But finding the right trainer is super important, and you definitely have to do some shopping around before finding someone. A few hurdles in the beginning is normal. :) Good luck with the rest of your fitness goals!

    I’m glad that you’ve finished on month of exercise! Have you been placed on a nutritional program as well? I find that for me, my meal plan needs to be on point to make progress. It’s not always easy, but the gains I make in strength is amazing. I’m so much stronger now than before, I can put Mike on my back! XD

    I’ve started doing morning yoga every work day on top of my weight lifting. I’m liking it so far. I think it’s been helping me with my form too! Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve been working out all the time LOL.

    • Oh, I’m sure FightFit will be great for you, but it’s not for someone like me who’s an absolute beginner XD;; And yes, I can see that it takes a bit time to find the right trainer, and so far I’ve lucked out on two and not lucked out with one.

      No, I haven’t been placed on a nutritional programme. I’ll think about doing that in a few months. I’ve got too many things going on currently to consider another lifestyle change!

      And yay for improving your own physical fitness. It’s good you’re incorporating different things and all! ^^ That’s impressive you can put Mike on your back!

  6. Woah, nice work Tara. :) I didn’t read that you had any pain or felt hugely tired, so I am surprised. You must have heaps of energy! Unless you forgot to mention.

    Being pushed is sometimes very beneficial but when you are starting out it can feel really rough. I think you’ve been doing a lot for someone who is just starting out. And it’s great that you feel physically better! Keep it up girl!

    • Oh, I’ve had pain here and there, but it’s harder to gauge my exhaustion level because I alternate my evil early morning split shifts every other week X_X;

      I feel like I haven’t done enough for someone who’s starting out, but maybe I just have too much expectations at time and gotta look at things a bit more realistically ^^

  7. Sounds like a tough week, but sounds like you’re doing well and enjoying it! =3

    I’ve been slowly trying to exercise more on my Simply Fit Board myself.

  8. Ahh reading about your gym achievements reminded me of how my days were with the gym!
    I used to love going there, working out with weights and doing some cardio and getting completely tired after the gym, but thanks to my horribly busy schedule and few other things I had to give up on the very idea of going to the gym!

    having a personal trainer to make us do things is fun but i used to hate mine nonetheless cuz he used to push me a lot! :(

    • Yeah, having a super busy schedule does make it harder to keep a gym schedule. X_X I know it was difficult making time when I was doing school and work at the same time!

  9. I don’t subscribe to gyms/trainers because, haha, I can’t afford it – and I don’t think it’s worth the monthly price if I’m only going on weekdays. Love seeing your activities within the month and I’m so happy that you got a trainer like that! I just started exercising again last week, lol. Doing 45 minutes on the elliptical and still working on changing my diet. Haha!

    • Good luck with your own exercise regime! :D And good luck with your diet change. That’s so difficult for me!

  10. Yaaassss, girl! You’re kicking total butt and giving me a run for my money. Since I came back from my trip, I have yet to see the inside of a gym and I’m not going to lie, I miss it!

    Well done on pushing through it – I have a personal trainer myself, and I find her amazing. It’s great when you find someone who will push you, but not too hard for you to actually hate them.

    The results pay off in the end after all of the blood, sweat and tears. I really like the workouts that the trainer gave you! I may have to incorporate some of them into my trainer. I enjoy the alternating on the treadmill, because I’m still not at the point where I can run for a full 30 minutes on the treadmill yet.

    When I started exercising, I didn’t notice any weight loss but coupled with eating better I’ve definitely been feeling better. It definitely takes time, so I just got to be patient :P

    • I’m glad you find my workout session interesting, ahaha! Didn’t think I’d hear/read that! Let me know how those incorporations go :D I wish us both luck on our exercise regime. Let’s both kick lots of butts! ^_^

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