Sun, 25 Nov 2001

Surprise, regret mark evaluation time for fitness fanatics

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

It was the day of reckoning, a time to stand up and be counted. And pinched, put through a grueling step test and measured, to see how Jeff and Heidi had done after a month of their three-month fitness trial program.

Diding Winardi, the head instructor from Quantum Athletic Club in Kuningan, South Jakarta, who designed the program for the two, put them through a thorough evaluation to test their progress.

So, what has a month of pounding the treadmill and inspecting what they put into their mouths done for their fitness?

Weight Matters: Jeff, 34, has gone from 117 kgs to 113 kgs since starting the program on Oct. 23. He also lost two centimeters from both his waist and hips, and four centimeters from his chest.

Diding pronounced the weight loss "quite good" but said the declining measurements were mostly attributable to muscles becoming toned after years of inactivity. Jeff's body fat content also remained very high, at 36.8 percent, only down a fraction from 37.7 percent at the beginning of the program.

Jeff, although wishing he had lost a bit more weight so he would not still fit into the heavyweight category to go a few rounds with Lennox Lewis, said just taking up a fitness program had also altered how he looked at food.

"If you've done a workout, and you're feeling good about yourself, you don't want to fill yourself with junk food," he said. "Sometimes, though, the problem is finding a nutritious meal around town."

He admitted that toward the end of the month he did not exercise for a couple of days when he went on leave.

"I was also eating some foods which I shouldn't have, like a fried egg sandwich and fries, but that one was enough, and I didn't actually gain any weight," he said.

Now the focus shifts to Heidi. Heidi was ... Heidi? Heidi?

"Dooomed!! Doooomed!! I only lost 1.5 kilos!" said the 25 year-old whose weight dropped a little from 64.5 kgs last month to 63 kgs.

She also lost only two centimeters from her chest and waist and three centimeters from her hips.

A woman instructor at Quantum said that losing 1.5 kilos in a month by doing exercise was not bad.

"Losing drastically is bad. But if you want to lose more weight, though, you should improve the exercises by doing more sets. And of course, watch your diet," she said.

Similar to Jeff, Heidi's body fat content was also at a poor level, at 28.8 percent, slashed by one percent from 29.9 percent last month. A good fat content is 22 percent at the minimum.

"Dooomed!! Dooomed!!" Heidi turned hysterical as Diding was busy soothing her.

Fitness Gains: Jeff's fitness has shown improvement. He was able to complete the five-minute Harvard step test, which he gave up on after three minutes during the initial evaluation.

He also scored 16 on the flexibility test, from 14 last month, and his overall fitness was bordering on Good, from Fair/Poor last month.

More importantly, his blood pressure improved, from 127/88 to 122/81, and his pulse was a normal 68.

Despite her small, almost non existent weight loss, Heidi's fitness has also improved. She completed the five-minute Harvard step test easily, compared to the four-minutes plus nausea that she managed during the initial evaluation.

Her flexibility also improved by five centimeters ("Way to go!" Diding said), and her overall fitness was Very Good.

However, Heidi's blood pressure is a bit too low, bordering on 94/66. It had improved from last month when it could not even be detected (due to a long period of "inactivity"). But Diding said that the normal score was around 120.

Her pulse had also remained at a high level of 94.

"You should rest more, don't stay up late often. And avoid stress," Diding said.

What's next: Diding said Jeff would have to continue to monitor his food intake, cutting down on any "hidden" sugars and fats, to increase his weight loss.

He also suggested more cross-training, with work in the gym, such as 50 minutes on the treadmill followed by a game of squash or a swim.

As for Heidi, instead of taking an aerobics class once in a while, Diding advised her to attend a class every time she went to the gym.

"So, you'll start with a treadmill session for 40 to 50 minutes followed by a one-hour aerobics class. And some weight training after that," he said. "That is a must if you want to lose more weight," he added.